Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 2010 Work Weekend

The return of the boiler has revitalized many of the shop volunteers' enthusiasm. With the goal of seeing the Six move under its own power by Labor Day, 2010, a concerted effort is being made to make it happen.

This work weekend saw activity primarily in or around the Six. There were two primary tasks: a) prepare and paint the boiler jacket and b) anything else.

For the "paint" task, the first challenge was to select the jacket color. Nothing will be disclosed about the color selection; it will be a surprise for everyone not wandering in or around the shop.

After 25-odd years, numerous coats of wax had been applied to the jacket and numerous layers of grease and dirt were located everywhere else. The next few pictures show John G. using a special elixir from the auto part store's paint department. Reading the ingredients on the "wax remover" was like reading the ingredient list on a package of "Twinkies" or "Pringles." John G. did a tremendous job of removing the wax and grease.

Besides removing the wax and grease, the upgraded boiler presented some other opportunities.

With the flexible stays' sockets making the overall boiler diameter a bit more than before, we used slightly thicker insulation between the boiler's shell and the jacket. The end result was that the tight fitting jacket was now fitting like someone who ate too many treats during the winter holidays.

Letting out the jacket at its seams in turn caused holes for various boiler fitments to be slightly off from their current position. Moving a hole in sheet metal presents some typical auto body shop activities. Cut the new hole; weld a panel into the old hole, apply body filler to smooth the finished product.

The next few pictures show Elliot H. forming a metal patch before welding and the other John sanding the filler smooth.

With the jacket let out at the seams, the running boards along each side were rubbing against the metal, plus the boards (well, "metals") were simply in the way for preparation and painting.

Once removed, the running boards needed about 1/2 inch of material removed for extra clearance. Due to a bit of less than perfect torch cutting, a bit of grinding was necessary. Paul K. grinds the slag away from the cuts in the next few pictures.

The other project ("anything else") was rebuilding the brake cylinders and mounting them on the boiler.

Dustin B. and Griffin W. disassemble the cylinders and clean the walls.

Brian B. helps with the insertion of the pistons back into the cylinders.

Bradon B. helps his dad lubricate the cylinder walls before installing the other piston.

Tightening the rubber "piston ring" on the piston.

Once the cylinders were reassembled, they were mounted onto the boiler and frame. These beasts weigh around 150 pounds so it took our resident power lifters to get it in place. Fortunately, the cylinders hung off of studs making their remounting much easier.

Dallas K, Bradon B., and Griffin W. discuss the next move while balancing on a large two wheeler cart.

Paul K. and Brian B. install the brake shoes onto the cylinders. Like the cylinders, the shoes were quite heavy and resisted being put in place.

On Sunday, with the heavy mechanical work complete and the jacket ready for paint, Jennifer B. and Dustin B. begin the covering of locomotive parts that didn't need to be painted.

MCRR president Matt C. adjusts the paint gun.

Elliot H. suits up for the mission. Any sort of spray paint demands that the operator do what they can to keep overspray from their skin and lungs.

Spray enough paint and one can cause a fog to form near the target.

In the meantime, Paul K. had a few items that needed sandblasting.

pictures by SteamA and John G.