Friends COS calendar

A subset of the Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the mission of preservation, restoration, and interpretation of CTSRR historic assets. The Springs group is primarily involved in restoration. See below for blog archive of older postings. For a brief history of 470 please click the link below to the Friends website.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Laminating beam, etc. April 14-16 2011

Several of us convened at Craig's workshop on April 14th and 15th to construct a laminated beam to replace the deteriorated portion of the lower north sill on 470.  Craig found some very nice, (almost) 2" douglas fir in 12 foot lengths with straight grain and few knots.  In the photo above on the left, George is receiving a piece from the planer, as well as a sawdust bath.  The pieces were then laid out, with the first two joined with a lap joint end-to end.  Subsequent pieces were cut so that the breaks were in different locations.  It has been decided to replace 22 feet of the sill, so with a 24 foot beam there will be plenty of length to work with.

Glue was applied to each layer, and clamps applied at close intervals along the length of the beam. In the photo on the left, John is applying glue, while Tom, Craig, and George are supplying moral support. On the right, above, John is tightening one of many clamps used.

On the next day, Friday, another piece was glued on to one side of the beam to span the edges of the pieces that were glued together previously.  The photo on the left, above, shows this with the clamps in place.  Note the thinner piece in the center that was used to achieve a dimension close to what is needed.  This was obtained by cutting a 2" piece on the bandsaw.
On Saturday, after clamp removal, the beam was run through the planer several times to get it down to the proper dimensions, and taken several blocks to the work site as shown on the right, above.  It even looks quite straight.  The sill that will be replaced is the lower one adjacent to the new beam.  The vertical and horizontal framing members are mortised into the existing sill, so more work will need to be done on the new one before it is ready.

Craig has also been busy with other things.  He has built new doors using the original hardware (cleaned up beautifully), with molding and sliding windows duplicated from the the old ones.  He also has made arched carlines to replace bad ones as necessary in the roof structure.
Meanwhile, on our regular work session on Saturday, most of the west platform has been uncovered showing the framing structure.  The platforms are cantilevered from the under carriage of the car, and were finished with tongue-and-groove decking that is quite deteriorated. 
Bob and I continued cutting and threading tie rods to replace rusted ones.  We finished this project on Saturday, and made some extras, as well as threading pieces for use in the future on other projects.  Note the always handy roll of duct tape.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


We had a relatively small crew this day, but work proceeded on threading truss rods as well as removing roof decking and site clean-up.  Each work session more construction details become apparent to us.  On the left, above, a bolt head is visible on the face of the sill at the roof junction which appears to be a lag bolt.  However, in the photo on the right, above, it can be seen that there are nuts on these bolts that have been inset into the roof support.

In the photo on the left, above, John is making some adjustments to wiring (temporary), while Glenn, our chronicler and resident structural engineer looks on.  The wood stacked next to John consists of framing pieces that Craig has made to replace ones in that corner of the car as the lower (deteriorated) sill plate is replaced.  On the right, above, it can be seen that the sill at the roof edge at the junction with the wall is bevelled on the inside to conform to the curvature of the ceiling so that there was a smooth transition between wall and ceiling.

Finally, at the end of the canopies, the framing members are dovetailed together as shown in the above photos.  In addition, the side member is beveled to take the end fascia, also beveled to make a well detailed corner.