Saturday, January 19, 2013

Third Rail Beams

 Today seemed like a good day to do some more work on the third rail beams for the 36 in our well-equipped shop.  Especially since I had a willing helper, Keith Leitsch

Two beams were already glued, and the next step was to cut out the bevel that provides clearance for the truck's leaf spring.  The best way I have yet thought of is this: we nail a couple of sacrificial 2x4s onto the beam to guide a circular saw at the required 45 degree angle, then make several cuts through the wood, as we see Keith doing here.  The saw can get heavy after a while, so we take turns.

Then most of the remaining wood can be chiseled away.  The surface is smoothed out with a belt sander.  Then the ends are cut at another 45 degree angle with a hand saw.

And the result looks like this.   We did both of the first two beams.  Thanks, Keith!  Of course, there were many other projects going on at the same time, but Bob would be very upset if I tried to scoop him.  So you'll have to read the department blog for yourself.

After the hustle and bustle of the woodshop, it's a welcome relief to go back to the 319 and do some nice quiet painting. 


Anonymous said...


Once the 3rd rail beams are complete, are they treated with some kind of preservative? Or are the beams painted black?

Ken MacLeod

Randall Hicks said...

Ken: They will be painted black.

Ben Rohling said...

Looking better all the time Randy