Installation Of Staybolts

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Now that the firebox sheets have been replaced, the primary focus is now on the installation of the staybolts. Approximately 300 staybolts were cut out in the areas where the new firebox sheets were applied.

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Assortment of old staybolts that were removed.

The firebox sheets are supported by many stay bolts. The boiler shell (wrapper sheet) around the firebox has a water space between the inner and outer sheets.  The staybolts function is to hold the boiler shell and the firebox firmly together.

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Diagram of a Flexible Stay-bolt showing the wrapper sheet (left) and the firebox sheet.

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Staybolt layout

 

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The original stay-bolts were 3/4” diameter according to the original build sheet. The new stay-bolts are 1” in diameter. They are increased in size due to repeated renewal of the threads during the tapping process. Re-threading the staybolt holes ensures a snug fit with the new staybolts.  The holes are stepped up in 1/16″ increments.

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New staybolts  awaiting installation.

A staybolt tap is used to clean up the threads prior to installation of the stay bolts. An air motor is used to turn the stay bolt tap to cut threads in the wrapper and firebox sheets. The staybolt is then threaded into the sheets and the ends peened over with an air hammer.

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Tools of the trade.  Three reamers and a staybolt tap.

 

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Running a reamer through a mud ring rivet hole.

 

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Bucking Bar

While the staybolt is being driven with a pneumatic hammer it is simultaneously being braced. To prevent damaging the staybolt’s threads, the opposite end must be supported. A bucking bar is placed on the end of the staybolt to back it up.

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Peened staybolt.

 

 

Sierra No. 28 Repair Project- Removing the Boiler Tubes

A major component of this repair project is the 1,472 day inspection, as mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration. The inspection requirement is that every fifteen years or 1472 “service days,” the boiler shell must be fully inspected, and an ultrasonic thickness (UT) survey of the boiler and firebox must be performed and documented.  From these test results, support the Form 4 engineering calculations for working pressure of the boiler.  The No. 28 would have been close to this milestone when the scheduled repair project was finished, so it was built into the project to avoid disassembling the locomotive twice in a row.

The boiler tubes must be removed to access the boiler for inspection. These tubes carry hot gasses from the locomotive’s firebox to more efficiently heat the surrounding water in the boiler, and make steam. They were last replaced during the last 1,472 inspection in 2003. When they are installed, a tool is used to expand the tubes into the tube sheet so they will not move or come loose.  To remove them, the tubes are cut away from the tubesheets at both ends (in the firebox, and the smokebox).  Then they are pounded loose and pulled out through the smokebox.

Senior Maintenance Aid Phil Hard uses a crafted lever to remove tubes through the front end.

Senior Maintenance Aide Phil Hard uses a shop-built lever to remove tubes through the front end of the locomotive.

A view of the front boilerplate. Tubes are being pulled forward through this plate. The smaller holes each contain a boiler tube, the larger holes are for superheater flues, which are not being removed.

A view of the front tube sheet. Tubes are being pulled forward through this sheet. The smaller holes each contain a boiler tube. The larger holes are for superheater flues,  which are not being removed.

____________ works inside the firebox to detach the boiler tubes from the rear boilerplate and help "push" them forward to be pulled out the through the front.

Machinist Tony Stroud works inside the firebox to cut the boiler tubes from the firebox tube sheet and help “push” them forward while another staff member pulls each tube through the front.

In this video, project volunteer Warren Smith shows the process in a bit more detail. Due to their position behind the branch pipe, some of the tubes could not be pulled out straight.   This problem was solved by pushing the tubes into the boiler, where they rolled to the bottom, were retrieved with a tool, and pulled out of a more accessible hole.  An alternative removal method is to pull out and cut off in segments, but the method used here was more efficient. The voice you hear at the other end of the boiler is that of Norm Comer.

The No. 28 has 148 of the 2″ tubes.  Removal took approximately 13 days with paid and volunteer labor.  The tubes are in generally good condition, and some cases could be re-installed.  However, for this project, we decided that it would be more time-effective to replace them with new material.  With the removal of the tubes, the final demolition is complete, and we are moving into the next phase of the project!

Previous No. 28 Update: Removing the Jacket

Next No. 28 Update: Ultrasonic Testing and Boiler Inspection

Sierra No. 28 Repair Project- Removing the Jacket

To access the boiler, the jacket and lagging must be removed.  Lagging is a kiln-like material that is wired and cemented into place, and encapsulated by a sheet metal shell.  The main purpose of the lagging and jacket are to retain heat in the boiler. On this project we will be replacing the lagging and jacket with new material.  The jacket will be preserved.

Many hands make light work.  Today's team.

Many hands make light work. Today’s team.

Tony Stroud uses grinder to cut wires holding the jacket in place

Tony Stroud uses grinder to cut wires holding the jacket in place

Lenny Guitelli, David Ethier and Robert Maciel working to remove the straps and wires that hold the sheet metal jacket in place

Lenny Guitelli, David Ethier and Robert Maciel working to remove the straps and wires that hold the sheet metal jacket in place

The No. 28 is pulled out of the roundhouse for the final time, for easier removal of the jacket and lagging

The No. 28 is pulled out of the roundhouse for the final time, for easier removal of the jacket and lagging

Volunteers swarm the locomotive and make quick work of the task

Volunteers swarm the locomotive and make quick work of the task (note: the haze in these photos was an effect of the Rim Fire)

The sheets of the jacket are removed to reveal the lagging underneath

The sheets of the jacket are removed to reveal the lagging underneath

Pieces of the jacket are laid out for reference in constructing the replacement

Pieces of the jacket are laid out for reference in constructing the replacement

Dave Tadlock removes the insulating lagging

Dave Tadlock removes the insulating lagging

All of the lagging and jacket removed

All of the lagging and jacket removed

In the meantime. . .other volunteers were working on the construction of the work scaffolding

In the meantime. . .other volunteers were working on the construction of the work scaffolding

Previous Sierra No. 28 Post: Preparing the Locomotive

Next Sierra No. 28 Post:  Removing the Boiler Tubes

Tickets on Sale Now for Future Rides on Sierra No. 3

Tickets are now on sale for all 2010 Sierra No. 3 Excursion Rides, which include August 7 &  8, September 4 & 5, and October 2 & 3.  On each day, regular excursion trains leave the station at 11, 12, 1  & 2.  Sometime around noon the Sierra No. 3 will emerge and be on display, until the 3 & 4:30 PM excursions leave the station, pulled by the Sierra No. 3.  These rides will include a stop, a photo run-by, and refreshments will be served on-board.  Space is limited, and advanced tickets are strongly recommended, and are available online at http://railtown1897.org/railtown/doc.asp?id=551 .  Any available tickets will be sold on the day of the event, at Railtown. 
Currently, the maintenance work continues in the shops at Railtown, and can be observed in the Roundhouse during normal operating hours.  In addition to routine repair and maintenance to some of our historic cars, the Sierra No. 3 is also receiving some attention to repair a failed bolt at the connection between the distribution pipe and the valve chests (see photos).  The distribution pipes, which are made of cast iron, convey the steam from the boiler to the valve chests (to the pistons).  Even the slightest leak at this joint can result in a loss of power, which was what was experienced on the final run of the 4th of July weekend.  A cursory inspection immediately revealed the problem.  It also marked the transition from restoration to routine maintenance, which is constant in any roundhouse where steam locomotives are in service!  This is a relatively quick repair. 

This is the head-on view into the front of the locomotive (smoke box) with the front door removed. The curved pipes coming down from either side are the steam distribution pipes, which feed the valve chests, which in turn feed the pistons. They are sealed with a machined ball seal, and secured with bolts.

Steam!

George lights the rags with a wooden match.

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And then longtime volunteer, Al Lehr, tosses it in the box.

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Norm and Phil check out the action in the valve chest.

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Enjoying an historic moment.

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Just a fraction of the many people who have worked on this project!

Work continues to prepare for the July 4th weekend, premiere.  Today’s firing was essential to steam out any debris from the restoration and building of the boiler.  If this step was not taken, there could be problems with debris in the cylinders, which could impact the operation of the pistons. 

While it was very exciting to see steam coming out of the smokestack, the real fun begins when the rods and pistons move!  Party’s over, carry on!  Work to do.  . .

As always, visitors are welcome to visit the park and watch the work in progress in the roundhouse.  We hope to see you soon.

Jacket Planning

Last week, before the lagging was installed, Steve Verver, from Brown’s Sheet Metal in Oakdale, took measurements for the construction of the jacket.  This week, he was out for the final measurements over the lagging, and is now in the process of constructing the jacket.

Since 1989, the locomotive has been wearing a jacket that was constructed for filming Back to the Future III.  Because it was constructed with modern methods (pop-rivets and sheet metal screws), and thin gauge, it is being replaced.

An earlier jacket for the Sierra #3 (most likely not the original), is preserved on site, so it was used as a reference, in addition to historic photographs.  It was particularly helpful for locating the placement of the rivet line, instead of scaling off of old photos.  It was not used as a direct pattern, because of minor differences in the placement of the domes on the new boiler.

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Steve and George discuss jacket fabrication

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George and Steve consult historic photos for clues.

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Old boiler jacket laid out on ground.

Old coffee sign used in construction of jacket, lettering can be seen.

Another old sign can be seen in this part.

Another old sign can be seen here.