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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:08:18 PM »

Really beautiful work.  I remember a while back when I was reading Dave Gingery's series on building a machine shop from scrap, he mentioned using auto body filler to create a fillet on castings.  I see this on your pattern Bernie and was wondering what you use.

Take care,

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: March 05, 2013, 02:00:59 PM »
Nice Work!

Somehow, I was expecting the locomotive to come down, rather than the drivers to go up.  I suppose the benefit of this arrangement would be if any adjustments need to be made, you need only raise and lower 1 set of drivers rather than the entire locomotive.


Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: February 21, 2013, 10:14:52 AM »
After my arrival late Sunday afternoon, I spent about an hour going over work the work that had transpired earlier in the day and on Saturday.
Monday Morning I began die grinding the access hole for the washout plug on the fireman's side of the boiler.  This consumed a most of the morning.
Following an excellent lunch, JB and I measured drilled and installed the cab stirrups.  Milo provided encouragement.  I began to work on the stirrups at the rear of the locomotive.  Finding them to be out of square, Brendan and I heated them with the rosebud torch and made some adjustments.  Interestingly, the next day I found punch marks on all of the stirrup bends from when they were first forged.  The torch burnt all of the paint and dirt out of them, making them very obvious.  As mentioned below, Brendan and I put up the pilot beam temporarily to measure for the smokebox braces.   Monday night I laid out and wrote procedures for drilling the ash cleanout casting on the smokebox, smokebox-pilot braces, and the rear stirrups.  I also located Dave Crow's punch marks for the handrail stanchions and marker light bracket.
Tuesday I proceeded to drill the previously marked holes to the proper dimensions using the mag drill.  The ash cleanout casting and marker light bracket were both temporarily installed.  Jason stopped by to discuss the progress Tuesday afternoon, and it was decided to replicate a smokebox patch on the firman's side of the locomotive.  This patch is necessary because it maintains the dimensions of the original smokebox and will prevent the need to make modifications to the both the smokebox-pilot brace and the front running board bracket.  It also maintains the historical character of the locomotive while it operated on the WW&F.  I spent the remainder of Tuesday evening measuring and producing this patch.  It was rough fit by Tuesday evening, although it will still require some grinding and adjustment.  It also will need holes located and drilled before the patch is fitted.

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: January 27, 2013, 07:44:53 PM »

That seems to be true.  I know my high school dismantled one of two remaining tech classrooms (of the original 4 from when the schools was built) to add more space for other programs.  I worked with my asst.  principal (whose model of a Southern Ry. PS-4 on his desk attested to his interest in railways) to acquire some of the machinery from the shop for a local railway museum.  Unfortunately, it did not work out.
While substitute teaching, I was witness to some absolutely scandalous things in tech classrooms.  One day while subbing, we went through and identified the name and purpose of the different parts of the internal combustion cutaway they had in their room.  They described it as "the most fun the ever had in tech" and were mystified as to why a music teacher knew stuff about a car engine.


Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: January 23, 2013, 10:59:54 PM »
During the past weekend progress forged ahead on several projects regarding #9.  Saturday saw Jason and Gordon occupied with running gear calculations.  Wes was occupied on the lathe making up bearings for the equalizers.  My father (who after several years has finally had his first visit) And I began by grinding a flat surface on the transitional casting at a 45 degree angle to the frame.  This was in preparation for drilling holes so that the washout plugs could pass through the casting.
Sunday work continued on this front along with grinding several bolt heads flush with the surface of the forward frame to avoid clearance issues with the drive wheels.  A point of historical interest occurred on Sunday when I asked my dad to go out and measure the old frames for locating the stirrup steps into the cab.  He returned noting there were two sets of holes on each side which would have worked for the stirrups.  I sumissed that the steps must have been moved at some point.  Sure enough Jason confirmed Monday that after the locomotive was wrecked on the Sandy River, the cab was rebuilt with the doors and hence the stirrups moved back several inches.
Monday saw the pilot backing plate leveled and centered.  Holes were then drilled and tapped in the forward frame for this.  The plate was temporarily installed pending final installation along with the pilot beam.  Jonathan and Jason were busy at work in the Machine shop on driving boxes.  Josh was also working throughout the weekend on recreating #9's electrical system.
Thanks to everyone for a great weekend.  It looks like we may have found another volunteer in my father, who claims his favorite bit of work was cutting and burning Saturday Morning.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: John Hodgman on Hobos...
« on: January 06, 2013, 11:08:27 PM »
Agreed.  I think I had intended to post this on rypn, but wound up posting it here instead.  I am also somewhat bothered by its lack of factual information and general lameness.  What bothers me most is that the actual history of the era is certainly more entertaining and at times, more humorous than this attempt at the same.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / John Hodgman on Hobos...
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:13:01 AM »
Is it history or "his" (John Hodgman's) story?

Museum Discussion / Re: Rotarys, Flangers, and Plows! (Oh My!)
« on: March 09, 2011, 03:29:10 PM »
The LIRR rotary #193 was built by Cooke in 1898.  As Wayne stated, the tender has PRR style trucks.  The tender is a replacement, which I believe may have been a regular PRR short haul tender, like some of the Atlantic's had.  I estimate that the boiler was probably replaced at some point too, but I am unsure if that is the case or not.   As a visitor may note, the geography of Long Island is particularly flat, and, in the late 1800's was mostly undeveloped as well.  The Long Island initially purchased this plow to deal with the extensive drifting found outside Queens and Brooklyn, where the railroad encountered vast open areas which are prone to drifting.
A great photo of the rotary in action, and other neat snowfighting equipment on LI can be found at this site:

Museum Discussion / Re: Name for the new switch
« on: October 17, 2010, 06:42:42 PM »
Perhaps a compromise would be to name the carhouse itself for the Ramsdell family since they were historically associcated with preserving and protecting the extant WW&F equipment while in Connecticut.  Perhaps naming the house itself for the Percival's as it takes on its new role as a museum building is fitting.  In this way, no building/rolling stock based on a historic prototype would be given a name which conflicts with its origin or historical nature.  This is of course just one possibility.

Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend 10/8-11, 2010
« on: October 12, 2010, 07:42:40 PM »
It was my first time at the work weekend as well.  While I was only at the museum on Saturday, I was amazed by the amount we accomplished!  It was so nice to meet so many people at the museum, and spend time helping out.  The hospitality of the museum to volunteers is wonderful and I look forward to bringing others from the Berkshire Scenic up at some time in the future to work as well.  See you in the Spring!  Thanks to all of the people who made this possible!

Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend 10/8-11, 2010
« on: October 04, 2010, 09:27:08 AM »
I'll be taking off a weekend from the Berkshire Scenic to come up.  I should be there late on Friday and all day Saturday.  From there, I'm not sure.  I'm bringing a lining bar with me.

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