Saturday, March 17, 2018

Here comes the BOOM!

Hi folks,
Well, after wrapping up another fantastic day at the yard, all I've got to say is

Let me start off by welcoming 2 new volunteers.
"Hicksville" Danny and "Lynbrook" Danny who saw our work session notice on our Facebook site and called to volunteer. I do hope we didn't scare them away!!

Having 8 people on site allowed us to have a 4 man crew working inside the Ping to remove EVERYTHING from the ceiling and take out EVERY window on the south side of the car.
YES!! you read that correctly.
The 2 Dannys, Bernard and George removed every light fixture and the glass bullet covers, which were put in safe storage, as we accidentally, broke one. Oh well, we have a few more. They also removed every ceiling fan and ceiling mounted sign holder.
Then, the removed every window from the car on the South side to enable us to accomplish a few things.
1-sandblasting-our contractor won't have to fight to keep the media off the windows.
2-will allow us to clean, polish, repair and finally wash, every window to make them fully operable.
3-allow us to do much needed metal repairs to the window areas.
 Before window removal above-During window removal below
Looking out the Ping through empty window frames-below
Removing the final windows below

While this was going on Fred and I to work on the final steel underpinning for the Ping. We fabricated 2 new cross members to go under the bathroom. Now all that is left is for us to take the toilet flange,  which Fred  fabricated weeks ago, and attach it to 2 angle braces which will be welded into place on the 2 new cross members after we determine exactly where the toilet will go.
 Look Ma, no more scrap steel lying around!!-Empty ground in front of the tender-above
Empty ground on the South side of the tender-below

And just for shits and giggles:
during this time.Leon and Steve loaded up all of the scrap from the Ping and delivered it to a scrap dealer and got us back over $700!
Then, they suddenly had to go to Atlantic City. Hmmmmm. Makes me wonder.
Only Kidding. All of the cash will be deposited into the Locomotive #35 restoration fund account.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hot diggity!

This past Saturday was another example of dedication and overcoming adversity.
Dedication, in that only 4 of us were there and a whole lotta stuff was accomplished.
John P continued to repair and replace rotted welded metal in Dinky #398. Before this unit arrived, it was hastily patched up and painted by the LIRR for the naming ceremony. As John has been working to get it started, he noticed all of the metal rotting on the lower edge where the wall sheets meet the floor. Upon further inspection, He uncovered a cover up of sorts and has been handling the repairs.
Oh well, better that we found them now.
Upper photo shows the repair on the left with last weeks repair to its right. Notice the rust on the floor. We will need to remove the windows to re-seal them to the body.
The photo below shows the repair after it was painted in primer and as you will see, another repair was done on the front wall to the right of the previous repairs.
Repairs will be done a section at a time and then all will be ground down so as to appear seamless.

As for the Ping Pong Coach, 
This photo shows the area just above the window frame where the window shades live. The extruded steel cover is almost the length of the car and will be visible in another view.
If you look closely at the rusty cracked "cream" paint, look to its immediate right and you will see the original grey primer. After priming and before paint, this area and others were covered with metal holders to hold the various advertising inserts. We plan on leaving the overhead luggage racks in place until just before the sandblasting begins.
In the photo above you can see that George has removed both of the window shade covers and they are laying parallel tot eh center sill. They are almost as long as the interior of the car and are resting on top of the cross members from the center sill to the outside walls.

In this photo it is easier to see. The square tubing that is sitting on the center sill are the newly fabricated cross members that will be welded in after sandblasting has been finished. Then we will install the new corrugated floor sheets on top of this and you will no longer see the ground!

HOPEFULLY, will see some more people this coming Saturday-weather permitting of course.
The plan is to remove everything from the ceiling of the car. Light covers, fans advertising holders, whatever can be unscrewed.

As always, 
keep the faith and comment as you see fit,
" but be nice. Always be nice until it's time, not to be nice!"
From the Patrick Swayze movie Roadhouse


Saturday, March 3, 2018

windy and cold

BUT-we still worked our butts off because even after the big Nor'Easter yesterday, we actually had some sun and the ground wasn't sloppy.
I got there a bit early and began to open up the trailers to remove the generator and set things up for Fred and George.
George showed up first and opened up the back gate for Fred to pull in and get his things ready for cutting and welding.
Since I needed to get a few things done inside the visitors center (VC), I set a finish time of 1 pm in order to give us time to clean up and for George & I to head over so we could finish before 3pm.

Just so we are clear---I have basically "cut" the car in half from west to east and north to south.
We start measuring from the west and use a measurement from crossmember to crossmember, whether it be a cast one or a channel. So the first opening will be bay 1 and can be either north (n) or south (s).

We then headed over to the Ping Pong Coach to get measurements of the first 3 south (s) floor bays and quickly realized that we should skip measuring the first bay which is #1s due to the fact that it is the bathroom and will need to be specially beefed up in order to install the toilet.
We measured out bays 2-4 and since I already brought over the steel channel, Fred and I went to cut while George worked inside the Ping to remove the rivets and screws holding up a nearly 60 foot length of custom pressed steel which is the "valance" for the window shade mechanism.

As we have found throughout the car, American Car and Foundry (ACF) had the cast crossmembers created out of home and delivered to their plant for assembly, a common practice. Unfortunately, the contractor who cast these parts had a wide +/- factor and the flanges are not consistant. we have measured from 1/2 inch thick all the way up to 3/4 inch thick at the front and 13/16 inch at the web!
This makes for a custom cut on every notch and its extremely important to get this correct for future welding.
Thankfully, Fred had his watchful eyes over George and me as we measured 3 or even 4 times!
By the end of this procedure, we'll be pro's.

Fred and I took the 3 measurements back to the work/welding tables and in less than 3 hours cut, notched, capped and fitted up all 3 newly created crossmembers with only minor finessing.

Fred is a genius and even though I can really test his patience, I have learned quite a bit how to work within his tolerances.

by 1pm we were done and began to clean up. Fred went home to warm up while George and I headed over to the VC to move the scale model steam locomotive back to its regular spot and set up the picture board framework so Josh, our curator could set up our new display of RR advertising artwork.
We snuck a peek at the new artwork setups to be installed. It's going to be very colorful!

So for the next round, we will fabricate the remaining 3 full crossmembers in bays #5s/6s/7s and hopefully,  if time permits, cut up some angle iron to start the toilet instalationl inside the bathroom stall. Instead of running the rectangular tubing parallel to the center beam like the rest of the car, we plan on using angle iron perpendicular against the outer bathroom partition wall.

See you all in the funny papers and comment as you see fit!
Steve Torborg has informed me that this blog and our facebook photos of this restoration are being followed by many people and a few museums. I'm touched and honored. Just another day in Oyster Bay (RR Museum, that is)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Today at the yard

Hi folks,
Well, we had another phenomenal day of weather to get some much need work done.
Fred, George, John P, Ronnie, Gerard and I, fabricated and test fitted the remaining 4 new cross members on the north side of the Ping Pong Coach.
To bring you up to speed---
Last Saturday:Fred, George and I fabricated Bays1/3/7 and test fitted the same
Today:Fred, George, Ronnie, Gerard and I fabricated Bays 2/4/5/6 and test fitted the same.
All of these are now ready to be welded in AFTER the interior is sandblasted.
While all of this was going on, John P was bust fitting in new lower sheets and supports to replace the crappy ones which were hastily installed by the LIRR crews to make #398 look pretty for the hand off of the unit to us.
Listen, I don't blame them, they are NOT in the restoration business. They are in the Transportation business.
Love them or hate them, I for one cannot do my job without them AND I cannot travel into NYC for the price I pay for my weekly ticket. I still have to use NYC Transit and occasionally, taxis. YES, I know they now have Lyft and Uber, but I find comfort in being able to hail that taxi dammit!
Just like I like to read a real book, not look at one on my Iphone.
Enjoy the following photos of work inside the ping.
 Fred is instructing us on a better/easier way to hold up the new cross member
 Ronnie, Fred and I are test fitting the new cross member in bay 6
 Fred hard at work. This man is a creative genius!! We couldn't do this without him.
 measuring to find out that the car isn't square.
 Yes, that's me inspecting the notch which will slip under the cross member flange on the left of the photo
 Inside view of the new section of lower wall welded up by John P
And here's the same area from the outside. A much stronger patch and weld.

And now a little something from the Historic Presidential Railroad Station!
A sump it hidden inside the basement-for what purpose? who knows
The east wall in the basement-the foundation actually. Notice the newly poured concrete. All of the dirt that had to be removed in order to under pin the foundation came from the area under it.
And here is the south east corner of the station building. This is where all of our problems came from.
because of the undermined soil in this area, the entire corner of the foundation and building has dropped considerably. We have been asked why we didn't just jack up the building. Well after over 100 years, underpinning was the proper way to fix this area with creating any more stress on the affected area. We will re-point the bricks on the bathroom addition as we get to it.
You can see the crew hard at work. They had piled up all of the soil that was removed inside the coal bunker under the building and were forced into a bucket brigade to bring it up to the surface. They then dumped each bucket into a wheelbarrow and then dumped the wheelbarrow into our dumpster, which is provided by TOB.
Hats off to Mario Baldino, our contractor, for bringing in the right folks to do the job.

AND finally, if this all weren't enough.......
when we began this particular phase of the restoration work, we focused on the west wall in order to get it completed so everyone will be able to see, just how good the restored building will look. From the beginning, we planned  to open up the lower 3 (larger) windows on the west wall which have been sealed up and stuccoed over since the early 1940's when the passenger sheds were removed.
Mario's crew opened up the sealed areas and removed the leaded glass windows and we had Chris Foster come down from Rhode Island to take them and the upper 3  (smaller) windows back to his shop to do repairs. They have arrived back to Oyster Bay and are now in storage inside the south bathroom.
When all of the construction is completed the window frames will be repaired and then finally installed in their respective openings.
With the completion of the underpinning, Mario can now focus (weather permitting, of course) on stripping the remaining paint, cutting out the stucco repairs in order to install the missing wooden half timbers, and then final stucco repairs which will need to include the insertion of new Oyster Bay Oyster shells!
The wood will be sealed, primed and then finally, painted in the original colors which will be a cream/yellow, green and white combination

I almost  spent as much time uploading and downloading these photos, writing this blog  as I spent at the site today!!
I'm beat and need food, so
Sayonara & origato folks. This means sushi for dinner.
Keep the faith

Sunday, February 18, 2018

wish you were there

Up at the display yard in Oyster Bay, of course. Well, at least yesterday.
Yes, I know its winter, BUT, believe it or not, we have had amazing luck with the weather as we have been working inside the Ping Pong Coach!
Yes, I know that there is absolutely NO FLOOR, however and Yes, I know that we are cutting the steel and welding outdoors, but still, it's been pretty darn good.
Last week it was basically just the 2 of us and this past week, it was George, Fred and me.

Fred Rubin, our master fabricator/welder/all around good guy and teacher was able to take a crappy situation using the steel tubing that we had accepted instead of the angle iron that we ordered and made it all work out. Unfortunately, this also means that the job of fabricating 14 new cross members for the flooring will take 3 times as long. OH WELL, what can we do.

George Schlicter has been a steady volunteer and is great to work with. The weather doesn't faze him and he has a great eye.
He'll jump in/on/around like a 10 year old. I wish I had 5 more of him at every session, as I'd be able to take it easy-NOT!
This is part of the new flooring that will be installed on top of the new cross members. On top of this is where the seat frames will be bolted down and then all will be covered with newly poured concrete.
George fitting up the newly fabricated North #1 bay cross member.
While Fred is camera-shy, George isn't and has been dedicated to seeing this through despite the winter weather!
North #3 bay crossmember being fitted in place. This is the largest open floor bay in the car.
Not too surprisingly, none of the openings widths match each other! Lets hope that as we measure the South bays, we get the same length measurements as the North side.
This is the North #7 bay which is at the east end of the car. You can clearly see the truck assembly (bogie) under the car.
And finally, a long interior shot showing both #1&3 bays being fitted up.
A similar interior arrangement of a p-54 from a plan.

Keep the faith.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Another Saturday night and I ain't got my body

Yes! That's correct. I ain't got my body.
Unfortunately, today my body failed me. I wish I knew why. But that's for another day and another doctor.
What's been up at the Yard??
Last week, George and I  removed all of the little scrap pieces of the old corrugated flooring  and took off the rivet heads in the Ping Pong Coach.
The corrugated steel flooring was held down to the center sill and the outside channel using rivets. On the center sill, we just chiseled off the heads and using a punch, knocked the rivets out under the car.
Unfortunately, on the outer wall channel, we cut off the upper head and lower head with a grinder and found that we COULD NOT punch out the shaft. UH OH BATMAN! What to do??

Enter Fred Rubin, who today, came up with a solid solution.The hell with the rivets. Let's see if we can just tack weld the corrugated steel to the channel!! By the way, YES WE CAN. Fred found the perfect welding rod and welder setting and tested the job on one of our steel workbenches.
That will save us from using the plasma cutter and burning out almost 200 rivets.
The steel for the ping pong floor frame arrived and we will be cutting it up next week to fit the pieces from crossmember to crossmember.
We have a sandblaster coming in to test areas of the body to be better able to give us a quote. One company came in and gave a quote which blew our minds, so we need to have this quote to balance the costs.

While we were busy doing that, Fred was busy cutting steel for the bathroom floor and John Petsche kept busy cutting steel and welding in new wall supports in dinky #398.

When we received #398, there was a lot of rotted steel inside the cab which was hastily patched by the LIRR. We knew that we would get to it........eventually. The most important pieces are the corner posts which John is taking care of. The first piece went in today on the engineers side and he already started to fabricate the fireman's side piece until we called the session due to the rain starting.

At the same time, OBRM President, John Specce, continued to dismantle the body on our golf cart. For the past few years we have hired out the operation of a "trackless train" for our annual Holiday Express. It's cost us greatly and we felt that if we could somehow create our very own, we would save a bundle.
He will be having a new body fabricated out of corro-plast, which is corrugated plastic. The printer will make it look like a LIRR DE/DM-30 diesel locomotive and we will be using trailer frames to create the "passenger cars"
He has already created a caboose which we used for last years Halloween parade in town. It looked way cool!

No photos folks, but trust me, even in the dead of winter-STUFF GETS DONE!!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hi folks,
I'm still stoked from today!
George met me up at the yard at 9am for what turned out to be another ass kicking day!!
Yes, 2 exclamation points for today!!
Well, what happened to make it such a great day?
If George and I getting all of the rivets out from the center sill wasn't enough, John Specce stopped by with 2 new tires for the golf cart, which we put on. There's more-John Petsch stopped by around 10 to go over plans for metal replacement inside the cab to stiffen it and we actually have most of the steel. Kaching! He also installed a block heater on the engine. This can be plugged in to keep the blocks coolant warm enough to facilitate easy starting.
But wait; there's even more!
We had a sandblasting contractor come in to look over the job of blasting the Ping Pong Coach (PPC). He's planning on bringing his equipment up to make some test strips in order for him to fully evaluate the job.
We also had a local concrete contractor come up around the same time to look over  and give us a quote to pour a new concrete floor over the soon to be installed corrugated steel floor.

WOW. What a day. Started at 9 and left at 3. 6 straight hours.
It's funny how determined people can get the job done!

Next week we plan on working inside of  the PPC to remove the remnants of the old  corrugated steel that are still riveted to the outside wall channel/grind the remnants of the screws that held the stainless steel heating covers and remove them from the heating vent in order to drill and tap for new screws.

Next week I also  intend to pickup  the corrugated steel for the floor and place the order for the rest of the steel for the car to be delivered in a couple of weeks.
Gonna be a busy winter in Oyster Bay!!!-yes 3 exclamation points for this.
No photos today, sorry.

Comment as you see fit.