Saturday, February 29, 2020

Group Efforts

The Car Department at IRM has always operated in the mode of several active projects progressing independently, but cooperating as needed.  And this seems to work well for us.  Today was another busy Saturday, and we have lots of pictures to share.

We'll start with what I was doing on the 451.  On one of the side doors, we still needed a block installed to keep the trap from hitting the door itself.  This requires drilling and tapping a couple of holes to hold the block in place.

When the trap is up, it looks like this:

These parts will eventually be painted red to match the door itsel

And I brought out two new roll-sign frames to paint and install.

After a coat of primer on the back, they look like this:

Here's where cooperation comes in.  Tim Peters helped by cutting a couple of pieces of glass to fit the frames.  This is greatly appreciated! 

 And later, Joel helped by looking for additional screws to hold the frames in place, and since they weren't on hand, we've ordered some.

These signs are mounted to the stepwells.  I had to knock some rusted bolts out of them.  It turns out that these were attached with nuts and bolts, which means it's a two-man job to install them, and that will be easier over the pit.  

Finally, Bill Wulfert helped me with finding lift tabs for the drop windows on the 451.  We went over to Barn 6 and looked into both the 453 and 460.  Those two cars have a total of eight drop sash, but with four different types of lift tabs.  Typical, just bloody typical.  So we don't know for sure what the original type was, but this seems like the best guess.  Thanks, Bill!  I cleaned them up, but ran out of time before installing them.  So that will wait until next time.

The guys working on the 213 are making good progress on making new doors.  These parts were made with matching cutters in exactly the correct way, so when they're done, these will be exact replicas of the original doors.  Well done!

The Cleveland Crew continue their work.  Here Chuck is once again cleaning up truck parts.

It looks great:

Eric and Ed were working on the switch panel for the PCC.  Eric is making a new rubber cover as an electrical insulator for the assembly.

Later in the day, they turned the truck frame over and started on the underside.  Here Ed cleans up the debris.

In the 1754, Tim proudly shows us that all the car light circuits are working.

 Norm and Rich were working on the 28 again.  Most of the floor in the front baggage compartment has been installed and fastened down.

And Norm spent most of his time cleaning up metal parts for the 28.

Joel is working on a set of PCC batteries.  He says these will go to whoever is ready first, since we have more than one PCC project that will need them.

John Sheldon continues his work on the 306.  He spent most of the day chipping out the mastapave from the floor.  This is where the toilet compartment was when the car was built.  At Shaker Heights the compartment was removed, and paved over.  Removing the mastapave is hard work, so he deserves a lot of credit!

At the other end of the car, new wood needs to be installed.  That's coming next.

I wandered over to the 321 to look for parts.  On the way back, I stopped in to see the Pennsy bobber.  Victor and Bill are making good progress, currently working on repairing the cupola.

A lot of the interior is now complete.  There are all sorts of little storage spaces inside.

Looking up into the cupola:

Richard and Nick have completely rebuilt one of the Cineston controllers for the 6100 pair.

Sorry, this would look better in black and white... but that's just my opinion.

Richard and Nick were working on the 141 over the pit.  It's enclosed so that with a heater it's pretty tolerable working on the equipment.  They're trying to fine-tune a few issues with the motors and control, but the car works and should be available for regular service next year.  Here Richard is checking the commutator on one of the motors.

Nick carefully inches the car along to rotate the motor.  Crater is so gooey at these temperatures that you don't have to worry about the car rolling away and crashing through the doors!  (or so they say...)  

And in other news, work has progressed nicely on the MPB.  I didn't get a chance to talk to Dave about it, but it looks like all of the metal studs for the walls in the front section have been installed, and the next step will be to install the wiring conduits and so on.  

So that's it for today.  You will have noticed that these are almost all group efforts, and we can always use more help!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Doodlebug PLUS Rapid Transit Progress!

This week we get two for the price of one.  First, Gregg Wolfersheim has several updates on the M-35:

Recently you probably remember seeing this area under window 26 in primer. It's now in tile red, along with the heater pipes along the floor.

Above windows 26 and 21 the two rubber window stops have been applied.

Covering the steel window posts below the sill are wood covers. A brand new one was built to replace the rotted out one. Almost all of the wood components in this car are like this.

Another reproduction next to the original. This piece fits under the window sill under the steel channel.

The two near pieces fit at the bottom right behind the heater pipes. Below them is a pocket filled with horsehair insulation. When all of this got wet years ago, it rotted out all the wood components, as well as forming rust on the side sheets and other steel parts. We'll probably use modern fiberglass insulation when putting these areas back together.

This shows the area below window 26 getting some damp proof red primer applied. Note the area around #25! You can see the water damaged plywood that has separated.

A closer view of 26. Where the work light is sitting is the hot water heating pipes just above the floor.

And as a bonus, we have an update from Tim Peters:

After a half century 1754 has finally seen the light!

Tim adds:  "You left too soon!"   Sure, but taken to its logical conclusion that would make it difficult to ever leave the Museum.  There's almost always something going on!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Busy Tuesday

Several Car Department regulars were hard at work today on various long-term projects.

Norm and Rich were hard at work on the baggage compartment floor for the 28.  I should have gotten a shot of what the car itself looks like, but it's getting close.

 Tim Peters and Frank Kehoe were working on the 1754, of course.  Here Tim is doing some rewiring in the electrical cabinet.

All of the ceiling light fixtures have been installed: 

Frank was working on the door engines.  By the end of the day they had one of them working.

Gerry was working on a couple of different projects.  Here he is grinding down a metal plate that will be part of a new door being made for the 213, our oldest North Shore MD car. 

Here the new plate is resting on what's left of the old door.

Some of the other regulars have made a complete new frame for the 213's door:

Gerry is also working on structural repairs on the 306.  Here you can see the wire brace stretched across the car so that the frame will be straight as repairs are made.

He keeps grinding away... 

I was able to install all four refinished spring latches for the drop sash on the 451.  Also, because these doors are new, there were several adjustments that had to be made to either the door or the window sash.  But it's nice that now the windows can be kept in the up position. 

And then Gerry also found me some tread plates for the #1 end of the car, and these were temporarily attached with screws.   When it warms up, I'll want to finish painting the wood.

Here are the new interior walls of the MPB being installed this afternoon.  Above, this should be the archive area. 

And this will be the model railroad display section.

For now, you'll just have to use your imagination!