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Messages - Gordon Cook

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361
Museum Discussion / Re: Track availability
« on: September 22, 2008, 12:30:04 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. 

362
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 21, 2008, 04:09:39 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!

363
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 19, 2008, 09:53:56 AM »
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.

364
Work and Events / WW&F No. 10 - Official Work Thread
« on: September 18, 2008, 04:42:07 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.

365
General Discussion / Re: How's this for turntables?!
« on: September 15, 2008, 05:50:00 PM »
Hmmmm, VErrrry interesting!!

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

366
Work and Events / Re: Moving Rail and Ties
« on: September 15, 2008, 12:26:57 PM »
Dana,
I hope your back is better by the work weekend.  We'd really miss your voice saying "side of the care....lift....north.....
Duncan

Actually, having experienced Dana's authoritative voice this past Saturday lining track, I'm not sure if we'll all be missing it too much by the end of the track weekend.  :)

367
General Discussion / Re: WW&F volunteer sighting...
« on: September 10, 2008, 08:38:16 AM »
And just about when that picture was taken, the engineer cleared the cylinders and I got a shower! A little more water than #10 spits out, that's for sure.
Bernie, the bell looks great, wonderful to see it, and your place.
A nice ride, too bad it rained on the way back, but Jim Thorpe (or M. C. if you prefer) is sweet, some nice restaurants, shops, and inns. Lots of trains in that area, a lot to see.
The 425 puts on a loud show, we were in the 4th car and she was very audible.



Wayne and Kitty and their friends Don and Judy on the train. Don's into steamboats, and he told me about a meet in Boston on  Sept. 20 and 21'st, which will be at the Galleria Mall in Cambridge around lunch.


368
Work and Events / Re: Moving Rail and Ties
« on: September 09, 2008, 09:53:15 AM »
I'll be there Sat. AM, around 9 or so. See you then.

369
Work and Events / Re: Track Work
« on: August 27, 2008, 07:16:30 PM »
For the record, two fifteen foot long 'equalizer' rails were moved to Sheepscot by Steve Z last week to be drilled, then transported back north and spiked down at the end of track on Saturday by an energetic and, might I say, very talented crew!!  :)
This put the joints back in alignment and also out of the way of the next grade crossing.

370
Museum Discussion / Re: WEATHER
« on: August 08, 2008, 11:49:41 AM »
Last weekend we had some lovely thunderstorms on Sunday morning, with drenching rain and several 'flash-boom!' lightning flashes up at Alna Center. Our intrepid train men never flinched, however.
I remarked that I was a little nervous being around all that nice, conductive metal, but was reminded that you never hear about trains hit by lightning. Anyone care to comment on that? I have read that being in the water is a very bad thing around thunderstorms, so I'm not sure why being on tracks that extend for miles and sitting on a steam engine would be relatively benign.

Gawdon

371
General Discussion / Re: Not narrow gauge, but way cool...
« on: August 07, 2008, 09:53:14 AM »
Bernie,
I finished it up late and completely forgot to take a picture. Perhaps Stephen or James will take some pics of it this weekend and post them.
The background for now is all black. There was some discussion a while ago about using red around the number, and we can always do that later if that's the consensus.
It looks great, and will look even better mounted on #11's smokebox!!

Gawdon

372
General Discussion / Re: Not narrow gauge, but way cool...
« on: August 04, 2008, 10:15:52 AM »
We have another important piece of #11 which is now at the museum. Bernie completed a number plate last year, and after some 'aging' in my shop it is buffed and painted and ready for display. So check it out when you get there.



Gawdon

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