Monday, February 6, 2012

Preparing Patterns

Of the two wishbone steam pipes, one was in good shape. The other, not so much. The bolt flange on both ends was damaged by rust from the wet ash that sat in the smokebox for so long. A local foundry in Salt Lake City volunteered to repair it, but in the process trashed the whole thing (too much heat on a cast iron part doesn't work so well). So, the only option is to make a new one.

A while ago the Colorado Railroad Museum approached the chapter about collaborating. It seems that their Rio Grande consolidation - No. 318 - needed some similar work. Unfortunately the dimensions were slightly different between the two locomotives, which was not surprising since the 318 is larger than the 223.

Thus, the big project in Ogden right now is new steam pipes. With work on the tender winding down, attention is now being redirected to the locomotive itself. One of our volunteers, Carl, has experience in patternmaking and is painstakingly measuring the interior of the smokebox, as well as the original pipes, to create entirely new patterns for entirely new pipes.

With enough cash, the new steam pipes will be cast and installed. Of course, that is the operating word: cash.

Other minor projects involving the 223 right now include remaking the cab deck, forming the cylinder sheathing, and scraping the old paint and grease from the frame. The bolts fastening the smokebox to the saddle have been removed as well, and hopefully we can find a contractor that will refurbish the boiler.

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