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: August 15-16, 2009

The August 2009 crew
The August 2009 crew.

The eighth restoration work weekend of 2009 was held August 15-16 2009. The session coincided with the EBT Community Day Weekend on Saturday and Civil War Weekend, The weather was stiflingly hot and humid and was very challenging for volunteers. Lots of water and frequent breaks were the order of the weekend.

Attendees included Dave Dietz, Chris Coleman, Steve Jacobs, Dave Richards, Bill Adams, Aaron Schwarz, Gordon Brinthaupt III, Wade Woodcock, Dave Phillips, Jim Esposito, John Morgan, Jim Bacon, Brad Esposito, Barb Morgan, Gordon Brinthaupt Jr., Andy VanScyoc, Lee Rainey, Richard Culp, Bob Goldby, Judy Goldby, Tom Diehl, Shirley Diehl, Reggie Arford, Lawrence Biemiller and Mike Wahler.


Combine 14

Sill rebuilding
The sill layers are visible with clamps holding them as the adhesive dries.
From inside
From inside the car the substructure and the side of the new sill are visible.

The combine crew completed the fabrication of the replacement side sills for the west side. This involved planing, mortising and fitting of several long beams of Mahogany, which form overlapping layers of the composite structure. The crew then laminated three of the beams permanently into the structure.

The truck sub-crew disassembled the bolster for the north truck.


Coal Dock/Water Column

Priming the doors
The replica doors for the Coal Dock are primed.

Excavations continued in the drain pit next to the south water column and reached a depth of about five and a half feet. Also what appeared to be a drain pipe was located about three and a half feet down. Work was done in a attempt to locate the outlet of the drain.

The replica doors for the coal dock which were sealed last session were primed and painted this session.


Shop Stacks

Stacks Repair
The stacks have been painted and the reinforcement legs are in place.

The stacks were painted with rust encapsulator paint inside and out for the first seven feet The new support legs were installed, with a couple bolts in each. More bolts will be added next session, and the legs will be finished up as to paint. Concrete can then be poured around the bases to reinforce them.


Machine Shop

The rebuilt roof
The rebuilt roof structure as seen from the inside.
From above
New and old roof structure as seen from above.

Reconstruction of the east side of the machine shop roof continued from the July session and continued to the location of the second skylight. The damaged roof structure was removed including roof sheeting and wood substructure. An all new wood substructure was constructed in its place designed to match the original. This leaves about twelve feet to finish in September. The skylights are being framed in as original but will be covered over with the new roof skin to avoid any future leaks. The framing will be visible from below to show what was once there, as well as the diagonal boards that mark the location of the original gable roof from the original east-west Boiler House (prior to 1911).


Boiler Shop

Jacking the post
A track jack is used to raise the post to clear the new sill.
installed sill
After much agony the new sill is glued in place.

Work to replace the rotted sill section on the south side of the Boiler Shop continued. The post was jacked up an additional inch to be sure to clear the new sill. The new sill section was an 8"x10"x12-foot section of oak and required six strong backs to move it to the far side of the shops for installation. Cuts were made in the new sill for the post mortices and lap seams to the existing sill. Unfortunately the existing sections of building were neither as evenly spaced, nor as consistently sized as the notches on the new sill. It required about a day and a half, about fifteen fittings of the sill and about twenty additional cuts and notches before the sill actually fit into place. Once test fitted successfully (shortly before noon on Sunday) liberal amounts of adhesive were applied to the lap seams and the sill was installed permanently.


Brush Crew

Mother nature never gives up. Neither does the FEBT brush crew.

The brush crew was reactivated this session to keep the brush down along the south leg of the Rockhill wye. About a third of the area was re-mowed.


Foundry/Sand House/Tool Room

Priming the tool room window trim.

The four sashes removed from from two windows in the west wall of the Foundry last session were primed and finish painted. The openings for those windows were uncovered and the trim was scraped, primed, and painted. Chicken wire was temporarily placed over the remaining portion of the window openings to exclude birds. With paint at hand, the same crew painted the window trim on the east side of the Sand House tower, then moved on to scrape and prime the failing paint on the window sashes and trim on the tool room's north and east walls.


Next Work Session

The next Rockhill work session will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 2009. See you there!


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