Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March, 2018, Work Weekend

Great day outside -- and a great day inside the shop.

Not pictured is the movement of many pieces of rolling stock and locomotives. No. 14 had a good checkout of the brake cylinder repair which was described in the past few blog posts.

Jesse V finished the cylinder cock repair which was started last month. The units were placed into their respective spots on the two cylinders




The machine shop was getting somewhat out of order. Matt C, Chris P, and Dan H spent a few days rearranging many of the machine tools and dealt with years of cutter tucked in every empty spot between the machines.

Besides moving the machines to more appropriate spots within the shop, several of them were cleaned of decades of oil and dirt. Melissa B discovered that the Cincinnati mill was not black.



Joanie M removed metal shavings, dirt, and oil from a lathe.



No. 16 was knocked down one rung on the shop task list with the D-9's return-to-service effort taking its place. The 16 had been making a few unneeded squeaks so the crew oiled and greased it as if were going to be moving under its own power. Brian B supervises Micah M in the art of preparing the 16 for service.




Rex F, Dustin B, Nick M, and Ryan F force lubrication into the steam cylinders via the mechanical lubricator's lines. It took some time to take things apart to get access to the lines.



No. 6's boiler back-end update proceeded with Kendall O, Jesse V, and John K inspecting, cleaning, and reassembling the Nathan Monitor injectors.



Matt W inspects some of the valves destined for the back-end update while Kendall O continued fabrication of the steam plumbing.



With the 16 out of the shop and the D-9 in its place, one of the many tasks necessary to return it to service is to rebuild the brake cylinders. Just coming out of the 14's brake cylinder rebuild gave the team the confidence to perform the same process only to find that the cylinders are sufficiently different making the repair parts incorrect. 

Not having the D-9 on the pit made getting underneath to loosen the bolts holding the cylinders to the frame a bit difficult. Nick M is lean enough that he was able to scoot underneath the engine and undo the bolts.


Wayne P needle-scales the cylinders to remove years of built up dirt and rust.



As part of the machine shop move-and-clean project, the obsolete vertical air tank, its plumbing, and a heat exchanger used many years ago was removed and placed in the metal scrap bin.

Rex F attached a sling to a broken gear reduction mechanism so it could be lifted off the shelf.



After the tank was freed from its place under the shelf, it was hauled outside with the skid-steer.



Rex F and Ryan F remove the plumbing for the tank and the heat exchanger.




One of the switches did not have a "keeper." Micah M fabricated a pin to lock the switch lever in position.



-steam.airman

Sunday, March 4, 2018

February, 2018, Work Weekend

No. 6's boiler back end reorganization continues.

After some sorting, here are most of the new valves and pipe fittings that will be installed on the 6's boiler back end.




Drilling the new bracket for the hydrostat.



No. 14's right side air brake cylinder ready for installation.



Brian B and Kendall O install the recently assembled air brake cylinder on the right side of the 14's chassis.



Micah M using the needle scaler to remove the concrete-like muck from the locomotive's left side cylinder.



Dave M cleans the piston, rod, and cylinder head of the air brake cylinder.



The inside bore of the cylinder before washing and honing.



Braden G scrubs the remaining muck out of the cylinder.



Dustin B hones the brake cylinder.




In December, it was noticed that the 6's cylinder cocks were in need of repair. Jesse V cuts, mills, and installs a new threaded nipple on one of the cylinder cocks.




A small gantry "crane" was built and installed over the welding table/work bench. It will have a work light and set of outlets to make using the table substantially easier.




-steam.airman

January, 2018, Work Weekend

January's work weekend also hosts the MCRR's Annual membership meeting. The main order of business at the membership meeting is the election for the expiring board of directors' positions. After the membership meeting, the monthly Board of Directors meeting takes place.

In the shop...

Spearheaded by Kendall O and Matt W, they, along with several additional volunteers, stripped the back end of the boiler of all valves, piping, wiring, and controls. Visitors to the RR this summer will see Nathan Monitor injectors, new valves, and an uncluttered back end.

This is the back end's "before" view.



The volunteers resorted to the acetylene wrench to free several of the fittings.





The back end after the initial decluttering phase.



The 12's winter cleanup was started the day after the last North Pole Express train. We were able to dry the steam driven appliances and steam cylinders plus wash the steam side of the boiler but due to the weather, not too much more.

The running gear was cleaned and polished by Joanie M, Alex M, Nick M, and Micah M.




No. 14 had its air brake cylinders removed and disassembled. Next month, the cylinders will be  fitted with new components and reinstalled.

Ryan F, Dave O, and Dustin B discuss how to remove the brake piston rods from the housing. Years of dirt and wear made the task far more interesting than it should have been!





Dave M uses the needle scaler to clean some concrete-like muck off the brake cylinder housing.


-steam.airman

Monday, February 26, 2018

December, 2017, North Pole Express

Four sections: static scenes at the North Pole, visitors at the North Pole Express, train crew and North Pole Express staff in and around the North Pole, and numerous locomotive scenes including preliminary boiler washing.

Section 1: Static scenes at the North Pole.







Section 2: Visitors at the North Pole Express.










Section 3: Train crew and North Pole Express staff in and around the North Pole.



















Section 4: Numerous locomotive scenes including preliminary boiler washing.



















-steam.airman