Sunday, March 27, 2011

Will it go round in circles?

Maybe not today, but...............

I did my best to post my blog yesterday while everything was still fresh in my mind, but for some unexplained reason, during a short break so I could eat something, Blogger kicked me off, never to let me post again last night!!!!
So here it is a day late but still damned interesting-

With another great crew on hand, we managed to finish the installation of the turntable tie strapping. The ties  were drilled out for lag bolts then the bolts were driven home by a gas powered socket wrench. While this was being completed, the guys began the drilling to install the "j-clamps". These clamps tie the large 15 foot timbers to the bridge girders, effectively making the deck and the bridge 1 complete unit.
We had 20 to install and I believe that we got 18 of them installed yesterday. If we can have dry weather all week, we should be able to install the last 2 next Saturday as there was a pool of water on the west side of the pit that kept us away.
When the straps were installed, we moved onto the handrail installation. Last week we loosened all of the set screws on the vertical stantions in order to move them around to match the new tie spacing. The crew ran a string line to keep the bases perfectly aligned then drilled out the 4 mounting holes per base and installed them using galvanized lag bolts. The stantions installed, we turned our attention to the lower rail and installed the 3 pieces. Since the rail broke apart at the couplings, we decided to cut the threaded couplings off and order new screw down couplings for installation next week. After the lower rail went in using parts from the 2nd railing for temporary positioning, we added the vertical piping and finally, the upper railing.

While this was being wrapped up, a few of us began the installation of the split ring electrical box on top of the turntables overhead arch assembly.
First on was a simple plate that we temporarily attached with 4 bolts. We will need to replace all temporary bolts with galvanized parts to withstand the weather. Then the electrical conduit was attached with 2 bolts as we will need to ream out a couple of drilled holes. we then studied the actual electrical collector which sits atop the entire unit.
At the bottom there is a 2 inch threaded nipple which sits inside the previously installed electrical conduit and is set in place with set screws so it cannot move.this nipple is threaded through a flat steel plate which is where all of the internal parts are bolted to so it can turn freely inside. then inside this box is a 4 piece rotor assembly that sends the electric to the control stand ON the turnmtable.
The rotor has a set of contacts that rub against the ring. These contacts are where the electric supply from LIPA attaches with bolts. From 2 color photos ( Bill Rugen photgrapher) which were given to me by our friend Art Huneke, we can clearly see that the actual box and plate do not move as the plate is attached by clamps to 2 guide wires which are strung from the 2 light poles on opposite sides of the turntable. The pole on the East side is the one in the photos, however, the pole on the West side is not positioned properly as the original one must have been removed when the turntable was taken out of service.
We will need to have a pole installed which is EXACTLY 180 degress to the original pole so we can re- attach the 2 guide wires and have the 115volt feeds (and ground) brought back to the turntable collector box. These wires all show very clearly in the photos.
Thanks to Doug Kasner for figuring out the internal wiring of the box!!!!

As if this were not enough, our 2 interns from Barry Technical schools welding department,  James & Joseph, busied themselves with the replacement of the Ping Pongs roof sheet patches. The first of the 4 corners will be completed next week and they will begin the second corner then.

All in all, a GREAT day weather, people and work wise!
Sometimes I fail to mention everyone who has been instrumental on these projects, so here goes-
Me, Mike Efthymiou, Steven Torborg, Wayne Beers (who does a phenominal job of welding), Doug Kasner, Leon Daitz, Rich Brody, George Mutari George Ferraro, Steve Rothaug, Alan Biershank, Mark Godoy, John Specce, Elliot Courtney, John Grocki, Gerard Jewels, Mark Licari (all from the LIST chapter NRHS), Evan & Ronnie Schnepf, Rick Imperato, Michael Okunowitch, Bill Krushinski Harvey Sadowsky, Paul Floroff and many others who my mind is just forgettig. Please do not be pissed off at me, my brain farts are getting closer and closer these days.
Here are some shots from the session. I hope you enjoy them
handrail instaaltion-3

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And the turntable goes round and round......

Another great work day in Oyster Bay.
Another great turnout of volunteers and even a member from the mid-west.
George F. stopped by during his stay in NY and lent a hand to the turntable work.
Even after overcoming an insurmountable amount of issues (problems) with equipment & tools, we were able to get one half of the bridge ties strapped together.
We fully intend to get the other half strapped together and get the tie clamps installed on the bridge as well.
We also (hope) intend to get both handrails and the walkway grates in place as well. This will be easier since the grates have been properly placed and the area on the ends of the ties which is where the handrail flange plates will be bolted are all ready to accept the plates.
A very good work day and James from Barry Technical was working away on the Ping Pong coach.
Seems like he will need 2 sessions to ge the old rotted metal off and fabricate the patches in school during the week in order to install the patches the following Saturday.
Here are some photos
Mike and the crew aligning the ties
Doug, Rich & Geirge F. Measuring the outriggers on the electrical arch legs
Evan setting the lag bolts for installation
George F removing a broken leg flange from the arch assembly
Mike setting lags with a gas powered socket wrench-cool tool!
The Boys at work today.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy days are here again!!

And the skies above were clear-for a change!
No wind, No rain, no winter storms could stop us baby, to paraphrase an old r& b tune.
Huge turnout today for our first work session of the year 2011.
We had 2 new interns from Barry Technical school, James & Joseph who come to us through a great program at BOCES. After a brief tour of our facilities and a discussion of the project, We set to work devising a plan to repair the Ping Pong coach. They began the restoration by cutting out the corners of the coach where the roof sheet meets the side walls. This is where most of the rot has set in over the years and the insulation between the sheets has absorbed a ton of water! they opened up all 4 corners and peeled back some of the inner sheets in 3 of them to allow some air flow and left the fourth corner wide open on my request.
With a nice donation from the LI Sunrise Trail Chapter NRHS, we will be able to replace quite a bit of rotted metal on the car and remove some previous patches that were haphazardly applied and replace them with the proper patches. Next weeks session will button up the open end and begin the other corners.
As for the rest of us:
We formulated a different plan of attack to replace the turntable ties with brand new-YES you heard it here first. BRAND SPANKING NEW TIES for the turntable.
The original plan was to layout the new bridge top on the ground, bolt everything together and have one of our neighbors with a long reach excavcator to pick up the new bridge in 2 sections and place them on the bridge.
Well, thats a moot point now.
With  12 volunteers on hand, we wound up using the ties as a pad to drive the forklift over. We made a ramp on the edge of the concrete wall and laid the 1st of almost 100 ties, then the 2nd, 3rd and so on until we had enough laid out to put the turntables walkway grating on top.
We then drove the forklift forward over the grating until we ran out of grating, laying out the ties as we went along until we could place the second set of grates.  We continued all day until we placed the last 15 foot tie.
This was a monumental task but with many hands was more than manageable.

Next week we will be adjusting the ties and bolting them together using the steel straps which were used on the old deck to hold all of the ties together.
We will be utilizing 2 gas powered drills: 1 to drill the holes to set the bolts through the straps and the 2nd to actually drive the bolts into place.
Our intrepid mechanical wizard Mike Efthymiou will be getting us the drills and the bolts, so as the holes are drilled, the bolts can be snugged down right behind in an assembly line pattern. Hopefully we'll have enough hands on deck next Saturday to get this job done (as many of our volunteers are also volunteer firemen and that is their St. Patricks parade day) and maybe we can even bolt the deck down to the bridge using specialzed cast j-bolts as the clamping mechanism.
We also will be installing new curved timbers on the edges of the turntable deck and also new treated timbers on the concrete ring wall which were removed many years ago by the LIRR.
Once this task is accomplished wew will re-install the split ring collector to the arch assembly and raise that onto the deck and get it bolted down, then, when we get the control stand back from the rebuilder this spring we will be able to anchor it to the bridge deck and begin the wiring of the entire unit.
Until then, enjoy the photos.
We will open the yard on the first Saturday of April for visitors.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

We'll be back in a couple of weeks- I promise!

Unless we have a major snow or rain storm this next week, I will be sending out an email regarding work sessions.
On Wed 3/9/11, we will be taking possession of our new rr ties for the turntable bridge.
Stella Jones Corp will be delivering them sometime early that morning, so I will need to be on site to direct the unloading and (more than likely) unload them myself with our forklift.
I will be calling a work session on Saturday March 12th at 8am to begin the layout of the ties and handrails so we can put the assembly together correctly the first time!