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.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ping Pong History

Hi Folks,
after being worked on for the past few months, I would like to bring you up to speed on our Ping Pong Progress.

Built by AC&F-American Car and Foundry in 1923 as a P54E steam car as car #433, it was then converted to an MU trailer in April of 1925 without a change in car number. It was then modernized in March of 1958 and given the class P54D and changed to #7433. It was officially "scrapped" on 12/21/1974.
#7433  was then sold to Steamtown Foundation, Bellows Falls, VT, 12-21-1974. Refurbished in 1976 and named Colonel Seth Warner for use on the Vermont Bicentennial Steam Expedition. It was again Sold to the Knox & Kane RR in Marienville PA. It was auctioned off and sold for scrap, 10-10-2008. Sold to Oyster Bay RR Museum, Oyster Bay NY, 11-2008 and was subsequently readied for its travels up to Oyster Bay NY for inclusion in the Museum display yard.
**The information above was compiled by Ed Koehler from List Chapter NRHS***

In September of 2017, we began the restoration by removing the seats, seat frames and finally all of the concrete and steel corrugated floor. 
Our plans are to  add steel channel reinforcements between the floor cross members, cover with all new corrugated steel then add new studs and bolts for the seat frames and finally, pour all new concrete floors. 
From b&w photos, we will re-create the light/dark vinyl tile floor pattern with new 9x9" tiles.
We are in contact with a paint stripping company who will be contracted to sandblast the interior and exterior with a new type of "dustless blasting" system that utilizes recycled glass media in a water solution. They are certified for lead abatement as we believe that there is lead paint under the latex and cannot take any chances.

After that we will treat the metal with a rust converter like Loctite Extend and then Prime and finish paint the entire car.

We have been throwing around the concept of Tichy Gray with a gray/silver roof, natural aluminum window frames and white lettering. A color palette that we do not currently have in our collection.
A photo of work being done inside our car

On another matter-
Work has begun on Phase 2 of the Station restoration to complete the West wall. all 6 windows from the upper part of the building; 3 small squares that were visible and 3 large rectangular units that have been covered up by stucco since around 1942, have been removed and picked up by our contractor in Rhode Island for restoration. Hopefully, we will get them back by February for re-installation.
The contractor will also re-install wood trim embedded in the stucco, that has also gone missing since the 1940's.
All of the paint is being stripped and new sealer, primer and paint will be put on to finish up the facade on the West wall only.
When completed, we will have something grand to show off.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Late yet again!!

Hi folks,
I'm sorry that I haven't  posted since the beginning of October- 10/8, to be exact, however, here is my OBRM update!
Oystefest during the weekend of October 13 & 15 went ok. For some unknown reason, the weekend wasn't  as great as years past as the foot traffic seemed down considerably and we didn't make as much money as usual.
Oh well, we did what we could. We were not open at all that weekend and resumed our work session on Saturday the 21st.
Fred, George and Bernard ganged up and finished removing the rest of the rotted corrugated steel flooring.

As of yesterday, November 4th, we are (were) ready to begin the installation of the new corrugated flooring-one hitch, though. Do (did) we need a custom pressed floor sheet made or can (could) we use something stock.
After a  lot of research, I found a steel master in East Harlem who could custom press whatever we needed. While my company was on strike, I was out visiting some upper Manhattan accounts and made a pit stop at Aquel Metals on 2nd ave between 118th and 119th streets to meet with Said. He took my sample and was able to give me options.
1-use a stock corrugated galvanized that he could give us for $600, which would be enough to cover the North half of the car OR-----
2-he could custom press the same amount in galvanized steel for $1200.
I took a sample back to the Ping Pong coach to attempt a fit up and after the guys placed the 2 halves into place, we realized that the stock pieces would work VERY WELL!!
So, I guess we go with the lower priced option.
As George was attempting to break up the thin coat layer of concrete, he broke through rotted flooring on the South half of the car. SO! now we will have to remove the rest of the concrete and all of the (rotted) steel flooring.
What this now means in terms of our budget is that we will now have to spend the entire $1200.
But that's OK as we do have a $10, 000 budget which will also cover the steel channel that we will have to purchase to connect the cars frame to the cross members UNDER the new corrugated steel floor. NO fall throughs!! This budget may also cover the job of sandblasting the exterior of the car. We will have Restora Blast come out to give us a quote. They utilize a new procedure called "Dustless Blasting" which I know from the auto industry.
This process uses a water base with recycled ground glass as the blasting media. NO free silica dust so we DO NOT have to tent the car (save money!) and no vacuuming. everything outside of the car can be blasted which will allow us to also blast the seat frames. The car will be left to rust so we can then roll on a coat of "Extend" which is a rust converter. This gives us a great base for primer and paint. Before the "extend" goes on, we will cut out the rust and flush weld new steel to repair the car. Fred is very excited at this prospect.

The guys removed all of the seats and stacked them in the vestibule of the coach which opened up the interior so we could remove the seat frames from the South half. Even though WE were hosting a group of folks from SPLIA -the Society for the Preservation of Long Islands Antiquities at the Historic Train Station while work was going on a bit shorthanded, George and Fred and Leon and Jack  and even me, were able to get everything except the part of the seat frame which is bolted to the steel floor stock, out of the coach.
Next week, we will remove the concrete and the steel straps with the seat frames intact as a unit and continue until all of the steel is gone from the car. This will be a multi week job which will take us into the winter. We can always hook up space heaters to keep some warmth inside of the steel car.

George removing the seat frames on the South side of the Ping Pong coach---

As for the visit from SPLIA?
John Collins, our Historic Architect began the visit with an overview of what was going on from his standpoint, after which, Dave Morrison, my co-chair on the Station Restoration Committee spoke about the station building and Teddy Roosevelt. Then I took over and made my video presentation which went over well. Bill Sheeline, another member of the Station Restoration Committee was able to provide additional information during the presentation.
Dave Morrison speaking--
John Collins speaking---
SPLIA members---

The SPLIA members were very impressed and really enjoyed themselves. After the presentation, we walked over to the display yard to show off #35 and our collection. The turntable impressed all.
the day was long and fun. TODAY, Sunday November 5th, we are hosting the PRRT&HS at 4pm. Steve Torborg will be the host.

As though all of this wasn't enough, Doug from Pedowitz Trucking called me about moving the simulators and our boxcar from the LIRR and I asked him who repairs his forklifts. Turns out that his company has an in-house department that does all repairs in NJ.
I told him of our issues on our forklift and he offered to pick up our Hyster unit and bring it in for an inspection and depending on what was found, repairs as well. DONATED!!
Holy Crap!

More work and more words to come.
See ya.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

almost on time

Hi folks,
so it's only Sunday and I'll take that as writing on time.
Yesterday, Fred and  I dove right in on continuing our good luck with the fuel system on the forklift.
When we left last Saturday, the forklift was cutting out and we weren't too sure whether it was the newly installed fuel pump or something electrical.
We hooked up the gravity feed can and the motor started right up and ran until we shut it off, so we knew it was the fuel pump.
It turns out that the 90 degree fitting on the outlet side of the pump was loose and sucking air.
I had already purchased a straight fitting and Fred installed it in minutes.
We then changed out the fuel line for a new one and hooked up a new filter.
We crossed our fingers and then hit he key.......
Success! It started and ran smoothly until WE shut it off.
Smooth sailing, so we thought.
Later, after we moved onto something else, we came back to start the forklift again and found that it was cutting out again.
We were SO pissed off that Fred decided it was time to leave and clear his head. I agreed as I was to leave at 1:30 to get back home. I had to take over the desk at my local Historical Society in Baldwin from 3-5.
Before I left, I decided against Fred's better judgment to advance the ignition timing.
I bumped it  about 2 degrees advanced and started the engine. It fired up and kept running.
I remembered many years ago that this engine seemed to like more timing and just took a shot.
I called to tell Fred and we both laughed.
There's still a chance that it could be vapor lock, but this never happened before and I can't believe that it is the cause of our issues. Who knows??
While this was going on, George and Bernard were continuing their work on removing the floor in the Ping Pong Coach.
They are almost done and there is a very good chance that we could begin welding in cross pieces in a few weeks.
These pieces will divide the width of the open sections where the new corrugated steel will be placed and will provide good structural rigidity for the new concrete pour.
A bit more steel removal and we are ready to go!!

Next weekend will be the annual Oyster Festival and most areas of our campus will be closed in order to focus on our fundraising efforts at our booth.
 The following Saturday will be our annual meeting at the Station and our second memorabilia sale.

Any comments?
Feel free to post
Keep the faith!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

late again

Hi folks,
so it seems that I'm late yet again!
2 weeks ago,
George and Bernard continued to remove the concrete floor in the ping pong coach by using electric jackhammers!
I figured, why work harder, so, I went to Baldwin tool rental by my home and picked up the 2 breakers. Needless to say, we decided to work smarter.
All of the concrete was gone by end of day and I'm sure that the 2 of them were feeling good the next day compared to last week!
While this was going on, Fred and I continued to work on the forklift. This is a big, big deal as we will need to get this unit going. We need to move the crossing shanty and the steam engine so to clear out the areas for future expansion of displays.
at the same time, Paul got busy needle scaling the vestibule and staircases on the ping.
Divide and conquer, I say! by doing the job ourselves, we will be able to save on sandblasting costs.

Last Saturday,
Our day began at the station where we removed all of the loose lumber inside and stacked it all under a tarp out on the track side. Georg, John V, Paul,  Steve T and John Specce really got dirty.
At the yard,
Fred and I continued our work on the forklift while Steve Torborg got our compressor re-situated. He also got us fuel and diesel for the compressor.
John V and George worked on cutting up the corrugated steel floor. By removing all of the floor, we will be able to clean all of the steel and treat it in order to prepare it for the new steel installation.
This is a full press restoration. Floors, walls and then paint removal!
We believe that we can get this job done by end of year 2018.
It's funny to see that the coach is cockeyed to the South.
Paul continued to needle scale the vestibule and we believe that we are more than halfway there.
If you ain't here, you just ain't!!
Any comments??
Bring 'em on.