Monday, June 25, 2012

Bucket Truck Repaired

Thanks to John Gasper and Aaron Mangan, the museum's bucket truck is now operational.  Sunday, I helped them lift the hydraulic cylinders in place and pin them in.  It was more work than we initially thought because they location of the boom required the cylinders to be extended out.  We had to get the cylinders just right and even still it was a pain because the bushings needed to be cleaned up as well.  Finally just after noon, we were able to get the truck together.

In other news, bus 3001 in the Bus Museum is now running after we changed out the batteries.  It still needs to be cleaned up and other repairs made to it, however, we know that it runs!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Things You Can Learn To Do!

Saturday was a very busy day at the museum.  The shop has become an increasingly busy place, with the addition of a new volunteer, Kelly.  While up in the shop, she was able to learn quite a few new tasks with the help of our shop staff from welding to drilling holes in the motor support bearing covers.  Scott Kritzky brought her into the pit under Fair Haven & Westville car 355 where they were working on the brake rigging on the car.  He was also busy with his project in Boston Elevated Railway car 5645 of removing the seats to replace the flooring under them.

In the machine shop, Brandon Slane spent the better part of the morning machining a new bracket for a gear case cover on 5645.  It is amazing the precision that can be seen in machining new parts.  I, for one, can see what I need and will know what it should look like in the end, but would have no idea how to begin to decide what cuts need to be made to get there with a part so intricate.  I say intricate because I have no idea what to do, but it really isn't much.  That is why machinists are necessary at the museum.

I spent some of the morning packing the motor support bearings with waste for 5645.  When you look at the packing, it looks like you just shove some balls of "thread" into the oil wells for the bearings.  That is not he case at all.  There is a very specific way of doing this so that it will wick the oil properly.  The strands of waste must be dropped down into the well so that the go from the bottom of the well to the top.  They must be in coils in there so that there are no ends that can be "grabbed" by the rotation of the axle.

This is just a sample of what types of work that we do in the shop.  Each weekend it varies.  Stop down some weekend and help out.  You will be sure to learn a lot!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday Night Work Session

As you may have read, I have started hosting a Thursday night work session.  There just aren't enough hours in the short weekends that we have and there have been people in the past who have expressed interest in working at the museum on an evening during the week.  Because of that, on Thursday evenings after 5pm, I will be at the museum to host work parties.  This past week, we accomplished quite a bit of priming on the Bangor & Aroostook Caboose.  Hopefully in the coming weeks, the priming of the wood will be completed and we will be able to start the removal of the roof and siding.

Xian Clere also removed the carburetor from the Tie Inserter.  John Gasper is planning to rebuild it.  A few weeks ago, he brought a new exhaust to the museum for the Tie Inserter as well.

Galen Semprebon spent some time working on setting up a test machine to test motors before they are put back under the trolley cars.  This will help immensely so that we will be able to be sure that the motors work properly and not have to jack the cars up a second time once we realize that there is a problem with them.  Currently, the only way that we have to test them is to put them under the car and run the car.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainy Day

The downside of this weekend was that it was a complete washout.  The upside, a lot of work was accomplished in the shop.

First, Vacuum Impregnation.  We knew it worked, but did not know how well it actually worked.  We were splicing ends of wires on the Field Coils for the Boston Elevated 5645 and had to cut a sizable length of wire off.  When we cut about 4 inches of wire, we noticed that the varnish had worked its way up the wire between each individual strand.  Now we know why it took a half gallon of varnish for one set of Field Coils.

Second, Floor Replacement.  Also in the Type 5, Scott has been hard at work replacing the floor in the car.  One side is completely finished.  The seats have been put back in place but not completely bolted down.  He has begun to remove the seats from the other side of the car.

Third, Milling.  While this was for the Fire Museum, it was still work that was accomplished this weekend.  Pat McCann had a piece of metal stock in the lathe and was working on milling a new piece for one of the fire trucks.  What the piece was, I am not sure.  The only thing that I am certain of is that it was broken.  It is amazing what we now have in the shop for abilities.

Fourth, Engine Repair.  Now we have migrated over to the Bus Museum.  One of the Buses had developed a leak which we thought was due to a blown head gasket.  While John Gasper was tearing down the engine, he found out that the cause was only a missing bolt, which happened to be laying in the engine compartment waiting to be installed.  Luckily he did not pull the heads yet and was able to replace the bolt, put the engine back together and get he bus running.

It was quite a busy day at the museum for the shop staff.  In addition, many small things were accomplished.  Two seats for New Orleans car 836 were repaired in the shop by John Pelletier.  George Contrada assisted me in removing the rest of the metal straps from the side of Brooklyn Rapid Transit car 169.  I was able to get a coat of primer on more wood for the Bangor & Aroostook Caboose.  Xian Clere installed new seats in the rear of the newly acquired 1975 American-LaFrance from Ellington.

I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I did not talk about the work that occurred during the week as well.  Work on the Dining Car...No, I cannot call it the dining car.  I hate that term for it since it never was a dining car in service, even though everyone knows it as such.  Work on New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad combine 2765 is progressing.  The new sill has been installed on the east side of the car which will stop the rain from entering the car from under the windows.  The car still needs to have the sill on the west side replaced and the roof repaired.  At that point it should once again be watertight.  Then, we will need to replace some of the siding on the car to make it look aesthetically pleasing.

I will close while telling you about something new.  Starting this week, I plan to start hosting Thursday evening work sessions.  The work session will begin around 5pm and we will work until we decide to call it quits.  Quite a few railroad museums do this, because we cannot get enough done on the weekend.  Our primary project will be working on the Bangor & Aroostook Caboose.  However, if we get enough people, there is plenty else to work on.  Any questions, or if you wish to help out, please let me