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 13-14, 2011

The March 13-14, 2011 crew
The March 13-14, 2011 crew

The third restoration weekend of 2011 was held March 13-14. The weather on Saturday was spectacular with highs in the 60's and partly sunny. Sunday was cooler but seasonable.

Attendees included Aaron Schwartz, Brad Esposito, Dave Dietz, Andy VanScyoc, Charlie Wootton, Bill Adams, Bob Harris, Mac Dufton, Dave Richards, Rob Shaw, Wade Woodcock, Lee Rainey, Jim Bacon, Steve Jacobs, Dick Ullery, Jim Esposito, Chris Coleman, Reggie Arford, Rick Culp and Matt Rader.

Member Jim Bacon brought a floor drill press for installation in the FEBT Restoration Shop (Paint Shop).


Lumber Shed

Wind damage
Wind damage to the Lumber Shed.
lumber shed repairs
The crew attaches roof tin to the rebuilt section of Lumber Shed roof.

Winter winds caused extensive damage to the east side of the north end of the Lumber Shed roof, peeling back a twelve foot by twenty foot section of tin and sub-roofing. Several years ago FEBT members screwed down loose sheets in this area and others on the lumber shed. The roof metal stayed attached to the roof boards but the boards did not stay attached to the rafters. A crew worked through the weekend to effect permanent repairs to the roof.

The damaged sections of roof tin were removed. Those salvageable for other repairs were stored and ruined ones discarded. The lower rafters were found to be deteriorated so sisters were cut and installed to the side of most of the roof rafters in the damaged area. New roof boards were screwed to the rafters and new roof tin screwed to the boards. One piece of roof metal was replaced on the opposite side of the roof at the peak and a new ridge cap was installed in the damaged area.


Boiler House

Roof bracing applied years ago near the Machine Shop pump pit was removed as it was no longer needed with the recent roof repairs. New hanger brackets were installed to hold the ends of the main line shaft support timbers to the new main beam. Measurements were taken with a laser level to determine if the southeast and southwest corners of the Boiler House are level and they were found to be exactly in line. This will make rebuilding the south wall much less frustrating. It was determined that a fabricated steel bracket will be needed to securely attach the south wall's main top plate to the main roof support beam.

new Boiler House roof
An overall view of the new Boiler House roof and supports.
Removing the loft
Sections of the roof work platform are lowered from the boilers.

Work then moved to the Boiler House roof cupola. More of the east side of the roof replacement "loft" was removed to allow access to the north cupola legs. Although the cupola support legs are not original, they will remain in place to help shoulder snow load that will accumulate without heat from the boilers to melt it. Once the area was opened up, 2x8s were added to both sides of the north legs to strengthen them enough to be permanent. Permanent bases that span the entire width of the boilers were installed under the legs. The legs were then plumbed and the temporary diagonals to the north roof section were replaced with better fitted permanent ones.

After the new diagonals were installed, more of the front part of the loft was removed, including the post in front of the coal bin coal boards. The firing area in front of the boilers is now totally open to the roof and around most of the east side as well.

Much time was spent Sunday afternoon cleaning up the remains from all this demolition work.


Locomotive Shop

Siding repairs
Old siding off, nailing strips and new siding on.

With completion of the installation of the new sill under the west wall, the siding on the wall no longer reached the foundation of the building (the bottom of the siding rotted off as the building sank.) This session the focus was on cutting replacement siding for the lower section of the wall. In November much of the siding for under the windows was cross cut to length at the same time that siding was cut for the Boiler Shop. The remainder of the short siding was cut to length then all the siding was ripped to widths so that differing widths could be arranged in a "random" fashion when installed. With some variation in the new sill lumber, some nailing strips had to be cut and installed between the sill and siding. Work was also begun on installing siding between the windows. This required removing the battens and window trim so that a 45 degree lap seam could be cut in the existing siding. New siding was cut to fit and installed.

At the end of the session below window siding was installed under seven of the eight windows and between window siding in two if nine areas. Siding was also cut for use next session. Hopefully board installation and cutting of battens and trim can be completed next session. As the wood is not fully seasoned, batten and trim installation as well as priming and painting will not occur until late in 2010.

The dry rotted bottom member of the southernmost Locomotive Shop truss received its final of three treatments of ethylene glycol to kill the dry rot. Some additional measurements were taken.

The rubber membrane on the Roof Canyon between the Locomotive Shop and the Car Shop had become dislodged and was not draining into the gutter system installed last year. The membrane was smoothed down so that water would drain properly. The trench between the downspout and the drain tile had become overwhelmed during the winter and had to be dug out.

Siding progress
Locomotive Shop siding progress at the end of the work session.


Six new shelving units were delivered for later installation. They were stored in the recently restored Garage.


Shops Generator

Piston valve
Corrosion inside the piston valve.

Work began in earnest on the shops generator. This generator used a small two cylinder single action Westinghouse steam engine to power a DC Generator to provide the electrical power to the shops, station and part of the town. The generator has not been operated since 1956 and in the 1990's the shallow pitch roof over the generator room began leaking extensively. In 2003 FEBT volunteers rebuilt the roof on the Generator room and subsequently installed a new tongue and groove ceiling.

A general cleanup of the steam engine was performed removing dirt, debris and caked on lubricant. The crankcase access panel was removed and the crankcase inspected. There was sporadic rust spots on the cylinder walls but it was not general. The valve, inlet and exhaust drain lines were disconnected. The exhaust line was disconnected at the flange and removed from the head, exposing the valve. The valve piston, lower cylinder walls, rod bearings and main bearings were given a liberal coat of penetrating oil. The twelve bolts that hold the head on were broken loose and the valve linkage disconnected from the head.

At this point the engine crank is still seized but the damage to the interior of the engine does not seem extensive.


Combine #14

Work on combine 14 in March was a bit slower as several of the usual crew members were needed on other tasks. Never the less, work did progress. Yet another stack of lumber was milled to make the tongue and groove boards to be used as the "splash guard" or under-floor that will be installed at the bottom edge of the center, intermediate, and side sills. A few more floor braces were installed at the northwest bolster. Several window posts were reinstalled in the southwest corner of the car. The holes were drilled in preparation for the vertical tension rods used inside the window posts running from roof beam to side sill. New rods will be fabricated next month to replace those corroded beyond use.

Volunteers set up to mill tongue and groove for the bottom of the car.
New wall
New wall structure is going into the Combine.
New parts
New suspension parts fabricated over the fall and winter for the combine trucks.

Next Session

The next session will be held April 17-18, 2011. See you there!

Copyright © 1999-2018 Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. All rights reserved
EBT Train
Back to the FEBT Homepage