Saturday, February 24, 2018

Today at the yard

Hi folks,
Well, we had another phenomenal day of weather to get some much need work done.
Fred, George, John P, Ronnie, Gerard and I, fabricated and test fitted the remaining 4 new cross members on the north side of the Ping Pong Coach.
To bring you up to speed---
Last Saturday:Fred, George and I fabricated Bays1/3/7 and test fitted the same
Today:Fred, George, Ronnie, Gerard and I fabricated Bays 2/4/5/6 and test fitted the same.
All of these are now ready to be welded in AFTER the interior is sandblasted.
While all of this was going on, John P was bust fitting in new lower sheets and supports to replace the crappy ones which were hastily installed by the LIRR crews to make #398 look pretty for the hand off of the unit to us.
Listen, I don't blame them, they are NOT in the restoration business. They are in the Transportation business.
Love them or hate them, I for one cannot do my job without them AND I cannot travel into NYC for the price I pay for my weekly ticket. I still have to use NYC Transit and occasionally, taxis. YES, I know they now have Lyft and Uber, but I find comfort in being able to hail that taxi dammit!
Just like I like to read a real book, not look at one on my Iphone.
Enjoy the following photos of work inside the ping.
 Fred is instructing us on a better/easier way to hold up the new cross member
 Ronnie, Fred and I are test fitting the new cross member in bay 6
 Fred hard at work. This man is a creative genius!! We couldn't do this without him.
 measuring to find out that the car isn't square.
 Yes, that's me inspecting the notch which will slip under the cross member flange on the left of the photo
 Inside view of the new section of lower wall welded up by John P
And here's the same area from the outside. A much stronger patch and weld.

And now a little something from the Historic Presidential Railroad Station!
A sump it hidden inside the basement-for what purpose? who knows
The east wall in the basement-the foundation actually. Notice the newly poured concrete. All of the dirt that had to be removed in order to under pin the foundation came from the area under it.
And here is the south east corner of the station building. This is where all of our problems came from.
because of the undermined soil in this area, the entire corner of the foundation and building has dropped considerably. We have been asked why we didn't just jack up the building. Well after over 100 years, underpinning was the proper way to fix this area with creating any more stress on the affected area. We will re-point the bricks on the bathroom addition as we get to it.
You can see the crew hard at work. They had piled up all of the soil that was removed inside the coal bunker under the building and were forced into a bucket brigade to bring it up to the surface. They then dumped each bucket into a wheelbarrow and then dumped the wheelbarrow into our dumpster, which is provided by TOB.
Hats off to Mario Baldino, our contractor, for bringing in the right folks to do the job.

AND finally, if this all weren't enough.......
when we began this particular phase of the restoration work, we focused on the west wall in order to get it completed so everyone will be able to see, just how good the restored building will look. From the beginning, we planned  to open up the lower 3 (larger) windows on the west wall which have been sealed up and stuccoed over since the early 1940's when the passenger sheds were removed.
Mario's crew opened up the sealed areas and removed the leaded glass windows and we had Chris Foster come down from Rhode Island to take them and the upper 3  (smaller) windows back to his shop to do repairs. They have arrived back to Oyster Bay and are now in storage inside the south bathroom.
When all of the construction is completed the window frames will be repaired and then finally installed in their respective openings.
With the completion of the underpinning, Mario can now focus (weather permitting, of course) on stripping the remaining paint, cutting out the stucco repairs in order to install the missing wooden half timbers, and then final stucco repairs which will need to include the insertion of new Oyster Bay Oyster shells!
The wood will be sealed, primed and then finally, painted in the original colors which will be a cream/yellow, green and white combination

I almost  spent as much time uploading and downloading these photos, writing this blog  as I spent at the site today!!
I'm beat and need food, so
Sayonara & origato folks. This means sushi for dinner.
Keep the faith

Sunday, February 18, 2018

wish you were there

Up at the display yard in Oyster Bay, of course. Well, at least yesterday.
Yes, I know its winter, BUT, believe it or not, we have had amazing luck with the weather as we have been working inside the Ping Pong Coach!
Yes, I know that there is absolutely NO FLOOR, however and Yes, I know that we are cutting the steel and welding outdoors, but still, it's been pretty darn good.
Last week it was basically just the 2 of us and this past week, it was George, Fred and me.

Fred Rubin, our master fabricator/welder/all around good guy and teacher was able to take a crappy situation using the steel tubing that we had accepted instead of the angle iron that we ordered and made it all work out. Unfortunately, this also means that the job of fabricating 14 new cross members for the flooring will take 3 times as long. OH WELL, what can we do.

George Schlicter has been a steady volunteer and is great to work with. The weather doesn't faze him and he has a great eye.
He'll jump in/on/around like a 10 year old. I wish I had 5 more of him at every session, as I'd be able to take it easy-NOT!
This is part of the new flooring that will be installed on top of the new cross members. On top of this is where the seat frames will be bolted down and then all will be covered with newly poured concrete.
George fitting up the newly fabricated North #1 bay cross member.
While Fred is camera-shy, George isn't and has been dedicated to seeing this through despite the winter weather!
North #3 bay crossmember being fitted in place. This is the largest open floor bay in the car.
Not too surprisingly, none of the openings widths match each other! Lets hope that as we measure the South bays, we get the same length measurements as the North side.
This is the North #7 bay which is at the east end of the car. You can clearly see the truck assembly (bogie) under the car.
And finally, a long interior shot showing both #1&3 bays being fitted up.
A similar interior arrangement of a p-54 from a plan.

Keep the faith.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Another Saturday night and I ain't got my body

Yes! That's correct. I ain't got my body.
Unfortunately, today my body failed me. I wish I knew why. But that's for another day and another doctor.
What's been up at the Yard??
Last week, George and I  removed all of the little scrap pieces of the old corrugated flooring  and took off the rivet heads in the Ping Pong Coach.
The corrugated steel flooring was held down to the center sill and the outside channel using rivets. On the center sill, we just chiseled off the heads and using a punch, knocked the rivets out under the car.
Unfortunately, on the outer wall channel, we cut off the upper head and lower head with a grinder and found that we COULD NOT punch out the shaft. UH OH BATMAN! What to do??

Enter Fred Rubin, who today, came up with a solid solution.The hell with the rivets. Let's see if we can just tack weld the corrugated steel to the channel!! By the way, YES WE CAN. Fred found the perfect welding rod and welder setting and tested the job on one of our steel workbenches.
That will save us from using the plasma cutter and burning out almost 200 rivets.
The steel for the ping pong floor frame arrived and we will be cutting it up next week to fit the pieces from crossmember to crossmember.
We have a sandblaster coming in to test areas of the body to be better able to give us a quote. One company came in and gave a quote which blew our minds, so we need to have this quote to balance the costs.

While we were busy doing that, Fred was busy cutting steel for the bathroom floor and John Petsche kept busy cutting steel and welding in new wall supports in dinky #398.

When we received #398, there was a lot of rotted steel inside the cab which was hastily patched by the LIRR. We knew that we would get to it........eventually. The most important pieces are the corner posts which John is taking care of. The first piece went in today on the engineers side and he already started to fabricate the fireman's side piece until we called the session due to the rain starting.

At the same time, OBRM President, John Specce, continued to dismantle the body on our golf cart. For the past few years we have hired out the operation of a "trackless train" for our annual Holiday Express. It's cost us greatly and we felt that if we could somehow create our very own, we would save a bundle.
He will be having a new body fabricated out of corro-plast, which is corrugated plastic. The printer will make it look like a LIRR DE/DM-30 diesel locomotive and we will be using trailer frames to create the "passenger cars"
He has already created a caboose which we used for last years Halloween parade in town. It looked way cool!

No photos folks, but trust me, even in the dead of winter-STUFF GETS DONE!!