Developing a Plan

Written by Mike Wahl

During my visits to North Freedom the last couple weekends I have been asked, what’s going on with the 1385, what’s the plan? My response has been we are doing just that, making a plan.

To make any project successful a good plan, strategy and expected final outcome is needed. To make a good project plan the project must be broken down into smaller parts. There’s an old joke that goes: How do you eat an elephant? Well, one bite at a time of course! The next question then is what bite do we need to take first? To determine this we needed a strategy and scope of work. With a defined strategy, we can choose where to start and set our priorities. With a defined scope we have a formal document that captures and defines the work activities, deliverables and timeline for our contractors and vendors.

So enough with the philosophy and more on to the plan and strategy.

We have broken the 1385 project down into parts of the locomotive. They include major components of the locomotive like the running gear, boiler, tender, appliances, and cab. These components will then be broken down further to better define the scope, priority and timeline. We have begun this process on the locomotive. Our first focus has been the tender.

Just for some foresight on my next post, we have broken the tender down into 3 sub-components or tasks. They include the tender tank, tender frame and tender trucks. Each one has been evaluated and a plan and strategy has been developed. I will start a new post soon on the tender with more details. I have included a few pictures as a sneak peek of what the tender looks like today.

In closing, during my studies, I had a project management professor at UW-Stout sum up “How to eat an elephant” in the following manner. I think this sums up our project goals well.

“Take small bites out of your elephant. Take the right bites. But most importantly, determine what your elephant will look like when you’ve eaten the whole thing this will help keep you focused on the results, not the work.”

Creating New Tender Truck Springs

Leveling the WC&C #1 boiler in preparation of upcoming work.

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

Jason and Ed jack the boiler to level position.

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.

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.