Fellows, just being techinical now, really it is concrete. Concrete is made up of cement, sand, gravel, water and special addmixtures, depending on what you want the concrete to do, such as set fast or set slow or what kind of compressive strength you are looking for. Concrete does not dry, but it is an actual chemical reaction between the cement and the water that causes it to harden. There is quite a bit of heat generated by this process. This concrete contained about 3,000# of very small wire fibers mixed in with the concrete for reinforcing. Donny Snow, one of the fellows in the light shirt, that was working the concrete chute, is a co-owner of one of the largest concrete companies in Northern KY. Donnie is a very generous, modest person and he would be the last to tell you that he donated the steel fibers to WMSTR for the project.
So just remember cement is to concrete, what flour is to cake. When I get started on concrete, I could talk for hours, as it is really the building block for modern civilization. The Romans were amoung the first to use it and many of the treasures of Rome are built of concrete. They are still standing after 2,000 years.
We have a few more pictures that Harvey sent, showing more work that the Kentucky boys have been doing.
Harvey has listed some information on the amount of material that has been used during this repair. Read it close and take your time, it is quite impressive the amount of work and material that has been used in Kentucky.
This spring when we start assembling this unit, we are going to need a lot of help to be able to get this assembled this summer.
First the pictures, then Harvey's info following the pics.
The original boom was actually wood, with steel plates and angles bolted and riveted to the wood to increase the strength of the boom. Remember, when this boom was built, (1910-1914), arc welding just hadn't been invented, so this was the normal method of construction for that era. Because of the age and condition of the wood, it all had to be removed, so at that point, along side of each vertical bolt, we placed 4x1/4" channel iron, under the crowd engine and the "bull gear", the channels were doubled up. The portions of the boom that had solid wood blocking between the boom rails, was replaced with 16x3/8" channel iron. All of the 3/4" horizontal bolts were replaced with new bolts, so that any attachments that may be needed, could be bolted on. In the areas where the steel boxes were added, the old horizontal 1-1/4 bolts and many of the vertical bolts were replaced because of the condition of the old bolts. The 1-1/2" bolts under the crowd engine were replaced. All of the old steel members were welded together to create a steel box construction with continuous welds. Likewise all of the channel iron stiffeners.
Bill Rudicill, John Pelley and I estimate at this point, we have used about 1,000 man-hours of labor, 500# of welding rods, 1,500# of various sizes of structural steel, 120' of 1-1/4" all-thread, 18' of 1-1/2" all-thread, 4 tanks of oxygen, 8 tanks of acetylene, a copious amount of nuts and washers, numerous grinding wheels, and 3 gallons of paint in the reconstruction of the boom. Not to mentioned several burned up saw blades, at least 3 burned up chain saw chains and lots of saber saw blades (in places, the old wood was like iron), one strained back, one crushed foot, two broken toes, numerous cuts and bruises and a lot of dirty clothes.
But as my old Grandfather used to say, when this shovel starts to work again, people will come from miles around just to see, hear and touch it. Just like the "Field of Dreams", build it and they will come.
Wow, those are some impressive numbers. I am glad you are sharing that so people know what is really going into getting this shovel back to operational status. I have to take my hat off to the crews working both in ND/MN and in KY. Well done. I look forward to seeing the progress this summer. I admire the work and skills that have been put into this project so far.
Harvey Pelly sent along some more pictures for me to post here.
I have not been involved with the reassembly part of this project, but those who are sure make things happen! This is a BIG project... literally!
Looks like here they are getting the main frame turned around on the wheels. It had been facing the wrong direction. Industrial Builders gave us "WMSTR Pricing" on the crane time. Thank you Industrial Builders!!!
I recognize Ryan U. and Bill R. helping the crane lift the boiler, and Jim B pointing precisely where it should land. Not sure who else is in the picture.
The shovel as it sits today... Dipper and boiler installed. Lots of work to do yet, but has it ever come a long way!
Thank you all who have been involved! Your hard work is very much appreciated!
Stay tuned!! There will be some exciting pictures and/or video coming soon. Harvey, John and Michael Pelley, along with Wimpy, Louie, Klinger, SD Jon and numerous others that I have forgotten, have all worked extremely hard this summer to get the shovel to an operating condition.
Harvey sent this email and picture, so thought we would post it on here. Jane and I happened to show up about the time they were getting ready to supply it with air. Once John got things rotating, SD Jon and I got busy with oil cans and grease guns. Things started to free up nicely. By using the compressor we had, we didn't have too much cfm, so in turn we did not cause any damage to anything. Folks, this was pretty awesome to see. Below is Harvey's email and then a picture of Louie and Harvey's grandson Mike.
Attached is a picture taken Sunday morning to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers reunion grounds, in Rollag, MN. For tweaking purposes, we were running on compressed air, but at the annual show running August 28th to Sept. 2nd (Labor Day weekend, we plan to be on steam. We won't have the house completed by that time, but we will be running the machine.
Attached is a picture showing the first time that the machine has lifted the bucket off the ground and made a full right swing, in almost 60 years. Mike and Louie are shown in the picture. (The bucket had a capacity of 3.5 cubic yards or about 5 tons of sand or gravel).
At this time, all I can say is thanks, thanks, thanks, to all the people who made this happen. This machine is of the type that built the Panama Canal and the major railroads across America.
This reminds me of a plaque that one of our foreman brought into our office when I was working in Maysville, KY.
The lapse of time, the devastation of war, and the ruthless hand of ignorance, has laid waste to many valuable and ancient monuments of antiquity, of which the utmost of human genius and endeavor had been applied.
Harvey, John, and Mike have been here for nearly a month working with Louie, Wimpy, Klinger, Jon and others to get this machine to this point this season... mostly plumbing. Bill Rudicill and a few others from the Kentucky crew were here the week before and during Steam School working on the shovel. Of course there have been dozens and dozens of others who have helped along the way in one form or another, and for all of you this has go to be a real special moment! I am happy for you all!
This is going to be another WMSTR centerpiece! Just more proof that we do things BIG in Rollag.
I am looking forward to the first fire in the boiler, and the first puff of steam exhaust from the stack!
The credit for this latest jump in progress should go to the three generations of Pelleys. Harvey, his son John,and John's son Michael. They have been on the hill most of the time since before steam school weekend until just a couple of days ago. Also to the dynamic duo of Louie and Klinger for their tools, equipment, and new found work time this summer.
Many others have and will be helping with this before show time. I was just glad to be there the first time it rolled over in Rollag!