Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Hi folks,
A damn fine day regardless of the rain.
We started at 9 and ended at 3, but what was done was nothing less than spectacular.
Dinky #398-yellow "Dashing Dottie" unit.
A touch up on the bodywork and the unit was painted the correct color yellow.
Now we have to sand the roof and paint the hood sides & front yellow.
The walkway on the fireman's side was needle-scaled to remove 6 layers of paint & crud and was promptly painted black. The uncoupling bars were re-attached on the rear of the unit while the front bars were removed.
Next Saturday we will needle-scale the engineers side and the front of the unit and get those areas painted black as well.
We are still waiting to see if the grill work on the front is stainless steel or just regular steel. This will determine how we go about painting the grill and the grill frame.
While all of that was going on, our intrepid volunteers were still busy putting the paint to the "station" in the yard. It came out GREAT!
Also, the ping pong trucks are now ready to be painted black.
As well, the teachers  (Steve Napolitano & Mike Eftymiou) and students of OBRM welding school, were working on the removal of some really nasty metal on the firemans side of Dinky #397-grey & blue "Dashing Dan" unit. They also managed to remove the battery box from the interior as well as most of the engine parts that were inside.
A newly fabricated patch panel was flush mounted and welded in and will be finished welded next Saturday.
Since this is an educational museum, we are very proud of the instructions given to our volunteers. They have really picked up a lot of diverse skills.

Lets see how This coming Saturday pans out for us.
Until next week.........

Sunday, September 7, 2014

SATURDAY, in the yard

It was sooooo hot that you'd swear it was the 4th of July!

Down a few folks due to prior commitments, Leon still pulled of another great volunteer session.
As always, he kept things moving along safely.

Mike B took to putting a coat of paint onto the "station" building in the yard while John V & Paul F continued to chip off the almost 100 years of accumulated crud from the ping pong coach truck assemblies on the east side of the car. My thoughts are that the trucks will be available to begin painting in a couple of weeks! Great job guys.

Also going on was Mike E, Ronnie S & Bonnie taking to bending steel for a new patch panel on Dinky #397-the blue & grey unit. After fabrication the curved piece to fit the North side and continuing onto the front of the cab, Mike took to stick welding it onto the unit.

Yesterday marked the end of fabrication & installation of new steel to Dinky #398-the yellow unit.
I took my time re-sanding all 3 patch panels and adding a bit more body work to ensure a smooth paint job. We will begin to put a new coat of paint on her next Saturday while steel replacement goes on,  on #397.

Since it was so hot, we did not take a hose to the Worlds Fair Cab to see if the work completed last Saturday kept the water at bay and though I am writing this a day later (Sunday) I don't think that there was enough rain to make it worth my while to go up to Oyster Bay to check on the unit.

until next week------

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.

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

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.


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!

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