Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Last Grid Box

Great progress on the 36 today, as well as other things.  Larry Stone was out again, and we got a lot done.  First of all, we dropped the second tank from the 36 and took it to the car shop.  This was one job I certainly did not want to try to do by myself.  But with two people, it went well.  The tank needs to have its piping removed, which we were unable to do by ourselves, but the "midnight crew" will be able to take care of it.  Thanks!

We were too busy to take pictures, but this was the outer or wet tank.  For some reason, on this car the dry tank failed first.  Most cars (at least most interurban cars) have two main reservoir tanks.  The compression of air naturally causes the moisture in the air to condense out.  The piping from the compressor always leads first to the outer tank (closest to the side), where most of the condensation takes place, so this is known as the "wet tank", and after operation it's necessary to drain the water out of the tank.  The inner tank generally has little or no condensation, so it's known as the "dry tank".   But there are no money-back guarantees in this business, so as I say the dry tank failed on the 36.  Still, we want to have the other tank tested as long as the system is disabled, for obvious reasons.

After that, we worked on rebuilding the last of the grid boxes on the 36, since this could be done in the car shop, where you are assured of nice comfortable heat and jovial fellowship.  

This box was badly rusted, and when we first applied wrenches to it I was afraid we'd never get it apart.  But Kroil quickly did its magic, and soon we were carefully disassembling the parts, making a diagram as we went.

We went to our secret storage location and easily picked out enough relatively new grid elements, as well as mica tubes and washers, to replace all of the questionable parts in the box.  This is just so cool, that we can produce an essentially new piece of antique technology with so little work.

IRM is an educational organization.  Larry learned how to operate the sand blaster, in case he wants to change his career path from being an airline operations manager, and nicely finished off the two end castings.  Here he is putting a coat of primer on the parts.

 After he left, I had some time to start painting the floor inside the car.  It had been heating up all day, for what that's worth.

This is just a first coat of primer, but it's a big improvement over the revolting red paint.

Lots of other projects were being worked on.  I've been promised some pictures, so maybe we can have more updates soon.  Don't touch that dial!


Frank Hicks said...

What was the grid element "code" for this box?

Randall Hicks said...

According to the documentation we have, it is supposed to be 8A7-6A5-7B6. But it wasn't assembled quite right, as you can see from the location of the taps. It appears to have been 8A6-(6A4+6B2)-7B6. Close enough for museum work. I suppose we should just assemble it the way it was.

Anonymous said...

Randy- The "midnight crew" asked over at the Steam Shop before removing your piping, and they suggested it wasn't necessary, so we brought the tank over there whole. We did take the safety valve off, and it's sitting on top of your BO tank in Barn 4. R. W. Schauer

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Rich, that's great! I should remember to clean up the pop before putting it back on, it's pretty ugly.