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.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

May 2010 Post Work Weekend Special - III

During the Memorial Holiday Weekend, volunteers Fred H. and John W. refinished the floors inside the Bellevue and Cascade caboose and the "Quinn" coach. See this blog entry for views of other bits of maintenance being performed on the "Quinn" coach. (Summary: during the official May work weekend, members removed the seats and thoroughly cleaned the coach's insides.)

This weekend, the old finish was removed from the floors of both cars and a new commercial grade finish applied.

Besides doing a large portion of the work, volunteer Fred H. also donated the materials to complete the job.

Fred H. roughing up the old finish in the caboose's baggage area.

John W. doing some hand sanding. He doesn't look too happy; he found out that his pay had been cut -- again! (Actually, he was sanding the floor by hand, not sanding his hands.)

Applying the new finish to the floor.

Several views of the caboose's refinished floor.

Inside view of the "Quinn" coach after the floor was refinished.

The pictures don't do justice to the look of the floors. Fred H and John W worked extra hard to make these the best they've ever looked. We are contemplating asking riders to place protective covers over their shoes before entering!

The "Quinn" coach's seats had been removed from the coach and stored in the South Station's conference room (the "M&E Room"). Before reinstalling them, the upholstery was cleaned and other bits of mechanical maintenance was performed.

-pictures courtesy JohnW.

May 2010 Post Work Weekend Special - II

Several shop volunteers were busy in the past few weeks!

As can be seen in these pictures, not only has the boiler been placed on the chassis, but a good amount of work has been completed.

It almost looks like a steam locomotive again!

-pictures courtesy BrianB.