Sunday, March 25, 2018

That'l teach ya!

Hi all,
another successful session yesterday!
Lynbrook Danny, George and Myself started the day off removing the north side windows before being joined by Ronnie and Gerard. After the 17 windows were removed, George removed the inner wall panels from the south side and we all helped to remove the cowling from the upper window frames. We also removed all of the aluminum luggage racks which effectively completes the removal of everything inside of  the Ping Pong Coach.

All the while this was occurring, I had Gerard and Ronnie take all of the cross members which Fred had fabricated out of the Ping and clean all of the grease and grime from them and hit them with a coat of clean primer. This will ease the weld up and finishing when they are installed in a few weeks.

As if the day could not get any better, as I pulled up to the gate before 9am, I received a call from CJ of C&J Dustless Blasting who wanted to come up to do his test patches.
SO! Hell yes!!

I set up some scaffolding to test the roof and after he showed up and suited up, he began to measure out 1 foot by 1 foot squares on the car sides and inside of the car in order to time the testing. Shockingly, each square only took 27 seconds which he said was great!
Also shocking was the fact that the roof was NOT covered in a rubberized paint and was easily removed.
Everywhere he did test blasts, everything came off including the rust. When he was done, he took measurements of the car in order to formulate a quote which we hope to have this coming week. IF it comes back within our budget, he will be awarded the job.

For those of you who do not understand what sandblasting is, here is a short primer---
By using high pressure air to blow a media (sand, glass, metal) onto any metal surface, the media hits the surface and removes anything on it to leave just a slightly textured clean metal surface. Unfortunately, this also produces a ton of dust which is hazardous.

CJ employs a new technology called "dustless blasting" which is fairly new and catching on where the media is suspended in plain old water so there is virtually NO DUST and this method does not need tenting. Tenting the car could add $20-$25 thousand dollars for material and labor.
When the job is done the dry media can simply be vacuumed up with a shop vacuum.

Under "Normal" circumstances, an additive will be put into the water to keep the metal from rusting for about 72 hours. However, we WANT the metal to rust as we plan on painting on Loctite Extend Rust Converter which changes the rust to a stable component on which we can then paint on primer and finally a finished paint coat.
This product has been in use for many years in many industries and has a proven track record. We have, in years past, also used it and will attest to its functionality.

Next week, I hope to be able to continue working on the cab of #35 with Fred Rubin and get our electrician up to give me the final orders of wire for the Turntable. We now have most of the pulling tools and need to get this done!
We also will have Steve T picking up the balance of our steel need for the PPC at our supplier Acquel sheet metal in Harlem NYC.

Yours in spirit

PS-since this is MY blog, I want to shout out to my best friend of over 40 years who lost his life to cancer last week. Jimmy, I love you and miss you. The world lost a good guy and I lost my best man.

To anyone who may actually read this blog, if you smoke, at the very least, PLEASE get chest x-rays. If Jim would have gotten them last year when he saw a new doctor for a physical, the doctor would definitely have found something and it would have given him a fighting chance for a few years or more with his grandson.
I got to spend the last week of his life at his bedside.
Hoisting a Heine for you pal.

Now all we have are great memories.
R U in 82

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Here comes the BOOM!

Hi folks,
Well, after wrapping up another fantastic day at the yard, all I've got to say is

Let me start off by welcoming 2 new volunteers.
"Hicksville" Danny and "Lynbrook" Danny who saw our work session notice on our Facebook site and called to volunteer. I do hope we didn't scare them away!!

Having 8 people on site allowed us to have a 4 man crew working inside the Ping to remove EVERYTHING from the ceiling and take out EVERY window on the south side of the car.
YES!! you read that correctly.
The 2 Dannys, Bernard and George removed every light fixture and the glass bullet covers, which were put in safe storage, as we accidentally, broke one. Oh well, we have a few more. They also removed every ceiling fan and ceiling mounted sign holder.
Then, the removed every window from the car on the South side to enable us to accomplish a few things.
1-sandblasting-our contractor won't have to fight to keep the media off the windows.
2-will allow us to clean, polish, repair and finally wash, every window to make them fully operable.
3-allow us to do much needed metal repairs to the window areas.
 Before window removal above-During window removal below
Looking out the Ping through empty window frames-below
Removing the final windows below

While this was going on Fred and I to work on the final steel underpinning for the Ping. We fabricated 2 new cross members to go under the bathroom. Now all that is left is for us to take the toilet flange,  which Fred  fabricated weeks ago, and attach it to 2 angle braces which will be welded into place on the 2 new cross members after we determine exactly where the toilet will go.
 Look Ma, no more scrap steel lying around!!-Empty ground in front of the tender-above
Empty ground on the South side of the tender-below

And just for shits and giggles:
during this time.Leon and Steve loaded up all of the scrap from the Ping and delivered it to a scrap dealer and got us back over $700!
Then, they suddenly had to go to Atlantic City. Hmmmmm. Makes me wonder.
Only Kidding. All of the cash will be deposited into the Locomotive #35 restoration fund account.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hot diggity!

This past Saturday was another example of dedication and overcoming adversity.
Dedication, in that only 4 of us were there and a whole lotta stuff was accomplished.
John P continued to repair and replace rotted welded metal in Dinky #398. Before this unit arrived, it was hastily patched up and painted by the LIRR for the naming ceremony. As John has been working to get it started, he noticed all of the metal rotting on the lower edge where the wall sheets meet the floor. Upon further inspection, He uncovered a cover up of sorts and has been handling the repairs.
Oh well, better that we found them now.
Upper photo shows the repair on the left with last weeks repair to its right. Notice the rust on the floor. We will need to remove the windows to re-seal them to the body.
The photo below shows the repair after it was painted in primer and as you will see, another repair was done on the front wall to the right of the previous repairs.
Repairs will be done a section at a time and then all will be ground down so as to appear seamless.

As for the Ping Pong Coach, 
This photo shows the area just above the window frame where the window shades live. The extruded steel cover is almost the length of the car and will be visible in another view.
If you look closely at the rusty cracked "cream" paint, look to its immediate right and you will see the original grey primer. After priming and before paint, this area and others were covered with metal holders to hold the various advertising inserts. We plan on leaving the overhead luggage racks in place until just before the sandblasting begins.
In the photo above you can see that George has removed both of the window shade covers and they are laying parallel tot eh center sill. They are almost as long as the interior of the car and are resting on top of the cross members from the center sill to the outside walls.

In this photo it is easier to see. The square tubing that is sitting on the center sill are the newly fabricated cross members that will be welded in after sandblasting has been finished. Then we will install the new corrugated floor sheets on top of this and you will no longer see the ground!

HOPEFULLY, will see some more people this coming Saturday-weather permitting of course.
The plan is to remove everything from the ceiling of the car. Light covers, fans advertising holders, whatever can be unscrewed.

As always, 
keep the faith and comment as you see fit,
" but be nice. Always be nice until it's time, not to be nice!"
From the Patrick Swayze movie Roadhouse


Saturday, March 3, 2018

windy and cold

BUT-we still worked our butts off because even after the big Nor'Easter yesterday, we actually had some sun and the ground wasn't sloppy.
I got there a bit early and began to open up the trailers to remove the generator and set things up for Fred and George.
George showed up first and opened up the back gate for Fred to pull in and get his things ready for cutting and welding.
Since I needed to get a few things done inside the visitors center (VC), I set a finish time of 1 pm in order to give us time to clean up and for George & I to head over so we could finish before 3pm.

Just so we are clear---I have basically "cut" the car in half from west to east and north to south.
We start measuring from the west and use a measurement from crossmember to crossmember, whether it be a cast one or a channel. So the first opening will be bay 1 and can be either north (n) or south (s).

We then headed over to the Ping Pong Coach to get measurements of the first 3 south (s) floor bays and quickly realized that we should skip measuring the first bay which is #1s due to the fact that it is the bathroom and will need to be specially beefed up in order to install the toilet.
We measured out bays 2-4 and since I already brought over the steel channel, Fred and I went to cut while George worked inside the Ping to remove the rivets and screws holding up a nearly 60 foot length of custom pressed steel which is the "valance" for the window shade mechanism.

As we have found throughout the car, American Car and Foundry (ACF) had the cast crossmembers created out of home and delivered to their plant for assembly, a common practice. Unfortunately, the contractor who cast these parts had a wide +/- factor and the flanges are not consistant. we have measured from 1/2 inch thick all the way up to 3/4 inch thick at the front and 13/16 inch at the web!
This makes for a custom cut on every notch and its extremely important to get this correct for future welding.
Thankfully, Fred had his watchful eyes over George and me as we measured 3 or even 4 times!
By the end of this procedure, we'll be pro's.

Fred and I took the 3 measurements back to the work/welding tables and in less than 3 hours cut, notched, capped and fitted up all 3 newly created crossmembers with only minor finessing.

Fred is a genius and even though I can really test his patience, I have learned quite a bit how to work within his tolerances.

by 1pm we were done and began to clean up. Fred went home to warm up while George and I headed over to the VC to move the scale model steam locomotive back to its regular spot and set up the picture board framework so Josh, our curator could set up our new display of RR advertising artwork.
We snuck a peek at the new artwork setups to be installed. It's going to be very colorful!

So for the next round, we will fabricate the remaining 3 full crossmembers in bays #5s/6s/7s and hopefully,  if time permits, cut up some angle iron to start the toilet instalationl inside the bathroom stall. Instead of running the rectangular tubing parallel to the center beam like the rest of the car, we plan on using angle iron perpendicular against the outer bathroom partition wall.

See you all in the funny papers and comment as you see fit!
Steve Torborg has informed me that this blog and our facebook photos of this restoration are being followed by many people and a few museums. I'm touched and honored. Just another day in Oyster Bay (RR Museum, that is)