teardown and survey plans

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teardown and survey plans

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:21 pm

Dave Dick and I were just tasked to create a plan for tube and firebrick removal and boiler cleaning and a subsequent survey on 110 by the end of 2013. One Saturday a month has been offered as a voluntary work day. I added the goals of disassembling the cylinders and valves and inspecting and measuring them to the list.....and taking a closer look at the wheel centers, etc.

I'd of course prefer a more ambitious program, but.........this is how things have traditionally been done there.

Bonsal is fairly remote from the urban and suburban neighborhoods in which our steam crew lives and works. It's very rural in character.........and, if on a Saturday you need heavy hardware or welding gas.......you are out of luck for a month until the next workday.

So, I'm weighing ways in which we can make getting what needs to be done so we can get work done easier and more convenient.

One idea is to move 110 to someplace more convenient and where supplies are nearby. An industrial part of Raleigh or Durham - with a friendly landlord who loves steam - would be ideal. Of course, all the tools are at Bonsal. Not that our tool collection is all that great but......no use having people available close to home more of the time if they lack the tools to do anything while they are there. Also, IF our marketing people get busy and build a development and fund raising program for 110, having it on site through the Christmas season trains would be a plus.

I should also mention we have a very limited amount of such things as heavy machine tools or rigging capabilities no matter where we go......unless we go somewhere that has them and lets us use them.

So....we bring what we need to Bonsal or we take 110 to where what we need can be found....which could be different places for different things.

Or, we find another way to get things done faster and more efficiently by increasing our capabilities and membership volunteer time to get work done on site.

Floor is open for kicking around ideas about ways and means.

Dave

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Re: teardown and survey plans

Post by Overmod on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:47 pm

As I see it, centralizing efforts at Bonsal is the way to go PROVIDED the management gives full support to the operation, and there is space to work on the engine, store the parts and assemblies under cover, etc.  That would include effective 'office space' for computer access, etc. on site -- even if the computers in question are a couple of laptops with cell-phone modems plugged in.

I'd be tempted to put up a shelter with clear sheeting walls for weather protection -- and then have the ongoing progress of the project be visible to museum visitors as a 'work in progress' (with signage and documentation, much like any other exhibit) provided for inspection without necessarily admitting people to the actual insured work location.

Planning ahead should relieve most of the difficulties with 'unexpected' failures of tooling, supplies, or equipment.  What I would advise is finding an old van, bread truck, or even school bus (I see these cheap on eBay all the time) and put a temporary storage interior in part of it for all the  specific equipment that might be necessary.  Lock and alarm it for security.  Find some place to park it (or arrange for it to be driven to the site on work days).  A member could keep this at home (like an RV) and pick up some of the volunteers a la carpool on work days...

Note that the engine in this vehicle can be used as a portable source of power in a number of respects -- for example, by installing high-rated alternators and one of those large over-the-road truck inverters for 110VAC.  Or setting up to use a drive wheel as a PTO...

You then have the vehicle as a resource, or as something for sale to another road or museum, at the close of the project.  If it is painted or 'wrapped' appropriately it can be used as a billboard or rolling advertisement for ... well, sponsors of the project, not just the museum or Cliffside 110 directly...  and not only would this allow for more funding 'opportunities', it would allow some of the expense to be charged to marketing and promotion if it for any reason isn't fully deductible under the 501 (c) (3) provisions.


The time is NOW to set up agendas, slack time analysis, etc. for the upcoming work days.  Even if it's just a first draft of priorities ... we can figure out the dependencies, approximate a critical path, start designing protocols for analysis and repair, etc.  That is all 'brain work' and costs very little other than the time of the people involved.

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Re: teardown and survey plans

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:11 pm

And it is being done......

We have a boxcar for steam parts storage on site, and a container as a tool storage and shop space. Steam crew is set to work on preparing 110 for surveying the boiler inside and out with specifically scheduled days, and the guys are very interested in getting into it. The challenge is also making sure the operating days and engineer experience days for 17 are covered first.

Security is provided by helpful neighbors who have dogs and firearms, being rural......there have been very few issues over the decades. And, while we don't have well capacity for the locomotive at this time, the Bonsal site was historically a sawmill built to cut, finish and treat railroad ties and bridge timbers. We have electricity enough to power machine tools. Unfortunately, all the mill structures and facilities are long gone.  

The situation is that the Bonsal site - if it is where the majority of the work is to take place - needs to be set up for that work. 17 was overhauled to the extent necessary to go into service on a track in the ground with hand toold, and hand held electric power tools...but West Virginia Northern had already completed the heavy mechanical overhaul. This made for a great entry into steam operation and built the railroad's program to the point where we need a bigger steam locomotive.....but becasuse it was a very simple job relatively, we didn't have any motivation to install even basic infrastructure like a pit track or a covered work area over it.

110 needs heavy mechanical overhaul. So.....either we move her to a more equipped and central location, or we create it on site. Or, we remove the boiler from the frame, remove the wheels and running gear, and distribute the parts to the best sources for the specialized work required. This means we need at minimum the logistical ability to prepare for the heavy lifting and subsequent reassembly.

There's a formal design for an enginehouse based on two overhead bridge cranes in a timber frame structure, and a less formal one that hasn't been as developed for a simple truss framed shortline style enginehouse, such as the Cliffside itself had. It's nice to wish and dream on paper......but we need to get work done.

I think our level of achievement in development and fund raising will dictate the strategy we will ultimately pursue.

Dave

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