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This and the next two photos show a brazing job that has been hanging over our heads since last fall: the building up of four worn jaws on the bolster of the front truck. The jaws had worn off at crazy angles, and did not match the right angle sides of the repaired bolster pedestals, so there was no other alternative than to build up the worn jaws so they can be profiled to match the pedestals. To start, the short set of legs were put under the welding table so that I could sit on my butt while brazing. The bolster was hoisted straight up with the fork-lift, and placed on the low table, then three diagonal braces were welded between the truss rods and the large steel work bench, for stability. The short welding table was welded to the big bench to keep it from kicking out and wreaking havoc. Two weed burners served as pre-heaters. A sharp-eyed viewer will be able to find the burner aimed into the core of the casting, in the second shot from the top. The second torch was hand held, and moved around as needed. It was suspected that the coarse iron would be difficult to braze, but it tinned quite nicely, and brazing went quite nicely. A 4 7/8 inch wide sheet metal gauge was made to help us judge both parallelism and distance between the jaws so progress could be quickly judged without messing with rulers (hold your tape in there, would ya'). One end of the bolster was completed Saturday early evening. Sunday morning the bolster was flipped end-for-end, and the process repeated, finishing before noon. The final shot is a looking up at Saturday's braze job; a little grinding will shape things up nicely.
Photo by Rick Brigger