Rockhill Furnace Work Session: June 3-4, 2006
Those participating included Charles Wootton, Richard Rutledge, Mike Wahler, Lee Rainey, Jim Bacon, Jane Rutledge, Barb Morgan, John Morgan, Steve Jacobs, Wade Woodcock, Richard Schell, William Adams, Jim Sucke, Richard Ullery, Bob Reffner, Bob Goldby, Doug Limbaugh, Dave Dietz and Chris Coleman.
FEBT acquired a standard gauge tie inserter which was delivered to the railroad at the May 2006 work session. During the intervening month FEBT volunteers repaired the engine and other parts to bring the machine back to life. During Saturday of this work session volunteers worked to convert the inserter to dual gauge. Fortunately there was room to add a second leg for narrow gauge wheels without having to relocate any part of the inserter. In addition to fabricating and installing the additional wheel leg, brackets were added for an onboard toolbox, a towing hitch was installed and the wheel bearings were repaired.
The inserter is a gas powered hydraulic machine, and includes two powered rail jacks, a real bonus on track that has no ties to start with. The Inserter is now dual gauge and can be converted by simply removing the wheels from the narrow gauge leg and reinstalling them on the standard gauge leg.
By late Sunday morning the inserter was ready for trial runs and it performed magnificently.
Work continued on restoration of the Paint Shop window sashes. Sashes received a finish coat of paint in preparation for installation.
The recently acquired FEBT speeder (named "Big Jim" in common carrier days) needed a bit of work which was done during the session.
The inspection pit beside the Boiler Shop is where the underside of the locomotives are inspected after each day on the road. The steps into the pit had rotted beyond being safe to use. Volunteers constructed and installed a new set of steps to provide access to the pit. The pressure treated lumber should last for many years.
South Car Shop Leads
The primary track projects for 2006 are the turntable lead and the the south lead to car shop tracks 1 and 0. Saturday the track crew labored hard all day and inserted about a dozen ties near the car shop. On Sunday, with the new tie inserter in service over sixty ties were inserted. That's working smarter!
Without the inserter it took four to six volunteers several minutes to insert each tie. With the inserter it took one volunteer about a minute to do the same, and with no "re-digging" of the trench.
A new post was installed between the Coal Bin and the Boiler House. The center post over the opening of the coal bin was supported by some rather shady truss work. During the Coal Bin reconstruction a temporary post was installed under the trussed post with shims holding them tight. In order to give the appearance of a serviceable Coal Bin, yet actually use the Coal Bin for storage, a much taller permanent post was installed on the Coal Bin side of the trussed post, and they were bolted together with threaded rod. This allowed the crew to reinstall the coal boards, which originally regulated the flow of coal out of the bin, across the opening. Behind the coal boards, a plywood wall was installed. With the plywood painted black and coal placeded in the gaps between the coal boards, it will appear as though the bin is full of coal.
One of the four window sashes from the east wall of the Boiler House disintegrated during removal. The final reconstruction of that sash was completed, with glass inserted, putty applied and finish paint applied.
The glass crew continued to work through the hundreds of storm windows that were donated last year, removing them from the frames and preparing the frames for recycling. Aluminum prices are up, so the frames are of value in addition to the glass. These windows will provide the crew with two hundred additional panes of glass for the shops restoration work.
Paint Shop Work Pad
The railing for the recently constructed concrete Work Pad in front of the Paint Shop was painted safety orange.
You can view other photos of this work session at Bill Adams' EBT Pictorial.