As of this writing, we have had 12 work sessions at the roundhouse between August 1 and September 23, as some of our members can volunteer during the week as well as on the weekends. We started by meeting our boiler contractor in July to lay out the work that would be needed to prep the 2100 for removal and replacement of the side sheets. Since then, the following tasks have been accomplished:
- The stoker is now in storage at the roundhouse in Cleveland.
- Marked out the limits of removal for the thin side sheet sections. This will include half of each rear vertical corner which has a formed radius.
- Removal of flexible staybolt caps has been started but not yet 100% completed. Once removed, all staybolt caps will be sandblasted and the copper gaskets replaced.
- The remaining plumbing on the outside of the firebox has been removed
- The ash pan washout piping has been removed
- The upper side sheets of the ash pan hopper were removed by torch cutting the bolts that held the sheets in place and removing them. This is critical to providing a clear path for the old sheets to come out and the new sheets to be fed up into the firebox.
- The two outer rows of grates and rocker mechanism have been removed.
- The grate bearers along the mudring area of on both side sheets have been removed.
- Once the grate bearers were removed, we took additional spot UT readings in the area of the grates and found the sheets to be as thin, or thinner, than above the grates. As a result, side sheet replacement must go all the way to the bottom of each side sheet and will require all new mud-ring rivets (7/8”x10” buttonhead) be installed.
- In September, our boiler contractor was able to spend portions of four days with Gordon Hartschuh, Forrest Nace and Greg Brown reviewing proper torch cutting and grinding procedures. The contractor began to torch cut staybolts on the fireman’s side. The method we are using will preserve each staybolt end, effectively cutting each one in half, so we have the exact layout and staybolt pattern intact and will use the old side sheet as a pattern to then layout the new holes in CAD.
- The mudring rivets on the fireman’s side have been torch cut out, and the process started on the engineer’s side.
- The two outer 3-1/2” diameter circulator tubes, one on each side of the firebox, were removed and set aside for use as patterns for new tubes. The tubes were an obstruction to removing the side sheets as they are within about 15” of each side sheet and we would not have enough room to peen over the ends of the new staybolts if they were left in place. New tubes will have to be purchased and formed for installation. We expect the total cost to replace these tubes, including all material, fabrication and welding to be $2,000.00. We are in the process of obtaining formal quotes for the tube material and bending at this time. These tubes will not be needed until all sidesheet welding and staybolt installation work is complete as they would be in the way otherwise due to their close proximity to the side sheets.
- Our contractor has performed two vertical cuts on the fireman’s side at the front and back of the firebox for removal of that section.
Material Costs and Fundraising:
We have also been actively working on the fundraising for the new side sheets, staybolts, sleeves, caps and rivets that will be needed to complete the patches:
- To date, we have secured the purchase of the material for both raw sides secured worth approximately $1,600.00 through an exclusive donor.
- We also have secured the donation of the final cutting to size and bending of the side sheets to shape as well as the layout and drilling of the new staybolt holes by a reputable machine shop with very recent steam experience. This donation is valued at approximately $22,140.00.
- The total material costs for the remaining staybolts, caps and sleeves will reach $52,800.00.
- We will be replacing 85 staybolts, caps, and sleeves that are currently of sub-standard non-ASME and non-ASTM compliant material, or from a temporary “sleeve over sleeve” repair that is no longer permitted by the FRA. Thirty Five (35) other staybolts, plugs, and sleeves that were originally thought to be non-compliant are actually a compliant repair that was done using upgraded practices, and will not need to be changed unless the hydro test and/or FRA inspector determines otherwise.
- We have ordered the needed mudring rivets from Diversifed Rail Services to add our mudring rivets to an order they are putting together for the rivets needed for the boiler work on ex-FEC 4-6-2 No.148 in Florida.