The latest progress in the Mid-Continent steam shop can be found here with these informal shop reports by shop workers as credited. The newest begins at the top. They will be updated as they become available.

To view archived Shop Reports, click: 2004, 2005, 2006 or 2007.

More current updates are available on the Members' Discussion Board.

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September 7, 2009

From member Dave Wantz, some pictures from Milwaukee Boiler, where privately owned Polson Lumber #2 is being rebuilt.

"Here are some pics of the #2 Boiler at Milwaukee Boiler taken last week when I assisted Skip in replacing and removing studs, drilling belly brace pilot holes, and reaming the front mud ring and new throat sheet."

"The belly braces need to be riveted in and the rear tube sheet applied and riveted. All holes need to be closed up and the dry pipes installed and lapped in. Then the tubes can be installed. They will be done with the boiler on it's side so that the dome has easy access and the firebox and smokebox are access able to us larger folk."

"You will see the new door sheet and hole patch that is a work of art. Also, is a view of the corner patch on the back head that can only be identified by the new rivets. I also included a shot of the remaining piece of the rear tube sheet and belly braces that have yet to be applied. You can see the intricate complex shape that Gary had to make to fit into the boiler. There will be a lot of fitting work to do before the final welding will take place."

February 21, 2008

Early February Mid-Continent members Jason Sobczynski, Dave Wantz, Bob Ristow, Don Angles and Jim Connor traveled to Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga. At the TVRM shops, they assisted Gary Bensman in flanging a new door sheet for the WC&C #1 fire box.

Pictures show the McCabe Flanger is use and hot flanging (heat and beat) operation.

The heat and beat operation was a very intense 45 minutes from starting to heat (two rose bud torches) to completion.

The metal is heated to bright red, almost white. One person guides the flatter and one person administers hard blows to the flatter with a sledge hammer for 30 to 40 seconds. Metal is heated again and the pounding continues.

Click on the pictures at left for full size version. Links to YouTube videos of the operation are here:

February 3, 2008

Top photo - Jason and Ed jack the boiler to level position in preparation for work next week.

Bottom two photos - In the process of rebuilding the tender trucks we are repjacing all of the elliptical springs. Over the years, two sets of springs had been replaced with non-standard types. Luckily, it was only required to fabricate two of the "end blocks" that are in between the mating surfaces of the springs. This has been done by Joepen, a local, well equipped CNC machine shop in North Freedom.

January 11, 2008

Top photo - First of four new engine truck castings for WC&C#1.

Bottom photo - One of two new valve yokes for WC&C#1.

Photos courtesy of Steam Operations Corporation