Saturday, December 4, 2010

coming in out of the cold

Sounds like a cold war spy thriller, but, nah!
Today 12/4/10 went down as our last volunteer work session of the 2010 season.
I showed up at 8am as usual and wound up having to fix the engineers window in the Worlds Fair cab. Somehow the window got blown out and cracked.
Then I had to put up the safety fence between the Ping pong coach and the Crossing shanty. THEN, I had to locate and re-apply the tarps to the tender trucks. I do not know who put them on last week, but the wind blew them off and down the yard.
By 9:30 I was still alone and ready to leave when John G showed up, so I decided to work with him to find the missing grease cellar parts for the #6 drive wheel bearing box assembly. Gerard J showed with his dad Jerry just as I was starting up the forklift so I put them on the job of doing some grinding on the inner bearing box tabs so it would fit into the outer box.
Ricky & Ronnie showed up a while later and after moving the 6 (heavy) brake shoe beams, we removed the empty pallet and began the search. After about 15 minutes, we found the parts underneath other parts inside of a milk crate. I knew they were there, just not where they were.
We fitted the 3 parts into the final inner box and tried to fit the inner to the outer box, but, it fought us tooth and nail.
Because of the weather (did I tell you all how cold it was?) I finally threw in the towel and declared this job finished, but not completed. It can wait until another time.

Next Saturday & Sunday are our annual  Holiday Express at OBRM and this year we will be featuring a book signing by Heather Worthington. She is the author of "Miles of Smiles-the story of ROXEY the LIRR dog" and will be at OBRM on Saturday 12/11/10 from 12-4pm signing copies of her book.
On hand will be a real live ROXEY for the kids.
She is a Boxer and belongs to me and yes, Roxey is her real name.
On Sunday we will be visited by Santa himself, so come on down for the fun, hot cider and cookies and a carriage ride through town.

On the board for the winter months will be sporadic special work session when needed.
We will need to lay out and attach the ties for the turntables decking when they arrive sometime in January/February.

Ta ta for now!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Its a dogs life!

You are probably wondering why there wasn't a post last week-Well because I wasn't there and I figured I can double up this week.

My personal saga first.
After losing my sweet Sammydog at the end of September, Things at home just weren't the same. I had toyed with the idea of adopting a greyhound, as a companion for Sammydog, about 3 years ago, when I found (rescued) my boxer, Roxey, off of the Cross Island Parkway near Belmont Racetrack and brought her home. Don't need a greyhound now!
Well, after Sammy passed away, Roxey was in a daze and lonely. So was I and I began to think about the greyhound rescue again. I filled out The paperwork and last Saturday brought home a very frightened and skinny greyhound.
She is still a bit skittish, but her bubbly personality is beginning to shine through and she has been enjoying the good life with Diane & I (and Roxey and Miss Kitty and Fred).

Now for our regularly scheduled Blog-
Last week in my absence, Steve & Wayne ran the show at OBRM.
Somehow, they managed to get almost everything I asked for accomplished and more!
The steam cylinder covers were removed and new wooden ones were fabricated and installed.
The tender truck frames were needle scaled and primed and today, they were tarped over.
They did manage to get the forklift stuck in the dirt and killed it. However, we were able to get it fired up today and moved out of the dirt. No big deal. This must have happened near the middle of the day and while trying to get it moving the motor quit and there was no spark. A few new parts and BINGO!, a working forklift.
We also managed to get the dump truck battery charged today.
The main job today was getting the 6 driver bearing boxes assembled into six units. After a few phone calls to our contractor, he walked us through the assembly as best as he could remember without the plans, and Steve R, Leon, Rich, Paul and "little" John, were able to get 4 completed units together. The 5th unit still needs a bit of work and the 6th unit has no interior parts.
When we did the photographic inventory of #35's parts earlier this year, I screwed up and put the 6th crate of parts on a different pallet and it wound up under the brake hangars in the parts trailer. Without a heavy duty pallet jack to move the pallets around inside the trailer, we can't get to the parts, so I need to get one and get all of the pallets out AGAIN!.
This is not as bad as it seems as we have moved out a lot of parts already into the finished parts trailer, so.......

As I was finishing up today, I realized that we were able to accomplish all of the goals that were set down for 2010.
We completed the turntables motor frame assembly and hooked it up the bridge.
We ordered the new ties for the turntables deck
We completed #35's pilot truck assembly-our portion
We completed the tender truck assemblies-our portion
We completed #35's frame-our portion
We completed #35's drive wheels-our portion
We moved the crossing shanty between the Ping and the WF cab
We cleared the area for our newest acquisition a LIRR M1 simulator which will be arriving shortly
We dedicated the Worlds Fair Cab.

Next year some of our goals are:
Begin the restoration of the Ping Pong Coach
Install the M1 simulator
Install the turntables decking, walkways, handrails, collector arch, power pickup and wire up the motor.

IF possible, I would also like to get #35's cab restoration begun with the assistance of Barry Technical school.

There may not be too many more work sessions as the weather is really getting to my back. We'll be taking it day by day going forward.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A bit late, but.........

Well, here it is the Tuesday after our last work session and I am finally getting to write up my blog.
A large crew was on hand for the day and we were able to get all kinds of things accomplished!!
I like a day like that
Rich, Doug, Leon, Wayne, Paul, Ricky, Ronnie, Evan, John , Gerard and I proceeded to remove the valve gear cylinder head covers, clean out the cylinders and replace the covers with wooden ones to make future removal much easier. We did remove BOTH sides of these cylinders.
We also cleaned out the steam chest of accumulted scale. When we removed the boiler from the frame many years ago, we did this job, but through the years, more of the scaly metal flaked off the good steel and this had to be removed.we started the process of needlescaling the tender truck frames and priming over the cleaned metal.
We finished the inside of the frame on one truck assembly and next week should be able to complete the outside of the frame, primingit and putting a tarp over the completed truck.
We also moved the crossing shanty from the left side of the front gate to a spot just between the Worlds Fair cab and the ping pong coach. We tried to align the front door with the back of the WF Cab.
This empty spot is where our M1 simulator will be placed when we finally receive it from the LIRRin a few weeks.

Next week we will continue on the tender trucks and should be able to remove the steam cylinder head covers. We will also attempt to put together the driver bearing box assemblies for #35.
There are 6 of these boxes, one for each drive wheel opening in the frame.
Keep your fingers crossed!!

Unfortunately, I will not be in attendance as my wife & I will be picking up our newly adopted dog. We are receiving a greyhound from LI Greyhound Transfer, a rescue organization, who is bringing up many greys that have been rescued from Florida racetracks.
Since I lost Sammydog on September 30th, Things at home haven't been the same.
I am still devastated from her passing and Diane & Roxey have been sad and Roxey has been very lonely.
I had been looking at rescueing a greyhound when I rescued Roxey from the Cross Island Parkway and she wound up my new dog. Now its time!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A wee tad nippy today

When I arrived before 8am, it was COLD!
Not wasting any time and trying to keep warm, I opened up the shop and trailer to get the forklift key and gas tank. I proceeded to start up and warm up the folrklift to move the air compressor down the yard to the area behind the Worlds Fair cab.
After chaining up the air compressor to the forklift, I s-l-o-w-l-y inched my way across the yard to park the compressor in front of the WF Cab and drove the forklift back to its resting place behind the parts trailer. When Paul & Leon arrived, they helped me to push the unit back up aginst the fence behind the WF cab.
We then brought over the air tools and set up the compressor to needlescale the drive wheels. When Ronnie, Ricky, Evan and Gerard showed up we broke the team apart to finish up the priming of #35's frame and needlescaling of the drivers.
FYI-as of 5:30 pm yesterday, Saturday 10-6-10:the entire frame of #35 save for the front pilot area and the cylinders have been stripped of everything and primed. I will be writing notes back onto the primer for our rebuilder to  see.

Also when we finished up, we had totally stripped and primed all 3 sets of drivers-YEAH for us!!!!!
1 more goal accomplished-2 more yet to go.

When Scott Lindsey came up earlier this year to set up the tesing phase, he showed me that there was a lip and a groove behind the drive wheels where the tire overlapped the actual wheels.
This area, if left untouched, holds alot of crud which would hold moisture up against the spokes of the wheel and this crud would help the moisture to eat away at the wheel, so it was VERY importrant that we clean out this crud from this area.
Using the needles of the needlescaling guns, this job took less than an hour for all 6 wheels and was easily accomplished while we were taking off the paint & rust off  from the back side of the wheels.
Since we had enough hands we were able to trade off jobs while keeping all of the guns going. Even though we ran out of fuel at the end of the day, we finished up and primed every bare piece of the wheels.

For the next few weeks, we will be focusing on taking the tender trucks down to bare metal, priming them and putting tarps over them to protect them from the weather. At the same time, we will also be putting all 6 of the driver bearing boxes together. It sounds a lot easier than it really is as these boxes appear to be only 2 parts. The outer box which has the bearing face and the inner box.
It's this inner box that also holds about 8 more parts to hold the grease cellars, spring plates and a few small parts together.
Even though these parts are "supposed" to be interchangeable, remember the adge that interchangeable parts-dont!
They DO take a "set" to them and these parts will really only fit a specific box, so 6 outer boxes  and 6 inner boxes and 6 assemblies to fit into the inner boxes!!!!
Thankfully, when these boxes were first taken apart, the smaller parts were kept together  in separate milk crates so we only have to deal with the 2 bigger parts being fitted together.

While this was all going on, John and I were working on an interview for Newsday and had some photos taken of us working.

I am still waiting to see a comment from anyone!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday afternnon

A line from a Beetles song (I think).
But anyway, as today was election day and yes, I voted locally, I was off from work.
With almost nothing else to do while my wife was at work (snicker, snicker-ha ha!!) I decided to take a run up to Oyster Bay and put an hour or two into finishing up #35's frame.
Needlescaling isn't an art form but rather a tedious and boring job. However it is anything but mind numbing, maybe forearm numbing, but not mind numbing!
I arrived around 11 and set up the compressor, hoses and gun. Then I just dove right into finishing up the boiler mounting plate that was "the only" thing left to needlescale. Or so I thought!!
I took a few moments to thoroughly inspect the frame from the buffer plate at the rear (under the cab) and noticed that no one worked on that area so I took the paint and crud off of the buffer, buffer frame and rear frame of #35.
I continued my examination of the firemans side and saw a few small areas that were overlooked and took them down to bare metal as best as I could both inside & out and all the way from the back to the front of the frame. I proceeded to do the same thing on the engineers side taking off any stray paint or crud as I went along. SO, my hour or so turned into a 4hour work session attended by all 3 of me, myself & I!!
I wouldn't have it any other way. It sorta reminded me of the old days when we were younger and just starting out in Mitchel Field. Any day off from work was an excuse for me to get dirty.
I went back to the visitors center to clean up and stopped to watch our new neighbor working on his motorcycle shop across the street. I met up with our neighbor right next door at the health food shop and stopped to chat over a great cup of organic coffee. Firi (the owner) and I conversed about things on the street for a while, then I bid her a fond farewll and came home to Baldwin.
Saturday marks the end of our compressor lease and while we will have to return the unit, the rental shop is working n a plan to get us a good price on  the purchase of this unit. Stay tuned for this one!
When we return this coming Saturday, we will need to finish up priming the bare spots that I created today and will (hopefully!) finish up the needlescaling of the drive wheels. As I have previously stated, we will have to use our small air compressor to needlescale the tender trucks the 2 weeks after this weekend.
I have to ask, is anyone reading my blogs?
If you are, please make a comment. I spend quite some time blogging about the volunteers activities both here on our site as well as on the 2 LIRR forums, yet, no one here says anything.
After putting in a long and painful work day on Saturday, I (usually) come home and blog immediately while things are fresh in my mind, then post the results of the workday on bothe forums. It can sometimes take up to 2 hours if there are a bunch of photos as I first have to download the photos from my camera or Blackberry to my computer, then to Photobucket then try to remember how to post the photos to the blog and forums. Not an easy task I must say!

And just to make sure that I say it--- I forgot to bring up the new jack!
Yeah yeah. I know, what a maroon!
I did however try to pump up the jack that is there and found that I couldn't so maybe, just maybe, it might hold until Saturday (?) !

Sunday, October 31, 2010

No pictures-please!

No seriously, no pictures!!
We were so immersed in what we were doing that I forgot to take any photos.
Arriving at 8am to a cold morning, Rich & I set up the compressor and air lines in order to continue the needlescaling of #35's frame.
It night sound tiring to you all, but, this is a long drawn out process. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and no, it wasn't a train coming.
Except for 1/2 of 1 side of a boiler mounting plate.... wait for it......
#35's frame has been needlescaled to as far as we need to go!!!
Hopefully, Tuesdays weather will cooperate and allow me to put in the time to complete the task.
Many hands showed up to not only needlescale, but to prime as well.
I still have not been able to get the drawbar pin to pop and
of course(!) I forgot to bring up the new jack. I hope to remember to do it Tuesday.
When we resume our endeavors on Saturday, We will focus on 2 things-
1-finish priming of #35's frame
2-needlescaling all 3 sets of drive wheels.We have made great strides on this project but need to push the days work into finishing up all 3 sets, outside and backside.
Since we may have to give back the air compresssor that we have rented for the past month, we will work on the tender truck frames with our small air compressor until they are done, primed and covered with tarps.
I hope to be able to accomplish this goal before we get any snow or bitter cold. It would be a shame not to complete this final task.
Rich, Doug, Jeff, Ronnie, Evan, Paul and even Steve R showed up to assist me in our days work.
Unfortunately, we had no docent on site to give tours as our docent at the visitors center came down with laryngitis and had to take off which moved our yard docent into the visitors center to keep it open. That meant that when we had visitors, I had to stop working in order to show them around.
Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, in the yard, it felt just like the 4th of September!

Paraphrasing an ould Chicago song.....
A small but hearty band, Gary, Rich, Leon (who despite being ill, showed up anyway!), Jeff, Ricky and Ronnie, toiled in the early chill. Thankfully the sun warmed up the air and we were able to continue our needlescaling session in the warm sunshine.
We were able to remove all of the paint and rust inside the frame at the rear, where the firebox would be, the area from the #3 driver to the area where the #2 driver would be and from the area where the #2 would be all the way to the area where the #1 driver would be.
That is a huge accomplishment!
Thankfully George started removed the pant and crud from the area where the brake cylinders would normally be just behind the steam cylinder casting, so we won't have as much to do next week in that spot.
At the same time, we were able to blast the frame on the firemans (left) side from the #2 driver all the way forwards to the valve gear slide.
I pumped up the jack under the draw bar pin again and realized that it is losing air, so next week I will install a new jack under the pin. I had hoped that the pin would have popped out by now. Oh well!
We started a bit after 8am and finished up at 4pm. Since there was so much road grime built up on the areas we were needlesclaing, we all wore the "black badge of courage" when we finished up.
Ronnie & I took scrapers to the crud on the back of the steam cylinder casting so that there wouldnt be as much dirt flying around next week.
Until the ties and the controller for the turntable are delivered on site, we are on sabbatical from any turntable work. Lets pray that these items show up by November 9th.
Ricky working on the firemans side. Notice the condition of the paint on the frame.
Ronnie taking the paint off the boilers rear mounting plate.
Rich disassembling the ceiling fans that we removed from the Boonton Ping Pong coaches before they were scrapped.
Jeff on #35
Jeff working on the INSIDE of #35's frame. If you look closely, you can see that he has already worked on the framerail behind him and over his left shoulder, you can see that he has not yet begun on the vertical hanger for the spring equalizer bar, as it still has the black paint on it.
Keep your fingers crossed for more sunshine and fairly warm weather as we only have two more weeks rental on the rented air compressor and we still have to finish up the frame, drive wheels (3) and 2 tender truck frames.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We are just that good!

Uh huh!!!
Yesterday was another banner day in the life of us volunteers. I mean, who's better than us, right?
It feels good to pat ourselves on the back once in a while and why not!
We accomplished a huge museum goal, the reinstallation of the turntables motor frame assembly back onto the turntables bridge. We also were able to install and attach the turntables motor and resistor bank onto the frame. After that we re-attached the beautifully fabricated platform deck back onto the top of the frame and tied a tarp over the the entire structure to keep out the weather.
We could NOT have accomplished this great undertaking without the very generous donation of time & machine by Bob & his son Chris Hotine of CD Crane in Oyster Bay.
Bob has been a friend of OBRM for some time and has always offerred his assistance. He was a quick phone call away last week and graciously stepped up to assist us. A big thank you  go to you two men !
CDCraneatwrk.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35attachingmotorframetobridge-1.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
motorlift.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35motorlift-2.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
motorlift-3.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35droppingmotorontoframe.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
motorbeingattachedtoframe.jpg picture by THEWINEGUY35
droppingmotorontoframe-2.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35unionjob.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
The above photos were taken of the days work session.
All of this was accomplished in a little over 1/2 hour!!

This photo below shows just how close the clearances are from the motor to the deck.
Try and remember that last week Mike, Leon & Doug built the deck without having the motor in place to give them an idea where to place the floor joists, so BRAVO GUYS!
nicetight-allswell.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
The next photos are of the completed assembly with the deck installed and tarped over for weather protection:
WayneMikeplatform.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35endofdayplatform.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35

When all of this was done, we received a portable highway air compressor from Baldwin Tool Rental.
They backed down the entire site and left it for us behind the frame of #35. They removed our old broken compressor and have generously offered to take a free look at it to see if it can be repaired for a reasonable sum or if it is junk. We have used their equipment before & I rent stuff from them all the time when I need to do certain jobs around my home. They always take good care of us and we appreciate their assistance.

Having this BIG unit on site will allow us to really move ahead on the needlescaling of #35's frame, tender trucks (2) and the 3 sets of drive wheels which need to have the scale, rust and paint removed so they can be primed and ready to ship out for restoration.

We had a full crew out (Me, Leon, Wayne, Mike E, Ronnie, Rich, George, Doug, Ricky, Ronnie & Paul) and put 3 men to needlescaling while 2 men worked on the drivers and we finished up a couple of things on the turntable.
emptynest.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
This photo shows where the turntables motor frame assembly once stood for the last couple of years while it was undergoing its restoration. Now it will be utilized to give us an unobstructed area to lay out the new ties for the turntable deck. We need 70 feet of open and straight land. This job will be interesting as we will have to bring the handrails out from behind the walkways which are stacked up in front of #35's boiler as you can see in the above photo. The reason is that when we lay out the ties, there are regular length and very long bridge ties which give a base to bolt the safety railings, collector arch and the walkways onto. after all of the ties are laid out properly, they will be bolted together into 2 parts (easier for installation) then they will be lifted onto the bridge top and bolted down and together!
After this, the walkways will be bolted on and then the collector arch will be attached. We have still not received the most important piece back from the rebuilder and that is the actual control stand. This unit will also be bolted on top of the walkway right next to the newly installed platform so the operator can safely and easily operate the controls AND the brakes at the same time.

We finished up around 5pm and left until the next work session on Saturday October 23rd.
The reason we are skipping a day is because next weekend is the 26th annual Oyster Bay Oyster Festival and we will be opn at the yard and the visitors center for visitors. As always, we will will be selling some of the best food at the food court in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Parks food court.
Come on up for the weekend, eat till you burst, visit us at our visitors center on Audrey Ave.
While you are at our center stop by our new neighbor across the street to see many classic & custom motorcycles at "20th Century Cycles" across the street from us. Believe me, I have taken more than a few peeks inside the front window and I am sure that they had to clean the windows many times.
I am not a motorcycle rider, but I do enjoy the mechanical and historical aspect of these machines.
Welcome to Oyster Bay neighbor!

ALSO this invitation for the re-dedication of the NY Pennsylvania sttaion eagle came in from OBRM FRIEND and LIRR Historitan David Morrison: Thursday October 28 @ 11am at the Hicksville LIRR parking lot.
Ceremony_NOTICE_FINALIZED.jpg picture by THEWINEGUY35

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Was I missed?

It was a nice Saturday October 2nd, although I was not in Oyster Bay to enjoy it.
While I was away this past weekend, Leon, MIke & Doug were holding down the fort.
The big thing was to get the platform fabricated and installed on top of the turntables motor frame ssembly.
They did not let me down. even though I still haven't seen it yet with my own eyes, I am confident that it was built correctly. Thankfully, John Specce was kind enough to take a few photos with his cell phone and send them off to me.
Here they are.
IMG00261-20101002-1053.jpg MIke Efthymiou image by THEWINEGUY35
This is Mike at the beginning.
IMG00262-20101002-1054.jpg Mike & Leon Daitz image by THEWINEGUY35
Leon & Mike continuing the  frame assembly.
IMG00264-20101002-1540.jpg Doug Kasner and Harvey Sadowsky image by THEWINEGUY35
Doug, with Harveys help, was laying down the deck.
IMG00265-20101002-1541.jpg Doug adding access panel image by THEWINEGUY35
And finally, Doug installing an access hatch for the sand box.
This Saturday and Sunday is the 26th annual Oyster Bay Oyster Festival.
We will be open and working so stop on by to visit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day.......

Surprisingly, everything came my way today!!

I showed up @ 8am and met Paul at the local Dunkin Donuts-I only had coffee, no donuts! I swear!!!!
Anyway, Wayne showed up a little while later and set up to needlescale the frame of #35.
Around 9am, Leon showed up and while Paul was busy setting the punch codes of the frame on #35, Leon & I began the final assembly of the turntables braking system.
PaulFloroffstamping35frame.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
This took quite a while as we needed to re-fit both brake shoes and remove and adjust all of the levers a few times.
LeonworkingonTurntablemotorframe.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
At 11:30, both Ronnie & Rickey showed up and set about to continue the paint removal on #35's drive wheels. At 12 noon Paul & I had to leave for a meeting. With Wayne needlescaling and Leon now working alone on the brake system, I was astonished when I  returned at 1:30 (with lunch for all I might add) to see that Wayne had cleaned off nearly 2/3 of the frames right side.
Wayneneedlescaling35frame.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
Leon had completed the brake assembly and after bolting up a couple of parts and adding a few cotter pins, we tested the brakes and they worked nicely.
LeonworkingonTurntablemotorframe.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
The guys broke for lunch which gave me some time to clean out and ream out a few of the bolt holes so we could begin to reassemble the steel framework for the turntables braking platform.
After studying quite a few photos of the turntable in action, we have concluded that there was a wooden platform that the operator used to stand on that brought him up high enough so he could operate both the brake lever and the controller. This allowed a one man operation of the turntable. Way cool!
Turnatblemotorframesandboxinstallation.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
The above photo shows you one of the platforms frame pieces in the upper left corner and you can make out the brake handle to the right of it. Also you will see that we added both of the sand boxes to the frame at this time. Even with the weight of the unit in operation, during inclement weather the LIRR still need to add sand to the ring rail at times, in order to provide traction for the drive wheel.
Leondemonstartingbrakeapplication.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
Here's Leon testing the brake system. He is holding the long lever which will rise through the wooden platform and here you can clearly see the two pieces of steel going in a vertical position on either side of the brake system. To these parts, Pressure treated (PT) lumber will be bolted and assembled into the platforms frame and a PT deck will be placed on it afterwards.
When we called it a day at 5pm here is what the frame looked like after we painted on a light coat of metal primer. Remember it was a LIGHT COAT! This is what we were told to do by the restoration contractor. A light coat will allow anyone to see any cracks that might have developed in the steel of the frame.
35frameinprimer.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
Where Paul is standing (with his back to us) is where Wayne stopped for the day. He  stopped just to the rear of where the #1 drive wheel would be.
Next week, I will be away, but Leon & Wayne will run the work seesion. I can only imagine how far they will get the frame needlescaled and maybe (?) the turntables motor frame assembly will get put into the turntable pit and re-attached to the turntable bridge. I also suspect that my other guys, also known as the "newbies" (Ronnie, Rickey. John, Gerard, Evan, Louis) will continue to get the drive wheels cleaned up.
All in all, a fantastic day, workwise and weatherwise.
I will be posting late next week as I won't be around until Monday to write up my blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Levers and Brakes and trains, Oh My!

Just yesterday morning, I had some good feelings about the day.
Thankfully, they materialized.

A few years back, the Railroad Museum of LI (RMLI) received from the LIRR, a 10 lever interlocking machine that was from Nassau Tower in Mineola. This unit arrived on a well worn out flatcar and also came in with a pair of ALCO power truck side frames.
Before my wedding this past August, I visited with RMLI President Don Fischer to ask about this unit.
A few weeks ago, the Board of Trustees from RMLI voted to deassesion this piece from their collection and RMLI President Don Fischer contacted me to let me know about their decision.
As RMLI already had a working interlocking system installed in their museum (from BLISS tower), they felt it was not necessary to duplicate this display and voted to donate this "ARMSTRONG" interlocking machine to OBRM.

I contacted our friend and supporter Steve Krisman from 5th Industrial, and he was more than happy to assist us at this time.
He asked his friend Bob Flutie from BF trucking to pick up our unit and bring it over to 5th Industrials site where Steve would hold it for us until he could get it up to us.

North Fork Welding & Supply donated a crane to assist RMLI in moving the drive wheels for their #16 BEDT locomotive and while the crane was on site, they rigged the interlocking machine and placed it on Bobs Landoll trailer. But lo & behold, Bob, being the friend that he is to Steve, brought the unit from RMLI's site in Riverhead, all the way up to us in Oyster Bay!

THANK YOU Bob and THANK YOU Steve for making this acquisition happen.

I especially want to  offer a big THANK YOU to  Don Fischer and the Board of Trustees at RMLI for making this OBRM acquisition a reality. A great joint effort that benefits the entire railroad musuem community.

Due to all of the projects currently going on , this project will probably not be started until early next year.
It will demand an inordinate amount of rust removal and major amounts of penetrating oil !!
Here is a picture of the unit after its arrival at OBRM's display yard. I put it next to the turntable so as to have room for the forklift to move locomotive parts and to leave a large empty area where we can eventually lay out the turntable ties, when they arrive.

003.jpg Our new Armstrong interlocking machine image by THEWINEGUY35
During the day, we had many of our volunteers hard at work .
Leon Daitz and Steve McKeon were busy getting the turntable motor braking assembly back together and installed. This unit had been removed about 5 years ago and was disassembled, degreased and had the paint/rust removed.
We needed to remove what was left of the broken off cotter pins from inside of the assembly pins. Not a small job in itself which was easily handled by another of our volunteers, Jeff M. Then all of the pieces were treated to a coat of rust converter, primer and finally, paint.
 Steve McKeon  first came to us as a volunteer from Barry Technical School who has been working jointly with BOCES and OBRM.
He is a talented, master welder and was able to fabricate a cast iron part  for the brake lever onsite. This was not an easy task and he was able to make the part from a spare tie plate that was stashed away on a pallet.
Leon has been with us for many years and can always be counted on for his knowledge and diligent work ethics.
The 2 of them made this unpleasant task almost look too easy!
004.jpg Leon & Steve putting braking system together image by THEWINEGUY35
001.jpg Leon & Steve on parts production image by THEWINEGUY35
One of our newer volunteers, Gerard, was assiting them in assembling some of the parts.Here he is assembling  the brake lever that the operator would use to slow the turntable and align the track so he could align it to the lead track coming in from the LIRR yard with the locking pin.
002.jpg Gerard getting brake lever assembled image by THEWINEGUY35
While this was going on, 3 more of our volunteers were hard at work on the drive wheels.
According to the plan list as outlined by our restoraion contractors, Steam Operations Corp., we needed to clean off the outer and inner bearing surfaces from the drive wheels and preserve the faces with a thin coat of primer. We are also in the midst of removing the primer on the drive wheels which OBRM applied many years ago while #35 was in Mitchel Field. So for the next several weeks, this will be an ongoing project.
The top photo is of volunteers Ronnie Schnepf & Paul Floroff working on the rod bearings-On the bottom is Ricky Imperato hard at work on the bearing faces.
005.jpg Paul & Ronie working on Driver bearings image by THEWINEGUY35
006.jpg Ricky working on Driver bearing faces image by THEWINEGUY35
As always, it is the volunteers who ultimately make the restorations work and I am proud to be able to oversee the workings at the yard.
This next photo may not look like much to many of you, however, this is the first time in around 5 years, that the braking sytem has been installed (and working) on the turntable motor frame assembly.
011.jpg Turntables motor braking sytem assembly going together image by THEWINEGUY35
This assembly is a series of levers and rods which is put into motion by the operator pulling a very long lever which can just be made out in the above photo going up at an angle from the  left side of the power wheel. You can see 2 of the bolts above the black metal strap in the middle of the photo.
We still need to finish up the bottom (wooden) brake shoe. You can easily see the top (wooden) brake shoe which is sandwiched between the 2 black metal straps.
When completed next work session, we will be ready to drop the entire frame assembly into the pit and attach it to the turntable bridge, which had previously been sandblasted and painted by Gallagher O'Rourke Company.
NEXT SATURDAY 9-25-10 will be our General Meeting in the Historic Oyster Bay Train Station on Railroad Ave.
Whew! I am exhausted just reliving yesterdays adventures.
Thankfully, I have the brains of a Scarecrow, the courage of a Lion and the heart of a Tin Man.
Now I just want to get back home. Where is that wizard????

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A day of remembrance and optimism

Saturday September 11th 2010-

I am flying my flag at half mast today, having put it out at 7am this morning before leaving for the day.
Never forgive, never forget.
Remember the people who gave their lives to save the others who were murdered 9 years ago.

A smaller than avereage turnout today, only 6 of us but what we lacked in hands, we sure made up for in efforts.

The turntable motor frame assembly now has its 2 coats of paint and the entire braking assembly has been given at least 1 coat. Some parts have 2, but next week we will give every part from this assembly another coat and do any touchups needed on the motor frame before we begin reassembly.

We checked the pin that holds the 2 drawbars on #35's frame and it hasn't "popped" loose yet, so we cranked up the jack another notch and gave a few new squirts of Kroil brand creeping oil to the pin between the drawbars and underneath the frame.

Hopefully we will find it loose within the next 2 weeks so we can remove the drawbars and have them cleaned and coated.

One of the chores that we were given in our extensive list of "things to do" by the restoration contractor was to get any of #35's parts off of the ground. We have been a little lazy in the way that we have handled a few of the really large and/or heavy steel parts and have put many of them on the ground.
Hey! they are made of very thick steel so we figured a little time on the ground wouldn't harm them too much. Well, today we took all of the parts and placed them on either side of #35's frame on top of ties or pallets to get them off of the ground.

Next week we will start cleaning, coating and reassembly of the 6 drive wheel bearing box assemblies. These are made up of 7 parts which will only fit into their respective boxes and do not interchange, so it will be a challenge to us. I am sure that it will take up the better part of a day to accomplish this task.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

A great summer day in Oyster Bay

Saturday August 28th 2010-
While 2 of our volunteers were going over the Alco Worlds Fair Cab display to fix the air horns-clogged baffles, a 3 man crew was hard at work moving the cribbing under the turntables motor frame assembly in order to get to the unprimed areas.

With this task accomplished, they set to work getting a coat of primer on quickly. As the day turned out quite warm, the primer dried in a few hours, so they were able to get a 2nd coat onto the area. They also were able to get 2 coats of primer on all of the brake assembly and platform brackets as well.

A few of our other volunteers were still going over parts inside the storage trailers in order to be able to put together as many sub-assemblies as possible to make it faster to reassemble #35's frame and drive train.

We had one of the locomotive rebuild contractors from Steam Operations Corp (Keith Muldowney) on hand to go over some measurements that were missed on the last visit and to review our progress on parts renewal and breakdowns.

WE (OBRM Volunteers) are on schedule and if the air compressor situation continues at this pace, we should be able to complete the needle scaling of the drive wheels/tender truck assemblies/locomotive frame by the end of November.
One of the drive wheel shas been completely stripped of paint on the outside.Next week the backside will be stripped of the primer that was applied when the new tires were installed, years ago.

We also picked up the rear end of #35's locomotive frame with our trusty forklift in order to move the cribbing underneath. This enabled us to get to the drawbar pin which had been rusted in place for years. We made sure to drain any standing water in the pocket, then we put a jack on a timber under the frame and applied upward force to the pin. From the top, we poured in a "creeping" oil known as "Kroil".
This stuff is amazing and should allow us to pop the pin over the course fo the next few weeks. Then the pin and the pin pocket will get polished while the drawbars will be removed, stripped and coated with cosmoline for long term storage.

Remember that while all of this work is being performed behind the barriers, we are also [color=#FF0000]open for business [/color]and have many familys and railfans visiting with us. Our docents are kept busy with these visitors and we are working diligently on our "SPEND A DAY IN OYSTER BAY" program.


Monday, August 23, 2010

A stellar performance-again!

An overcast day greeted me as I arrived at the display yard around 8am on Saturday 8-21-10.
I started up the forklift and let it warm up while I plotted the days goals.
Putting away the left side valve gear for #35 AND attempting to get the second coat of primer on the turntable motor frame assembly were my goals for the day.

Fortunately, volunteers (you gotta love 'em!) started arriving a t 8:30 and we were able to  accomplish the first goal-valve gear relocation. While the foklift was running, I then put both pilot truck bearing box lock bars onto the work tables. These needed to be cleaned and coated: a simple task, but necessary.

I put a crew on the turntable frame painting and had another of our knowledgable volunteers working on the braking assembly. Many bolts needed to be removed as well as the various sizes of pins which had rotted cotter pins broken off inside of them.
Jeff worked all day getting all of the broken cotter pins removed and had all of the parts given to him completed. This was a dirty job, but he got it done.

At the same time. Paul worked on getting all of the brake assembly parts coated with 2 coats of EXTEND and ready for primer for next weeks work session.
The junior volunteers did a great job of primering the frame and finishing the pilot truck parts
As far as I can see, the pilot truck portion of the restoration has been completed.

Next week-
We will have Keith Muldowny from Steam Operations Corp (S.O.C) paying us a visit to check on our progression of parts renovation for #35.
S.O.C is the contractor for the rebuilding of #35 and as I have already stated-
The more work WE do up in Oyster Bay, the less work THEY (S.O.C) have to do in Alabama. This will translate to more restoration for the same amnount of money!
We plan on getting the painting done on the turntable frame assembly next Saturday and will assemble a new round of parts from #35 to be worked on.
If we can get an air compressor, we will perform paint the removal project on  #35's drive wheels.


Sunday, August 15, 2010


HI folks-I am back to work! My wedding was wonderful and thank you all for your kind words.
But seriously folks-We had another GREAT day in Oyster Bay!!!
It started off very well and just got better.
We put away the right side valve gear assembly into storage and began work on the left side assembly.
This process was just like the drive rods. We had to remove all of the paint and grind down the surfaces of the parts to bring up their shine and remove all traces of paint & rust. This enables any inspector to see if there are any stress cracks forming which would render the part defective.
Fortunately, by the end of the day the volunteers were able to polish every part and coat them with COSMOLINE for long term storage.

At the same time, the other volunteers were busy at work putting a second coat of EXTEND rust converter onto the turntable motor frame. With the weather being warm & breezy, the extend dried in a couple of hours and they were able to get the first coat of primer onto the assembly. Next week we will get a second coat of primer on and I plan on lifting and re setting the assembly to allow the primer to be applied to the parts under the cribbing.

We will also start paint removal on the drive wheels.
As an added bonus to the day, OBRM President John Specce stopped by with a present.
#35's ORIGINAL Throttle handle.
Somehow, we were contacted by a gentleman who had it in his possession for some time. He knew about us and wanted to make sure that it was returned to #35 for its restoration.
How's THAT for a great moment in history??!!
Here it is on the tail of the parts trailer going left to right. The throttle grip is on the left side. On the right side is where it attaches to the rod in the cab.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last Saturdays work session 7-31-10

A really beautiful day in Oyster Bay!
We arrived to find both sets of valve gear assemblies waiting to be worked on and we did not dissapoint!
I put two  of our new volunteers to work removing paint and polishing up the right side assembly. After that was completed, they coated the rods with Cosmoline to prep it for a short stay outdoors before it is to be put into storage.
At the same time, we removed the last of the stubborn paint from the turntable motor frame assembly and applied a thick coat of Extend Rust converter. Right now the frame is a light black color, but after the next coat, it should be darker.
When we return to Oyster Bay on Saturday August 14th, we will complete the second coat and by the end of the day, we should have been able to apply the first of two primer coats. Grey is the color of choice!