Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's a Stretch

When installing a canvas roof, you always want to make sure it's stretched as much as humanly possible before nailing it down.  Otherwise, you get wrinkles and lumps which not only look stupid, but are more likely to cause real problems like cracks and rips.  

For the canvas over the center of the 319, we already had it pretty well stretched lengthwise.  In the morning, I was able to take out a little slack, but not much.  So we can start tacking it down.   If there's only one man doing the work, you start by tacking it on one side for a short distance, then go to the other side and stretch the canvas crosswise before tacking.  As long as you have two scaffolds to work from, it goes pretty quickly.  

In the first picture, you see one of the special canvas clamps we use for this process. In the second, it should be noticeable how the wrinkles have been smoothed out by stretching the section nearer the camera, where the canvas has been tacked.  Pretty smooth, eh?

But wrinkled canvas isn't the only thing that annoys me.  The older I get, the more annoyable I seem to be....

It's not spray-painted graffiti, to be sure, but all these markings on the windows just make the barn look more like an abandoned junkyard.  So I equipped myself with a combination mop and squeegee on a long pole, so I could wash all these windows just by walking down the aisle.   This is the 233 -- it doesn't deserve this sort of degradation.

Ah, much better.  Of course, the cars that never move, such as the 233, 150, and so on are much worse than the regular service cars.  But if I do two or three each week and then keep cycling around the barn, at least during the summer, it should look much better.  Then maybe I can find volunteers for 6 and 7.

Speaking of the 233, its front buffer is just the right size, and shape, and location for painting the last two curved tack molding pieces.

Of course, lots of other things are going on at the same time, even on a Thursday.  Here  Bob Olson is loading ballast into one of our hoppers on the new cutoff track.  This material will be dumped in yards 13 and 14.

And here's what a streetcar traction motor looks like when installed in the 972 truck.  Man, is it tiny!  Slightly bigger than a compressor motor, if you're accustomed to dealing with older and much bigger interurban motors like the GE 66.

And by the end of the day, I had finished about a third of the roof on both sides, as seen here.  I ran out of energy and tacks at about the same time, which is fine.  On Saturday I should have more of both.


Joel Ahrendt said...

I've been meaning to get through the barns and clean the windows. I just haven't had the time yet with everything that's been happening.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the 972 project is making progress again!

Anonymous said...

Has the 972 been re-gauged?


Randall Hicks said...

Hudson: No, certainly not. The TM was always standard gauge, although I believe the original wheels had smaller flanges and narrower treads (a "compromise" profile) for use on city lines.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that the standard gauge on the 972, and most other TM equipment, was 54", this is what cause it to "pick" most switches! When putting new tires on, the gauge was narrowed to 53-3/8, by increasing each tire width 5/16" and pressing each tire on an additional 5/16"

Anonymous said...

What I noticed was on the left side space between the axle shoulder and the wheel.


Anonymous said...

To add to what "anonymous" at 4:02pm said, years ago I spoke to the late Julie Johnson about the 972's issues with picking switches. She said that a large part of the problem was that certain switches around the property had been built to extra-large gauge tolerances to allow movement of steam locomotives (with rigid wheelbases), and that since the tracks in question were no longer used for steam service, "tightening" of those switches would eliminate the problem.

And yes, TMER&L used the "A 3-1/2" compromise wheel profile on its equipment.