Beginning the Cosmetic Restoration of the Tod Engine

Our volunteers have begun the arduous task of removing hundreds of square feet of paint, grime and old casting filler from the high pressure side of the Tod Engine in preparation for its repainting and restoration.  Our goal is to repaint the entire engine into a two tone grey scheme and the installation of all the detail parts that have until now been in storage, including sight glass oilers, lube lines, oil pans and valve gear reach rods.

During the restoration project, the original casting filler is being removed and replaced with modern “Bondo” type body filler that will adhere better than the old material.  The cylinder jacketing which was removed in 1995 by asbestos abatement contractors will be replaced with new sheets.  Fortunately we have the drawing for the jacketing making that part of the job much easier.  The piston valves are being removed permanently and will be replaced with dummy valve rods.

We are very fortunate in that a machine shop has moved in next door and a sheet metal fabricator has moved in across the street. That plus the welding supply co. across the street and the two trucking companies nearby makes our location very convenient for doing this type of work.

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With the name plate removed we can get a good look at the cylinder head.

We will have a few studs to replace and broken ends to dig out.  Always a fun task!

We will have a few studs to replace and broken ends to dig out. Always a fun task!

The exhaust piston valve assembly after removal from the cylinder casting.  The Tod Engine has dual piston valves, one for steam and the other for exhaust.

The exhaust piston valve assembly after removal from the cylinder casting. The Tod Engine has dual piston valves, one for steam and the other for exhaust.

The HP side with the tailrod support casting removed

The HP side with the tailrod support casting removed

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Looking inside the HP cylinder at the piston rod and rear cylinder head

Looking inside the HP cylinder at the piston rod and rear cylinder head

The HP cylinder manhead

The HP cylinder manhead

Youngstown Steel Heritage Vice President Rich Rees chipping paint on the Tod Engine

Youngstown Steel Heritage Vice President Rich Rees chipping paint on the Tod Engine

Youngstown Steel Heritage Hired to Reassemble and Restore 48″ Universal Plate Mill

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The Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation in Homestead, PA has retained the services of Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation to manage the reassembly and restoration of the steam driven 48″ universal plate mill that was originally installed at the Carnegie Steel Homestead Works in 1899.  The mill, weighing over 1,100 tons, was dismantled in 1992 and moved to a former Westinghouse plant in Trafford, PA where it has been in storage.   A grant was recently awarded to Rivers of Steel to fund the reassembly, and since Youngstown Steel Heritage is the only entity in the US with experience in the restoration of large rolling mill steam engines, we were asked to oversee this project.  The mill will be moved to the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Swissvale, PA and installed in the blowing engine house.  It is our intention to install the mill in such a way as to permit future operational demonstrations of plate rolling.

There are three steel industry rolling mill engines in existence in the US, our 4,000 HP Tod Engine, the 48″ mill’s 5,000 HP 50″ x 60″ reversing engine and a twin tandem compound reversing engine at the former Weirton Steel.  The Weirton engine is unlikely to be preserved, but the other two are now under our care and will receive top notch mechanical and cosmetic restorations.

We will be documenting the reassembly and restoration of the 48″ mill on this site, so please bookmark or follow this site and visit frequently to follow along on our progress.