Ultrasounding Boiler Patches

Kelly Bauman reports: “It was a pretty productive weekend. Sorry, no pictures. But here is the rundown for Sunday. I don’t know if anything happened Saturday, but I think everyone was either in training, or on crew.

“Ed Ripp and I started out ultra-sounding the boiler patches. After determining we were unsure of how the boiler was originally done, we did our own coordinate set. (For the record it was 1-23 from the front to the back, and A-L starting on the engineer’s side. This needs to be written on the sheets yet.) After Ed and I were about half way through, Jim Connor and Bruce (I think, I’m terrible with names) finished the other half. We then moved out to the tender and set up a grid all the way around the outside two feet high. Jim and I also removed some of the crud off the sides of the coal bin, but after looking at it decided not to draw the grid. It’s in pretty bad shape just looking at it…. [Meanwhile], Ed Ripp and Jason Sobcyznski continued to remove accessories from the 1385. However thunderstorms and the picnic cut short any further work.

January 2005 WC&C #1 Work Sessions

January has turned out to have three work weekends this time around. The 15th was populated by myself (Pete Deets), Al Joyce, Chris (can’t remember your last name so please correct me), and Doug Crary.

This was in anticipation of the next weekend being too cold to work. Al continued with the stud work, Chris did a fantastic job of laying out the large hole and rivet and bolt holes on the smokebox liner.

On the 22nd and 23rd braving the cold were Kevin Riehl, Jim Connor, Kelly Bauman, Doug Klitzke, and Doug Crary. Jim Connor cleaned out the new smokebox and then he and Doug Crary found the center and laid in the liner. They also started drilling the pilot holes for the rivets. Kelly Bauman and Kevin Riehl laid out a gridwork on the firebox area to guide the ultrasonic thickness testing. Doug Klitzke used a hand grinder to clean off spots on the boiler shell where the readings would be taken.

The 29th and 30th have seen Kelly Bauman taking the ultrasonic readings, Doug Crary continue with drilling the smokebox and liner, and Rick Peters working on the drivers as well as giving direction on work to be done.

During the weekdays much has been going on also. Becker Boiler has been fitting the second course boiler patch and as of this writing is very nearly ready for welding. Dave Lee has also been working on drilling out and then threading repaired staybolt holes. The lower firebox area is beginning to look like a virtual porcupine with over sixty new staybolts sticking from freshly threaded holes as of this writing. The next steps will be to cut them to the proper length and hammer them home for a steam tight fit.

Progress on Fitting Second Boiler Course

June’s work weekend resulted in progress on the fitting of the second course of the Montreal. We had a very nice turnout of workers including Mike Wahl, Kelly Bauman, Bob Jackson, Steve Seibel, Doug Klitzke, Darryl Gasser, and Bruce Case. The second course is the tapered course which is especially difficult to fit. Finished to a point where Becker Boiler needs to fabricate an attachment to allow finish fitting of the patch.

Holes were cleaned up for many of the new studs by tapping the sheets with special boiler taps (tappered). It is necessary to ‘clean’ the holes so that a completely sealed ‘joint’ will be made between the stud and sheet. Obviously, leaks will not be tolerated.

Driving box binder fitting was initiated on the frame. This is necessary to determine the repairs and alterations required to renew the shoes and wedges.

Ultra sounding of more of the boiler sheets was also accomplished. Becker Boiler has started welding up the ‘old’ stay bolt holes so that they can be redrilled, reamed and tapped to return the stay bolts to the original 7/8″ diameter size. When a stay bolt breaks, it can be renewed by replacing it with a new bolt a little larger in size (usually 1/16″ larger in diameter). As time goes on, the bolts can wind up much larger than the original size which can result in more frequent breakage. Returning the bolts to the orginal design size will allow future repairs without jeopardizing the original design specifications.

It may seem as though the progress is slow at this time….fitting of the boiler patches are extremely delicate and MUST be done correctly the first time! Various inspections are also requirred through out the boiler patching process which can result in longer lead times.

Plans are being made to manufacture new tube sheets to complete the boiler repairs.

Ultrasound Testing Nearly Complete, Testing of Drivers Scheduled

Progress was made during the last work weekend. The ultra sounding is basically completed, the rear flue sheet template done, and the second course patch started for fitting. The testing of the wheel centers is scheduled and should be completed shortly, this will tell us the condition of the spokes and centers of the drivers. If you remember, the 1385 drivers had only two spokes that didn’t have cracks and some of the spokes had several cracks. We do have ‘new’ tires that can be machined and shrunk onto the centers.