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Sunday, April 14. 2013
Steam Department Update 04-13-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 10:32
Luckily there are days when things go better than planned and yesterday was one of those. There was a good turn out and several teams were able to work in parallel to get a lot done.
· Eric and Collin worked on the ferrules in the front tube sheet and successfully ground all those fitted last week back flush with the sheet.
· The last remaining flue, which we knew to be significantly over length, was loaded, carefully marked for the required length, and then removed to the large band saw, where it was cut to length. After cutting it was reloaded into the boiler. So, with this one in place, all the super heater flues are back in the boiler.
· After this Eric and Collin fitted the remaining ferrules and ground these back flush with the tube sheet, making everything ready for the final stage of fitting the flues, expanding the ends into place. Given the "fun" we had with small tubes moving during the expansion process, we approached this exercise with some trepidation!.
· The set up is in place to expand the tubes into the front sheet. This will be done using a long, universal jointed, shaft driven from a large gearbox now mounted outside the smokebox. In this case the shaft may be a bit heavy to position and care will be required to ensure that it does not pull the expander out of line. However the drive can be mounted once and is already in place. However, it is the firebox end that we must do first.
· In the firebox there is no room to fix a drive as we have at the front. The (large and heavy) motor must be positioned to attach directly to the expander for each flue. The game is to set up a support structure of pipe and timber cribbing that will support the motor behind each flue, with the added challenge that the siphon severely restricts the positioning of the motor. So there was a great deal of grunting and cussing as Phil and I positioned the motor for each flue. Having done this for the first flue, we set about the actual expansion with great care.
Setting the flue exactly to length is easy, involving no more than tapping the flue to drive it into the sheet until the depth gauge shows a minimum projection of 1/4 inch. Jeff and Jerry, at the front, then locked it into place and watched carefully as we started the motor and expander. Everyone watched for any sign of the feared movement of the flue. But there was none. Having found no great tendency for the flue to shift during rolling, three more were processed quite quickly, with the main effort being in moving the motor between tubes.
The way in which this roller operates may explain the lack of movement. As can be seen in a finished tube, this roller carries out three processes in one operation. The tube end is expanded into the hole in the sheet, but the rollers are not simple cylinders, having a recess in the area of the tube sheet. This causes the tube to be expanded more on either side of the sheet. The result is a flare at the open end that will be hammered to form the bead, once we have tested the expansion of the tubes into the sheets for leakage. It also carries out the "prossering" step where the tube is expanded more inside the boiler to secure the tube both sides of the sheet. You can see the groove created by this process. It seems this roller, by starting to deform the tube outwards either side of the sheet first , is effectively locking it into place early in the expansion process.
So 4 of 16 done at the rear. Just hoping the rest go as well as the first four!. The results can be seen by comparing the four lower tubes (expanded) with the ones above where the ferrule can still be seen around the tube,
· Meanwhile Brian did a great job on the cladding sheets. The better! weather ( hard to believe a year ago how hot it was) allowed the work to move outside, albeit with a good deal of warm clothing. This is one of the many dirty and repetitive parts of the work but he made good progress and much of the cladding is now ready for priming.
· Ed made good progress identifying and cleaning the pipe work for the backhead fittings in the cab. The objective here is to have as much as possible lined up for fitting as soon as we can complete the initial hydro test and prove the boiler is water tight again.
· As part of the swaging described below, the remaining small tubes were swaged so that we have them ready to fit into the holes between the super heater flues once those have been rolled at both ends.
· The one set back was that the bucker is still not back from repair. The latest information is that it should arrive next week. Let's just hope that is correct !.
· A very successful swaging exercise in which the remaining 7 tubes for 1630 and 43 for the Shay were swaged in one continuous operation. I have come to believe that the swager is moody!. Some days the jaws do not move smoothly, valves stick and it takes a lot of time and effort to get good results. Others, like yesterday, it starts smoothly, the first (test) tube was no problem and 50 more tubes were swaged as fast as they could be heated, with consistent quality all the way thru.
· There was a good deal of visible progress on the planer this week. First the rebuilt pump was carefully lowered back into its position on the bed of the machine.
Then it was secured into position relative to the motor and the valve block.
By end of day much of the interconnecting pipe work had been fitted. Progress will not be so visible for a while now as the next job is to drill into the floor and fit the anchors. Given the way that this machine operates (the large table with substantial blocks of metal mounted on it, for a combined weight of 500 pounds plus, being propelled back and forth by the hydraulics), it is considered a good idea to have it securely bolted down !.
So, excellent progress this week. If only we can get the riveting under way I will be a lot happier !.
Sunday, April 14. 2013
The early morning job was to assemble and glue up the new station door we are making. I am sure you are enjoying the images of the many steps and the drama we encountered. Wait - I was up to my elbows in that so did not have a chance to take pics. The door is all together and John Faulhaber and Victor Humphreys are setting it into place in our glue press - manufactured by GREENLEE in nearby Rockford in 1926.
Once down on the press (Victor had previously set the clamping dogs and opened it up wide enough) we proceeded to square it up and added a few more bar clamps to help hold this large assembly together. Do not ask them how heavy it is - they will gladly and quickly inform you of the answer!
Randy Hicks stopped by the shop to check on some of the work we are doing for him. Of course he could not resist picking up a paintbrush and applying the first finish coat of red to the end door of Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36.
Quick as a flash I found Randy and Paul Cronin working on a resistance box from CA&E 36. Several grids are broken, one of the span rods is bent, and everything is coated with heavy rust.
Jeff Brady had designed and set up some equipment to help him bend some of the wood for the new roof on Michigan Electric 28. Here, he set it up for one of our projects and went on the train and explain how it is supposed to work. Paul Cronin, John Faulhaber, and Rich Witt are ready to give it a try.
Rich Witt and Paul Cronin are loading one of the thin mahogany pieces of quarter round, made expressly for the new windows for Boston & Maine 1094. After the required time under steam at low pressure, it was all hands to extract it (HOT! HOT!) and place it on our custom designed bending and clamping jig.
Meanwhile Eric Lorenz continued to make good progress routing new wiring in Cleveland Transit System 4223. The harnesses in the ceiling have reached the front end of the PCC. Out in the shop we did a bit more work on the next set of metal interior ad panels, and have now started making new tempered hardboard panels for the reminder of the ceiling.
This is the west end of Chicago Rapid Transit 1024. A new piece of ash was made by Tim Peters and is in place on the roof. You can see how repairs are being made, and the extent of deterioration in some places. Tim gave me a ride up in the air using his electric lift so I could look down on his work.
Jeff Brady is fabricating a metal splice plate as he and the rest of the crew (Norm Krentel and Bill Peterson) continue the roof work on Michigan Electric 28.
Paul Cronin started making this new walnut stile for one of the passenger cars compartment doors that Roger Kramer is restoring. We did the start of this last Wednesday and today did a lot mortising, routing, chiseling and fitting.
Paul and Victor seem quite pleased that the book matched original walnut door panel fits right into place. Roger Kramer was on hand for the work and also brought in an armload of mahogany window parts. He and Rich Witt measured them all up and have a plan to make three more new windows for our heavyweight fleet.
Thursday, April 11. 2013
A sure sign of spring - although you would not know it by the weather this week. Dave Rogan and I went out to Chicago Great Western X 38 and removed the winter blank from the window in the rear wall. There ensued many fussy trim cuts, each one punctuated by the windy walk from the wood shop, and back to Track 41. Finally, the window slipped into place, just like it had been made to order. Wait, it WAS made to order.
The window is back in the shop getting any fitting cuts primed and painted but as soon as the weather cooperates, you will see it finished and in place.
With the window set in place, Dave is making a new interior window sill, and will next cut quarter round retainer molding for three sides. That got primed in the morning by Victor Humphreys, along with more station door priming, and one adjustment to the fit of the door lower mid stile.
Henry Vincent continues on the train door restoration for Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36. The code string for this image is "BUM" - I wonder what that says about our crew?
Pete Galayda and John Nelligan are like bulldogs, not letting go of a long and arduous journey to restore electrical control grids for Charles City Western 300, a steeple cab locomotive. Here, Pete is disassembling box number 7, the last one in the series.
Roger Kramer was in the shop, working beside our crew to restore a walnut paneled door for one of the heavyweight passenger cars. It is a beauty with a four way book matched solid walnut panel in the center of the door. In this view, Paul Cronin, Henry Vincent and John Faulhaber are jointing a new piece of walnut.
John also spent some time making a steam bending jig, along with Rich Witt trying to locate the odds and ends to do that task.
Thursday, April 11. 2013
CTS 4223 Update - April 10, 2013 Posted by Robert Kutella in Cleveland Transit System 4223 at 10:52
I think I will split the Wednesday work into two reports this time, since we had a large and productive crew working almost exclusively on the Cleveland PCC.
Simon Harrison was taking no chances as he is geared up to removing old paint from a piece of sheet metal to go on the left rear interior of the PCC.
There are a lot of old broken off screw stubs inside the PCC. Dave Diaz took a turn at removing them, Simon did more in the afternoon. We are doing that now as it will soon be time to mount more of the interior panels.
Out in the Barn on a workbench, Jim Leonard processed several of the curved ad card panels, removing dirt, rust, and paint from the back side of these.
As fast as they were cleaned, Jonathan Soucek was priming them, along with a sign box, and some of the other trim panels.
Many of these ad card panels suffered through years of storage and had some bent corners or other dings in them. Dave Diaz did a very good job of taking all those out.
By the end of the day all these seven were primed, and three more, two other miscellaneous panels, and the sign box.
Monday, April 8. 2013
Rich Witt is working on the new solid panel inserts for a new station door. We did a pretty good job machining them but go the extra mile to sand them out and get them ready for prime painting.
Victor Humphreys is working on one of the long panels for the doors as in total some time had to be spent. He is doing that in this image after glazing three more windows (new) for the Chicago Great Western X 38.
Rich Witt is running some fresh mahogany stock through the jointer for the new round top windows for Boston & Maine 1094.
Then Rich and Paul Cronin passed the stock through the router and followed that up on the table saw to set the quarter round pieces 'free'. We hope to try steam bending them on Wednesday and if successful, that will be the last of the parts needed for these two windows.
A few more days of head scratching and it appears the puzzle is solved. These are the ad card panels that will get cleaned and repainted to go inside Cleveland Transit System 4223. As the arrangement grew one panel by one panel we were very optimistic until it seemed we were one short panel missing. Where could it be, in storage, forgotten in some work area? As luck would have it fate was on our side. As we had given up and started to gather up the above display to return to shelving, we FOUND the missing panel sitting in an area separate from all the others. Paul Cronin is in the background marking reference data so we will not have to solve this puzzle again.
While the above drama was playing out on the shop floor, Eric Lorenz continued to make up harnesses and string cable through the ceiling ribs. Later it would be very difficult to do this after more of the interior panels go in place. Unintentional, but I really like the halo effect surrounding Eric's head here.
We have all watched the work being done on Michigan Electric 28. But it seems like all the preparation is paying off as Norm Krentel, Jeff Brady, and Bill Peterson were installing panels at seemingly warp speed. There was little to show and presto they were almost to the end of the car!
Meanwhile back in the shop, Tim Peters continues on the Chicago Rapid Transit 1024 project. Here is a repair in style, of a stile, for one of the doors. Lots of tricky angles and fitting.
And here Tim is checking for the exact fit that a perfectionist like him insists upon. I guess it gets easier after you have done this twenty times or so.
Sunday, April 7. 2013
Steam Department Update 04-06-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 09:04
A much more successful day yesterday at the steam shop.
· We continued with loading the super heater flues. Suitable homes were found for the shorter flues and we should not need to do further welding. All but one are now in place. This one was fitted but removed to allow access to the adjacent (top right) hole for fitting the ring.
· For reasons that are not clear, the top right hole is over size and needs a steel ring to reduce the size to fit a flue. Tom had turned the ring on the lathe a couple of weeks ago and today we fitted it. This was not easy as the tube had to be passed thru and beyond the sheet and then the ring expanded into the hole. The expanders are designed to work on the end of a long tube rather than a narrow ring, so positioning this while expanding was tricky. However, this was achieved successfully and the tube is now seated into the hole with the new ring around it.
· Ferrules were fitted into the front tube sheet around all but 3 of the flues that will require them. So this is largely complete, although some of the ferrules still need to be ground flush before we can roll the tubes into place. The ferrule can be seen, around the tube, in the hole immediately below the empty hole in the picture above and compared to the one to its right which is still to be ferruled.
· Set up is now well under way for rolling the super heater flues into place. As compared to the rollers used for the small tubes, those used for the large tubes require a BIG air motor weighing about 60 pounds. This cannot be hand held in use. For the rear tube sheet a staging is now in place on which the air motor will be set to drive the roller expanding the flues into the sheet.
· On the front of the smokebox mounts are being set up to hold the large gearbox thru which the air motor will drive the roller expanding this end of the flues by means of a long shaft with universal joints.
The gearbox was earlier set up directly on the smokebox ring to assist in rolling the ring. However, for the tube rolling it will need to be mounted further forward on the brackets.
· Most of the smaller pieces of cladding that have been primed were moved back on top of the machine shop and large sections that must now be cleaned and primed were brought down. These will be cleaned outside, now that the weather has improved, as there is a great deal of rust and remnants of insulation material that must be removed.
· Unfortunately the contractor repairing the riveting hammers has had trouble obtaining materials for the seals so these are still not back and the riveting is on hold.
· The patch screw is now in place in the firebox corner. (Despite the name this does not actually secure the patch in our case). This is a special screw threaded into the mud ring to secure the outer sheet to the mud ring at the corner. Once in place its head looks like another rivet. The need arises because of the sharp bend at the corner. The inner surface is much shorter than the outer so rivets tightly spaced on the inside would be widely spaced in the outer sheet. These blind ended patch screws are set between rivets on the outside. Once in place, they look like rivets. This one was damaged and is now replaced.
· Big progress thanks to the diesel guys. They switched the tender out into yard 13. It made an interesting combination with #9255. This was quite a long switch movement as it had to be pulled out with chains to the trolley loop, where #9255 could then run round the loop to get to the end that has a coupler. It then had to be run out thru the depot to reverse direction on the "Y" before it could be brought back around the loop to be propelled into yard 13. After all this the box cars could then be spotted where we could get to them. Thanks guys !
· With the box cars accessible again, Jeff and the team were able to move material around in the all-door car and get to the tubes for the Shay. These are now in the shop ready for swaging. This is half the total tubes for the Shay. The rest are on stands on the other side of the area, so all the tubes are now in the swaging area.
It is startling to compare the Shay tubes with those for 1630. This is one of the half dozen additional tubes we need to swage for 1630. amazing., I knew the Shay tubes were smaller but had not visualized the difference being this extreme !. Not only are they shorter, but there are far fewer of them.
· Bob has now wired a good deal of the control panel for the planer. During the week, Kevin had largely completed needle chipping it ready for painting.
So, good progress this week although the delay in being able to rivet the patch is becoming a serious concern.
Friday, April 5. 2013
I am very late to post this entry and was wondering if I owe you an apology. It just seems that there is a lot going on in my IRM life and I have been really busy. The other lame excuse is that I can blame the weather. This weekend will be the first scheduled day of railroad operations at IRM for 2013.
The connection there is that this will be a short report. There were six (or more) of our regular Wednesday volunteers working on a large 'switch move'. The name is just like what it sounds. One car at a time, one track at a time cars were being moved from several barns to be rearranged from their winter storage locations to be operator friendly. That is so the deck of cards will not have to be shuffled by the regular operators, often needing a small diesel and towbars, to get the scheduled car out and ready to run in the morning. That meant fewer folks working in the relative comfort of our shop areas.
Work continued on the new door we are building for our station. Victor Humphreys, Dave Rogan, and Jim Leonard have a tricky set of jigs in position to do an operation to produce 'raised panels'. There are four solid panel inserts in this new door and first we planed, ripped, and crosscut them to size. One of the long ones is being passed through the table saw to thin that panel around the edges, on both sides. All done and now for cleanup and hand sanding.
Pete Galayda continues to work to reassemble the many resistance grids boxes for the Charles City Western 300 steeple cab locomotive. He and John Nelligan have worked many weeks on this phase of the restoration, it must seem like forever to them.
Jim Foraker is working to restore a drive pulley for the new (old) table saw restoration. It is a paper pulley that was beginning to show wear and was de-laminating. Here, new epoxy is being poured into a mold to consolidate and repair it.
That is right I said PAPER PULLEY. They were fairly common a hundred or more years ago on wood working machines driven by flat leather belts. On this one many, many layers of paper were stacked up (maybe 1500 or so) and then compressed and riveted into a sandwich. Seems to have been very workable, but nothing lasts forever.
Jim is moving a new steel delivery into the shop, having been helped by Victor Humphreys. These pieces will be cut to our design, welded into a frame and painted to be ready to mount that beast of a cast iron table saw upon.
Other work included more puzzle solving for parts for the interior of Cleveland Transit System 4223, and a two man crew - Jeff Brady and Norman Krentel - working on the roof for Michigan Electric 28.
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Thomas Bernacki about CGW X38 Update - May 15, 2013
Thu, 05-16-2013 21:52
Looking good Bob! I hope to come out soon once I'm done with school.
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 04-27-2013
Wed, 05-15-2013 21:28
I was not around at the time. General discussion suggests that it was "pretty marginal" in a number of areas. Nigel
Wally Unglaub about Signal Department - May 11, 2013
Mon, 05-13-2013 11:08
Robert Kutella about CGW X38 Update - May 8, 2013
Fri, 05-10-2013 02:15
No, it will not be necessary to hold any of the work waiting for the plow to be turned, end for end. Weather will be the major factor, but there will [...]
Bob Vaughn about CGW X38 Update - May 8, 2013
Thu, 05-09-2013 19:54
The CGW X-38 plow is really coming to life. Bob Kutella and Vic and crew need to be very proud of your collective efforts. I am very appreciative of [...]
Kirk Warner about CGW X38 Update - May 8, 2013
Thu, 05-09-2013 15:20
The snowplow looks great! Are you going to apply the door and upper windows befor it is turned to continue work?
Wally Unglaub about NEW TROLLEY BUS LOOP
Thu, 05-09-2013 09:09
Max, Is there any progress to report yet, in regards to the installation of the poles and overhead wires? Have a good day, sir.
hyde seybold about Steam Department Update 04-27-2013
Wed, 05-08-2013 18:40
Thanks for the update! I still don't understand why Commonwealth #5 was removed from service. Do you know why?
Jim Froida about Photo Gallery stats as of November 24, 2012
Tue, 05-07-2013 09:28
Mr. Kolanowski.....I was just wondering if the Spaulding webcam will be up and running soon for us stay-at-homes. Thanks!2FP
Wally Unglaub about NEW TROLLEY BUS LOOP
Mon, 05-06-2013 23:04
Max, Has work begun yet on the construction phase of erecting the poles and putting up the wire? Wish I could be there to watch it happen.
Wally Unglaub about CGW X38 Update - May 1, 2013
Mon, 05-06-2013 23:02
Keep up the good work, Bob. Wish I could be there to help!!!!!!!
Terry about Steam Department Update 05-04-2013
Sun, 05-05-2013 18:53
Ah yes, I have made such Jibs myself. If it were me, I would add in each corner an angled piece from the base to the Jib to act as sway bracing. [...]
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