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Messages - Rick Rowlands

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Work and Events / Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« on: August 14, 2016, 08:07:49 PM »
I documented Wayne documenting the Eames muffler today!

Work and Events / Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« on: July 03, 2016, 08:04:39 AM »
The valve body molds were rather interesting to make.  The cores for the internal passages are exceptionally tiny, and usually broke when taking them out of the core box.  I would then glue them together and then sand and fit to get them to sit still in the mold. 

For these castings I did not use greensand but instead used a nobake process that is alkyd based.  Mix 2% by weight resin into the sand, then add 1/2% co-reactant and mix it in.  I did 25 lb. batches in a 5 gallon bucket with a paddle on a drill for mixing.  A concrete mixer is a very effective and low cost mixer for no bake when there are larger batches to be made.  The molds set up in an hour or so, ready to strip and make the next one.  I carved risers and gates into the molds with a stone on an air grinder.  The nice thing about nobake is that the molds are practically indestructible with normal handling.  I can make molds today, put them on a shelf and pour them in 10 years and still be perfectly usable. 

Work and Events / Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« on: July 03, 2016, 07:49:23 AM »
I am so happy to see that the castings are machining up well! 

A little story on the production of the castings.  My original intent was to produce the castings from Alan's patterns at the WA Young Foundry & Machine Shop.  I reactivated their coke fired crucible furnace, which had not operated since before WWII,  and successfully melted bronze in it.  I brought down three molds to pour, but for various reasons all three ended up as short pours.   We had planned to try again, but word got out to the press that we were to be running the furnace, and since I did not have permission for the metal pour to be a public event, I had to cancel it.  Then about three days later the site was hit with torrential rains and enough water came down the hillside behind the building to penetrate the rear wall and run like a river right down the middle of the casting floor and out the front door!

By now I was very late in getting the castings finished, so to save time (Youngs is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Youngstown) I fabricated a temporary crucible furnace out of some 3" thick refractory board that I had salvaged from a steel mill, borrowed a propane forge burner and set out to melt the bronze in the J&L 58's enginehouse.   Over two separate days I ran that furnace and melted down enough old Lunkenheimer, Walworth and Crane valve bodies to cast all nine parts that Alan needed. 

I used to work in the foundry industry, from making 100 ton iron castings to tiny nonferrous parts, but pretty much gave it up several years ago.  But it all came back to me fairly rapidly, and now I have caught the casting bug again .  I will probably pour more bronze down at Young later in the year,  and have plans for the construction of an iron cupola furnace in Youngstown now as well.   From the same steel mill I also salvaged about 1,000 lbs. of SAE 660 bearing bronze, furnace fodder for a new set of rod bushings for the J&L 58 and whatever else comes along. 

The vacuum brake castings were produced absolutely free of charge as a way to help support the work of the WW&F. 

Work and Events / Re: W. A. Young Foundry and Machine Shop
« on: June 08, 2016, 11:08:03 PM »
Unfortunately that pour didn't go off as planned due to various reasons, so I am making new molds and will be back on Sunday to try again.   There is a bit of a learning curve in reactivating a furnace that hasn't run in 80 years and re-learning the art of casting in that building using the tools and materials left behind.   

Some of you may know that the only other Eames brake equipped locomotive in the US, W&W No.4 is only about 15 miles away in Waynesburg.  No.4 lives in a new enginehouse with about 200 feet of track running along the museum's property.  There is a Plymouth Diesel mechanical in the building with No.4, and I was asked to get it running so they could pull No.4 out of the building for an event. 

Well, I went down there last Sunday and shortly determined that the Plymouth is now a 5 ton brick since mice have gotten into the intake manifold and managed to urinate into the cylinders, rusting the pistons fast to the cylinders.  However, I have an idea on using compressed air to get No.4 to move out under its own (air) power.  Stay tuned to see if this is going to be a success or not! 

General Discussion / Re: In Pennsylvania this summer?
« on: June 02, 2016, 08:33:52 PM »
Wrong end of PA!  We all know that the other end of the state is where all the excitement is!  ;D

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:40:33 PM »
Built in 1942 for the New York Central as No. 513. Two Cummins diesel engines driving 250 VDC generators.   It was used for switching passenger cars and was equipped with diaphragm buffers.  The NYC got rid of these oddballs and by 1952 had sold the 513 to Cambria Slag Co. It later went to Standard Slag in Youngstown, then to Valley Mould & Iron in Hubbard.  We got it in 2009. 

I love it because its generators are 250 VDC, meaning that I can use it to provide power for some of the 250 VDC steel mill equipment in our collection.

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: May 06, 2016, 07:02:19 PM »
Thanks.  I will keep this thread updated as we do anything of potential interest. 

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: May 05, 2016, 08:57:35 AM »

Here are the only two pieces of rolling stock on the property thus far.  58's frame on the 722 flatcar.  That is about 35,000 lbs. of steel sitting there.  Total engine weight 93,000 lbs., thus explaining the need for heavy track.

Standing on the top of the hill looking northeast at our property.  The change in elevation between the top of the hill and the main yard level is apparent.  

Our standard gauge exhibit and the 58's frame at the current end of track.  The locomotive is a rare GE 70 ton centercab, made even more rare because its electrical system is 250 VDC instead of the usual 600 VDC.  The car is a Kling type hot metal car, built in Youngstown to handle loads of molten iron.   You may notice the steel ties.  We have about 50 steel ties that will be used on curves.  The ties are salvaged from a steel mill in Pittsburgh, cut in half and inserted where needed to better hold gauge.  This curve needs a few more inserted between the existing ties.

US Two Footers / J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: May 05, 2016, 08:33:13 AM »
The home rails for the Jones & Laughlin No. 58 will be the J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad, part of the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum.  We only have about 1.2 acres of land, but that will be enough for the construction of a sizable steel mill demonstration railroad.  Our intent is to recreate the type of rail operations that would have existed in the cramped confines of a steel plant.  Narrow gauge was very common in steel plants of the early 20th century for moving ingots as well as charging the open hearth furnaces. 

The attached track plan shows the proposed layout of the J&LNG.  The track shown in orange includes what is already built plus what we hope to have completed by the end of the year.  At the extreme right at the end of the orange track is the single stall enginehouse for the J&L 58.  The existing track extends around the 40' radius curve and ends just shy of the grade crossing over the rear access road.  From that point we will excavate the top soil and put down a roadbed to lay track northward (left side of pic is north) to a No.4 turnout to the yard lead which will run along the fence line back toward the Tod Engine Building. 

The blue denotes tracks to be built in the future, including a switchback.  The property is on a hill so the land at the rear is higher than the main yard level.  The switchback will be on a rather steep grade, designed to give the 58 a chance to work hard going up the hill.  At the upper right we have three shipping containers for storage.  This area will be reconfigured, with the three containers rearranged to sit next to each other with a fourth container added to the lineup.  At least three of the containers will be set up with rails inside.  A 15' turntable is planned to be built in front of them. 

The rolling stock we intend to use will be heavy industrial cars.  We have two of the Carpenter Steel 4 wheeled flatcars so far, and plan to add a few more as funding allows.  We would like to acquire a couple of Koppel dump cars since the Koppel plant was not far from us, and also plan to build a two foot version of the Mon Conn cabooses that were homebuilt by the railroad.   An internal combustion locomotive is also being sought so that we do not have to fire up the 58 whenever we want to run trains. 

We have collected many pieces of steel industry equipment that would make interesting flatcar loads, including a 100 ton crane hook block, two very large steam engine connecting rods, three open hearth charging boxes, 36" scrap magnet etc.  Typical items that would be carried by a steel mill railroad operation. 

Track will be built of minimum 85lb. and up rail.  The first section is laid with 100RB, and we have 90AS and 100PS rail for this year's track construction.  We may build a section using 132RE just to show how ridiculous that will look!  That section would also include Pandrol clips because if you are going ridiculous you might as well go all the way!   

I've read about this Portland hopper car on here in several different threads.  What does one of these cars look like?  Are there plans available?  

Museum Discussion / Re: 2016 rail purchase
« on: April 15, 2016, 07:19:33 AM »
A friend called me a few months ago asking me if I was interested in a bunch of 60 lb. rail.  I was not, as the J&L 58 would chew up and spit out such light rail.  So I sent an email to Wayne Laepple about it, ultimately resulting in this purchase.  This apparently was the mainline of  the Kettle Moraine Railroad. 

BTW,  I am looking for a few hundred feet of 85 or 90 lb. rail for the J&L Narrow Gauge, so if anyone hears of any available at a reasonable price please let me know. 

Work and Events / Re: Sheepscot Turntable - Official Work Thread
« on: January 17, 2016, 10:32:17 AM »
Do you know what the load bearing capacity of the soil is at the turntable location?  When we built our museum building here in Ohio we had a drill rig come out to take core samples, but if you just estimate the bearing capacity based upon the soil type that you have and build a large spread footing then you shouldn't have any problems.   Unless you are blessed with bedrock near the surface to build off of.

Work and Events / Re: Sheepscot Turntable - Official Work Thread
« on: January 16, 2016, 01:34:34 PM »
Looks to me like the left side king post started to slide down and the 2x4s were nailed there to keep it standing as the post is clearly about a foot away from the bend in the truss rod.  Kinda makes me think that the truss rods didn't provide all that much support  to the turntable.

With the droop caused by the weakened truss rod system, and the fact that it had only partial outer ring rails, I wonder if they ran into problems where the outer wheels would drop below the top of the ring rails when they rolled off the ends.

Museum Discussion / Re: Membership Update
« on: January 13, 2016, 10:14:40 PM »

Glad to be a part of the effort and look forward to doing what I can to help the WW&F.  Going to try to get up to Maine this July for a visit.

Museum Discussion / Re: Membership Update
« on: January 13, 2016, 12:40:24 PM »
You have gained another member.  I just sent $30.00 via paypal to the WW&F for my membership.

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