Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March, 2017 Work Weekend

The turnout of volunteers at the last few work weekends has been very high allowing us to get lots of things done at the MCRR.

Approved last month, the DRGW flatcar 6206 will be fitted with removable benches. It is intended the conversion will be done in time for the 2017 Old Threshers Reunion.

The bench assemblies will be anchored to the flatcar via the stake pockets. We needed a stake pocket as a pattern to make additional pockets for spares and to add to flatcar 6216. After removing a stake pocket, the attaching u-bolt was reconditioned and placed back into the flatcar side for safe keeping.

Brian B. instructs Alex M. in the fine art of "thread chasing." Some percussive action was necessary to liberate the stake pocket which in turn bungled the threads.

After the u-bolt was placed in the flatcar side, Alex replaces the nuts on the u-bolt. It will be much harder to lose the u-bolt if it is where it should be on the flatcar.

No. 16's flue removal project was completed this weekend. With the flues out of the boiler, some time was spent cleaning and inspecting its innards.

Removing the last set of flues.

Ryan F. went inside the boiler to begin the barrel cleaning process.

Inside the boiler, Dustin B. reaches for a bucket.

This is a bit more crust than we expected to see in front of the firebox.

Jesse V. removes flue stubble from the smokebox's flue sheet.

In anticipation of the 6206 benches, many artifacts stored on the flatcar had to be moved to the pallet shelves along the south wall of the South Station. A few items were blocking access and were moved out of the way.

The flatcar's new benches requires quite a load of lumber. Based on current "standard" lumber sizes, the stake pockets presented a problem which was easily resolved with custom sawing. Using his sawmill, Nelson S. converts several oak logs into usable stakes and other pieces for the benches.

About 1 year ago, we purchased a new bandsaw and found a home for the old saw. The two bandsaws were at different heights, so the materials table of the old saw was converted into a height suitable for the new saw. Several 3-roller sections of the old materials table were installed on tripod jacks.

The South Station will be expanded westward. The expansion necessitates realignment of the north lead into the building. The track was detached from the switch and pulled straight. The volunteers reset a bunch of ties in preparation for proper ballasting. Once the building's shell is complete the switch that used to service the north lead will be removed, rebuilt, installed along the main track, and connected to the north lead.


Monday, March 13, 2017

February, 2017 Work Weekend

We had an unseasonably warm weekend. Besides replacing the 6's rear truck and continuing the No. 16 boiler inspection project, No. 12's post North Pole Express boiler wash needed a few more items which had to be done outside.

Matt W. inspects the 6's rear truck prior to inserting the axle/wheel assembly into the frame.

A journal after being cleaned up on the lathe.

Matt W. attempts to move the 16 back a few feet to make room for placement of the truck on the rails. It looks like the end fell off the car mover device.

Once the 6's tender had been completed, it was moved into the south station. No. 14 was added to the rear of the 16 in anticipation of a pneumatic system inspection. Unfortunately, that never happened!

Dustin B. sweeps the work area.

Griffin W. prepares to go inside the smokebox to start the 16's flue removal while Jesse V looks on.

John K. lights up a rosebud tip on the torch to heat the nuts holding the throttle rod in place. Jesse V. positions a pry bar on the assembly to move it out of the way.

Dangling the camera down the steam dome gives us the first look in the boiler towards the firebox.

Removing the flues required that the dry pipe be removed which would leave a large hole in the smokebox flue sheet. Jesse V., Rex F. and Griffin W. heat the nuts and bolts holding the throttle base onto the dry pipe.

Lots of flues to cut!

Clearly having been in one of the dirtier places inside the 16, Matt W. carries some fresh cardboard to a work location.

Done for the day, Matt W. prepares for his own washing.

Griffin W. shows signs of being inside the smokebox.

After Dustin's clean up, it looks as if he has coal dust colored eye shadow.

Rex F. has his turn at the wash basin.

While the 16's flues were being removed, Melissa B. re-configures the high volume water/air pressure washing tool for the 12's flue cleaning project.

James M., Braden B., Elliot H. and Matt W. move some barrels out of the way in order to get the high volume water hose out of the fuel shed.

Using the water hydrant, high volume hose and diesel air compressor, Micah M. blasts water through the 12's flues. It is hard to capture on pixels, but for the first few seconds, the water is quite sooty and then begins to run clear.

Micah M. works the high volume water tool into a flue.

Micah takes a breather from washing the 100+ flues on the 12.