Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March, 2016 Work Weekend

Lots of projects; lots of accomplishments.

While No. 6's piston rods are being repaired, the upgrades to the fire side of the boiler began.

We discovered within Baldwin's Chief Engineer Ralph P. Johnson's classic book, "The Steam Locomotive: Its Theory, Operation and Economics," the documentation which we had determined somewhat by chance: oil burning steam locomotives need a portion of the draft air coming in close to the burner. To be precise, Mr. Johnson states that an opening 5% of the flue area should surround the burner. No. 6 had, well, 0%. Matt W. and Elliot H. remedied this deficiency.

The burner was removed from the firebox and the new draft openings were plotted on the firebox. Using the oxy-acetylene torch, Elliot H. cut the openings and readied the channels for welding.

Matt W. welded the channels into the firebox. The new channels will provide draft of about 7% of the flue area instead of 5%. If necessary, the channels can be restricted. It will interesting to see if additional draft improves the 6's ability to make steam like it did when we modified and rebricked No. 12's firebox. Check back in August for details.

Matt C., Ryan F., Nathan V., and a few others moved the Vulcan (the "Squirt") gasoline switcher's cab from its bodywork location to a cart which allowed it to be rolled outside for sandblasting and eventually painting.

Kendall O. did some machine work on a part for engine No. 2.

No. 12's tender had to be mated to the locomotive. The tender was in the South Station and the locomotive was in the shop. Using the Plymouth switcher, No. 14, the tender was moved to a place where the two could be mated. This was an unusual sight as it appears the diesel No. 14 has a tender. The second picture has No. 2's old boiler partially blocking the view.

Before mating the 12 to its tender, the fuel needed to be removed to allow access into the fuel tank. Elsie B. refills the gasoline powered oil pump so that Rex F. and Ryan F. could pump the oil into a storage tank.

Jerry C. removes more of the inside paneling from the green coach.

The other upgrade to the 6's firebox is the installation of new firebrick. The bricks keep the strong flame from affecting the firebox walls. The 5 year old brick, removed in December, 2015, had deteriorated to the point where replacement was prudent. Several people, including John W., Elsie B., Elliot H., Mikah R. and Roger R. worked on some phase of the new brickwork. The brickwork is about 1/3 complete with the remaining portion to be completed in April.


Febuary, 2016 Work Weekend

It was sufficiently cold outside to convince everyone to work inside.

Over the years, the piston rods on No. 6 have been forming grooves where the steam packing seats. Regardless how tightly packed we made it, steam leaked which reduced the power available to the engine. It was time to repair the piston rods.

The cylinder heads were removed to gain access to the piston/rod assemblies.

Brian B. and Matt W. disassemble the joint where the connecting rod connects to the crosshead. Removal of the connecting rod allows the engine to be moved without having parts dragging on the ground.

The piston rod easily slips out of the steam cylinder. Look closely at the second picture to get an idea how badly grooved the rods had become in roughly 30 years of service.

The right side piston rod came out so quickly the work crew thought they'd be done with the left side in 30 minutes. No. 6 fooled them! A wedge holding the piston rod in place had become bent and flared which resulted in about 2 hours of work including vulgarity in several languages. In this picture you can count 6 people (which doesn't include the two in the pit!) discussing what to do next for the left side piston rod extraction.

Scott D. looks over the chassis of the cab-less drivetrain-less Vulcan gasoline switcher (the Squirt).

Matt C. prepares to mate the Squirt's new transmission to the bellhousing on the replacement engine.

Kendall O. breaks for lunch.

Dan H. filtering oil in anticipation of pumping it into the water separator. .


January, 2016 Work Weekend

There was a January work weekend but the usual stream of photographs didn't happen; this entry will be short.

The MCRR's annual membership meeting, annual board meeting and monthly board meeting occurred as planned. 

The main shop project was beginning the refurbishing of the "green coach." Volunteers removed the paint from the outside shell and stripped the interior.

The Vulcan gasoline switcher (also known as the "Squirt") repowering began; there will probably be a separate post to follow its progress.