Project 2472

Friday morning. Dave drives Bob to Hunter's point Naval Shipyard to work on Project 2472. The assignment: install the superheater tubes. Personnel: Bob (dilettante), Dave (master Margarita mixer) and Ralph (volunteer fork-lift operator).

What is Project 2472, you ask? I'll tell you. No, I'll make you go find out on the GGRM web site...

Back, are you? Well now, the picture to the right is looking into the smoke box, taken about ten feet in front of the engine. Each superheater tube is about 60' long and folded twice. They fit into individual holes that run through the boiler from the front (smoke box) to the back (fire box). Each weighs about 150lbs and there are 6 rows of 7 across.
the smokebox from the front
Each tube connects to a pair of manifolds: one to bring pre-heated steam in and a second to collect the superheated steam (output) to be delivered to the cylinders that drive the engine.

The big pipes to the left and right of this imagego to the cylinders. The large hole going through the ceiling is for thesmoke stack.
first row of tubes
This photo was taken as we cleaned up to go home. The job was about half done.
too tired to go on...
Notice all the little rectangular tags hanging from the tubes. Each one identifies the position of the tube. They were attached when the engine was first built. Without them, we would never be able to put them back. Each tube is individually made to fit the exact location that it occupies. They are not interchangeable!
These pictures were all taken with natural light for better detail of the machinery. Unfortunately, anything that moves (such as Dave using an electric drill and a wire brush to knock the rust off the mating surfaces) tends to come out as a blur.
Dave polishes the fittings
The next step is to apply a high temperature "pipe dope" also known as "black goo".
smearing goo into the fitting
Dave seems to be enjoying this...

Here, Dave is leaning into a 2 foot long ratchet handle to tighten the nut that cinches up one of the tubes.
very large socket wrench
Here's a closer shot of the finger full of black goo.
Mmmmm, tastey!