We are in the nuclear age, but no we are not changing the fuel the #1 will be using. The technicians had to setup a safety perimiter for themselves and anyone around. The radioactive isotope is actually housed in the box on the floor that has a hand crank connected by the long yellow cables. After the X-ray film is placed on the boiler, a tech turns the hand crank that pushes the isotope to the end of the wand. In this application the wand has a machined piece of solid tungsten placed over it to aim the radiation in a column in one direction to shoot through thesteel.
Under the tape on the side of the boiler are lead numbers that will be used as locating marks to tell where a shot was taken. The lead will block a fair amount of the radiation and show up almost white on the negative.
Another great hurdle has been cleared today. X-rays on the first course patch all showed good welds! The 1st course patch is DONE! While there, they also shot the throat sheet knuckle pad welding and around the boiler check. The throat sheet is good and there are no more cracks around the boiler check than what had been found.
Here are some photos taken today. They show Mike from Becker’s padwelding the fireman’s side of the firebox where the spring rigging had dug in. It also shows the finish weld on the first course. YES! The first course welding is complete and will be X-rayed Friday.
There are also shots of prep work going on on the firebox for more buildup welding and removal of staybolts. The shot of Dave Lee drilling is part of the prep for staybolt removal, also.
The welding on the barrel of the Montreal has progressed to the point of the first X-Ray testing. The welding has been completed on the 1st course patch and radiographing will take place tomorrow, Friday, January 30. Steel has been ordered and forming will soon take place for the 3rd course patch. The forming of the front tube sheet started earlier this week. A fabricator to form the 2nd course patch is still being sought but hard leads have been found.
Two new studs were applied to the boiler of the Western Coal & Coke #1 on December 27th. Big Deal, you say? Indeed it is a big deal for the steam program-more for what it represents than the actual item. These are the first two new parts of many more to come to be permanently installed on the boiler.
The stud itself is a rather mundane item, a piece of rod, really, of varying length according to application with threads on each end. One end is permanently threaded into the boiler shell and the body is used like a bolt to hold brackets for various appliances on the boiler. Those appliances include things like running boards, air compressors, brake stands and the cab.
In this rebuild we will be replacing all the studs. To prepare for that many volunteer hours have been spent measureing the length and diameter of each one. Another major task has been creating a system to precisely log the location of each stud on the boiler shell so those locations can be transferred to the drawings being made as the rebuild progresses. Many hours are also going into those drawings.
The next task tackled was determining the best method for removal of the old studs. All known processes were tested and the most effective that caused the least stress on the boiler was chosen. At the same time archives were searched and a 1940’s Baldwin standard for stud manufacture was chosen as the specification for the new studs.
Our next step, after determining what was required, was to find a supplier for the proper certified material. A supplier was found and one of our members donated the material. A procedure was then written up that will govern the removal, manufacture and installation of the studs which involved even more volunteer time.
At the same time test pieces were machined to check the manufacturing procedures as well as to produce some jigs to aid the process. After the test pieces were made and the jigs tested out two studs have been so far produced and installed. Big Deal, you say? You decide.
This is a Red Letter Day for the Mechanical Shop at North Freedom. Today the first two permanent replacement parts were applied to the boiler of the Western Coal & Coke #1. Al Joyce and Bob Ristow installed the first two of approximately 150 studs in the first course of the boiler barrel. John Risley was also performing build-up welding on the frame so material is being applied there as well.
Progress is being made. WE CAN DO THIS!
Work today included Ken H. drilling staybolts, Darryl Gasser sharpening the bits for Ken, and John Risley and a friend welding on the frame.