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Messages - Gordon Cook

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General Discussion / Re: not quite as far off topic....
« on: November 02, 2008, 08:05:59 PM »
And check out the homepage for the Handcar Regatta.
Some neat contraptions, a 3 wheel steam car and some other stuff.
It must be all that sunshine out there....

General Discussion / Re: not quite as far off topic....
« on: November 01, 2008, 11:10:24 PM »
OK, this video IS from Kalifornia, land of Ahnold and Hollywood.
I love the imagination, the invention, the wackiness. Kind of like the Steampunk thing that is popular now, combining modern technology with the aesthetics and look of the Victorian era.
Hmm, this would be a fun event, though. ;D The costumes, especially  ;)

Work and Events / Re: Albion Day 2008
« on: October 31, 2008, 01:24:31 PM »
I am going to be there this year, should be at Sheepscot by 7:30 AM or so.

Work and Events / Re: Car shop extension
« on: October 30, 2008, 03:47:53 PM »

IIRC it was just 3 weeks ago that the scratch building 'kit' arrived for the work weekend.
Amazing, and really great that all of the rolling stock will be under cover this winter.

General Discussion / Re: Alna VFD Hunter's Breakfast
« on: October 30, 2008, 03:42:35 PM »
Hmmm, not going after Bullwinkle, I hope.???
Moose sausage anyone? :o
Sounds good, If I can get up early enough I may stop in...

Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend '08 - photos
« on: October 19, 2008, 01:00:04 PM »
A few pictures from the work weekend:

On Saturday:


Heading home through Alna Center after a long day:

Work and Events / Re: John Craft Charter on Friday October 3
« on: October 09, 2008, 06:48:33 PM »
Yes indeed, very nice mood and picture composition. Especially the handsome crew!!!

Ric and I were asked if we could sit still for the long exposures, which wasn't too bad a thought at the end of the day. I trust you couldn't see if our  eyes were closed.  :)
We were asked if the headlight could be dimmed, and I think we both thought "Hmm, no dimmer switch on this thing, sorry."
After a few minutes, we realized that we could throttle back the generator so that it put out less voltage, and so the lights would dim nicely, which we did. I hope this made these pics a little easier to take.

Work and Events / Re: John Craft Charter on Friday October 3
« on: October 06, 2008, 03:53:57 PM »
Whoo Hooo, a lot of fun!
A long day for many folks, but I thought that it was very enjoyable, rewarding, and interesting to recreate the moments in time that we see in our minds when we are laboring away at the museum. 
Oh, yeah, it did rain a little, but not for long:


and the photo line at Sutter's Crossing in the early afternoon:

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 27, 2008, 10:58:26 PM »
On Friday night, the 26th, I installed the refurbished 6 1/2 Metropolitan injector on #10 after a little wrestling with the old one to remove a part from it that was needed.
On Saturday we fired up and I fully expected that the rebuilt injector would work, but, while it lifted readily, it would not inject.  ???
I would have liked to examine the combining/forcing tube from of the 'old' one, but I couldn't remove it with the tool that I had, and so we had to revert to the original 5 1/2 size injector that has been on #10 for the last 4 years.
By the sounds of the rebuilt unit when attempting to get it to work, I would guess that the new tube that I made was not generating enough pressure to open the check valve. So I'll bore it out and remake it with a replaceable insert so that I can do some experiments. The other possibility is that the steam nozzle was worn, as Keith had explained it was 'cut' from the steam, and maybe it isn't working well enough anymore.
Jason may be able to secure another Metropolitan of similar size and vintage for examination, so I'm hoping to get some additional information regarding the tube dimensions.
So the experiment continues....

Volunteers / Re: Pouring Concrete for theCar Shop Addition
« on: September 25, 2008, 04:16:10 PM »
Ditto on the great work, gentlemen!
Steve, Western Vermont isn't a bad place to be this time of year. If you're up near Middlebury we recommend the 'Black Sheep Bistro' in Vergennes.
That sure is an impressive amount of equipment, but I gotta ask what the dolly is used for on a cooking show??
Looks like you're gonna get an action shot of whisking the eggs!! :)

Museum Discussion / Re: Track availability
« on: September 22, 2008, 04:30:04 PM »
If you consider what went on in the 20th Century, I think a reasonable conclusion is that 60# or smaller rail was long gone by WW2 from most track that could handle early 20th century locos, especially here in New England as all those bucolic branches saw their manufacturing customers move away. As mainlines were upgraded to handle the heavier equipment the 80# stuff was used to relay most secondary track in the 20's, or as cheap replacement in the depression, and then any remaining small stuff was taken up during the scrap drives in the war.
Therefore anything still on the ground today and not in use is at least 80# and likely belongs to a state. The only 60# stuff I've come across is about 200' of guard rail off a Guilford/Pan Am bridge, and about 60' left on a siding in Concord, MA, buried under the leaves. 

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 21, 2008, 08:09:39 PM »
Well, to be honest I am not familiar with 'wire drawn' . The originals are castings to be sure, with machined surfaces and threads. I believe the internal passages were formed by a core in the casting, but it is hard to tell because of the pitting and wear. I do understand the lost wax process and they might have been made that way, but that's a guess.
The tubes all have conical cross-sections, no curves.  I took plaster castings of the internal passages to measure their dimensions as accurately as I could. Linn Moedinger of Strasburg replied to an inquiry in RYPN's message board that they found that a curved section wasn't a noticeable improvement over the conical section, so I assume that the injector manufacturers discovered the same thing and went with the straight conical sections for ease of manufacturing. But your comment about the Sellars is useful and interesting. I am hoping that it will work far better than the worn 'gun' we have now, even if the dimensions and angles aren't exactly what the manufacturer originally specified.
I thought about making reamers, but after some research and thought I realized it would be far easier to just set up the compound rest and bore the tapers, so there isn't any tooling. The smallest tube is the combining/forcing tube and it is about .2 " at the smallest diameter, with a taper of around 2.5 degrees to the ends. I have assumed ( I know, I know!) that the tolerance required isn't that tight.
We'll be able to test all this next weekend, I hope, as all I have to do is assemble the injector and am waiting for the right packing material for the valve stems, which should come this week.
Thank you for your kind complements. I especially appreciate that from you, Keith!

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 19, 2008, 01:53:56 PM »
Thanks. Steve, I hope a properly working injector doesn't make firing #10 any less exciting! ;)
Ira, this gun has been hammered and abused quite a bit. I'm puzzled as to why whacking it would help, the only thing I can think of is the case where the check valve is stuck (that's on the right side in the picture, at the output into the boiler) but otherwise it shouldn't have any effect. Everything else that moves is connected to the operating lever.
And, yes John, you have a sharp eye, but those aren't test tubes. They belong to my other career, designing speakers.
I was experimenting with the ideal shape for port tubes for small vented (bass reflex) speakers, and shaping plastic tubing so it has a gradually expanding cross section from the middle to the ends. Ironically, the injector work gave me some insights into this, and I used the same principle as the delivery tube in the injector uses to smooth out the air flow through the port tube. In small, high output speakers the air velocity is limited by the noise it makes as it tries to go through the tube, so any improvement there improves the speaker's bass output which comes out the port.
Now, back to smoothing up the steam valve stem.

Work and Events / WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 18, 2008, 08:42:07 PM »
I've been working on refurbishing the spare Metropolitan injector for # 10 and can report pretty good progress.
For those who have pondered the magic that occurs inside of one of these devices here is a picture of it in pieces:

As you can see there's a lot going on in there!

The shiny parts are the two new tubes that I made to replace the damaged old ones. The internal valves which control the steam flow have been refinished and I'll be renewing a couple of the outside linkage parts to reduce the play.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks our fireman's side injector will no longer be the PITA that it is now.

General Discussion / Re: How's this for turntables?!
« on: September 15, 2008, 09:50:00 PM »
Hmmmm, VErrrry interesting!!

Looks a little tippy, though.  Homemade? Are they portable? Many questions, but wouldn't that be fun!!

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