November 23, 2009

Progress on Boiler, cylinders & frame

The past few months have seen a slight slowdown, especially on photos.  More photos are promised after the Thanksgiving holidays!

In November, a MAJOR MILESTONE was achieved:  The boiler work has been completed and has passed the hydro testing!  After some paperwork is completed, we will have the boiler shipped to Muscle Shoals for storage until it is ready to be mounted on the frame.  Many thanks to Bob Yuill and the great folks at Historic Machinery in Steele, AL for all their efforts.

Work on the cylinders is progressing well, but we're in a slow period just now.  (Because of machinery conflicts and other reasons, the work may be speeded up or slowed down.)  The cylinders have been fit to the frame and the final machining is being done.  Currently, the cylinders are in line to have the front valve cage bores completed.  There are just a few more steps to be done to the cylinder-saddle.  The final mounting of the cylinders to the frame is in sight!

The new driving boxes were cast at a foundry in St Louis where they will be completed under the direction of Steam Operations Corporation.  Currently, the machining of the boxes has been completed and the next step is to add the crown brasses.

These boiler photos are from late October.  All of the tubes and flues have been installed and the boiler is full of water at 250psi (25% over operating pressure of 200psi).  As expected, a number of leaks appeared and are being repaired.  When this photo was taken, only a few small leaks remained to be repaired.  Then the tubes and flues in the fire box will be seal welded.

From inside the firebox.

Photo: John Mandell
From inside the smoke box.
Photo: John Mandell
Meanwhile, back in Austin, ASTA volunteer John Mandell has cleaned & rebuilt the Nathan Lubricator.  It provides forced feed lubrication (steam oil) to various parts of the locomotive, including the cylinders, valves, flange lubricators, etc.

Before rebuild

Photo: John Mandell
After rebuild.

Photo: John Mandell