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: September 20-21, 2008

The September '08 work crew
The September 2008 work crew.

The eleventh work session of 2008 was held September 20 and 21, 2008.

Attendees included Lee Rainey, Ray Davidowski, Dave Phillips, Wade Woodcock, Bill Dennehy, Dave Dietz, Jim Bacon, John Morgan, Dave Richards, Charlie Wootton, Bill Harris, Steve Jacobs, Chris Coleman, Ken Ofslager, Rosa Snydem-Byod, Bill Adams, Andy Van Scyoc, Bob Goldby, Shawn Stauffer, Reggie Arford and and Bill Meltreder.

The weather Saturday was perfect for restoration, cool in the morning, mild and overcast in the afternoon. Sunday was a bit warmer but still good restoration weather.


Boxcar 168

Many jobs
Many jobs progressing on the car.
Seat installation
Seat installation progressing inside the car.
New battery box
The new battery box mounted on the car.

In a marathon to complete the car in time for the Fall Spectacular, several accomplishments were made during special work days between the August and September work sessions. The wood floor decking was painted, the first two seat frames were installed, the steel brackets for the connecting platforms to adjacent cars were formed and welded in place, and a solar panel was installed on the roof for recharging of the handicap lift battery. Some body putty was applied to some rough spots in the car's sheet metal.

During this session the car was a hive of activity. The wheelchair lift steel battery box was formed from sheet steel, welded up and mounted on the car. The lift was permanently mounted, re-tested and permanently wired in. The battery and charging unit were installed and wired in with the solar panel. The wheel-chair hoist uses hydraulics to actually raise and lower the wheelchair platform. Electric power is taken from a battery to run the hydraulic motor. The battery is recharged from the solar panel, making this car what just might be the first solar powered handicapped-access narrow-gauge passenger car in North America!

The remainder of the seat brackets were mounted, seat backs and seat bottom slats were mounted and all screw holes puttied. The window sills and framing on the west side of the car were finished. The south vestibule partition wall was constructed and the wooden framing of the south end was completed. Weld filling of numerous unused rivet holes was accomplished as well as the last of the patch welding and significant finish grinding in preparation for painting. The first coat of green paint is now applied to 90% of the car body.

With a few extra visits, the car should be operational for the October event.


Machine Shop/Boilerhouse

Filleting the roof
Volunteers "fillet" the Machine Shop roof.
Operational Wheel Lathe
The Locomotive Wheel Lathe spins to life at full speed for the first time in decades.
Steve Jacobs photo

On Saturday, the Boilerhouse Rats worked on weatherproofing the low section of the roof between the Boilerhouse and the Machine Shop, so that work to replace the failed main beam between the two can begin without the weather coming in. The Machine Shop roof was "filleted" by lifting one row of roofing tin. The top of a large tarp was slipped underneath, then the roof tin screwed back down. This was very time consuming, as the crew had to work around the rotten skylights, on the 40 degree slope of the roof. Access was made direct by removing one window from the west Boiler House wall. The trough between this section of Machine Shop roof and the Boilerhouse wall was filled with lumber scraps and two 2x12s to support the tarp and keep water from pooling.

On Sunday the vertical part of the tarp was attached to the Boiler House wall, and the sloped area weighted down with wide 2xs. This leaky area is now water-proofed so that the Rats can work on the beam and post that supports both roofs in cold and wet weather with no water dripping on them. Once the beam and post are replaced, the rebuilding of the roof, skylights and Boiler House wall can commence.

Also Sunday, the installation of the 7.5 HP motor on the Locomotive Wheel Lathe was completed and the setup tested. The machine is now capable of doing real work for the first time in decades!


Steel Crew

Patching progress
Patching in progress on the Machine Shop.
Compeleted cleanup
Completed cleanup around the oil wing of the Stone House.

The steel crew continued work from past sessions to patch the roof valleys of the main shops complex. As fiberglass mesh was not adequate to seal all the holes, sections of rolled asphalt roofing were used in conjunction with roof sealant to further coat the valleys. The results were much more substantial.

The crew also continued with their work on the the oil wing of the Stone House. The spare parts, scrap and other refuse around the structure were removed to their proper locations. The grade was leveled and stone spread around the building to assist in drainage. Additionally, the concrete walk in front was power washed, removing a great deal of oil from the concrete.


Locomotive Shop/Sand House

Priming the sandhouse
Priming in progress on the Sand House.
Sand House at session's end
The Sand House at the end of the work session.
Locomotive Shop at session's end
The Locomotive Shop at the end of the the session.

Thanks to a good volunteer turnout, the Glass Rattlers made great strides in painting. Scaffolding was erected along the west wall of the Locomotive Shop to reach the upper sections of siding that were not painted last session. On Saturday the remainder of this wall was primed, mostly before noon. The crew then moved on to the Sand House which had a small area of the east wall primed and painted last session. The remainder of the first floor east wall was primed. Additionally, the windows on that wall were un-boarded, cleaned and temporary sheathing installed for security. The sashes had been removed previously for rebuilding. As volunteers finished at the Locomotive Shop, additional volunteers were moved to the south side of the Sand House where the lower six feet were primed across the wall.

On Sunday the crew moved back to the Locomotive Shop and applied finish red paint over all the primer. Also, the modern security light on the corner of the shop was painted black to help it blend into the shops complex. With the Locomotive Shop finished, the scaffolding was dismantled and stored. The crew then moved to the Sand House and was able to apply finish paint over all areas primed on the east and south walls.



Siding installation
Siding installation in progress.
Sill trim installed
With the siding in place, the sill trim is installed.

Siding replacement was begun. One section at a time, the old vertical siding planks were removed from the south wall as new, pre-painted and milled planks were inserted. By midday Sunday the siding on the south side had been replaced, along with the waist board and sill trim.


Next Work Session

The next Rockhill work session will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2. See you there!

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