October 20, 2015
The week began with a trip to the chemical recyclers. We had accumulated a sizeable amount of old oil and various liquids from undisclosed sources, so off they went.
We installed the last of the broken and wasted stud bolts on the boiler. Only the lower stud bolts on the bottom of the mud ring are left.
Work continued on positioning the brake stand. Holes were drilled in the transition plate then tapped for bolts thus allowing the removal of the stand if needed. Organizing of the brake stand components is ongoing as we plan where they all will be located.
Final fit-up of the sand dome was completed this week. Positioning tack welds were being ground smooth for the eventual weld-out of the dome.
Good progress was made on the new footboards. We had our steel supplier punch all the bolt holes for us, however, some of them are a bit out of alignment so we are using rotary files to adjust them. Joiners are also being fabricated when needed.
Also this week we began insulating various steam pipe with woven insulating tape. This stuff is very expensive and we’ll be using hundreds of feet of it.
Our metal cabinets, which we use to store various things including flammables, had become disorganized and dirty. For several weeks they have undergone a facelift with the contents of each painted on the outside doors.
One project stirred much excitement on site this week. A high output air compressor was rented for an initial air test of the boiler. We first infused the boiler with smoke generated from a theatrical smoke machine through a washout plug. The plug was reinstalled and the compressed air made it’s way into the boiler. Several minor leaks were detected immediately.
Others required more work to close them. One such leak was on the manway on top of the boiler. The manway was removed and thoroughly cleaned. Under the watchful eye of Rowland F. from 3751 the copper seal was annealed and allowed to cool slowly with an insulating blanket. The manway was reinstalled and carefully torqued down in sequence. No more leaking.
There were a few others at the superheater pipe connection which were also addressed. Pressure testing will resume this Wednesday, weather permitting.
Some of the flexible staybolt caps were leaking so they will require a bit more torque.
Our back-up dynamo project has been on hold for several weeks. The two volunteers who have been entrusted with that project both were on site Saturday so the reassembly was completed. It was tested with air and ran smoothly. It will now be sent over to Electric Motor Company for the final wiring.
I normally have the winter hours scheduled to begin on the first work session in October, however, the temperatures remained higher than normal. All good things must come to an end and it appears the 4th week of October is the week the normal Fall temperatures will be upon us. That being said we will return to Winter hours on Wednesday October 28th. That means we loose one and one half hours of productivity, so for those that can work a little later that would offset our lack of morning hours.
For those of you who are not already aware of the news regarding our GoFundMe Engine House Campaign, I have an announcement for everyone who follows our progress online.
We have received an exciting offer from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous. He has challenged all of us to donate enough money either through the GoFundMe account or donations received via PayPal or checks designated for “Engine House” to move our website thermometer to $100,000. If we can raise that amount this person has pledged the remaining $100,000 to build a first class structure to protect the engine and tender from the ravages of weather and also from those who delight in stealing metal and railroad artifacts.
Without this protection many parts will need to be removed after every run or risk loosing various important components. It will also protect the engine and tender from unauthorized paint jobs. So, for every dollar you donate it will be matched providing we raise the first $100,000. Keep in mind your donation is tax deductible. I call on every member and all of those who hope to someday ride behind the 2926 to dig deep and send in what you can. Please don’t depend on someone else to give the cash.
On another note those that regularly come to work sessions tomorrow, Wednesday October 21st, doesn’t appear to be a very weather-permitting work day. We will be open to see what the day brings for work, but it will more than likely be raining in the early morning hours for us. I’d like to ask that any of you that can work on Friday to plan to come that day along with Saturday’s regular work session. Another air test will be attempted Friday and Saturday.
Hope to see everyone at the site this week, and as always . . .
Keep on Steamin’,
Rick Kirby, CMO