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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Warm before the storm - Nov. 16, 2013

It was a warm November day for the second work session of the month.  Bob continued on the letterboards, routing out grooves for the verticals as well as the overlaps.  Craig had made guides for the routers and loaned his routers while he was out of town.
I helped with the routing and drilling as well as tacking the boards up with screws.  They are not up permanently at this point, but are being fitted.  We numbered them on the inside to replace them correctly.  The inner boards on both sides are in place, leaving the four end ones to be done.

Bill was busy treating the new lumber (and some of the old) with linseed oil.  Here he is doing the panels between the framing at the end of the car.  The new wood in the floor framing was also treated.

It was also a good day for some housecleaning, if there is such a thing.  Tom and Bill "took out the trash," and Tom sorted recycle, etc.

Since welding has been put on hold, plans are being made to proceed with wood work in the near term.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Framing blocks, steel, letterboards - November 2, 2013

Last time, we drilled bolt holes in the steel pieces that will be connecting the inner sill steel with the end sill steel.  These will be underneath and bolted and welded together.  Our welder has had some medical issues, and the welding has been delayed.
Bill and I worked on making blocks to go between the framing cross pieces above the bolsters.  These were glued and screwed together.  Sizing was "interesting" as measurements varied from place to place.
 Bill is holding a block in place where it will be installed.  Originally they abutted the intermediate sill on his left.
There also will be small blocks against the outer sills.

Meanwhile, Bob and John M. and John E. continued work on the letterboards.

Connecting steel; Letterboards October 5&19, 2013

 On the first weekend in October much of the welding on the ends of the cars was completed.  The "X" braces were welded in place with the upper ends welded to the plate above and the lower ends to the angle piece fastened to the end sill.  The welds were ground smooth so the sheathing can be placed over the steel.

The large angle pieces that are fastened along the inner sills will be tied to the angle steel on the end sills by a plate and spacer as shown in the photo on the right.  They will be welded in place under the end sill and inner sill, as well as bolted through the end sill.
Here I am drilling to accommodate the bolts holding the steel pieces to the wooden sill.  More on this next time.
Lenny cut a notch in the spacers for placement of a thick steel plate between the steel on the inner sills, below the pivot blocks on each end of the car.  This will provide reinforcement at the attachment point of the trucks.
Here is another look after he finished cutting the notches.
Finally, this is the plate to be placed between the sills.  There is some drilling to be done as well.
And yes, there is wood.  Craig has made the letterboards that go along the side of the car above the windows.  There is a groove below (seen on the right in this photo) for the windows and a curve  above (on the left) to fit the pitch of the roof.  The grooves along the upper side of the board in the photo fit around the verticals on the side of the car.
Here Craig and Bob are cutting the grooves with a router and guides that Craig made.
In this photo they are fitting and hanging one of the letterboards.  The grooves fit the vertical posts in front of Craig and to his right.
Several boards are in place in this photo.  Note the overlap cut into the near end.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Steel prep - September 7, 2013

In the last work session, the large angle steel
 has been fitted to the end sill on the east end of the car and bolted in place.

In this session, the pieces of steel for the X-
bracing on the ends of the car were prepped
for welding.  They will be butt welded together, and the outer (accessible) corners were ground down to form a "V" to accommodate the welding material.

Then the two molding pieces separating the upper

and lower paneling on the end of the car were
grooved to allow the steel to be flush with the

This photo shows the X-bracing ready to be
installed next to the needle beams.  Lenny
cut them prior to my grinding them for
welding.  We hope to be welding them all
together next session.

The needle beams provide support for the
center of the car, and have been reinforced
with steel.

This photo is of a drawing of the car showing
the needle beams under the car, on end,
crossing side to side under the sills.  The
queen posts extend down to a truss rod that
runs almost the entire length of the car,
which when tensioned, will tend to elevate
the needle beams and support the middle
of the car.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sills and steel II - 8-17-2013

The first photo shows preliminary placing of the flat steel bracing with the lower cross piece in place.  A second will be added in the upper left part of the panel, and all will be welded together to form an "X", and to the upper plate and lower angle piece.  This will be done to all four end panels.

In this photo Craig has made the spacing blocks for the sills and they have been assembled as shown.  There are mortises between the blocks and the sills to add stability.

Next we began reinforcing the needle beams with steel.  Earlier, Craig had spliced wood into the ends replacing portions that were rotted.  The steel is a squared U-shape that will be recessed into the beam.  Cuts were made longitudinally in the beams and the center routed out so that the steel will be flush with the wood.

We had to chisel out channels for the steel as shown in the photo at right.  It was a very tedious process and Craig and I worked on it for quite a while.  Greg ("shop foreman" at the Trolley Museum) contributed a mortise chisel as well as some labor.

This photo shows the steel in place in the beam on the left.  Craig took the other one home and shaped it for the steel in much less time on his table saw.

This gives me an opportunity to thank the folks at the Trolley Museum for all that they do for us in letting us occupy space, providing help or equipment when needed, etc.  We got to return a favor on Monday the 19th of August when they received this PCC from Pittsburgh, and Craig and Lenny helped unload it.  The interior is in as good a shape as the exterior, and hopefully one day it will travel the streets of Colorado Springs.  Thanks to Ron O. for the photo.  The TM will be receiving some equipment from Denver soon, and some of us hope to give them a hand with that as well.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sills and steel - 8-3-2013

This photo was taken at an earlier work session, and shows Bob and me drilling the plate for bolts to fix it in place on the end of the car.  We took turns drilling and squirting Greg's "special juice" on the drill for lubrication and cooling.

Here the plate has been installed and bolted in place.

The upper plate will be welded to flat pieces of steel which in turn will be welded to the large angle steel that goes across the end sill under Lenny's feet.  There will be shorter pieces welded to the longer one to make an X that will be over the framing and under the siding of each wall next to the doors.  On the right Lenny is cutting a piece of steel while Glenn supervises.

Bob has removed the moulding from near the middle of  the end panel above on the left and is chiseling out a channel for the steel to pass through.  This piece of wood protrudes slightly from the plane of the remainder of the framing.

The remainder of the time was devoted to fitting of the platform end sills.  Craig inspected the sister car at the Colorado Railroad Museum and took some photos which showed that the sills are very slightly spread out on the outer ends in relation to the inner ends under the car.  Eventually there will be spacer blocks and an end piece to hold them together.  They are temporarily held in place with pipe clamps that can be seen through the door.

This photo shows the inner end of a sill which has been tapered to accommodate the truck assembly.

Next we drilled the holes for the retaining bolts for the end sills through the angle steel that was placed around the inner sills, using the existing holes in the inner sills as guides.  The drill also marked the new end sills for later completion of the holes through them.  Tom is guiding the drill, while Bob and I are applying pressure using Tom's patented ad hoc drill press.

Finally, the sills were removed and the bolt holes completed all the way through.  Glen is keeping the drill vertical while Tom is doing his thing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

End Plates - 6-26-2013

In a previous post we showed the making of
a pattern of the wood end panel over the door of 
the car.  One of the originals was fairly well 

The first photo shows the pattern 
as well as the two steel plates that were 
made from the pattern.  These will be fastened 
over the doors and become part of the steel 
reinforcement at each end of the car.

The second photo shows Bob and Lenny
clamping the plate in place.  It was installed
with minimal forcing although I did wear
my earplugs.

Another view of the plate in place.  Tom is
applying a clamp in the center.

A little re-shaping had to be done to fit the
wood trim.  The two ends were very similar
but not identical.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wood work - 4-20 & 5-4-2013

Prior to the work session on 4-20, Craig 
fabricated replacement sill extensions for 
the end platforms using the ones we had
removed as patterns. The first photo shows 
his shop where he has glued the pieces for 
lamination together.
The second photo shows the finished extensions at the work site ready for installation.

Work continued on fitting the brackets for the cross braces.  Dale is doing some trimming on one of the braces.
Craig continues to fill and sand the corner posts as shown in the next photo.  Some are being reused, while others needed replacement.
One of the fascia pieces is being installed in this photo.  Some of the new window framing is also visible.

Thanks to Craig and Glenn for taking these photos in my absence.