| BLOG | DIRECTIONS | SCHEDULE | STORE |
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
Thursday, February 6. 2014
More 2612 windows... installation ready! Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 15:01
This has been my home-work for the winter. Yes, I have been busy working in my basement workshop, installing latches, repairing, and painting more brass 2612 windows frames for installation. Here's the report on my progress todate.
Right and left hand window latches primed and painted in my basement Thanks to Jane Blackburn for sandblasting many of these parts
Kyle and Gary have sandblasted most of these frames earlier in the fall. I then took them home to complete the restorations.
Another member of our team, Dan Bixler, has also been working at his home cleaning and painting the brass window strips that hold the window frame into the car body. So far he has painted about 60 of these strips and will bring them to Irm when its gets warmer!
A sample of the 18 frames waiting for the arrival of glass panes. They will be installed w/ gasketing in my basement staring the week of Feb 10th
As many of you remember, we began our efforts to restore this car, for operation, in February, 2013. With Mike Baksic's encouragement we hope to meet our two year time frame.
Want to become part of the "Team 2612"???!!! If your interested you can contact me thu email or call and leave a phone message at the museum's number. 815 923-4391. Thanks. With the Frisco 1630, steam engine running this year we will need the increased capacity this car offers on the steam train.
As soon as the weather gets a little warmer[I hope we don't have to await too long] our crew will again be busy installing windows and installing parts on the coach. WHY NOT JOIN US!!. Roger
Wednesday, February 5. 2014
February 1st And What A Surprise! It ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 11:27
Curator Michael Baksic and Shelly Vanderschaegen were the only ones in the Passenger Car Department who braved the weather and made the long journey to IRM. They made good use of their time with the 2nd Exhibit Car. Shelly stained the trim that was to go on the wall where the TV will be located and Michael installed the trim. Once the heater is repaired underneath the counter, the doors will be reattached to close it up.
Then it was time to work on the closet door which was started last weekend. Under the metal which had been removed last weekend, the laminate was separating from the door. Gorilla Glue was used under the separated laminate on the door and then clamped to dry. Then Michael trimed one side of the door 3/8" or more. Ooops! Time for more Gorilla Glue which will sit until next weekend. The frame on the closet door had rotted wood so Shelly took the rotted wood out from underneath the door frame.
On the way Shelly took some pics of the monumental snow banks for all to enjoy. Remember these were taken in northern Illinois - not northern Michigan!
Thursday, January 30. 2014
January 25th - Another Cold and ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 19:21
Work continued on the second exhibit car. Kevin Kriebs sanded all day in the vestibule between the two exhibit cars to take off the high spots. Later Mike Baksic primed all the bare metal exposed by Kevin's work so that the area is ready to paint.
In the second exhibit car entryway a storage closet door which was not properly seated was taken down and metal pieces were removed in preparation for shaving off about 3/8" from edges of the door so that it will fit better. Work on this will continue next weekend.
Mark Gellman removed a cabinet (which wasn't needed) from the furnace room of the second exhibit car. While Mark was doing this, Mike Baksic measured and cut holes on each side of the furnace for air vents to allow better airflow.
Jon Habegger took pictures in the second exhibit car and the Ely to show progress, then he helped Shelly Vanderschaegen finish up odds and ends in the second exhibit car.
Mike McCraren continued working in the Pacific Peak. He was sanding in the morning and priming in the afternoon.
Buzz Morisette has continued work on the Ely dining room ceiling. One really cool thing he has done is to leave notes on the tops of the boards he has installed so that when the roof is rebuilt in the future the crew will be able to read what needs to be added to the carline where the ceiling is now shimmed. Buzz also noted when bringing up the carline that the roof is coming away from the walls. There are obvious cracks and separation indicating a new roof is badly needed. Buzz has epoxied the areas for more strength but this is a temporary solution. Donations specified for the Ely restoration fund will help make a new roof possible.
Find us on Facebook
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Tue, 04-15-2014 16:44
Yep. IF there were ever to be incentive or funding to put one of the larger items of the steam collection into operation, my personal favorite would [...]
Raffi about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Tue, 04-15-2014 15:20
yes, i remember one of the guys in the steam shop telling me that the size of 1630's wheels make it difficult to navigate the modern railway. but if [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Tue, 04-15-2014 10:50
John, We are not intending to repaint the tender end and sides. No #1630 does not carry cab signaling. (She left Frisco service long before it [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Tue, 04-15-2014 10:43
Jeron, I do not think this is something we would seriously consider. The IC car is already part of the collection. It did run on passenger trains [...]
John Heid about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Mon, 04-14-2014 20:42
I don't see any stripping on the tender..will that be repainted too? Also, I'm not sure how relevant this is to the discussion, but does 1630 have [...]
Jeron Glander about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Thu, 04-10-2014 01:58
Nigel, I know the auxiliary water tender for Frisco 1522 was for sale a year or two ago. I don't remember if it was sold, or is still for sale. I [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Wed, 04-09-2014 22:32
Yes. We are looking at what it would take to rig it like the existing one to use as a water back up for #1630. It currently lacks the [...]
Chris about Steam Department Update 04-05-2014
Wed, 04-09-2014 10:34
It is interesting to see both the milk cars together. I had been wondering if the steam department would use the IC car. The Railway Express reefer [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 03-15-2014
Sun, 04-06-2014 17:53
Perhaps because it would be months of work to lift the tender from the trucks and then ship the trucks to a facility with a bath big enough to do [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 03-01-2014
Sun, 04-06-2014 17:51
Not to my knowledge
Nick Gawriluk about March 30th, Warm Weather Strikes IRM
Sun, 04-06-2014 15:24
Would the passenger car department be interested in some donated "Pullmman Style" wool blankets and/or travel type pillows for display purposes in the [...]
Matt Maloy about Steam Department Update 03-01-2014
Mon, 03-31-2014 08:40
I've heard rumors that the museum is trying to get another GTW 0-8-0. Is this true?
Powered by s9y.