Author Topic: B&SR 7  (Read 74171 times)

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2008, 06:06:17 PM »
More up to date news: The boiler is now scheduled to arrive in Alna tomorrow (Monday, December 1)

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2008, 06:16:47 PM »
Glad to see #7 will be worked on at Alna. More folks will get to see it there. As General Electric's old slogan used to go:
"Progress is our most important product".

Richard Symmes

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2008, 05:38:14 PM »
Currently everyone who has been working on #7 is now crewing for Polar Express. In the mean time, the building is being erected around the boiler now at Alna. Once that is up and we have access to electricity, oxygen and acetylene, then we can finish grinding and burning tube ends. Maybe we will even get some heat but I won't hold my breath (just turn up the torch higher).

So much torch work has been done this summer that my hands don't know the difference between a torch head and the throttle in #4.

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2009, 05:09:18 PM »
Work on #7 is now back underway. Polar Express took all of us a lot of hours but it was a success. Now it's into the winter work season with spring hopefully not too far away.

The boiler is resting comfortably inside a garage on Brian's property a mile north of Cross Road. All the tube ends have been removed from the smoke box sheet and half have been removed from the fire box sheet. This process takes quite a bit of grinding and burning in order to grind off the weld then heat and punch the tube end out.

This week Jason and Brian will cut out the firebox side and crown sheets. It will be interesting to see how the water legs look after this is done. Next hurdles will be to obtain new metal and then determine how we will get flexi-stays made. The smoke box will also be completely replaced as most of it is rotten.

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 07:02:10 PM »
Awsome Guys. Keep up the good work.  :D
Proud Supporter of the new Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam Program. Go vist my youtube account here at www.youtube.com/Matt3985 .

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2009, 04:57:41 PM »
More good news in this area. All of the tube ends have been removed from the smoke box and a majority of the tubes ends have been removed from the firebox end. In parallel, the crown sheet and side sheets have started to come out. Replacement metal for the firebox and smokebox has been approved for payment and is about to be ordered.

As for staybolts, we are just starting a "Buy a Staybolt" campaign. A $100 donation buys a new staybolt. We need 42 of the flexi-stay type. You can send you donations to MNGRR at 58 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101.

Bill Piche

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B&SR 7 Update 3/21/09
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2009, 12:01:35 AM »
MNGRR Steam Team
Special Report
B&SR 7 Boiler Work Status
March 21, 2009


By Hans Brandes

Out of sight, but not out of mind

Last fall we saw B&SR 7’s boiler travel from MNGRR, to its temporary home in Alna. There, work will continue by both volunteers and hired labor (Brian Fanslau and Jason LaMontagne dba Maine Locomotive and Machine Co.). I am happy to report that the boiler is in a good place and work has been moving forward. Following is the news as I sit next to the woodstove writing this report after another of many days spent up at Alna.

The Shop
B&SR 7’s boiler is resting comfortably in a structure built especially to house the boiler and do this project. The structure is on Brian Fanslau’s property. Though a simple structure, the boiler’s home has a cement floor, barn doors, vertical wood sides and a roof that does not leak. It is equipped with electricity, a work light, oxygen and acetylene tanks, hoses and a torch. Access is convenient in that you can back your truck right up to the door, unload tools and go right to work. The boiler is up on blocks allowing access to the firebox from underneath. What more could anyone want? OK, you do have to bring your own grinder, disks, work clothes and appropriate safety equipment, but hey, a pretty good setup.



BS&R #7 boiler with smoke box removed sits inside the shop at Alna. (Photo by Hans Brandes)

The Tubes
When the boiler left MNGRR, all 131 tubes had been removed but only about half of the tube ends in the smoke box had been removed. So this was the next job to be accomplished. It is not easy to remove tube ends. On the smoke box end, some tubes are welded, but most are rolled and beaded. It’s a different story on the firebox end. All the tubes are welded. Every welded tube end must have the weld ground down using a grinder. It must be done carefully to remove the weld connecting the tube and the tube sheet avoiding gouging the sheet. Once welds have been ground down, the tube end is heated up using the oxyacetylene torch. This must also be done with care to avoid distorting the sheet. Once the tube end is red hot, it is hammered out with a special punch that was made by our volunteer Bob Comeau. The tube comes out easy or hard depending on how thorough the end was ground.  As of today, after my sixth trip to Alna, the last of the 262 tube ends have been removed by yours truly.
 

Hans Brandes heating a tube end for removal. (Photo by Donna Mitchelson)

The Smoke Box
Two weeks ago Brian and Jason began working on the boiler. When the boiler was separated from the chassis, it had to be cut away. This was done as the bottom third of the smoke box was rotten (ash is very corrosive) and would need to be replaced. Once up at Alna, a further assessment was made and it was decided to cut off the rest of the smoke box due to additional rot, thinned smoke box ring bolts, etc. and install a whole new one. This is a good decision as it will give #7 a clean looking smoke box with no weld seams indicating patches.
 

The old smoke box removed from the boiler sits out side the shop in Alna. (Photo by Hans Brandes)

The Fire Box
Based on ultrasound tests, it was determined that the crown sheet and side sheets down to the cab floor level would have to be removed in order to obtain a goal of a 150 PSI maximum operating pressure. Two weeks ago, Brian and Jason started cutting out the crown and side sheets. As the sheets were cut out, the true condition of the metal could be seen. As the calculations showed, the sheets had indeed thinned due to years of fire. In addition, the stays holding these sheets have corroded to various degrees due to mineral in the water. Doing this replacement now will give #7 its next fifteen years of life.
 

The side and crown sheets have been removed. Four rows of rigid stay bolts remain to be cut off. (Photo by Hans Brandes)

The Next Steps
Steel plate is going to get ordered this week. Once that arrives, it can be installed. Volunteer labor can be used to drill out the old stay bolts. We are also working on finding a way to get access to a CNC lathe to make the stay bolts. This will save some money. Once those are made, they can be installed. The new smoke box will go on, inspections will be done and a hydrostatic test performed. Though there are additional tasks, this is the basic summary of the boiler work portion of this project.

The Money
As many of you know, we have very limited funds for this project. After paying for asbestos removal, tubes for the boiler and plate for smoke box and fire box, we still need to buy material for new rigid and flexible stays, pay for labor to weld the firebox and smoke box and have inspections done that are necessary to make #7 FRA Form 4 compliant. This gets the boiler work done but there is more. We will need to buy insulation, new glass and additional plumbing fittings as may be required to put it all back together. We currently have approximately $6,500 left in our Restricted Fund. We need to raise more to ensure that we can finish this project. When the money runs out, the work stops and material can not be ordered and paid for. So with that challenge, we are kicking of a Buy a Stay bolt Campaign. A $100 contribution buys a stay bolt for #7 and gets us that much closer to completion. There are 42 stay bolts, so our goal is $4,200. That is not enough to complete the project, but it keeps us going for awhile. Please send your contributions to the museum at 58 Fore Street, Portland, Maine 04101. State that this is for a stay bolt for #7.

Closing
This pretty much sums it up for the boiler. There is a whole lot of other work that needs to be done on the chassis back in Portland. This too will require additional funding in order to complete the job.
When will we be done? That is a good question that does not have an answer at this time. Until we are done removing parts and taking things apart, we will continue to be in the ‘discovery’s stage. That means not everything will be known until this is done. Like everything else, it is a function of time and money. Though we have done much to date, we have a long way to go and a lot more hard work ahead of us.


« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 12:05:52 AM by Bill Piche »
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Bill Sample

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2009, 03:03:00 PM »
I appreciate the updates on this project.  Bill, your report was excellent.

Bill Piche

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 03:27:45 PM »
I appreciate the updates on this project.  Bill, your report was excellent.

Thank Hans. He's the one who has been writing the reports.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 03:32:35 PM by Bill Piche »
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Bill Sample

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2009, 01:55:09 AM »
Well then, Thanks, Hans!

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2009, 04:34:49 PM »
So far, its been Jason, Brian and myself who have been working on the boiler. Last weekend more side stays were cut out. The three of us met and agreed that most of the door sheet has to be replaced as there is quite a bit of pitting and there are thin spots over the top of the sheet.

The upper part of the smokebox tube sheet also will need to be replaced. In addition the two flue stays that run the length of the boiler are also too thin to keep. There is also a portion of the barrel along the bottom behind the smokebox sheet that has to be cut out.  This should be just about it for the replacement list.

Next on the list to do is to finish cutting off the stays from the inside. Then all the insides of the outer sheets need to be ground so that we can drill out the remaining stay bolts stubs that are still welded into the outer sheets. Then we will needle scale the inside.

This week the new sheet metal is being ordered. Next for materials will be round bar for side and flexi stays. We are hoping that someone who has access to a CNC lathe will donate some time. We think we have someone.

So, progress continues to be made, though we have a long way to go. As mentioned above, please consider buying a staybolt as this project is not fully funded. Should funds run out, we will have to put down our torches and grinders until funds can be raised. Let's not let that happen!

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2009, 10:12:40 AM »
More work continued this week. Half of the door sheet has been cut out. The rest of it could be gone by Sunday. Then comes the long process of grinding down the bolt ends that are in the outer sheets so that they can be drilled out to make way for the new ones. Though I don't have an exact count, the are about 140 stays that hold the firebox in place.

The new metal has been ordered and paid for. It should be arriving in a few weeks. It will be good to get done with the tearing apart phase and start working on the putting together phase.

Our biggest unknown right now is funding. Although we are making steady progress, we may at some point, have to put down our torch and tools before we are done if we can not raise the rest of what is required to finish the job. Somewhere in the vicinity of $15 - $20,000 should do it.

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2009, 04:47:02 PM »
The last piece of the firebox being removed has been cut out. More work to be accomplished this weekend. Plan is to burn off the remaining 20 stays then continue to grind staybolt ends so that they can be drilled out of the outer sheet. This requires grinding on both sides of the outer sheet.

We also have some parts coming up so that everything is on site when it is time to hydro the boiler. This includes the dry pipe, throttle valve, wishbones and steam dome cover. Hopefully the WW&F train will be running tomorrow so that we can hear the whistle blow!

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2009, 09:33:43 PM »
Awsome work on my favorite Maine 2 footer. Hope to see more of her progress soon. Keep it up.  ;) :) ;D 8)
Proud Supporter of the new Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam Program. Go vist my youtube account here at www.youtube.com/Matt3985 .

Hans Brandes

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Re: B&SR 7
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2009, 01:09:26 AM »
Another weekend in Alna has come and gone. Three of us worked on the boiler on Saturday. Bill Piche and friend Krista joined me for more grinding and torching. The last 20 staybolts that held part of the door sheet were torched off. This left the last piece of torch work inside the firebox...torching off the ends in the overhead. This is not fun as you are now working with a torch overhead and have to watch out for dropping slag. Not a good situation. Most of the ends got done but the oxygen tank ran out.

On the outside, Bill and Krista were able to grind all the staybolt ends on the sides. Today (Sunday) was grinding more staybolt ends on the inside. As of the end of today, half of the staybolts ends are now ground on both sides and are ready to be drilled. Another quarter have one side ground down. This leaves about 26 ends in the overhead that have to be ground on both sides.

There is about 8 manhours of grinding left to do, then it is on to needle scaling. Oh boy.

So if anyone thinks it is glorious work, it's not. It's gold old fashioned elbow grease with a grinder and a torch, hour after hour after hour, but we are getting there.

We hope the new plate metal will arrive in a week or so. This means that the new sheets can start to get formed. Still a long way to go.

Stay tuned.