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: June 7-8, 2008

June crew
The early June 08 crew.

The seventh FEBT Rockhill work session of 2008 was held Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, 2008. The session was a grueling one, with temperatures between 95 and 100 degrees and humidity to match.

FEBT volunteers taking part in this session shown in the photo (l. to r.) Charlie Wootton, Dave Phillips, Rich Wickett, Chris Coleman, Richard Shell, Wade Woodcock, Dave Dietz, Peter Gentieu, Lee Rainey, Steve Jacobs, Dick Ullery, Dave Richards and Jim Bacon.

Not pictured are Bob Goldby, Bill Adams, Andy Van Scyoc and Lawrence Biemiller.


Locomotive Shop

locomotive shop work
Volunteers work on both the shop windows and the roof valleys.

Work progressed on the west side of the Locomotive Shop. Boards and screens were removed from all the windows. Missing panes of glass were replaced and puttied. The wall was power washed in preparation for primer and paint. Screen was applied to one of the south windows for security.


Coles Tank

New bracing painting
The new bracing inside the tank house.
Rotted beam
The rotted front beam, now with no joists on it.

On Sunday an emergency stabilization project was conducted on the Coles Water Tank, located along the EBT about 13 miles south of Rockhill. The tank is fully enclosed by a building to protect the water from freezing and is the last surviving of six enclosed tanks once on the EBT. The front beam and front center post had begun rotting many years ago due to water leakage from the opening for the water spout. By the late 1990's the beam had deteriorated enough that the weight of the tank was crushing it over the post and the joists atop it that supported the tank were dropping. This placed great stress on the tank. Additional stress was caused when someone stole several staves from the tank about 1999. Extra 4x8 posts were installed under the beam about 1999 and 2004 to help keeping it from collapsing. As the deterioration continued, the beam started crushing around the additional posts as well. The center of the beam completely rotted away so that the original post actually fell away and the center joists were "floating".

To stabilize the tank, several large temporary posts were transported to the tank. The heavy posts had to be carried by volunteers over a thousand feet from the nearest "road" access. Jacks were placed under the tank joists and the tank was slowly jacked close to level. Two were jaked together fist to raise the tank and posts erected under them. Then the remaining six posts were erected one at a time, with the joists being snugged against the tank bottom. After all eight posts were erected, cross bracing was lag screwed to the posts to tie them together.

The result was that the weight of the tank is completely off the front beam and the tank was much closer to being level again.

Machine Shop

Diagonal braces
Diagonal braces are installed in the trusses of the Machine Shop.
Completed bracing
Completed bracing.

The "Boiler House Rats" continued to reinforce the roof trusses over the east end of the Machine Shop. The northern truss received crossbracing members that the other trusses already had historically.

A second "machine driver" built by volunteer Dave Richards was installed on the drill press to take the place of the first. The first driver was moved to the wheel lathe. The new driver is geared a little higher and has a 3/4 HP motor that runs it much better.



Painted red
The fresh coat of red is complete.

The new wood that was primed during an earlier session was painted with finish coat red.


Roof Valleys

Applying roofing cement
Roofing cement is applied along one of the Machine Shop valleys.
Completed valley
Completed valley on the Boiler Shop.

The steel crew (formerly the Hopper Crew) continued roof repairs from the work week. Roof coating and fiberglass mesh were applied to the two roof valleys between the Boiler Shop and the Locomotive Shop, as well as to one valley on the Machine Shop.



Removing old roofing.
Old roofing is removed from the Garage.

The stripping of the old roof on the Garage was started. Although it was hoped that the new roof could be installed Sunday, the old roof proved to be stubborn to be removed. Also, additional wood repairs were found to be needed.


Boxcar 168

Installing wood components
Wood components are installed on the boxcar.

Welding continued on the side sheets of the car. The east side welding was completed and it received a final buffing and a primer coat. Welding on the west side is far along.


Brush Crew

A small brush crew worked on Sunday spraying week killer on some areas that are re-sprouting after previous clearing work.


Next Work Session

The next Rockhill work session will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29. See you there!

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