Monday, June 27, 2011

June 2011 Work Weekend

The warm weather has been bringing a larger number of volunteers to the MCRR for the monthly "work weekends." More volunteers = more tasks completed!

We focused on three projects:

1. Removal of the D-9's engine to gain access to the torque converter.
2. Replacement of the ballast in and around the rails leading into the machine shop portion of the MCRR's main building.
3. Removal of some damaged hoses on the Baldwin 2-6-0, the "6".


1. D-9.

As written in the May work weekend blog entry, besides the D-9's repainting, an o-ring within the unit's torque converter needs to be replaced. The original plan was to disconnect the coupling on the rear flange of the torque converter, remove the rear engine mounts and simply tilt the engine to allow remove the torque converter.

Most critical in this scheme was the removal of the torque converter's rear flange once the engine was tilted. The mechanics working on the project determined that the flange would not break free therefore the decision was made to remove the engine/torque converter assembly.

Braden G. and Roger R. are disconnecting various wires, hoses, and other bits of mechanical trappings on the D-9's engine.

Wayne P. and Braden G. discuss the next step in the engine's removal.

Roger R. removes one of the front engine mount bolts.

Wayne P. watches while Roger is removing the front engine mount bolts.

With all the trappings removed or disconnected, Braden G. operates the overhead crane. It was still thought at this time that the torque converter's rear flange would slip off, making engine removal unnecessary.

After discovering that the flange was not ready or willing to be removed, the decision was made to lift the engine from the D-9's frame. The severe tilt of the engine was not necessary for its removal, instead, it was a remnant of the tilt necessary for the flange removal. And, if you are curious, yes, it did making removing the engine a "challenge."

The engine, clear of the D-9, is moved to a secure place on the shop floor.

This is what an engine-less D-9 looks like.

This is what the D-9's engine looks like away from the confines of the frame.


2. Ballast.

While some volunteers were overcoming the torque converter's extraction others were digging the old ballast out of the track leading north from the machine shop door.

Griffin W. operates the Case Backhoe which greatly reduced the time typically needed to remove old ballast.

A bit of manual labor is always necessary on any project and especially when it comes to track maintenance.

Dallas K. uses the skid steer to bring gravel to the work site.


3. 6's hoses.

While the other two major projects were occurring, John G. removed the damaged lines connecting the 6 to its tender.

Caught in the act of actually working.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

May 2011 Work Weekend

Despite this blog entry being a month late, we DID have a May 2011 work weekend!

Two major things took place: a) creating a "show and tell" item for the upcoming Board of Directors meeting and b) moving a horizontal boring machine from Anderson Tooling Incorporated of Fairfield, Iowa, to the MCRR shop.

The MCRR's D-9 has been in restoration for several years. With the MCRR's 2-6-0 number 6 being in "kit form" due to the boiler repairs, we felt having an additional locomotive to the 9, 16, and diesel 14 would be prudent. Starting in the summer of 2009, the staff installed a new torque converter housing to resolve a severe leak. The replacement housing task was successfully except for a small O-ring which failed causing a leak at a different spot! Numerous other projects intervened causing the D-9's refurbishment to stagnate. Perhaps 3 locomotives would be sufficient after all?

Fast forward to 2011. With 6 running but having the Shay number 9 in Colorado, the urgency of an additional locomotive has increased and the D-9 has been pulled from the back burner (is that a coal burner or an oil burner?) to "main task" status.

Substantial refurbishment work had been accomplished in early 2009. Besides replacing the torque converter housing, the 2009 effort included repair of the badly rusted areas, removal of most of the paint, sandblasting and painting numerous body panels, and installation of a train brake system.

Over the months since the project started, a major unanswered question was "what color should we paint it?"

Under the rust splotches, the D-9 appeared to be "construction equipment" yellow. Let's paint it yellow.

The D-9 is nearly the twin of the Plymouth diesel switcher, the 14. Let's paint it black and white just like the 14.

As we were grinding the old construction yellow paint off the cab, a green color appeared between the yellow paint and the original primer. "It must have been green when it came from Plymouth Locomotive Works" so let's paint it green.

It was even said, "he who holds the spray gun chooses the topcoat color."

In a combination of several of the above possibilities, the holder of the spray gun and several others decided on green, the color uncovered while grinding the old paint off the body.

Mr. Spray Gun then thought having a completed piece -- in this case, a door -- for the upcoming MCRR board meeting would convince everyone that the right choice had been made. Hmmmmmmm...30 minutes to finish the door's preparation, 30 minutes to prime, 30 minutes to apply the top coat. Yes, I think that's funny too! The imagined 1.5 hour job took closer to 7 hours (surprise) but the results were worth the time spent.

The "ready-to-paint" door was set up for final preparation. It was at this time that the staff noted lots of surface rust, numerous spots of paint had to be removed, the entire back side was untouched, and the window and door latch needed to be masked.

With the outside surface completed, removing the inside surface's paint began. Besides the old paint, there was a large amount of adhesive everywhere which had been used to secure sound deadening materials within the cab.

Scraping the narrow portion surrounding the window.

Everything masked, surfaces sanded and cleaned, the door is hung from the overhead crane for painting.

The first coat was a self-etching primer.

With the door painted green, it was moved close to the D-9's cab where a portion of the hidden green had surfaced. Click on the picture and you can see the little spot on the cab matching the freshly painted door.

The completed door. ("Uhhhh...isn't that John Deere green?" "No.")

The painting was Friday. Saturday's main thrust was preparing the machine shop for a horizontal boring machine donated by Anderson Tooling of Fairfield. By shifting a few machines into different positions, a large area was cleared for the incoming machine.

We used the skid-steer to push the lathe to the south.

Some cutting oil had leaked from the lathe. Using clay oil absorbent, the puddle disappeared.

The horizontal boring machine on Anderson Tooling's flatbed truck

With the boring machine partially on the floor and on some dollies, the forklift pushed it into position in the machine shop.

Inches from its final resting spot.