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 (?) !