New steam in Minnesota

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Charles T. McCullough
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Re: New steam in Minnesota

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:12 am

I didn't see the "substitute wedge" the first time I looked... Great fix! But I think some bailing wire through the jaws and around the rod would have been appropriate!
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Charles T. McCullough


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Mark D
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Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: New steam in Minnesota

Postby Mark D » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:28 am

Why in the world would engine builders EVER use a split bearing brass? I see no reason for it. But then, I don't know what they could come up with for round hollow brass back in the day. Maybe they had to take a brass plate and wrap it. Still, then why not wrap a bigger piece that rolls around creating only one seam. Even that would be better.
And I'm sure they could have put a shoulder on one end to keep the brass where it belongs.

I think they have it all fixed though because I read on another forum that they had run their first real trip up the North Shore the other day. Or, maybe that was the same trial run and the guy reporting didn't know.

Mark D.
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tom c
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Re: New steam in Minnesota

Postby tom c » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:58 pm

she ran last weekend to Two harbors and return. The museum had the bearing & wedge fixed. There has been video and pics on Facebook.

As far as Split bearings go, they have been used for years on steam engines.

Tom C.
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Lost somewhere in Michigan instead of Colorado!

Charles T. McCullough
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Re: New steam in Minnesota

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:10 pm

Split bearings are almost a necessity on the drive axles... else you would have to put them on before pressing the drivers on the axle and you would have to remove the wheels from the axle to replace the bearings. Split bearings eliminate those problems. In the places where it is not necessary to do the same, I suspect that the same method was applied just because that was the "technology" of the time. i.e.: split bearings are just "how it is done".
Semper Vaporo,
Charles T. McCullough


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Mark D
Conductor
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: New steam in Minnesota

Postby Mark D » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:56 am

My bad. I was thinking rod bearings. I didn't even associate the mentioned wedge to the bearing topic. DUH!

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John Bohon
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Re: New steam in Minnesota

Postby John Bohon » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:59 am

I was speaking of split bearings on both ends of the mainrod. On older and smaller power it was very common. In fact from my experience it was very close to being universal. The reason for using this arrangement was probably a result of it being the best technology at the time. Those of us use to big modern locomotives know they can run for many miles without the crew leaving their seats and when they do stop the engine crew does not get off and inspect or oil the locomotive. However that has not always been the case. We have all seen photos of the classic engineer with his long spout oil can lubricating at each stop. While he was oiling around he was also inspecting. If he found a loose wedge like the one 29 lost he would be fully qualified to make the needed adjustment.

In todays world where engineers know little more about their locomotives than where to find the cab, which end has the F on it, and where they can find the crapper it is hard to imagine what crewmen of old had to know. As an example, to qualify as an engineer a candidate had to be able to tell the instructor what happened when a brake valve in the cab was moved to any position. This included what ports in each valve effected were opened and closed, which pipes were filled or emptied of air, and which way every valve in the entire brake system moved and why. They also had to know what was required to repair most common troubles that could occur with their locomotives. Adjusting a simple split bearing was childs play for these guys.

Personally I am far more concerned about locomotives with strap end mainrods than with the split bearings. Those things had a nasty tendency to break on the big end. When that happens you suddenly have a loose mainrod flailing around under your seat until you can get the whole mess stopped. Strap end mainrods like the ones on 29 were common practice and used split bearings in their early configuration. It is obvious to me that this locomotive has been modified with a solid brass in the big end of the rod. I find this to be a very interesting look into the history of the 29.

John Bohon


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