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Messages - Rick Rowlands

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: November 08, 2015, 11:10:36 PM »
I am quite interested in the multi step painting of the locomotive.  This is the first time that I have heard of varnish being used on anything other than wood.  I would be interested in learning what type and brand of varnish is being used, as we may be interested in using these products on a project that we are working on down in Ohio. 

US Two Footers / Re: Jones & Laughlin 58 Restoration
« on: September 29, 2015, 06:55:56 AM »
We are making progress on the restoration of J&L 58.   Yesterday the boiler was removed from the frame, and later this week it will be going to the boiler shop for rebuild.  Scroll down the page for the pics.

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 25, 2015, 07:08:20 AM »
Bernie,  I've always enjoyed making the more complex castings, as it take a bit of patience and some out of the box thinking to get the cores to stay where they need to be and get the gating and risering right.  I can try anything, and if it doesn't come out just throw it back into the furnace and try again.   As long as the alloy is available in ingots we should be able to melt it in the crucible furnace.

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 24, 2015, 08:02:12 AM »
I have been in the foundry business off and on for many years, and now I am restoring a 23" gauge Porter 0-4-0T, Jones & Laughlin Steel No. 58.  Three weeks ago I brought both of those interests together when I cast a new set of grates for the locomotive at an iron pour that we held at the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Rankin, PA, just outside of Pittsburgh.  We are ramping up a metal arts program at the site and over the winter will begin construction of a foundry building.  By next summer we will have the ability to cast grey iron and ductile iron up to about 7,000 lbs.  We will also be able to cast bronze.  Much of our work will be art pieces, but my interest is in creating a location where castings for historic restoration projects could also be made.  We will be producing all of the castings that we need for our railroad, including the wheels.

I am confident that we could produce all of the grey iron, ductile iron and bronze castings for the WW&F 11 project, do it at a cost substantially less than what a commercial foundry would charge and with the same quality.  I have worked at foundries producing iron castings from 100 tons down to a couple of pounds using both no bake and greensand.  I've also operated my own iron foundry business making reproduction parts for gas engine and tractor enthusiasts. 

Carrie Furnaces NHL is a former US Steel blast furnace plant, once the major iron producing facility for the now demolished Homestead Steel Works.  The furnaces could each produce over 1,000 tons of molten iron per day that was converted into steel and rolled into I beams, channels, plates and armor plate.  It is now a major tourist attraction in the Pittsburgh area.  We are restoring the J&L 58 in the blowing engine house and have intentions of constructing several hundred feet of track on which to operate the locomotive when it is finished.

Just something to think about as you plan your WW&F 11 build.  Click on the below link and advance through the photos of the making of the grates as well as builders plates.  I made one plate out of bronze and four more out of iron, working from an aluminum reproduction plate that I changed the construction number on.  The grate pattern is about 100 years old and part of the collection at the WA Young Foundry & Machine Shop, a complete turn of the century lineshaft driven machine shop that is also under our care.

Museum Discussion / Re: Prints & Erecting Cards (drawings)
« on: April 10, 2015, 11:54:32 PM »
Last year a few friends and I hatched a plan to build a small locomotive from scratch.  The impetus for the proposed project was the availability of a preserved 1900 era foundry and lineshaft driven machine shop to build it in and the owner's desire to put the place to some productive work.  So we thought that building a steam locomotive, small enough to be handled by the shop's machines would be ideal.  And since Porter was located in Pittsburgh and the shop is a National Historic Landmark and located up the Mon from Pittsburgh, we felt that some funding for this project might become available if we followed a Porter design.   That was the plan at least until I found the J&L 58, and then our efforts shifted to restoring that locomotive instead. 

However, we are still interested in pursuing the original plan after the 58 is finished.  So if any of you are serious about exploring the idea of someday building WW&F no. 4, perhaps we should get together and talk sometime. 

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: April 09, 2015, 09:20:08 PM »
The felt strips is a great idea.  I'll have to remember that.

Museum Discussion / Re: Prints & Erecting Cards (drawings)
« on: April 09, 2015, 09:17:42 PM »
Only an elevation drawing for C/N 2360.   It seems that the newer the locomotive, the more drawings that are available. 

Museum Discussion / Re: Prints & Erecting Cards (drawings)
« on: April 09, 2015, 07:54:55 PM »
All that I can find is an elevation drawing and a cab drawing for C/N 2497, but at least it is a start.

Museum Discussion / Re: Prints & Erecting Cards (drawings)
« on: April 09, 2015, 01:37:31 PM »
There is indeed a large set of drawings at the museum in Ottawa.  We were able to obtain erection, boiler, frame, cab, sander and cylinder cock rigging drawings from them for Jones & Laughlin 58.  they are all scanned and available as PDFs.  I have the listing of drawings that they hold, so if you have a Porter construction number, I can look through the list and let you know what they have, if anything. 

Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. in Homestead, PA has a collection of a few hundred Porter builders photos.  I should take the time one day to catalog that collection so we know exactly what they have available.

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: February 05, 2015, 12:17:53 AM »
It appears that the backhead has been painted.  What was used as a coating? 

General Discussion / Re: An interesting photo I stumbled upon
« on: January 28, 2015, 02:22:33 PM »
That certainly is an iron furnace.  its probably been out of blast for fifty years by the time this photo was taken. 

US Two Footers / Jones & Laughlin 58 Restoration
« on: January 26, 2015, 12:18:27 PM »
We are making pretty good progress on the restoration of the 23" gauge Porter 0-4-0T at the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum.

Here are a couple of videos of the initial inspection and dismantling:

US Two Footers / Re: 23"? Heavyweight
« on: December 10, 2014, 10:03:26 PM »
Perhaps the cars at Kovalchick are not from Carpenter.

US Two Footers / Re: 23"? Heavyweight
« on: December 06, 2014, 05:25:11 PM »
The pile of Carpenter Steel 23" gauge cars at Kovalchick Salvage.

US Two Footers / Re: 23"? Heavyweight
« on: December 06, 2014, 05:19:05 PM »
Yes, we are going to be restoring the 58 to her original 93,000 lb. self again.  We have plans to construct a 23" gauge steel mill demonstration railroad at the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum in Youngstown, OH.  The first 80 feet of track, which is mostly built, is of 100 lb. RB rail, mainly because that is what i had laying around the property.  I will comp. down to 85 lb. ASCE for the rest of the railroad as I can find 85 lb. No.4 switches and it will still support the axle loadings. 

The original 23" gauge operation that this locomotive was used on was at the Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. Pittsburgh Works.  It moved ingot mold cars around, which are extremely heavy.  I want to build a train of heavy flats with ingot molds so that we can replicate that part of steel industry rail operations.  This type of two foot railroading is about as far from the lighter, more typical two footers as you can get. 

Thanks to a tip from Wayne Laepple, I visited Kovalchick's Salvage in Burnham, PA on Thursday and found literally a pile of 23" gauge flatcars that were originally from Carpenter Steel.  I am trying to get a price on them, and if the price is reasonable I may buy a couple.  An alternative is to construct our own cars based upon the Carpenter design, but beefed up somewhat. 

The 58 is due to arrive on the property soon, with boiler work taking place over the winter and spring.  By summer we should have the boiler back on and be ready to test fire. Tank and cab reconstruction will take longer.  Track construction and car fabrication/acquisition will take place as time permits.  We also have to get new ingot molds cast for us.  Fortunately the last ingot mold maker in the US is five miles away and the company is already a contributor to our museum, so maybe we won't have much expense in getting those.
This is a similar narrow gauge ingot mold operation at the US Steel Homestead Works.
This is our trackplan.  Red is track already built.  Blue is track to be built.

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