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)