Thursday, March 30, 2017

Upon Further Consideration...

Yesterday I mentioned the effort I went through to remove a small section of aluminum "belly skin" from the trailer. As I was thinking about it at lunch just a few minutes ago, I realized much of that effort was unnecessary. It shouldn't present any problems, but was a waste of time. I've got a decent solution for the torn metal problem, better than I thought up last night. If weather cooperates, I may have it in place and have pictures this evening. If not, then not. And now back to work.

Fantastic Photographs

I was checking the weather forecast for the day when I noticed an article on the weather web site. The article is a very brief, mentioning French diver Gabriel Barathieu and his wonderful underwater photographs. However, the article is also filled with over a hundred photographs, covering a wide variety of subjects: aquatic life like octopus, tropical fish, and sharks, amphibians and mammals swimming as seen from below, sunken ships and submarines, and sunken planes from World War II. Some of them are simply amazing. They're well worth a look even with an add popping up every five images or so.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Trailer Progress - or lack thereof

I noticed a couple of days ago that some of the belly skin just ahead of the street-side wheel was torn, but it wasn't until I went to take a look tonight that the exact position and the extent of the damage registered. The tear is high enough that it sits at the level of the plywood floor, which means it needs to be fixed to keep the plywood floor dry. The proper solution would involve replacing the entire sheet, but that would cause at least two weeks of delay for an order of aluminum in the right size and allow, and for more rivets, and for all the work involved in removing and replacing the existing sheet - all outside during the month known for its showers. And it has to be addressed before much more progress can be made. 
The torn aluminum belly skin is unfortunately torn above the level of the plywood floor
Despite the fact that I'd rather replace the whole sheet, I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to install a smaller replacement piece that extends downwards from the top to fill the hole. This bothers me, but less so than the prospect of major further schedule slippage. So today I removed the remnants of the aluminum that is still riveted in place above the tear. This involved drilling out all the rivets on the left half of the above image, then a few more further to the left to give me enough wiggle room to slip the snips into place to cut. It was a far more time consuming activity than I'd expected, and removing it required well over an hour. The sun had set by the time I was done. About the only other things I accomplished were to figure out what I shall do about the wire runs for the brake line, and 

Tomorrow shall involve fabricating the pieces I need to fix the hole as well as for the rest of the middle section belly skin fixes, and hopefully cutting and fitting the insulation. Due to the weather as forecast, the exterior work such as riveting the new pieces into place in the photo above will likely have to wait until the drier whether expected this weekend.

Rocky Mountain Retribution Released

Peter Grant announced that his latest novel, the western Rocky Mountain Retribution, has been published. I liked his previous Western and hope this one will be as good.

Akron Terminal Station

The Akron terminal station was constructed by the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company, which once operated a system of interurban electric railroads in northeastern Ohio, roughly centered upon the city of Akron. When the new terminal building was constructed on the corner of Main Street and West Federal Street in 1918 it was a four story stone and brick building with waiting room, stores, and offices, behind which sat a steel train shed covering eight tracks. Behind the shed were some smaller brick buildings and a substation that fronted upon High Street, the road paralleling Main but a block eastwards.

Akron Interurban Terminal, from the northwest
As the interurban trolley gave way to the bus, buses began to use the station as well, and by 1932 it became station for buses only, while it continued to serve for some time as the headquarters of the power company. In recent years it has been used for county offices. It remains mostly intact (save for tracks), although two additional stories were added to the main building. The surroundings have changed dramatically, however. When built it stood on a corner, but the road to the north was eliminated and a highway constructed just a bit further north. The intersection was realigned and the area to north and to much of west became parking lost.

West facade. 

Interurban cars reached the train shed by way of a track that turned off Main and then ran along the south wall of the building, through where the gate is now. They departed by turning left/west onto West Federal Street and then turning again north or south onto Main. For 14 years, passengers could catch an electric interurban trolley car, or even a multi-car train, to various points in northeastern Ohio. At one time passengers could ride from Akron north to Cleveland, east to Ravenna, west to Wadsworth, and south to Canton, Massillon, Dover, New Philadelphia, and Uhrichsville. Via connections with other electric interurban railroads at Canton, Ravenna, and Cleveland, a rider could reach much of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and parts of Pennsylvania and New York. At Cleveland steam railroads and steam boats offered even more transportation options.

View from the North
While this station is smaller and less impressive than the one that once grace Indianapolis, it does have one amazing attribute that great structure lacked. The station building in Akron is still extant, with train shed, long after the larger structure in Indianapolis was demolished. In fact, which several impressive interurban stations remain here in America, I believe that only the one in Akron retains a train shed, that wonderfully-obvious sign of its railroad past.

Electrical substation on High Street. It converted AC to DC for use by the trolleys.

New Battery Technology

Over at Peter Grant's blog mention was made of a new battery technology. The article that was linked to describes the new technology as the work of a team led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery. The inventors claim the technology is safer (less combustible), faster charging, has greater energy density, and a longer life (number of charge/discharge cycles). If it pans out that'll be quite an improvement. I guess Goodenough decided the lithium-ion battery wasn't good enough.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday Trailer Progress

This evening's work consisted of attaching the "bridge" pieces to the two pieces of plywood floor for the middle section of the trailer. I dry fit them again after the glue had a few hours to dry.

Dry fit of middle section plywood floor
I was a bit tired tonight so there's still much more than I'd like that needs to get done before that plywood can finally rest there permanently. That includes fixing the belly skins, insulation, and getting the wiring runs for the brakes into place.