Friends of the East Broad Top
A nonprofit society dedicated to the preservation and restoration
of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark
Things we do

Rockhill Furnace Work Session: March 1-2, 2008

Early March 2008 Work Crew
The early March 2008 crew.

The third work session of the year was held March 1-2 2008. Typical of early March in the Alleghenies, the weather was cold and snow fell.

Attendees included Dave Richards, Dave Dietz, Bill Adams, Charlie Wootton, Andy Van Scyoc, Lee Rainey, Chris Coleman, Jim Bacon, Steve Jacobs, Tom Kozub and Lawrence Biemiller.


Boxcar 168

Grinding steel
Steel is ground for patch installation.
Welding a patch
A steel patch has being welded into the car bolster.
Cutting patches
Cutting additional patches.

Cutting, grinding and welding in place of steel patches continued. Several patches were installed over the course of the weekend. Included were multiple patches to the south car bolster.


Retaining Wall Reconstruction

Almost done
The wall repairs near completion.
Driving pins
Driving pins to tie the wall together.

19 ties were delivered to the wall for continued work. They were cut as needed and installed in the retaining wall. At the end of the session the bottom three rows of ties and tie backs were complete for the full length of the wall and the upper three rows and tiebacks were about 80% complete.


Machine Shop/Boiler House (Structural & Machinery)

Inspecting the axle lathe
The axle lathe is inspected.
Work platform construction
The work platform construction is begun.

The large 36-foot, 12 x 12" beam that supported the east side of the Machine Shop roof trusses and the west Boiler house wall and roof has long ago rotted away to nothing - literally. About half of the remains of the beam were removed during this session using a dustpan and shop vac.

With the first part of the beam cleaned out, repairs were begun to the cribbing that was erected in the late eighties over the shop steam engine to support the beam and boilerhouse wall. Several of the decking planks were replaced with longer ones extending out over top of Boilers. This will give an area from which to continue work to raise the roof and replace the beam. The platform will be completed during the next work session.

A second round of measurements was taken to verify the first, as to how far the trusses need to be jacked. The good news is we only have to go up about 5 inches at the most. Other roof truss details were measured in order to finalize the material list for the truss strengthening and jacking.

The rotted roof, in the skylight area, was surveyed for temporary covering with a good tarp and OSB; likewise the little section of roof over the main lineshaft pulley was measured for rebuilding. Two sheets of roofing over the wheel press were screwed down.

The brake cylinder machine (lathe) in the east end of the machine shop was moved south 8 inches, to make room for jacking the #2 roof truss. The change in location will not affect the future reactivation of the machine. The Axle Lathe next to the wheel press was cleaned up and examined for operability. It was found that the main drive's teeth are damaged. A large drill press at the west end of the machine shop was cleaned and oiled, with the intention of making it useable again.


Locomotive Shop (Siding and Windows)

First window
The first window on the Locomotive Shop is attended to.

Volunteers removed the sashes from one window for later rebuilding. The opening was temporarily secured with sheets of OSB.



West door repairs
Repairs to the west doors progress.
New wood
A great deal of new wood is apparent inside.

Both east side doors were adjusted for better fit and operation. Hasps were installed on both sets of doors so that the building can be kept secure. Permanent diagonal bracing was installed in the east wall. Three rafter tails were replaced on the east wall, connected by sister to the remaining good portion of rafter and lag bolted to the wall header. The temporary patches to the roof were revised to be more durable and effective at protecting the walls and interior until the roof boards can be properly repaired and recovered.


Combine 14

New woodwork
New end beams with mortise and tenon.

The repairs to the south platform substructure were begun, including cutting new mortise and tenon platform beams.


Next Work Session

The next Rockhill work session will be held from March 29 and 30. See you there!

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