Sunday, September 6, 2009

Welding a cut lever - the old fashioned way

To uncouple, you pull a cut lever. SN 1005 has four cut levers - one on each corner of the car. These connect through a link rod to the couplers themselves. They are made of about 1/4" steel rod.

Three of the cut levers were intact, and could be reused. The other one had been lost or destroyed, and had been replaced by an improvised cut lever which was functional, but not historically appropriate.

The original cut levers had been forge welded by a blacksmith. Fortunately, a blacksmith capable of the job operated at the Ardenwood farm in Fremont, California, and frequently did projects for the SPCRR, also at Ardenwood. Dave Johnston took the materials there. Here is a photo of the blacksmith shop.

And here is a photo of the crew at work (not on our cut lever)...

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