May 20, 2023; We had a small crew this last Saturday, and the list of tasks we completed on the #9 was small, BUT, what we did accomplish laid the ground work for huge projects in the future.
During our April planning session, Fletcher’s team decided that this year we will focus our efforts on the #9’s Cab. Although we will continue to work on other areas, this will be the “Year of the Cab”. With that strategic goal set, we made our first significant moves on the cab by removing the deck plate. It will be stored and prepared for future restoration.
Next, we focused on the cab itself. Like a politician running for president, we have flip-flopped back and forth on the floorboards in the Cab. Should we replace the floorboards, or should we not replace the floorboards? We have discussed this issue almost since day 1. This would not be a simple task as the entire cab of the #9 would need to be raised to remove and replace the floorboards. On the flip side, the floorboards in the cab are in better shape than the rest of the wood on the locomotive, so should we leave them for future restoration? So, we debated this to no end, and recently came to the conclusion that we will in fact replace the floorboards.
So, after the deck plate, we started removing the many, many nuts/bolts that were holding the cab to the locomotive. This was a tedious task, that was much like an Easter Egg hunt. Where is the next bolt? Is it here, is it there? Some came off very easy, some came off with WD-40, and some had to be coerced with a Sawzall. We removed all bolts under the Fireman’s side, and all bolts on the front of the Engineer’s side. This allowed us to remove 1 of the floorboards from under the fireman’s side, before we wrapped up for the day.
Fletcher was a big help with this task and was able to squeeze in some small spaces some of us couldn’t. I also want to thank Larry Stanley for lending a hand with his tools for some of the more stubborn bolts. Also, a big thank you to Steve Pahl and Jay Slinde as usual.
Please keep an eye out for our June work session, I will post it as soon as we have picked a date.