Wayne and the New Dome Liner
One of the major tasks to be addressed was that of designing , constructing and installing an additional dome liner. The liner was designed by our Mechanical Engineer, Pete Fredrickson. It was fabricated and fit up by Wayne Hebert. The installation (welding), post weld heat treatment and inspection was handled by Expert Boiler & Welding from Brooklyn, New York.
Once the liner had been finished, we slid the locomotive out of the Engine House for sandblasting and painting. Nils Michaelson, our favorite sandblaster, erected a temporary containment structure over it. The boiler was blasted inside and out. Then it was painted with special coatings. Apexior was used inside the boiler and an aluminium paint designed for high temperatures was used on the exterior. Once the boiler was done, it was slid back inside and the tender of the locomotive was moved into the containment structure to be blasted and painted inside and out. It too was later moved into the Engine House for more work.
Another major milestone on the boiler was recently completed: the flues and tube were "safe ended". When we removed the old tube and flues from No.3025, it was clear that they were in excellent condition save being coated with scale. When removing the tubes and flues, about 3 to 4 inches of material is lost due to cutting. "Back in the day", the railroads (always trying to save money) would weld a new end on. This practice was called: "safe ending". Due to increased labor costs, not too many companies "safe end" anymore. But we were fortunate that Reese Achison, an inventor from New Hampshire, donated an automatic welding lathe for this task.
With some assistance from Reese and his son Fitz, Wayne got the devise set up and began "safe ending". Preparing the ends was largely done by Tom O'Brian and Dave Wantz, who designed and build a devise for facing the flue ends. Once positioned in the machine, the actual welding took a matter of seconds. Then each tube had to be tested and both ends annealed. Mike Camera and Eric Seamens helped with this work.
Kevin and His Favorite Tube Sheet
Concurrent with the work on the tube and flues, Kevin Narin spent several weeks preparing the tube sheets. His work involved a LOT of grinding: first to remove old weld, then to make certain that sheets were smooth, then to polish all of the hole and bevel all edges. Finally he performed dye penetrant testing to check for cracks in the sheets. He was glad that he found none!