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Climax Restoration Project
Summary of the January 19-20, 2008 Work Session

Attendance was so good that one young volunteer slept on the couch.  There were thirteen attendees.  The amount of work that can be accomplished by a group of this size is amazing, as well as is the mess that can be produced in the shop!


Prepping, priming and painting  of the structurally complete bunker were the tasks at hand.  During the day Saturday sanding, cleaning, and etching of the new steel were completed.  Application of the epoxy primer was done late in the evening, after dinner, and after everyone but the painting team had evacuated the premises.  By Sunday morning the shop atmosphere had cleared, and a coat of protective paint was applied on top of the primer.  Everyone but the dead fly that was found stuck to it Sunday morning was happy.

It is hoped that during the next session a coat of paint can be applied to the inside of the bunker.  Then it is to go outside for long term storage, until it is time to mount it on the locomotive frame.  Outside, it will be stored on blocks in the up-side-down position to keep water from pooling in it, and to this end a fast shed roof will be built over it to prevent rain from directly hitting it.   

The space that the bunker is now occupying in the shop is needed in order to begin concentrated work on the tender tank.  The faster we can get this item outside, the better it is.


One of the volunteers took the partly completed boring bar holder home in order to apply the finishing touches to it, and to construct a new two inch diameter by 24 inch long boring bar to accompany the holder for this very job at hand.  With this completed holder and bar it was not difficult to bore out enough of the shaft to remove the key, and pump out the remaining shaft.

The only difficulty encountered on this job was  a mechanical problem with the newly acquired lathe:  This lathe had obviously not been used for boring recently, and cranking the cross slide of the carriage back far enough for the boring bar to enter the hole drilled in the end of the pinion shaft was almost impossible.  For this job, and this job only, the cross slide was forced back far enough to get the job completed.  After boring out the shaft, it was decided to take apart all moving assemblies on the top of the carriage for cleaning, inspection, and repair, if necessary.  Quite a bit of time was consumed during this take down/cleaning process, and luckily nothing was found to be broken.  Over a period of years, an accumulation of fine metal particles and oil had cemented things together, about like glue, and restricted the limits of motion of the cross feed, and the taper attachment would not have worked at all, such was the degree of encrustation.  The only items needing replacement were two $13.00 ball-thrust bearings that were pitted due to corrosion.  By Saturday afternoon of the next work session these pieces should be back in place, oiled, and adjusted.

At the next session the apron, or front portion, of the carriage will be removed and given the same TLC that the top portion of the carriage is now receiving.  Everything functions, but the "feel" while moving the carriage manually is not silky smooth, but a bit rough, like a few bearings need either cleaned or replaced.  For the lathe to function well in the long-term these small problems need to be addressed now.    


Two conditions on the rear coupler pocket are being  corrected: 1) The hole ( or rather a series of five holes, all in alignment) for the long coupler retaining pin are worn oval instead of round; 2) There is a hole in the flat back wall of the pocket that needs to be patched.  Neither flaw is fatal to the part, but we wish to leave no wear or wreck damage un-repaired.  The former is from years of normal usage, the latter is from the coupler having been driven through the back of the pocked in the collision that wrecked the tender frame, and broke a lot of third-truck components.

The method of repairing of the pin holes is not entirely decided for sure, but most likely the holes will be welded partly shut, and bored back to standard size.

The hole in the pocket wall has been patched by re-attaching the fragmented, puzzle-like chunk that was popped loose almost 70 years ago!  Miraculously, with the pocket being of cast steel instead of cast iron,  a small sliver of metal held this damaged metal from falling  out and being lost!  The pieces of the puzzle were welded from both faces, and then the entire piece was welded back into the hole.

More topics later (maybe)...

Getting Involved

Volunteers are always welcome to help with the project.  There are normally work session about every two or three weekends.  Dormitory-style housing is supplied in Cass at no cost  and meals are provided by the Association.  Workers typically arrive on Friday evening, work a long day on Saturday and Sunday morning with an early afternoon departure for home.  Due to insurance regulations all volunteers must be current MSR&LHA members and everyone must sign a liability waiver for the Park.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Grady Smith, the Climax Restoration Project Manager, at or 740-373-2895 to get the latest work schedule and discuss your interests and skills.

Check the Schedule of Upcoming Climax Project Work Sessions for upcoming work dates.

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Page last updated or validated on November 28, 2008