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!