Sunday, August 31, 2014

Laboring on Labor day weekend

Instead of taking off like most folks-your intrepid volunteers were fast at work again!
Steve "Nappy" , Ronnie and Rich were busy welding up more steel for the cab of #35,
IN between running the work session and other items on his list,. Leon took our entire drill bit collection out and began to sharpen them. It wasn't glamorous work but something that is sorely needed as we are always looking for sharp bits!
John G made great strides, continuing to remove almost 100 years of crud off the truck frames on the Ping Pong coach.
Mike B painted the staircases for #50 + the yellow dinky #398  while I was working on  the patch panels of #398 as well. I kinda like the new look of the staircases.
While they had already been welded, the patch panels still needed some fine tuning on the bodywork.
I can finish up next Saturday while everyone else can begin to cut out the rust on #397, the blue & grey dinky.
And finally, after months of of struggling, I took one last try at getting the door to the Worlds Fair Cab to seal up so we don't get any more water into the cab unit.
I re-tapped the latch assembly, filed down the striker plate and added some shims to build the striker plate out so the tongue latched more securely. Finally I added one more layer of weatherstripping to the bottom 1/3rd of the door frame and now we can't see any light coming into the cab from the door.
Keep your fingers crossed as we will test it next week with a hose.
Have an enjoyable Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Loss of a friend

Always a bad time to lose a friend, however, last week OBRM lost a great friend in Walter Karppi.
Walter was always well known for his humor and his humbleness. He had a great love of trains & trolleys and never had a bad word for anyone. We offer our condolences to Dagmar & his family at this time.
Walter won't be forgotten.
We can only be thankful that he chose to share his time with us. He was one of the good guys and will be sorely missed.
Gary

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A grand day in Oyster Bay

Even though I left early today for personal reasons, quite a lot was accomplished!
First and foremost (to me at least) Mike B & I completed the installation of the last oiler on the steam engine's connecting arm. We also began to cut out the new plywood shims for the bearing clamps on the grinding attachment for the take off belt and I also ordered the new take-off belt and timing belt for the engine today from McMaster-Carr.
The rest of the guys were hard at work continuing the great job of rust repair panels for the yellow 25 ton diesel engine (#398), completing the installation of the train simulator in the M1 trainer, doing some minor upkeep on the steel under the turntable and also the repair of the floor under the ping pong coach..
A few were also hard at work clearing almost 100 years of caked on grime from the trucks under the Ping Pong coach. Scrapers were augmented by hammers and chisels-that's how hard the crust was.
With enough hands on deck, we accomplished quite a bit-quite a feat for a bunch of volunteers!!!
Great job folks
Gary

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spinning wheel-got to go round

What goes around comes around.
Again, after wracking our brains trying to figure out WHY (!) the steam engines connecting rod bearing was not functioning correctly, a thought hit us. Don't just listen, stop & look!
Mike B and I saw that the connecting arm was pushing the 1/2 round bearing on the upstroke and pulling the straight bearing on the downstroke, so we figured out that we needed to shim both bearings.
Cutting small rectangles from aluminum gutter pieces gave us about 7 slices. We placed one on the back side each bearing and reconnected everything. It worked better, but still not perfect.
We then noticed that the square bearing cap was still moving, so Brian, Mike & I  then added a few more shims until it stopped moving. We fixed it! YEAH for us. Now we moved on to the breakdown of the other unit that came with the engine. It was designed for a grinding wheel power take off from the engines flywheel belt. we unbolted the bearing caps and cleaned all the old grease and crud off and now need to make new gaskets and get 2 new grease  fittings. At this time we are also waiting for the new grinding wheel and belts to complete the set up. in a couple of weeks we should have a complete and operating steam engine and grinding wheel take that we can utilize as a demonstration piece. After it is moved we will erect a building atop of it.

While this was going on, John G was busy cleaning off many years of grease and grime caked on the trucks of the ping pong coach. 1 down and 1 to go!

Mike E, Ronnie, Brooke, Leon and Steve Nappy  busied themselves by welding the new patch panels on Dinky #398, the yellow unit. Also completed was the replacement of the rain barrel atop the platform of caboose #50 and the installation of the new gutter from the roof scupper of Duke Supply to direct the water into the barrel.

Steve T & Elliot worked on the M1 simulators installation.
After some tweaking, it should be operable in the next couple of weeks.

Gary

Monday, July 14, 2014

What a day!

This past Saturday saw a flurry of activities and a huge crowd of current & new volunteers working together.
Steve "Nappy" supplied us with a "transporter" which allowed him to pick up and move #35's cab from behind the Ping Pong coach to a more readily open spot next to #35's boiler. This wasn't easy as there is no floor and plenty of rust, however, the unit hung together and we were able to set it down safely and sturdily.
Now comes the sheet metal replacement in order to use it as an interactive display piece.
Dinky #398-the yellow "Dashing Dottie" unit had some of the lower sheet metal removed due to major corrosion. This will be replaced next Saturday and then the next pieces cut out.
Also accomplished was more work on the steam engine.
If you remember, Conrad Milster from Pratt Institute and the Ct. Antique Machinery Association came out from Brooklyn and went over the unit to help us get it going. It is now a working engine that is having its "bugs" worked out.
There were major leaks around the packing glands and virtually all of the valve nuts. We also had to remove the head end and valve port  inspection covers to replace the gaskets.
The valve stem packing nuts were the first to be tightened in sequence, then the valve head nuts, then a new plug was installed on the head end after the gaskets were all replaced. There is still a small leak on the cylinder head on the connecting arm end as well as a persistent leak from one of the valve head nuts. I'm still working on these 2 points.
The biggest issue I still have is the connecting arm pin. It seems that the bushing is either broken in half or just needs to be re-set. Oh well, that's what next week is for.
I measured for the 2 new belts and will order them this week and now am researching for a grinding stone which will enable us to show the public just what one of these units was used for in an industrial-setting.
All in all-What  a day!
Gary

Try this
http://vid674.photobucket.com/albums/vv102/THEWINEGUY35/workingsteamengine.mp4

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

steam in action---almost!

Here is a video from this past Saturday's work session.
Our Civil war era steam engine in action. I posted it on my photobucket account.
http://s674.photobucket.com/user/THEWINEGUY35/media/workingsteamengine.mp4.html

Gary

What's up OBRM????

Well,
so far this season, our intrepid volunteers have been preparing parts from #35 to be shipped down for restoration to Steam operations corp. Some items have already been shipped and we are ready for shipment #3, this year.
Also, they have finished up caboose #50's bi-annual maintenance. Also completed is #12's bi-annual maintenance. We also kept up on the Worlds Fair Alco diesel cab, by repairing the air-horns, paint touch ups and waterproofing the cab, which is a maintenance headache! But we are getting to the finish line with this task.
We also were FINALLY  able to get out 1 cylinder steam engine running. We have been working on this for over 2 years and I was finally able to hook up with a steam engine "legend" Conrad Milster. Conrad Milster is the man in charge of Pratt Institutes power generating plant and works on engines like these all the time. He is famous for installing a steam line in the yard at Pratt every New Years eve and inviting the citizens in to hook up their whistles which they blow at midnight. Its been a tradition which I hope continues.
He also is a member of the CT Antique Machinery Association (CAMA)and within the past couple of years has removed an engine very similar to ours from the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (NY Worlds Fair grounds) to bring up to CAMA and restore to operating condition.

He was able to get it running in about 15 minutes, although it does need quite a bit of small "tweaks" to get it running. The main issue that stymied us turned out to be that the slide valve was not seating and allowing all of the air around it to go right out the exhaust valve.
See!! It takes an expert and I am smart enough to know that I didn't know enough to get this engine running

Here is what he had to say about our engine:
It is a Civil Ware era single action pumping engine which may have had a feed water system attached to pump water into  another system.
The flywheel was probably used to power another set of machines and the governor was added on later, probably around the turn of the 20th century.
He also stated that his unit operates on 5-10 lbs of pressure & puts out between 10+15 horsepower.

When this unit was donated by the Old Bethpage Village Restoration a few years ago, we also received an add on unit on which we will install a grinding wheel to demonstrate how this engine was used for industry.
The take off from the flywheel is a leather belt which he said we can order from an online retailer once we get the correct measurement and we can also get a belt to power the governor balls from the same retailer.

We plan on having demonstrations of this engine on Saturdays beginning sometime in August.
This will be a hit with all.

Thank you again Conrad Milster, who is a genuinely nice guy.

Gary