Thursday, May 01, 2008

Brake heads

Two weeks ago, Harold showed me how the pictured template worked. He will use it to guide his hand while he adds metal to the upper surfaces of the Shay's brake heads. Once he's added the metal, Harold will use a square to guide him as he grinds the new metal to the proper height.

According to the Car Builders Cyclopedia of American Practice, 1903 edition, a brake head is a "piece of iron or wood attached to a brake beam and which bears against the wheels, and combines both a brake block and a brake shoe in one piece." The Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay has eight such brake heads, one per wheel.

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