Railway Preservation News

494 Restoration
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Author:  David Woodbury [ Thu Oct 01, 1998 3:11 am ]
Post subject:  494 Restoration

A group of volunteers are working to restore 4-4-0 B&M 494 in White River Junction, VT. At present we are replacing the oak pilot beam. In one dimension, we need to drill 8" and in the other 11". We have the drills, bits, templates and all the stuff to do the job, but the problem is that at least some of the holes have to be accurate on both ends. It's no trick to locate the holes properly on the outsides, but meeting in the middle, unless you use a grossly oversize hole, is a problem. If you're not dead on, you get a kinked hole which you can't get a bolt through. I doubt there's a drill press anywhere short of a major shop big enough to handle the 101" 200-300 lb 8x11 we're working on. Has anyone solved this problem? If so, how? <br>


Author:  John Craft [ Thu Oct 01, 1998 5:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 494 Restoration

David:<p>I can think of several possibilities:<p>(a) Use some scrap lumber and a length of pipe (with an inside diameter sufficient to hold your bit) to build a guide attached to the beam itself. Once you get 2"-3" in, you can dismantle the guide and continue. I'd use copper or plastic pipe to eliminate any chance of damaging the bit.<p>(b) Most free-standing drill presses can handle this sort of job, though you will have to build custom-height sawhorses to hold the beam at the right height.<p>(c) You may be able to find a shop with a drill press whose head swivels 90 degrees, allowing it to bore sideways.<p>Good luck.<p><br>

Author:  Al Pomeroy [ Thu Oct 01, 1998 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 494 Restoration

David:<p>One way i have seen it done is to do the acurate locating on the side that will touch the steel. then bore on thru as straight as you can. making extensions if you bits are not long enought. i have watched it done several times (Steamtown B.F) and have done some minor beam work on my own caboose. Would be glad to converse with you further or come up and look at the problem as I am located in southern NH. drop me a e-mail<p>Al P.<br>


Author:  Rudd Long [ Fri Oct 09, 1998 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 494 Restoration

The magnetic drill press shounds great....you should, though, be able to get a bit that will give you 12" long holes thru McMaster Carr Company, of Atlanta, and prob. other places, I just bought one. <br>Long skinny drills with screw on extensions, such as those used by electricians, might also be a solution, but if you push too hard it's going to wander around in solid material in reverse proportion to the thickness of the shank. <br>Our solution, since we can't get anything really big near our press at this point was to use a long enough drill, a two man team, a driller and a man with a framing square. Check the drill from 2 positions 90 degress apart, then drill - an old aircrafter's trick. We also used metal drill blocks, a block with a hole bored on a press JUST oversized for the bit to work in. Always square with a block, even on curved surfaces if made right. <br>Be judicious on your oversize in the timber, no one's going to see it, it's not going anywhere if the bolts are tight, and as we said in the aircraft plant, we ain't building no pianos in here. 1/4" over at a 1-1/2" or 2" dia. bolt is no big deal, and probably pretty conservative. <br>Rudd<br><br>

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