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!

Try this

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.


What's up OBRM????

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 our 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.


A new year- a new start

50 years ago, "the world came to Queens".
Today at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, we are celebrating a milestone in New York as well as the USA.
Any of you old enough to remember this year, remember it VERY fondly.
It was the year the Beatles came to America, right here in NY. It was also the year that the world was introduced to the Ford Mustang and America to the delights of the Belgian waffle. It was also the year that one of my favorite wineries began. Sterling Vineyards in Napa California.
But most of all, it was the first year of the world famous 1964/1965 NY Worlds Fair.
So many wonderful memories, so many years ago.
So, the board of directors of the OBRM, knowing that we have such a valuable and tangible link to this amazing time, in our collection, decided to install a 50th anniversary celebration of the NYWF.
Utilizing memorabilia in the Visitors Center, we were able to show  people just how much fun this time period was and remind them of how far we have come as a culture since then.
AND, because we are a railroad museum, of course the collection was heavily skewed towards transportation.
Since the LIRR was the host railroad of the area, they got into the fair with their own pavilion featuring a full size cut down diesel cab which was used as a photo feature. This is the same diesel cab that we have in our collection. The pavilion didn't show off new age technology like some of the others, however, it did show off Long Island and the LIRR by allowing the visitors a uniquely Long Island experience.
An incubator where LI Ducklings were hatching showed off this industry as well as the duck pond where the ducklings  were transferred to begin their lives in the water. A windmill similar to the famous,  Hampton windmill anchored the corner. A huge tent which held an HO scale model railroad of Long Island and the "tent of the four counties" of Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. Beautiful park landscaping and of course, the 2 jewels in the crown, the Allen Hershell G16 model ride on scale train, which is still on LI and in operation at the Railroad Museum of LI in Riverhead AND our very own WF Alco Diesel cab simulator. This simulator has been "spiffed up" and has operating diesel horns as well as a sound system installed in the nose. The LIRR also built an operating interlocking cabin on the pavilion-Fair cabin.
The most interesting part of our display may well be the 1/4 inch scale model of the actual LIRR Pavilion as modeled by me. Using hundreds of photos supplied to me by many LIRR & NY Worlds Fair Historians, such as Bill Cotter, David Morrison, Steve Lynch, Dave Keller and Dick Maksie, I was able to kit-bash and/or custom build EVERY building on the grounds of the pavilion. I was also able to build an operating G16 scale ride on train and found a 4 car set of operating R36 World Fair subway cars for the layout.

This was a labor of love for me and most of the NYWF collection is mine  as are almost all of the NY Mets collection.
We plan on having this display up almost until the end of the year when we will change it out for the Holiday Express.
I hope that you tell all of your friends of this and pay us a visit.
Many thanks to all