Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 15: "Well, Aisle bee tied"

A few of the shopsters met on August 15th to deal with two nagging problems.

1. An swarm of bees took residence at the north station's northwest corner. First noticed in early July, the bees seemed rather plentiful and didn't go away.

Instead of using a "hammer," a local beekeeper who participates at the Mt Pleasant Farmers' Market offered to remove the bees. The price was right...the beekeeper would keep the bees and we would fix the wall of the station which had to be torn apart to get to the beehive.

The plan was to lure the bees from the station to the portable hive and worked well. The beekeeper's estimate was that about 75,000 bees had taken residence in our station.

2. Several shopsters started a tie spotting project along the northeast run of track. In all, 31 ties were replaced. The pictures illustrate the tamping process, performed after the new ties are spiked in place.

The various pictures show Dustin B, Jessie V, Griffin W, Abe C, Paul, Jim, Brian B, and Jen in various poses.


August 2009 Work Weekend

Numerous tasks must be performed in anticipation of the upcoming Old Threshers' Reunion.

With the 6 out of action, the 16 will see a new role as a primary engine -- instead of being "the poor cousin who gets dressed up but her date never arrives." The 16 will be the belle of the ball in 2009!

However, cliches aside, the belle needs lots of food and our coal bunker needed some work to get it ready for the coal. When first created a year ago, while the posts were long enough to accommodate 6 or 7 courses of ties, only three courses of ties were placed on the three sides.

Special thanks to Ms. Elsie B. for taking the following series of pictures!

Elliot H. and Abe C. move a tie to the coal bunker.

After placing a full tie on the north wall, Griffin W. measures the remaining length for a custom cut.

Rather than cranking the long lag bolts in by hand, a portable air compressor and impact wrench easily runs the bolts into the wood. The extra hand above the impact wrench is pouring some dish soap on the bolt to ease its way into the wood.

Cutting a few inches off a tie is done with a gasoline chainsaw.

While the shop staff was working on the coal bunker, the conductors were cleaning the coaches after their winter storage.