Rockhill Furnace Work Session: February 7-8, 2009
The work session scheduled for January was canceled because of snow, making the February 7-8 session the first of 2009. The weather was warm and clear, though the quick thaw led to quite a bit of mud.
Attendees included Steve Jacobs, Bill Adams, Jim Bacon, Charlie Wootton, Lee Rainey, Dave Dietz, Reginald Arford, Dave Richards, Rich Wickett, Aaron Schwartz, Lawrence Biemiller, Jim Sucke, Bill Meltreder, and Andrew Van Scyoc.
The Boilerhouse Rats erected scaffolding in front of the twin boilers and removed the last remnants of the rotted 12x12 beam supporting the Boiler House wall and machine shop roof trusses above the stationary engine. The new center support post was raised into position and preparations were made to start installation of the new beam next session.
Winter is always hard on the shop roofs, and this winter is no exception. Six sheets of corrugated tin roofing had been blown off the west side of the lumber shed. Those sheets were retrieved, hoisted back up onto their roofs, and refastened them, along with several other sheets in place being better secured. Another sheet stripped from the west side of the car shop was also reinstalled.
The pace of work on Combine 14 picked up. The first of several new steel rods was test fit in the platform being restored first. A special washer plate at the body bolster distributes the load that caused the old rod nuts to wear into the bolster. A new steel buffer plate above the coupler shank was drilled to match the lower coupler support bracket. The new wooden platform supports were drilled and countersunk. Bolts, nuts, and washers were located, prepared, and the installed through the wooden supports and metal brackets to both secure the platform members and encompass the coupler shank.
On the body, implementation details of the body strengthening procedure were worked out. Tourist-era replacement window sills were removed along with the nailing boards for the siding, and some of the exterior sheathing between the windows. The exposed side posts were then cleared of nails in preparation of milling them to allow the application of plywood. Many of the old cut nails were so brittle that they could not be pulled without breaking. Chisels were used to expose the nails enough to be removed or to sink their fragments clear of the area to be milled. In this process many more nails were found below the surface, which may have been pounded in rather than pulled during prior maintenance on the car. A handful of posts were milled to their finished state. Spacer blocks were cut which will be fastened between the doubled posts to strengthen them once the car is straightened.
Farm House/Store Houses
The floor boards in the lean-to between the farmhouse and the #1 warehouse were severally rotted form a long term roof leak. Late last year temporary repairs were made to the roof to keep the rain out for now. With no lighting, the floor was a safety hazard to employees and volunteers. Used oak lumber from the Jordan Summit bridge which was still ind good condition was installed as a replacement. Also the "bridge" between the second floor of #1 and #2 warehouses was replaced by four six foot oak boards to allow safe passage.
The band saw in the Paint Shop was fitted with its new motor, wiring and switch. A new guard was fabricated for the saw's belt drive. A new saw blade was installed and the saw was tested. This tool will speed work previously done with less suitable tools, or which required the help of the adjacent Rockhill Trolley Museum. The belt and disc sander was dismantled to assess its condition.
Next Work Session
The next Rockhill work session will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8, 2009. See you there!