April 22-23, 2006 Work Weekend Report

Bob Ristow writes:

“The work weekend of April 22-23 turn out to be quite successful. It actually started on Thursday (it started several weeks ago) by getting the rented air compressor situated, lining up all the necessary tools and checking them out, cleaning the area so that access would be safe and preparing food for replenishment of the workers.

“The rivet bucker was tried out on Thursday and found to be NOT functional. Pete Deets and Jim Baker spent a couple of hours soaking, cleaning, and re-assembling the bucker and it finally worked as intended. The ‘new’ rivet oven was fired up and proved to work perfectly. It runs on propane and didn’t even use one of the 100 lb bottles we had on hand (much more efficient than the old forge oven).

“Crew size increased as Thursday turned into Friday, 5 or 6 guys from Rollag Minn. Steam Association joined the regulars at NF to help rivet and thereby gain experience.

“Some critical work was performed on the 425 combine through the efforts of ‘Tennessee’ and crew. In addition, some work was performed on the #1’s running gear. The Rollag group removed brake shoe brackets, and the front ‘pony’ truck was rolled out from under the frame to the open area behind for reconditioning. New pins were made and replaced the old worn out ones on the brake shoe brackets.

“I am sure that other activities were completed but are not mentioned here, (old age sometimes alters one’s ability to remember all the details). Oh, over 200 rivets were installed in the three course seams and reinforcing throat sheet. Two belly plugs were installed in the new courses and the front corner washout plugs were welded in along with the blow down coupling.

“A great weekend of progress…thanks to all who were able to help….no matter to what extent…you are appreciated.”This should give everyone a picture of the riveting process.”

Jim Connor writes:

“First step was to get everything set up and in working order. That was done on Thursday April 20.

“Riveting took place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Last rivet about 4pm Sunday.

“Our friends Jerry from Fargo ND and Vern from Winnipeg had a long drive ahead of them. Thanks again guys.

“Rivets have to be cut to length before heating. Length can vary from hole to hole.

“Actual riveting: 1. remove every 5th bolt in the course; 2. Ream the holes, 2 or 3 steps; 3. Countersink both outside and inside the boiler; 4. Preheat the hole to be riveted; 5. Have the rivet at the correct temperature (2300 degrees F) Note……our new rivet forge worked very well; 6. Remove rivet from forge, knock slag off by hitting the side of the boiler two times, pass the rivet to the first man in the boiler; 7. He sets the rivet in the hole; 8. The bucker than sets the rivet to hold it against the rivet hammer; 9. The bucker guy than hammers with the bucker to further set the rivet and remove more slag; 10. The rivet is than hammered into shape by the rivet hammer.

“The time from the removal of the rivet from the forge to the end of hammering is about 20 seconds.

“Things have to move very fast and smooth so we don’t get an abort. Only had 2 aborts all 3 days. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs.

“Crew of seven works well. We had that and more.

“Thanks again for all the folks that made this happen.

“Especially the lunch crew each day.”

Photos by Jim Connor.

Throat Sheet Backer Completed

“March 25 and 26 saw more progress in the shop. Shop forces included Doug Crary, Doug Klitzke, Don Angles, Jim Connor and Ed Ripp. We completed the throat sheet backer and bolted it to the throat sheet. Completed the rivet bolt tightening. Installed studs in the boiler. The DL&W 425 repairs moved along with work on the B-end truck. Also the center casting and new side bearings bolted and tack welded.”

Photos by Jim Connor.

Work Weekend of Rivet Holes and Back Plate

Mike Wahl reports:

“It was another great weekend in the shop. This was weekend Four in a row. Great progress has been made since Snow Train. There were many people in the shop throughout the weekend.

“The number one priority for the weekend was to finish the rivet holes between the barrel courses. Jim Connors started with a crew on Friday boring holes. On Friday, Jim, Doug Klitzkie, and Bryon Schumacher completed the second course. This work continued Saturday with the same crew working on the first course. We worked late into the evening to complete the boring but when we quit on Saturday the holes were all bored.

“The second priority was to make a new backer plate for the throat sheet. This work started on Friday evening with Pete Deets and Tennessee cutting the piece of material. On Saturday Pete, Mike Flood, Jim Gaiser, and Ed Ripp continued work on this. By the end of the day the backer was fitted and the rivet holes were drilled.

“While this transpired, Al Joyce and Dave Wantz were busy in the machine shop making studs for the throat sheet.

“On Saturday Mike Flood and I went out and measured up the tender. With the nice weather we were able to spend a good deal of time looking the tender over and also looking at how the 22’s tender was repaired. From this information a repair plan and drawings will be completed.

“Chris completed seal welding smokebox seams. There is a little welding left to complete on the front ring and a few bolt holes to weld-up that are misplaced.

“Saturday we were able to complete another task on the list. Ron Kokemuller was able to loan an auto feed magnetic drill to complete the boring of all 196 tube holes. Ron thank you for finding this equipment, it has sure made short work of the tube holes.

“On Saturday Jeff Bloohm and Kelly Bauman gave me a hand measuring the driver tires and lead truck wheels.

“On Sunday the work on the backer plate continued with Doug Crary drilling the pilot holes in the sheet for the staybolts and marking the centers of the holes for the backers. When I left on Sunday he was busy drilling the clearance holes for the staybolts and the stud holes for tapping. Doug how far did you get?

“Doug and I also went on a scouting mission looking for the inlet check so a new mounting plate to the boiler can be designed. After some looking we have found it.

“Bryon and Ed on Sunday worked on tightening the course seam bolts. The third course is tightened up. We need to finish the second and first.

“As you can see it was a great weekend with the highlight being Jim Busse and his family putting together a cook-out on Saturday night. It was beautiful evening and great food. Thanks to Jim and his family.

“Thanks to all!”

Pete Deets adds:

“At one point in time we had three magnetic base drills working at the same time. One was the demonstration machine obtained & operated by Ron K. drilling the front tubesheet. The second was the Fein drill inside the boiler barrel that Jim C. and company were using to core rivet holes. The third machine was the BIG drill on loan from Jim Baker that Ed, Goz and I were using to drill the rivet holes in the throat sheet backer plate. With the stud work, welding on the smokebox and work on coach 425 going on at the same time it was a real happening place! Smoke, metal chips and excitement were in the air.”

Jim Connor photos.

Hole Boring Continues in Preparation of Riveting

Mike Wahl reports:

“For the third weekend in a row work has been happening in the shop. With the stress relieving completed back in January, we are able to move forward to complete the barrel seams. This is the number one priority on the boiler for us. The goal is to rivet all of the barrel seams during Spring Fling weekend. This ‘seams’ like a big goal, but there are only 175 holes to bore, bolt up tight, ream, and rivet.

“We made great progress on the rivet seams. The seam between the throat sheet and third course was completed. We were also able to complete approximately 50% of the seam between the second course and third course. This means we are approximately 50% completed with hole boring and bolt up.

“Next weekend we need to make a new throat sheet backer. This is number two priority. I would like to have this riveted in during Spring Fling or before so that the stud hole can be completed in it and this area ready for rear tube sheet installation. We have the code material at the shop and the old one for a pattern.

“Plans have been progressing in preparation for Spring Fling weekend. A new rivet forge has been purchased. Jim Connor picked it up and delivered it to the museum. We have a local source located for LP so we can rivet like mad and not run out of fuel. The required rivets for this task have been ordered and will be shipped in time for Spring Fling. We are compiling a list of other requirements and are working on procuring these items so we are prepared for riveting.

“The rear tube sheet template was shipped to the sub-contractor and a P.O. issued to make the rear tube sheet. The hope is to have this back by Spring Fling so tube holes can be bored in and it shipped out for heat treatment.

“Once the riveting is completed, the throat sheet backer is installed and stud hole drilled in the throat sheet backer we can start to fit the rear tube sheet.

“While this work progressed I spent some time looking over the tender tank. Discussion and ideas for repair were discussed so a plan of attack can be put fourth.

“All for now, hope to see you next weekend. There are many things to do.”

Jim Connor photos.

Rear Tube Sheet Template Constructed

Jim Connor reports:

“On Friday the 24th, Doug Klitzke, Ron Kokemuller and Jim Connor worked on the template for the rear tube sheet. First a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood was cut in 5 sections. The sections were assembled, rough cut, than disassembled to fit in the boiler. Sections were than reassembled in the boiler and held firm with wires to the firebox sheets so an outline of the outside of the tube sheet could be made.

“On Saturday the 25th Mike Wahl joined us to finish the marking of the tube sheet template. Unassembled template will be shipped to a contractor in Tennessee. The contractor will make a new tube sheet for the boiler.

“The rest of Saturday was spent drilling 2- 1/16” holes in the front tube sheet. Also we continued reaming rivet holes in the boiler courses.

“Al Joyce ‘Stud Guy #1’ installed the first two studs. Another mile stone!”

Jim Connor photos:

Doug Crary photos:

Bob Ristow photos: