Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 2010 Work Weekend

This month's work weekend had two primary projects being performed.

1. Cleaning various parts for the #6 in preparation of its boiler's return to the MCRR shop.
2. Cab work and train brake installation on the D-9 Plymouth diesel switch engine.

The boiler repair for the #6 is almost complete. On the days following the first weekend of March, five MCRR volunteers (Mike E, Don E, Dave O, Dan H, and Griffin W) traveled to the boilermaker's shop and installed the flues. Most (if not all) of the stay bolts have been installed and many still need to be welded. The boilermaker has a few other items to complete before the boiler can be delivered to the MCRR. Everyone at the MCRR is anxious to start the 6's reassembly.

In anticipation of the boiler's return, various mini-tasks have been started and some have been completed (see the February 2010 blog entry).

The next picture shows Eric C cleaning the new (well, new to the 6) hydrostatic lubricator. The previous hydrostatic lubricator was "problematic" and replacing it was an easy decision. The MCRR has numerous hydrostatic lubricators on the shelves awaiting installation in a locomotive.

Eric C and Abe C, along with Shop Supervisor Mike E take apart the new hydrostatic lubricator for cleaning and inspection.

Various parts are being cleaned and sandblasted. The sandblasting of the parts will remove any baked grease or other pieces of junk that might have been on the part.

Brian B and Dallas K clean the 6's firebox ash pan, removing bits of firebrick and other bits of detritus. While the following picture looks like an amateur art welder's version of a duck, the assembly is actually the firebox. The plate sticking up in front is the draft door.

The firebox door's frame is being inspected after being sandblasted.

Bill W. is cleaning one of the two the brake cylinders which pushes the brake shoes against the wheels, similar to the brakes in a car.

In the background is Kim Weaver cleaning the mechanical lubricator.

Together, the mechanical lubricator and the hydrostatic lubricator provide the correct amount of steam cylinder oil.

Steve R cleaning the regulators for 6's air brakes.

Dustin B chats with Griffin W and Brian B from the cab of the Plymouth D-9 switch engine.

-John G (aka STEAM9)

Monday, March 1, 2010

February 2010 Work Weekend

Unlike January when the snow soured everyone's enthusiam, the snow didn't stop the volunteers from acheiving a few items.

Every firemen that has greased the 6 should recall that one of the driver wheels and one of the pilot truck suspension grease fittings refused to take grease. Those problems have been resolved! Elliot H. and shop supervisor Mike E. fixed both problems. The reason for the inability to pump grease is rather curious and nothing more will be mentioned here.

The many years of going clockwise around the layout in McMillan Park caused the left pilot wheel to wear the flange to a precarious profile leaving the right pilot wheel "as new." With the boiler off the frame, the staff decided to flip the axle placing the "good" wheel on the left side.

Rather than pick the frame up high enough to roll the axle out from the frame, the workers choose to remove the pilot ("cow catcher?") and then remove the axle. With the pilot out of the way, the frame needed to be lifted about a foot versus almost three feet with the pilot in place.

The next few pictures show the front of the 6's frame with the pilot removed.

Shop Super Mike E, Dustin B, and Griffin W discuss the removal of the pilot axle.

With the frame lifted, the axle is ready to be rolled out of its normal position.

A common scene at the MCRR: volunteers discussing the next move.

The bearing boxes from the pilot axle were cleaned for inspection. There was substantial wear on the thrust surfaces but the brass bearing journals were in excellent condition.

Brian B, Dustin B, and Dick D flip the axle, placing the good wheel on the left side of the frame.

Dustin B performs a final inspection of the axle before the bearings are replaced and the axle is rolled into place.

Dustin cleans the frame member that holds the bearing journals in place.

The journals have two areas that contain cotton waste -- a "stringy" mass that holds oil. The oil then drips through a small hole onto the axle keeping it from drying out. Brian B thoroughly soaks a mass of cotton waste before placing it inside the journal box.

Several long bolts hold the pilot in place. Dick D cleans the years of rust off the bolt readying it for installation.

Dick D guides the pilot into place.

Tightening one of the many bolts that hold the pilot in place.

While the 6 repair was being completed, Dustin, Griffin and John (in the background) did some body work on the D-9's cab. Here, Griffin is painting a section of metal about to be welded in place.

After the welding is complete, Dustin grinds the weld smooth.

Griffin cuts some additional material out of the D-9's left side.

Body work is complete.