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Friday, February 28. 2014
2612 forward developments.... Feb ... Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 17:16
Wednesday, February 19th was relatively warm day and the following Saturday was cold. We had the propane heaters on both days to keep Gary and I warm and comfy. In spite of the cold weather, we were productive inside. Gary and I continued our planning for the 3 panel installation by drilling each steel panel with forty-five holes and then test fitting each panel into position. It does not sound like much but the planning and fitting is very important for the eventually out come. You want to plot the holes in the correct space and drill them only once. What's the old saying...measure twice...cut once. That's what we did. Gary and I must have moved those panels back and forth about 4 or 5 times before we decided to drill the holes. We are finally at the point of fitting, installing and tapping some one hundred 1/4-20 slotted round head screws back into the frame. Its a time consuming job and there was talk about an easier way but restoring an artifact does take time.
Our work is sure cut out for us.
Mark Hoffman and Kevin Brown stopped by to view our progress. The two conductors were wondering if the coach will be ready for this service this year? In the middle is Gary Sherman. He gave them a positive, YES.
Believe it or not... 15 days till Spring!! In order to met our goal I would like to ask for a couple of new volunteers to assist us in our efforts. You can call at the museum and leave a message for me in the office or just show up on any Wednesday or Saturday. We generally have a good time and when you travel home at night you feel certain that you helped accomplished something. Hope to see you in back of barn 3 Thanks Roger Kramer
Tuesday, February 25. 2014
February 22nd, A Beautiful Sunny ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 14:03
Shelly Vanderschaegen helped Kevin Kriebs get things ready to continue to prime the vesibule between the two Exhibit cars. Then Kevin began priming. Ray Mormann and Mark Gellman changed out a 250 volt plug on the Loch Sloy so they had power at 9 am.
Jon Habegger and Mark started working on the barrier to go in front of the Union Station sign in the first Exhibit Car. We don't want anyone to touch the original sign as that would likely cause damage to the artifact or to people.
Before lunch Kevin primed one side of the vestibule closet door. Right before the end of the day's work, Shelly primed the other side of the door.
After lunch Ray and Michael Baksic worked on the kitchen floor area in the Birmingham. There is a bit of a step which needs to be fabricated in stainless steel and they were measuring carefully to get it right. Shelly was working with Goof Off taking stickers off of plexiglass and cleaning the 2nd Exhibit Car baseboards.
Michael McCraren was working again in the Pacific Peak on Saturday, February 21st. Mark Hoffman worked in the Passenger Car Department on Sunday.Jon Habegger took two outdoor pictures of Yard 5 to share. Blue skies and snow to spare.
A big thank you to Kevin Brown who brought cookies and soda pop for the snack bar in the Birmingham and who has provided such things in the past. Donations of soda and packaged goodies, chips, candies, etc., are always appreciated. The Department also wants to thank all contributors who have made generous donations to the Passenger Car Department. We can't do it all without your help!!
Blog updates contributed by Pauline Trabert with lots of help from Shelly Vanderschaegen.
Sunday, February 23. 2014
Steam Department Update 02-22-2014 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 12:19
Welcome back to the IRM Steam Department skating rink. A few days of thaw during the week were a mixed blessing. The snow mountains are a little reduced but not much of the water went away. So it has now formed thick ice. Blacktop roads around the site could be ploughed effectively and so dried out. But the unmade roads around the shop now have an inch or more of solid ice. Pauline’s passenger car shop blog has some great pictures of the conditions around the site.
There was a good turnout and most people sensibly kept to the shop once they had carefully slithered their way in. Quite a lot of cleaning and painting had been done during the week and it was generally decided that we would have a “dust free” day so a lot of people concentrated on applying primer or topcoat to the lower regions of 1630. Since we have no separate painting area or dust extraction we have to focus on cleaning and then paint all areas we have cleaned before making any dust anywhere in the shop.
With so many people involved it was difficult to keep track of the progress. Indeed this is an interim update as I left early to go to the Soiree and I will wait to see what happened after I left.
The major focus was on the frames, both inside and out. The confined space just behind the cylinders is probably the worst part.
Brian put in a lot of time in this area. The trick, that he achieved pretty effectively, is to clamber into the space from the rear, carefully paint all around yourself and leave an exit so that you can clamber out without damaging your work.
Further back, just ahead of the firebox, there is rather more space. Jerry is hard at work on the inside of the frames on the fireman’s side. This gives a good indication of how fast things are moving. The inside of the springs on the engineer’s side are now primed while the outside of the springs on the fireman’s side are already in topcoat.
Brian, Phil and I refitted the ends of the valve chambers that had been removed for measurement of valve rings for potential replacement in 2015.
Later in the day, the ends and cover sheets were all fully fitted and the painters had already come by and primed the areas around them.
Jim was back at work on Sunday and sent me this picture. The cylinder ends and all the section behind the pilot is now finished.
Jim was in early Saturday working on the engineer’s side. Later in the day, the engineer’s side wheels, frames and motion are well in the way to completion
The fireman’s side is progressing well with much in topcoat and priming well under way. The lubricator now looks really nice. That was a lot of work. A significant exercise now is quality control, i.e. looking at it from all angles and spotting any gaps. There are so many projections, crevices and angles that this is no small exercise.
Dennis worked with Jane on welding, particularly areas of the coal bunker that showed small leaks.
Jane degreased and pressure washed underneath the boiler of the Shay.
Stu, Bob and Mike worked with Rod on the planer. When I left the hydraulics would move the table in one direction but were showing remarkable reluctance to push it back the other way. Much analysis was continuing of old manuals and drawings to investigate possible reasons for this.
So a very productive day.
Saturday, February 22. 2014
February 16th - Another Fun and ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 13:47
The day started as Curater Michael Baksic epoxied the vestibule closet door in the 2nd Exhibit Car. Previously Shelly had epoxied and sanded half of the door. Shelly took all the photos today except those attributed to others.
While the vestibule closet door dried, Kevin Kriebs began priming the vestibule between Exhibit Cars 1 and 2.
Jon Habegger helped Shelly Vanderschaegen put picture frames together while Mark Gellman and Michael Baksic sanded the vestibule closet door after it was dry.
Later Michael, Ray Mormann and Mark went through the Birmingham diner fixing tables that had missing screws, needed to be tightened, etc. They brought a table top to Shelly to epoxy the edges and Michael also applied epoxy to a table top.
Lunch in the Birmingham was almost back to normal with humor and many smiling faces.
Michael McCraren continued his work in the Pacific Peak. He reports that he is getting close to priming. Michael took some photos of the snowfall that day and you can see the mounds of previous snow that had piled up. Mark Gellman also captured a snow picture to post.
After lunch Kevin was priming the vestibule again but discovered that condensation had formed a layer of ice so that was the end of the work day.
Thursday, February 20. 2014
Steam Department Update 02-15-2014 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 09:31
The report this weekend is entirely second hand as I have been on vacation in Mexico. Thanks to Jim, Phil and Collin for detailed input. The common theme seems to be that, with Nigel out of the way, there was a good turnout and they were able to get a lot done.
As ever, the primary focus is on 1630 and getting everything in top shape for the season:
Jerry spent most of Saturday scraping grease off the frame on the fireman's side of the engine.
Jane put more of the frame in primer. She also painted the portion of the frame that was already put in primer by Jeff.
Trevor crawled under the boiler and cleaned the interior of the frame.
Jim painted one of the two remaining wheels on the engineer's side and the two back wheels on the fireman's side of the engine.
Jane and Jim also put the last wheel on the engineer's side in primer.
On Sunday, Jerry and Jim gave the fireman’s side frames and wheels a final power wash to get ready for full priming on that side. As part of this they tested the painting of the wheels on the engineer’s side. We had some doubts as the paint used is really old but seemed to apply and adhere very well. It also passed this test with no sign of any flaking under high pressure washing.
Intensive work started on the smoke box where we need to fit a thicker gasket on the front ring and Dennis has to fit the spark arrestor assembly into the box.
Removing the appurtenances from the front of 1630 was challenging due to the weight associated with the bell and smoke box door & ring. Typically, we would prefer to use either the large CAT forklift or, preferably, the boom truck to effect such moves, however, that equipment is currently inaccessible due to the accumulation of snow around the property. We therefore made the most of the small shop forklift, which Ralph maneuvered around. Rick, Eric & his Dad rigged the bell and Ralph lowered it down.
Phil & Paul worked on the new smoke box baffling and hardware. This had been assembled in the fabrication area and then had to be disassembled, brought up front to the locomotive, and reassembled. During this time Eric & Collin worked on burning out the netting channels and Paul finished up by grinding to smooth the smoke box interior. Dennis will now be able to plan the replacement of the mounting hardware.
In the evening
Dennis worked on the weld repairs to the cab sides and roof interior.
On the Shay:
Ralph, with help from Jason, removed several brake rigging pieces to allow for access to stay bolts on the throat sheet.
Despite the appearance he is not cutting the rigging but heating a rusted nut to allow its removal. This is a common technique that usually allows even very old and rusted nuts to be removed without sheering the bolt or stud.
After this work the firebox front is clear for work on the stays.
Dennis worked on the welding of the boxes and pedestal braces. Work progresses on all of them at once as the most effective method is to weld one until it gets too hot then move on the next. By the time the 4th is too hot you can move back to the 1st.
On Sunday Tom, Cameron, and Philip all worked on machining various parts including the brake rigging.
In other areas:
Jerry and Bob about the planer tried longer bolts in the pump block and this seems to have overcome the problem of the gasket blowing. There are still minor leaks but, unfortunately the table still does not show any sign of moving under pressure. It is hoped that we have found an outside expert who may have some experience of this type of machine and is willing to come by and advise.
Hopefully this coming weekend we can do as well as this with me around, otherwise I will really start to wonder!.
Tuesday, February 11. 2014
February 8th - A Cold and Snowy ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 12:48
The day started with Mike Baksic and Shelly Vanderschaegen working on the vestibule closet door from 2nd Exhibit Car. First Mike planed off the edge of the previous week's oops, then they took and fitted the door handle faceplate and drilled the holes. Shelly put wax paper down and Mike put the faceplate on it and then screwed the faceplace in place. Then they turned over the door and Shelly whipped up some epoxy and filled in the holes and now it will cure until next weekend in the 1st Exhibit Car which is a bit warmer. Meanwhile, Mark Gellman was showing Ray what had been done in the 2nd Exhibit Car. Jon Habegger was taking pictures.
Next the group went into the Loch Sloy. Mark, Ray Mormann, and Mike are going from room to room putting in missing screws, putting doors back on track and checking that the lights are working, checking the metal work to be sure everything is in place and so forth.
Michael McCraren continued his patient work in Bedroom F of the Pacific Peak. (All images below are from Bedroom F.) He joined the rest of the gang for a chilly lunch in the Birmingham, as did Buzz Morisette.
Sunday, February 9. 2014
Steam Department Update 02-08-2014 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 16:17
Back again after a week’s gap. Last weekend was the worst yet. Saturday working was cancelled on February 1st as the forecast suggested so much snow. In retrospect that may have been overkill as we did work yesterday when more snow fell than actually arrived the previous week ….. the forecast just did not seem as bad!!.
I have been out at the museum more this week as I take on the role of museum Treasurer. The museum site is an incredible Winter wonderland. Dave and the B&G team have done a great job keeping the roads open. He was saying yesterday that the plough truck has run about 220 miles so far this season simply clearing on site. However each working day we have to dig our way into the shop, clear drifts to get to equipment like the compressor and any idea of moving equipment or getting at boxcars or containers is a joke. There are considerable drifts or barriers of ploughed snow everywhere you look.
Anyway, Phil and Tom braved the elements last Sunday and did some work on 428.
This Saturday I was heavily involved in the Board meeting and some follow on Treasurer activities so was not very productive in the shop. However, there was a good turn out and substantial progress.
The major step forward was reaching general agreement of the plan for painting. This does not sounds much but is actually rather complicated. We have two (or effectively three) methods of painting different areas. Large parts of the loco will be sprayed. However, there are substantial areas that are so confined and irregular in shape that it seems impossible that a decent finish could be achieved with a sprayer. So brush painting seems logical for these. (The third category is areas in so deep and covered in grease that the logical approach seems to be leave well alone, for example the leading truck frame). The whole process is complicated by the fact that, while everything is painted black, it is expected that the two painting methods, using different materials, will show shade differences. So we do not want the two methods used directly next to one another.
The final plan is that the wheels and frames will be brush painted while the upper works (cab, boiler, tender) will be sprayed. The wheels were a particularly tough choice. There is no doubt that 4 and 5 could be sprayed. Also 3 could be sprayed, but would require several moves of the loco to get at all the spokes. However, 1 and 2, heavily concealed behind connecting rods, cross heads and slide bars would be a near impossible target for spraying. (The picture below of #1 is taken looking vertically down behind the slide bars so imagine getting at this with a substantial sprayer!). So all will be brush painted as the likelihood is that a shade difference would be very obvious if we sprayed just the ones we could.
With this done progress started to become visible.
Jim had brought in a much more powerful pressure washer. He and Jerry did a further degreasing run on the frames, wheels, and everything that was not in the leave well alone category.
Following this preparation much of the lower part of the locomotive is now assessed as ready to be primed once dry or requiring just a small amount of wire brushing to allow priming. (A key part of the need to agree how each area is to be painted was that the spray epoxy does not require a primer while the brush applied finish does).
Substantial areas were dry by afternoon. So painting began with priming the wheels. While Jim did most of the work, our General Manager came by the shop and spotted the need to fill in a gap. It is a rarity to seem Jamie at work in the Steam Shop so we have recorded this event as our ceremonial first painting on 1630.
By end of day three wheels were primed. The ability to start painting created a lot of enthusiasm. I received the picture below from Jim. By Sunday several of the wheels are finished with the black top coat.
On the superstructure, part of the preparation for spraying is removal of pipes that will create shadows when spraying. One of these is the steam supply for the air pump that runs from the governor high up on the fireman’s side of the firebox.
Collin needed to re-lag this anyway so he and Paul managed to release a union and remove it. As with lots of things on an old steam engine, one thing leads to another. It was obvious that moisture trapped in the lagging had caused some corrosion on the steel pipe. After thorough wire brushing and hammer testing no obvious failures were found but it was clearly not in good condition so the decision was made to have a replacement fabricated. In matters like this we want to avoid any doubt and there is currently time to have the replacement made before the season.
Jason and Phil worked on the manifold for the stoker. The casting was damaged and Dennis fixed this some time ago. The threaded holes into which fit the steam connections had to be recut and then the steam connections fitted. By end of day the manifold was ready to refit.
As a “British” fireman who has never seen a stoker in operation I learned something. The stoker on 1630 is not operational at present as the screw drive in the tender needs work. So I had assumed that the steam manifold (which controls the jets fire the coal around the box from the distribution plate) was simply decorative at this time. It seems this is not so. If the fireman is feeling tired he can put coal onto the distribution plate manually and then use the steam to fire it up to the front of the firebox. You live and learn!.
I did my penance for spending most of the day out of the shop by crawling into the firebox to test fit a sample of the new fire brick. Although I spent days in there when fitting tubes, fitting the fire hole door casting has made this a whole new experience. What used to be a simple exercise is now more like getting toothpaste into a tube for one of my build. Anyway the conclusion after Jason and Phil had put in a few more of the arch bricks is that the shorter F5 bricks, that are readily available, cause only a marginal lift in the arch bricks so should be usable.
On the Shay, Phil took advantage of the degreasing set up for #1630 and did a thorough job on the truck. Hopefully, once dry and examined, this will also start to see new paint applied.
On #428 quite a lot was happening:
Dennis started the long job of building up the axle boxes. The first step, on which he was working yesterday, is to build up the damaged areas that will be behind the plates which will be added to the box castings. Once built up, these areas will need to be finally ground to shape so that there is a solid surface to which the plates will be mounted;
was back after his trip to Arizona and restarted work on the air pump. Not much visible progress today. The first big step was to locate the many
substantial parts of this 3 dimensional jigsaw and work out exactly how they
must fit together. What fits where is only part of the challenge. It is immediately clear that it would be very easy to assembly a lot of it and then discover that a key part should have been fitted earlier in the sequence!.
Jane was hard at work on the frame binders that join the frame at the bottom of each axle box guide. Dennis has done a good deal of repair work on these and they now need to be cleaned off, ground smooth and then machined to fit accurately into the frames.
In the shop in general:
It was a worrying day on the planer. Mike, Bob and Ed worked on preparing it for a further test of the hydraulic drive system while Jane completed painting the machine. Unfortunately a second attempt to start the hydraulic pump caused a blow in the gasket that failed last time, although we are now confident that the surfaces are flat after surface grinding. This leaves us with a puzzle. Documentation of this machine is distinctly limited. We know it should operate at a high pressure (suggested around 1200psi). The key question is whether this seal is failing at a pressure at which it should not or if some blockage or error in assembly is causing pressure to build substantially above the intended level. Needless to say there is no tapping that would allow us to fit a gauge.
So back on the job and a lot was achieved in the day. I am off to Mexico for a week so will miss next weekend but look forward to seeing a lot more paint when I get back
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