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Climax Restoration Project

Summary of the March 31 - April 1, 2007 Work Session

This weekend volunteers attended from as far a way as North Carolina, Virginia, and western Ohio  to work together towards returning the Climax to eventual operation.  Long hours were put in Saturday, with the evening shift going back to the shop after dinner and working until  11:30 PM.  Somewhere the comment of "working harder than a borrowed mule" was heard.  Must have been the meal of brats and hot Italian sausage, Cole slaw, and doctored baked beans that fired everyone up for the late shift.

A sizeable group of cavers that were renting the park cottages came up for a restoration shop tour, and stayed quite a while.

Some photos are at the bottom of this page.  More will be posted soon.

Coal Bunker

The bunker was turned upside-down in order to seal weld the floor in place, so that white leachings will not appear around the bottom of the new bunker. After welding, the bottom was ground flat.

At the next work session it is hoped that the bunker can be turned upright, and another seal bead of weld run between the floor and the bottom angle iron.  Then it will be time to apply primer, and find a place to store it, out of the way

Draw-Bar Pocket

Finally the welding has just about been completed on this project, other than just a few touch-up beads.  Most of the cosmetic grinding of the welds, to make them look as if they are really casting fillets, has been done as well.  All sharp corners will be rounded slightly to make it look more like a casting, as well.  Then we will bake it in a wood (charcoal) fire in order to stress leave the  entire fabricated  structure.

With luck, it will be in paint by the end of April.

Tender Frame

One very patient volunteer spent many hours Saturday blasting oxidation from the cast iron tank support brackets, and wire wheeling the diagonal frame braces for priming.   Sunday morning everything was wiped with degreaser, and primed.  The backs of the brackets, as well as the portions of the frame rails to be covered by the brackets, was primed prior to assembly, and then put together wet.  The primer is BLACK,   so that "primer red" will not show through if the finish paint ever gets chipped.

Maybe all the metal parts of the tender frame will be black by the end of the next work party.

On order are the 6" X 8"  oak stringers for the  tender frame planking.  These should be on site for the next work session.


More horns, removed from the miter gear shafts, were removed by the drill/bore/hammer routine.

One unexpected problem did arise though:  while spade drilling into the old shaft, a cross-pin was encountered, and it shifter and spun the spade holder in the Tailstock spindle.  We tried to remove the drill holder by conventional means, but it will need to be pressed out.  Hopefully the spindle itself will not be badly damaged.  If we are lucky, a simple reaming will fix it.

Tender Water Tank

The tank plans are finished, and will be delivered at the next work session. Greg Hammer has put untold hours into these plans.

Three bids for the tank "kit" will be solicited, and then it will be ordered.  A realistic arrival time for the kit is late summer or early fall.  Stay tuned for more details, but the assembly of the tank is a very complicated, time consuming project.  Just consider the cab and coal bunker as practice warm ups!  This baby has to hold water when completed.


Tires are on order, and should arrive within a month.

Next Work Session is April 14-15

Planned is an expedition to the parts boxcar to dig out the old grate supports, and grates.  These will be delivered to foundries for pattern and casting quotes.  We will also try to find an old stack base that mounts on the smoke box, again to be taken to a foundry for quotes.

Empty cross hole
View of the empty cross hole that was drilled into when removing one of the horns.  This hole was sucessfullly drilled thru, as it had no pin inside that could shift and jam the bit.  (Photo by Grady Smith).

Remains of cross hole Remains of cross hole
Shaft removed from horn, showing remains of cross hole.  (Photos by Grady Smith).

Shortpin fragments Shortpin fragments
Fragments of shortpin that shifted in drilling out the shaft from one horn, effectively stalling the lathe, and jamming the spade  drill holder in the tailstock spindle.  The drill holder was sucessfully pressed out, and the spindle reamed to remove a nasty gaulded area.  (Photos by Grady Smith).

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Page last updated or validated on November 28, 2008