Kelly Springfield Restoration

October

14

2014

Kelly Springfield Moved

With help from Beda Garman and Ernie Burton, we moved the Kelly Springfield from the Roots yard to BLW this evening. We wanted to get it out of the yard before the rains hit. Ernie also had Garman move the D-8 over to the Willits Redwood G & S facility. We used the D-8 winch to pull the roller onto the lowbed.

I think that there is just enough of the wood left as a pattern for Bruce Evans to work on the canopy.

There is much to inspect and dismantle, but the Kelly Springfield is unusually complete, a true diamond in the rough.

Attached are a few photos from today. 

October

22

2014

First Kelly Springfield Work Night

We got together at 5 PM for the first Kelly Springfield work night. We had planned to do lots of planning. Instead, we planned for about 3 minutes by Carol Jones’ watch, and grabbed wrenches to start working on the dismantling phase. We removed the entire canopy structure, and Bruce Evans is ready to attack the woodwork portion. We removed the fuel oil tank, did lots of lubrication, and steadily worked to get closer to the boiler.

The next work night will focus on removing the front and rear water tanks and unbolting the front roller from the smokebox. I stuck my head in the firebox door for a quick inspection. The firebox looked really good down to the bricks. We need to remove the bricks to see more. The smokebox needs some work. The Kelly Springfield is a pretty big roller, but the boiler is really small.  Attached are a few photos of the first night. Thanks everyone for showing up!!

November

5

2014

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Wow!! That was a great Wednesday worknight at BLW as more progress was made on the Kelly Springfield steam roller.

All Roots members are welcome to come help, so spread the word.

We have a growing pile of parts from the roller that need some TLC. We had some goals for the evening; dropping the ash pan, removing the wheels, and removing the rear water tank and operators platform. We accomplished all of this and more. When Bruce Evans rang the 8 PM gong (meaning we’re done), we were just moving the rear water tank across the shop.

The evening was highlighted by two very experienced steam engineers joining the Kelly Springfield crew, Wes Brubacher and Jimmy Booth. It was a pleasure to have them both.

As the dis-assembly phase starts to wind down, we will begin to focus on specific components of the roller; the boiler, the engine and gearing, water tanks, prepping for painting, etc.

Thanks to the crew for showing up to move the project forward. 

November

12

2014

Kelly Springfield Work Night

The work force continues to grow: we had a total of 14 people sharing in tonight’s fun! At this rate we can switch over to the Klickitat Shay in a few weeks.

We were able to make progress on some of our major goals; removing the drive axle to expose the firebox sheets and convincing the steering shaft to turn. We made some progress getting the engine to free up, but we cannot claim success yet. We did a lot of cleaning, polishing, needle gunning, and oiling. We were also finally able to get to the backhead of the boiler to find some Buffalo Springfield Roller Company data stamped on the boiler shell.

It appears that the roller was built in 1921 as boiler #1442. There is a faint cloverleaf stamp with an “S” stamped in the center. We will contact the National Board to find out the significance of the numbers.

Thanks everyone for showing up.  Attached are a few photos. 

This is the last installment so far…

November

19

2014

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Although not as challenging as the upcoming boiler work, the Kelly Springfield crew enjoyed the excitement of the blur of the flywheel as the engine ran effortlessly on air tonight. The cross head guides proved to be the biggest obstacle. Kirk Graux finally freed up the valve motion so we were able to operate the engine forward and reverse.

From all reports, the roller last operated in 1937, but after 77 years of inactivity, the engine seemed strong and quiet. Tyler Phillips worked at removing the tubes from the front tube sheet; Todd Orton worked at cleaning up the inside and outside of the front and rear water tanks. A productive night by any measure.

Just a note, we will be taking next Wednesday off so everyone can properly prepare for Thanksgiving.

First, here are a couple of videos in Facebook posts made by Lee Bryant. These are followed by some photos of Wednesday’s activities. 

and...

December

10

2014

Kelly Springfield Work Night

The storm of the century (at least what was predicted) kept some people home filling sandbags, but work continued on the Kelly Springfield project. We removed the crankshaft and flywheel from the top of the boiler and are making progress on removing the two-speed cross shaft. Then we can properly clean and inspect the top of the boiler that is hidden by the engine and a century-old buildup of grease. We removed the boiler tube ends from the front tube sheet and made progress on removing the tube ends on the rear tube sheet also. We also continued cleaning the boiler shell, in preparation for the ultra-sonic thickness testing. In the process we found two numbers that may be of  value; what appears to be a State Boiler Inspection number on the right side (32779-32), and what should be the Construction Number on the left side (#10359).  Thanks everyone for attending, and good luck with the Storm of the Century.

December

18

2014

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Howdy:  Work continued on the Kelly Springfield last night, but since nobody brought a camera, we don’t have any photos to share of that. We continued to work on cleaning the boiler, removing the plugged tubes, and taking off the last of the drive gears on the firebox end. We still have one last shaft to remove. Trying to get the tapered key to slide out has been a challenge.

Chris 

January

07

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

The Christmas and New Years holidays pulled us away from our appointed task, the restoration of the Kelly Springfield steam roller, but Roots volunteers were once again back at work. How long does it take to clean a boiler? The answer, after nearly a hundred years, a long time. We cut out the last two plugged tubes, needle-gunned, brushed, and polished the boiler shell and tube sheets, and spent a long time trying to remove a tapered key from the last cross shaft of the drive train. No, we didn’t get the key out, but we think we have it on the downhill grade. Next work day, we expect to start seeing ultra-sonic testing grid lines on the boiler shell, and some more needle gunning and wire wheeling. Thanks everyone for attending. The January 7th crew, Troy James, James Anson, Keith Rongey, Kirk Graux, Lee Bryant, Carol Jones, Chuck Jones, Chris Baldo, Wes Brubacher, Bruce Evans.

Hope to see everyone at the Roots Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, January 8th at the Loose Caboose at 6 PM.    Chris 

January

21

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Greetings:  We made more progress on the Kelly Springfield steam roller tonight. This was mostly a cleaning boiler and parts night, one of many similar nights as the project moves forward. With the two-speed shaft removed, Bruce Evans was able to attack the build-up of grease and grime on top the boiler, under the crankshaft. We also need to do some significant cleaning of the boiler interior. Wes Brubacher made a start at cleaning the mud ring, but lots more to do.

Included in the photos is one of the Skookum cab with a brass plate installed memorializing the work on the cab of the late Jim Haskins. We hope that the Skookum will spend the next century on the high iron, and our friend will always be part of the legacy.


Chris 

January

28

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

The Roots crew continued to make progress on the Kelly Springfield at Wednesday’s work night at BLW. Keith Rongey, Chuck Jones, and Wes Brubacher loaded the KS boiler on a railroad pushcar and rolled it out of the shop. The three made progress at cleaning the interior of the boiler, specifically the mud ring and the top of the crown sheet. This will continue for a few weeks.  Don Ford, Todd Orton, Troy James and myself started the daunting task of attacking the huge pile of steam roller parts. We freed up parts, Don Ford operated the bead blast cabinet, Troy James primed parts when we were done. A good time again, and thanks to Chuck for bringing some pizza for the troops.  Attached are a few photos.


Tomorrow, a group of Roots folks will be visiting the Parlin Forks Conservation Camp in preparation for the transfer to Roots of the Corley circle-saw  mill. The Camp recently acquired a modern bandmill for their lumber manufacturing endeavors which build picnic tables, etc., for many of the State Parks.  We hope to operate the mill under steam at the Roots facility in the future.

Chris 

February

04

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Greetings: 

The Kelly Springfield work party had another productive evening, as well as enjoying the presence of a special visitor, Dave Gross of Denver, Colorado. Dave has been involved in steam restorations for many years, including the restoration of a Kelly Springfield steam roller. The roller currently is at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa operating at the Old Threshers Reunion. The Old Threshers event is probably the largest annual gathering of steam traction engines and other antique steam equipment in the country. Dave brought along a photo album documenting the restoration of his roller. He faced many of the challenges that we are facing with our Kelly Springfield, and it was an inspiration to see how Dave was able to produce a first-class functional machine and a work of art.

Keith and Chuck continued to work on the boiler, Wes and Dave worked away on the governor, Jessie, Don and I continued the process of cleaning parts, bead-blasting them and putting on a coat of primer. Lots more work to do, so feel free to join us on Wednesday nights at Baldo Locomotive Works.

Chris 

February

18

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Greetings:  We made more progress on the Kelly Springfield roller tonight in two important areas. Most of the crew worked on laying out the ultrasonic thickness testing grid on the boiler and taking the UT measurements. Bruce Evans started putting together the pieces for the new canopy for the steam roller. We hope to start the process of sand blasting and painting the large components of the roller and working on engine parts at the next work night. Thanks everyone for coming.

Chris 

February

25

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Greetings again: The Wednesday work nights continued with another productive evening. Bruce Evans continued his work on the steam roller canopy. Don fired up the bead blaster and cleaned up a variety of steam roller parts, while Troy applied a protective coat of red-oxide primer. Keith and Chuck worked on removing some boiler studs that needed replacement, before changing hats to applying the ultra-sonic thickness testing grid to the barrel of the boiler and the steam drum. Wes and Jessie spent most of the evening taking ultrasonic thickness (UT) measurements.  The UT measurements should be completed next week, and we can begin work on the large parts of the roller that need sand blasting and priming.

Thanks everyone for your contributions.

 

March

04

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Greetings: 

I was pretty lazy last night about taking photos at the Kelly Springfield work party, but luckily Bruce Evans came by with a few photos from the Wednesday day crew down at Roots.

Most of you know that thanks to the generosity of the Graux family, Roots is in the process of putting up a second building to house our equipment. The new building will be west of the Work Building, which necessitated the organizing and moving of the 30+ year accumulation of stuff. The footprint of the building is essentially clear, with the exception of the Eureka Southern RR crane “Big Bertha” and some trolley car parts. The large, empty space is striking; reminds me of when we first put up the Work Building and wondered if it would ever be filled. Kirk Graux had his Bobcat spreading rock for the Kaposwin Camp Cabin pad, and for a new storage track to put the Caspar Lumber Company and Mendocino Lumber Company disconnect trucks. What an improvement!!  Thanks to Keith, Chuck, Bruce, Kirk, Wes, Todd, Aaron, and whoever else helped.

With the State Boiler Inspector coming this week to look at the Kelly Springfield and all the rest of the Roots boilers, we focused on finishing the ultrasonic thickness readings on the boiler, while Chuck worked on a chart documenting all the readings. Don and Keith continued working on cleaning engine parts for the Kelly. Bruce Evans worked on the canopy, which is looking good.

I should be signing the loan agreement this week for the Corley Manufacturing sawmill currently at Parlin Fork Conservation Camp. I would love to see that mill running on steam.

Stay tuned.    Chris 

March

18

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

The word of Jim “Buggs” Bruggere’s passing set a somber tone for the Kelly Springfield work night, but work on we did, just as Buggs would have wanted us to. The task for the night was to get all the rivets removed from the tube sheet. We almost got there; nine rivets remain. We also need to remove the nuts that hold the braces for the un-stayed portions of the tube sheet and backhead. We will start to be good at removing rivets about the time that we are done.

Roots plans to hold some fitting celebration of Buggs’ contributions in a few months. We will let everyone know. My hands already have blisters thinking about having to do all that trackwork that Buggs somehow did by himself.

Chris 

March

25

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Greetings:   With all preparations for the Steam Engineering and Safety Class this weekend, we were a little short on steam tonight, but we made some good progress. Bruce Evans is making more progress on the new roof for the roller, and reminded us that he is almost done, and we are still tearing the roller apart.  Once again, Bruce is right. But, we did succeed in removing the front tube sheet from the boiler so we can  prepare to have a new one made. We will also be working on having a new smokebox fabricated.

Tomorrow, we will begin hauling the Corley sawmill parts from Parlin Fork Conservation Camp to Willits, as well as steaming up the Heisler in preparation for the class this weekend. Busy times!!

Chris 

April

01

2015

Kelly Springfield Work Night

Howdy: We were all still trying to catch a breath after last weekend’s Steam Engineering and Safety Class, but work must go on. We enjoyed another productive evening at BLW. Bruce Evans worked on the canopy for the roller, Wes and Chuck continued working on the boiler, and Don Ford, Jessie Smith and myself worked on the rear water tank. It’s amazing how much crud can accumulate on a steam roller in 94 years, Ultimately the water tanks and other parts will get sandblasted and primed, but the  often inches-thick oil and grunge needs to be stripped away first. The top of the rear water tank also comprises the operator’s platform, as well as the support for the fuel oil tank. It was looking pretty good by the end of the night. Thanks everyone for attending.

I’m looking forward to lots of ham this Easter.

Chris

 

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