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 4-5, 2011

The sixth restoration weekend of 2011 was held June 4-5.

The June 4-5, 2011 crew
The June 4-5, 2011 crew.

Attendees included Chris Webster, Bill Adams, Barb Morgan, Bob Goldby, Steve Jacobs, Jim Bacon, Brad Esposito, Jim Esposito, Tom Diehl, Dick Ullery, John Morgan, Lee Rainey, Tom Billy, Andy VanScyoc, Joan Adams, Lawrence Biemiller and Bob Harris


Boiler House

Saturday the crew began lifting the stack thimbles (they separate the heat of the stacks from the wood roof) with 4 jacks and and jacking frames constructed last session. The frames consist of a 2x8 perimeter frame (around the stacks) with 4 vertical 2x6 "legs" under each thimble to engage the edge. They were lifted a few inches to get them level, at which point it was apparent there were still some solid nails holding them to the roof framing. It was decided to start tearing apart the roof section. This consumed most of the rest of the day, and much of it was done in the light rain. All the debris was transported to the back of the roof canyon, and tossed to the ground. All of the remaining old bracing that held up the roof for about thirty years was removed and is no longer a hazard for volunteers.

Meanwhile installation of the soffit boards on the north roof overhang was started. When that work had to be halted due to rain, work shifted to moved to sorting the refuse from the old roof and transporting it to the scrap wood pile or the dumpster.

After the cleanup of the old roof, a third layer of 2x8 was added to the south wall bottom plate to stiffen it, and the stack thimbles were jacked up another foot to the furthest extent of the shortest jack.

Work on the north soffits resume on Sunday and the north side and 2/3rds of the west side were finished by mid-afternoon.

Also on Sunday work resumed work to frame the south wall. Studs were cut from recycled "loft" joists and installed, and a double top-plate was installed. The jacks were then blocked higher and the thimbles lifted again until they were up to the ladder that runs up the center of the twin stacks. Temporary 2x2 "rafters" were then tacked up and tarped over to keep rain out until the new roof is built. Waste material was hauled away, and the work areas cleaned up.

Generator Room

Generator Room ceiling
The Generator Room ceiling with the resistance coils and wire mounding reinstalled.

Work continued on the interior restoration of the Generator Room, an older project that was restarted last month. As the new ceiling on the room is a few inches higher than the original, stubs were added to the tops of the door posts in the electrical panel wall, (4 in total) behind the wall. To them a custom-cut wedge was attached to fill the gap that's flush with the siding.

The ceiling coil brackets were attached to the new ceiling based on pre- and during demolition video and still photos. All 4 coils were re-hung.

A large section of tongue and groove siding was missing from the top of the south wall. Three new pieces of reproduction siding leftover from the ceiling replacement were cut to fit and installed on the wall. A smaller section of siding was missing in the NE corner of the room. A block was installed inside the wall to support a siding patch and another section of leftover reproduction siding was installed over the opening.

The original wooden conduit electrical conduit was reinstalled on the ceiling and the wiring replaced inside it.

Part of the walls received a second coat of paint. 3/4" quarter round trim was acquired for installation around the edge of the ceiling but there was not time to install it.



The restored windows stored in the Boiler Shop were washed pending re-installation.

Paint Shop

scrap bins
Freshly painted scrap bins.

The scrap metal bins by the Paint Shop door were wire brushed, painted with Rustoleum, and re-lettered with vinyl lettering to improve their appearance.


Coal Tipple

On Saturday shaft material was located from which to machine two hinge pins for the coal chutes, and other required measurements were taken from the tipple to continue the chute progress. Due to low attendance there was no other work done on the tipple.

FEBT Speeder

Painted speeder
The FEBT Speeder after painting.

The FEBT speeder was pressured washer on Saturday in preparation for painting. On Sunday the speeder was painted, along with many trim pieces as well. Later in the afternoon many of the trim pieces were assembled onto the speeder before it was put away.


Combine #14

Work on Combine 14 during the first weekend of June resulted in visible progress. The sound floor on the North end of the car was completed and insulation was installed. The first 16 feet of subfloor was cut and temporarily installed which permits easier work on the car from within. All of the window sills have been cut and several were installed.

Next Session

The next session will be held June 25-26, 2011. See you there!

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