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.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Another great day in Oyster Bay

Hi folks,
let's get right to it, shall we?
So, while we were formulating a plan to remove the rotted floors inside the Ping Pong Coach,
reality intervened and told us what to do.
George and Bernard, found out that the false floor underneath the coach was made up of thinner steel sheets which were bolted to each other and then bolted up to the center sill.
Trying to remove them from the underside like we had hoped to do, proved impossible, SO!, these two gents figured out that just breaking up the concrete from the inside of the car, proved the best way.
This process released the concrete from the  rotted corrugated sheet that it was poured into, forming the floor and allowed them to then cut up the corrugated steel. After this process, they were then able to remove the false floor which now is all gone for about 15 feet of the car. Starting from the West end of the car they also began to remove the concrete over the center sill, which is a channel with a depressed, solid steel top. They figured out that the steel plates which they found underneath the seat mounting frames is actually bolted down to the center sill. By cutting the few attachment points, they were able to remove the one plate which was empty.

The photos above show what needed to be done .

In order to facilitate the cleanup, they first had to tarp the outside of the car to be able to trap whatever fell underneath the car.

Since we began the restoration of this valuable piece of equipment, we have made the car off limits to our guests. We hope that we can get this North side of the floor out by spring and begin the re-installation of a new corrugated steel floor and concrete. Afterwards, we can then repeat this process on the South side of the car. Then we plan on putting 12x12 vinyl or linoleum tiles back as the original floor was made of one of these materials.. We found a small piece under the seat frame while it was being removed.

While this was going on these past weeks, we also began to strip the paint from the west vestibule and stair cases. While removing paint last week on the North stairwell, I found some interesting paint colors. the brighter red caught my eye as it appears to be directly over the primer coat.
And if all this wasn't enough, yesterday, Fred Ruben finally got the forklift to fire up. We are still a ways away from declaring victory in order to use and abuse it, however, we were told that this unit would never work again, so, nuts to all of those naysayers out there!
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Fred and John Petsche who worked tirelessly to help get this unit back to operating condition.
Nappy started the ball rolling and they kept it moving. Thanks guys!
Hopefully, we can have it working next week.

Enjoy the labor day holiday and I'll speak to you next week.
Don't work too hard!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Two weeks in one

Today is Sunday August 27, so it's time for an updated post.
Since I didn't have a working camera last week, I couldn't take photos and I guess I just plain forgot to post what went on.
Here we go.....
For the last two weeks, our President John Specce, has been working on site with our Electrician Steve Bauer to continue putting in our electrical system for the yard and Turntable.
This is the newly installed power head for the turntable. It was installed just below the cross arms which carry the wires to the collector arch.
This photo shows the Main power head assembly going to the Meter Pan which will supply the entire yard with electric. Just to the right of the head you can clearly see the rack which is holding the power conductors from the LIPA pole on Harbor Place.

During the past 2 weeks, Paul and I have been busy needle scaling paint off of the Ping Pong Coach stairs while George, Bernard and John were removing the panels under the windows and removing all of the insulation so we can finally weld up the  rust holes. Also removed were the seats and the heating vent covers. Also removed was the actual heating pipe. It had to be cut out.
At this time we only have to remove the panels under the car floor which will then allow us to break up ALL of the damaged concrete floor from the center beam to the north side windows. We will then weld on an angle bracket along the bottom of the windows and lay in corrugated metal onto which we will then pour lightweight concrete to complete the floor on that side of the car.
When dry, we will remove the seats, wall panels, heating vents and piping on the South side of the car just like the North in order to pour a new floor there as well. Our final plan is to re-install Marmoleum floor tiles to approximate the original flooring.

This is a shot of the paint on the step as I was in the midst of removal.
What is very interesting is that I found a very red glossy color paint under all of the other layers of paint  but right on top of the primer. Strange! I guess I will have to look into it.

As all of this was going on, John Petsche and Fred Rubin were busy getting the forklift running again. We will definitely need this as we will be receiving from the LIRR the M7 and DE/DM simulators that are being scrapped AND we will be receiving our 40 foot x-New Haven boxcar via truck. Our plans are to place the M7 where the Steam Engine is and place the DE where our Forklift is. We will move the crossing shanty west of where it Is and place the steam engine there. We will also move the tender trucks between the locomotive frame and the boiler  as well as move the tender frame so as to make room to place the boxcar between the Coach and the Fence line.

Also going on is that John Petsche has been steadily completing the static restoration of the yellow "dinky" in preparation for its move onto the turntable after the turntable is operating.

Now, For those of you who don't believe that we really work, here is a photo of me taken yesterday when I got home. Believe it or not, this is after a cursory cleanup before I took a shower!

No comments, please but feel free to laugh all you want!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sunday in Riverhead

Hi folks,
I received these shots from Ronnie the other day and just sat down to post them for you all to see.
Our 2nd P72 was moved into the LIRR Riverhead yard for long term storage and we promised the LIRR and Town of Riverhead that we would get all 3 of our cars painted nicely to discourage any new vandalism and to brighten up the area. The other 2 cars were already painted.
Thanks to Don Fischer of RMLI for providing us with the correct Benjamin Moore color mixes.
Top photo is of the south side after scraping and painting.

This photo shows us the north side after scraping and painting.
That is Gerard coming towards the camera.
This is a view of  the west vestibule end. The patches which the LIRR riveted on over the rusted out areas have been removed and new patch panel will be flush welded to repair these ends correctly, not just expediently!
EVERY P72/P75 and the MP versions had this problem area. The crap that was thrown up on these ends kept these sides quite moist.

After this, all that is left is to scrape and paint the roof of this car #2935.
Our crew does an amazing job!
Thank you Ronnie/Gerard/George and anyone else who I might have missed!!