Mid-Continent News

Western Coal & Coke #1 Boiler Work Progresses (12/10/03)
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Two new studs were applied to the boiler of the Western Coal & Coke #1 on December 27, 2003. Big Deal, you say? Indeed it is a big deal for the steam program...more for what it represents than the actual item. These are the first two new parts of many more to come to be permanently installed on the boiler.

The stud itself is a rather mundane item, a piece of rod, of varying length according to application with threads on each end. One end is permanently threaded into the boiler shell and the body is used like a bolt to hold brackets for various appliances on the boiler. Those appliances include things like running boards, air compressors, brake stands and the cab.

In this rebuild we will be replacing all the studs. To prepare for that, many volunteer hours have been spent measureing the length and diameter of each one. Another major task has been creating a system to precisely log the location of each stud on the boiler shell so those locations can be transferred to the drawings being made as the rebuild progresses. Many hours are also going into those drawings.

The next task tackled was determining the best method for removal of the old studs. All known processes were tested and the most effective that caused the least stress on the boiler was chosen.

At the same time archives were searched and a 1940's Baldwin standard for stud manufacture was chosen as the specification for the new studs. Our next step, after determining what was required, was to find a supplier for the proper certified material. A supplier was found and one of our members donated the material. A procedure was then written up that will govern the removal, manufacture and installation of the studs which involved even more volunteer time. At the same time test pieces were machined to check the manufacturing procedures as well as to produce some jigs to aid the process. After the test pieces were made and the jigs tested out two studs have been so far produced and installed.

Big Deal, you say? You decide.
A volunteer grinds a boiler stud on WC&C #1's firebox, 1-10-04.
Volunteer Ken Hojnacki takes notes on location of boiler studs, 1-10-04.