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The Port Carriage is Getting Lighter!!

As mentioned on July 8th, several unsuccessful attempts in the removal of the wheels led us to plan B: Disassemble the side plates by removal about 30 bolts… Fortunately, we have not had to remove every single bolt (yet), but by using Ridgid screw extractors we’ve made a great start! Removing only the bolts around the wheels released enough pressure to get us back to plan A (push and pull the wheels out).

Enjoy the following photos from last week’s work.

Photo 1 (left): Pushing the front inboard wheel down with a hydraulic jack. A gap opened between the wood and the iron plate. Photo 2 (right): The wheel finally separated – the 2-inch thick grey part visible on the wheel used to be against the iron plate.

Photo 3: The carriage was elevated on sawhorses to attempt pulling out the wheel. Cleaning around the wheel with various small tools and water helped free the wheel.

Photo 4: Having cleaned the interstices surrounding the wheel as much as possible, we installed the jack straight under the wheel to pull it.

Photo 5: Pumping up the jack, hoping that the wheel will move down (and not the clamp and its protective rubber padding).

Photo 6: The tension is fairly high… we’ve been working all day on this wheel.

Photo 7: OK, it is working; the wheel is moving down slowly but steadily. Now we tied a strap under it so that Gary’s hands are not the only support under the wheel when it drops free.

Photo 8: Here it is, a magnificent 80-pound piece, 10 inches in diameter and 4 inches thick. This process was repeated three more times for this carriage, resulting in the removal of 320lbs of copper alloy wheels!!!

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