The Alcalde & Coalfield Shops

Rods & Wagon

This was a milestone day in the re building of #7. It was the day we fitted up the rods that Mr. Lyman the head machinist had made. He explained to me the importance of setting the center distance of the rods to match the axle centerlines, so the crank pins don't beat the brasses to death. And how to set up the brasses and cotter pins on the rod. Usually the mechanics do this but on #7 Mr. Lyman insisted on doing it his self. Mr. Lyman said, "When I was a young pup like you we used to keep dozens of these little mills on the road, and keeping these brasses in shape took constant fiddling." By this time I had been working on #7 for months and months. After completing my usual engine wiper duties (wiping engines, brushing out flues, cleaning ash pans, etc.) I am allowed to work with the mechanics and machinists. Usually doing tasks such as wire brushing rust, scraping and cleaning parts, or removing stubborn bolts and rivets with a cold chisel or wrench. The time of a machinist or mechanic is too valuable for such things.



copyright © 2004, Jack Bodenmann, all rights reserved.