Sunday, 9 June 2013

Roundhouse Objects Conservation - June 4 2013

June 4, 2013

I will not be at the museum for the next two weeks and will do more posts starting in the fall.  The next updates will discuss how to store the roundhouse collection using lower cost materials to ensure that they can be safely stored away for both long term and short term.

Railway Equipment Maintenance Tools

Locomotive tool with markings after sealing.
I finished the treatment of the two tools described in the last post by applying a layer of wax to stabilize them.  They are now both sealed from moisture and flaking from handling.  I have had several visitors to the museum on the Tuesday that I am there working on objects and was able to show the visitors how I apply the wax and discuss the usage of these tools.  Thus far, they are proving to be of interest and are an effective teaching tool.  They are ready to be handled and shown to visitors or stored away for future exhibits.  The photograph on the right shows the locomotive tool with the etched letters DAR and CS.  You can see the fine layer of wax which does not obscure the markings nor the other unevenness of the metal.  The two photographs below show an example of the tools used and material removed from the greasing tool as I was working on it and then an example of the same area after it has been sealed with the fine layer of wax.

Greasing tool with the tools I used to remove corrosion.
Greasing tool after treatment, same area.

Roundhouse Objects Conservation - May 28 2013

May 28 2013

I have been updating the public database with any additional information such as research, photographs, updates and so on.  The challenge has been to get the work done on the larger objects.  I have been working on the objects pictured below.  Normally for objects of this size a simple, general clean would be done and then store them away.  However, in this case, these objects work well as teaching tools for education in maintenance procedures and the tool usage by maintenance staff in the early days of railroads in Annapolis Valley.  Therefore, I have elected to carefully brush away and pry loose as much of the corrosion as I can and then apply a layer of wax to seal these from moisture and facilitate handling and storage.  I have documented these procedures on metal objects in detail in the past so won't repeat them here.

It is likely that the first tool below was used on locomotives.  It fits nuts of 4.0 cm at one end and 4.5 cm at the other.  It is S shaped to fit in tight situations.  It has the letters DAR etched at each end just below the bottom of the U on both sides which stands for Dominion Atlantic Railway.  Just a short distance down the handle are the letters CS which I have asked local railway collectors about.  The theory is that this stands for Car Shop.  In other words railway car shop.  I know from previous research that, in the past, employees would etch their initials in tools that they owned when an employer insisted that employees supply their own tools.  It was a source of pride for craftsmen to have their own tools.

Locomotive Wrench

The second tool below was used to open the lid on a greasing box above the wheels of a rail car and then used to pack in grease.  The wheel bearings were checked regularly by the maintenance staff in case they were heating up due to the friction when the grease was running low.  Overheating could cause breakdown of the bearings and potentially lead to a derailment.  This tool was essential to the safe operation of the railway.  It does not have an etched marks.

Bearing Grease Tool