April 13 update

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April 13 update Empty April 13 update

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:48 pm

Yesterday's season opening in conjunction with the NC Science Fair went off well with great weather, but with no steam since 17 is down for a bit of tube work. The crowd was not as large as it was last year with 17 running. Whether or not other variables might have been at work besides the presence of operating steam is debatable, but it at least is something to strongly consider.

It was great to be there for a day of face to face discussion and planning with the rest of the 110 leadership. We welcomed a new steam guy who moved here from San Diego and is going to be volunteering with us, even though we're not a mainline SP heavy pacific. With the missing critical parts (firedoor, throttle body, throttle standpipe, turret) located, a trade deal made, and the trading stuff located, we worked on the longer term strategic planning for the other hard to find things we will be needing for the major frame and running gear work we know we will be doing down the line - consensus was we'd rather have the stuff wait for us than halt the project to wait for it when we reach that point, so we're starting to work on sourcing now.

What we need is heavy walled cast iron cylinders to reline the cylinders after boring out concentrically (we're about .225 out of round) and other heavy cylindrical cast iron to use as stock to make new piston and valve rings. Anybody who is aware of a foundry with the ability to cast fine grained iron with no porosity or has a source for cuts from extra extra heavy cast iron industrial piping, please let us know.

We're also working on finding a building in the area we can use for overhauling the frame and running gear after we remove the boiler and send it to the boilermakers shop. We can't do precise work on a slanting track in the mud outdoors. I have no doubt we only need to find the right people with a partially used industrial facility who can be interested in helping us out - if they have machine tools available, it would be even better.

We need to gauge the tire profiles and thicknesses before we know whether we need to replace one tire or all tired on the drivers, and one tire on the pony truck. Dave Dick has drawings for the wheel gauges, he plans to see if one of his contacts who water jet cuts steel can replicate them for us. The bad tire is on the front drivers, which is also the wheelset with the welds on the axle, so if we're very fortunate we need only to do heavy work on that one wheelset, and lightly turn the dishing out of the others. We'll know more once we can measure everything properly.

The water tank is coming along very nicely, and the same fabricator rebuilding the tank is going to straighten the droopy frame towards the rear of the tender, starting from the rear bolster back. Once that's done, we can turn the tender frame over, make any repairs it needs, and then rebuild the trucks, which haven't been formally inspected yet.

Jack got the Sunbeam dynamo cleaned out and loosened up - without tearing it apart - and ran it on compressed air for the Science Fair. The governor was trying to govern, and after zapping it with a 6 volt dry cell we were able to get 28 VDC out of it, so we have high hopes we can go through it and get it back in 100% condition. We plan to replace one noisy bearing at the armature end, and have the field and armature coils meggered and attended to as necessary, and replace all the old insulating washers, etc. The condition of the thrust bearing and turbine wheel needs to be examined and will be repaired as necessary, but we hope nothing critical will be found based on the results so far.

110 is on the back burner again, while we work towards a decision about 17 - although we're not working on 17 until the boilermakers do a bit of exploratory surgery in the next couple weeks. Our hope is we simply have a handful of tubes with bad pitting to be replaced, but if they are all in poor condition, we will probably go ahead and perform the 15 year internal and external inspections and recertify 17 for another decade and a half of productive work before we have to do it again.....which buys us more time to do the best job we can on 110, and eaves us with a pretty long time of running steam on both the mainline and switching parts of our normal operation. It will be interesting to see how our numbers will be this year before we get 17 up and running again relative to last year.



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