Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April, 2016 Work Weekend

Many different project areas for this April work weekend.

Started last month, the 6's firebox brick project was completed.

How does the bricklayer keep from choking on the musty mortar fumes in the confined firebox? By using a high volume ventilation system! The 20 foot long hose keeps the blower noise away from the boiler so the bricklayer only experiences a breeze coming through the flues.

Roger R. squeezes into the firebox and gets settled in for a few courses of brick laying.

The pallet of bricks gets smaller by the minute.

The bricks are cut to size with a water cooled tub saw.

The next series of pictures shows the brick walls being built up to shield the steel firebox side sheets from the blast of the burner. As much steel is exposed as is practical to maximize heat transfer within the firebox.

The gasoline powered fuel pump needed some assistance. Last month as it was being placed into position to drain No. 12's fuel bunker, one of the wheels fell off. Besides fixing the broken wheel, we moved the axle to a better balance position to ease moving the pump from location to location. The pump still needs a "toe" to keep it from tipping over when the heavy oil hoses are attached while fueling a locomotive.

In the days following the March work weekend, Dave O., Dan H. and Kendall O. traveled to Durango, Colorado, to fetch the re-axled drivers for engine No. 2. The wheel sets were unloaded from the trailer and stored in their tradition home in the south portion of the shop. One of these days, they will get "tires" and eventually the frame will start reassembly. Imagine the 2's frame rolling on the tracks instead of dangling from a crane!

Matt W., Chris P., Walt O., Roger R. and Dave O. deal with the movement of the wheel sets.

These two pictures are rather odd: Jennifer B. delivers the upper and lower portions of a manikin to Matt C. with eventual use at Midwest Haunted Rails.

The next phase of the Vulcan gasoline switcher (the "Squirt") refurbishing was preparing the frame for painting. Choice: either pneumatic needle descale the loose paint or sandblast the old paint completely off the frame. We choose the latter so lots of preparation was needed to get the frame ready for the sandblaster.

The engine and transmission assembly, ladders, grab rails, and step boards were all removed.

The drive train was covered to keep stray sand from getting where it shouldn't.

Evan P. sand blasts the old paint from the frame.

Besides bringing the 2's wheel sets to the shop, Dave O. also delivered a new band saw to replace the worn out DoAll saw. The DoAll served the shop well but it was warn beyond continued use.

The ground equipment needs periodic maintenance. The backhoe's battery terminals had corroded in the past three years to the point where insufficient current was available to start the engine.

All of the MCRR's rolling stock needed to be somewhere else. A crew spent a good part of the day moving rolling stock from Old Threshers Museum "B" to the shop and the south station.

Work continued on the green coach. The paneling was removed to reveal the hidden woodwork. To our surprise, the original car men signed their names as they were completing the internal structure. The signatures are hard to make out, but the second picture shows the date of August 25, 1977.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March, 2016 Work Weekend

Lots of projects; lots of accomplishments.

While No. 6's piston rods are being repaired, the upgrades to the fire side of the boiler began.

We discovered within Baldwin's Chief Engineer Ralph P. Johnson's classic book, "The Steam Locomotive: Its Theory, Operation and Economics," the documentation which we had determined somewhat by chance: oil burning steam locomotives need a portion of the draft air coming in close to the burner. To be precise, Mr. Johnson states that an opening 5% of the flue area should surround the burner. No. 6 had, well, 0%. Matt W. and Elliot H. remedied this deficiency.

The burner was removed from the firebox and the new draft openings were plotted on the firebox. Using the oxy-acetylene torch, Elliot H. cut the openings and readied the channels for welding.

Matt W. welded the channels into the firebox. The new channels will provide draft of about 7% of the flue area instead of 5%. If necessary, the channels can be restricted. It will interesting to see if additional draft improves the 6's ability to make steam like it did when we modified and rebricked No. 12's firebox. Check back in August for details.

Matt C., Ryan F., Nathan V., and a few others moved the Vulcan (the "Squirt") gasoline switcher's cab from its bodywork location to a cart which allowed it to be rolled outside for sandblasting and eventually painting.

Kendall O. did some machine work on a part for engine No. 2.

No. 12's tender had to be mated to the locomotive. The tender was in the South Station and the locomotive was in the shop. Using the Plymouth switcher, No. 14, the tender was moved to a place where the two could be mated. This was an unusual sight as it appears the diesel No. 14 has a tender. The second picture has No. 2's old boiler partially blocking the view.

Before mating the 12 to its tender, the fuel needed to be removed to allow access into the fuel tank. Elsie B. refills the gasoline powered oil pump so that Rex F. and Ryan F. could pump the oil into a storage tank.

Jerry C. removes more of the inside paneling from the green coach.

The other upgrade to the 6's firebox is the installation of new firebrick. The bricks keep the strong flame from affecting the firebox walls. The 5 year old brick, removed in December, 2015, had deteriorated to the point where replacement was prudent. Several people, including John W., Elsie B., Elliot H., Mikah R. and Roger R. worked on some phase of the new brickwork. The brickwork is about 1/3 complete with the remaining portion to be completed in April.