Saturday, January 10, 2009

Measure twice, cut once

At the moment Jacob is our only apprentice volunteer. He comes to the engine house every other Saturday to help the crew restore the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay locomotive and other El Dorado County railroad artifacts.

Since I don't work in the trades, Jacob's visits to the engine house give him an opportunity to acquire essential skills. This’ll give him a head start when he takes an ROP class at his high school next school year. Unlike earlier generations (myself included), boys today don’t take as many shop classes in junior and senior high school.

"You check it again because it's easier to check than fix," said Keith Berry. Jacob has spent the morning assisting Keith to measure and cut the pieces for the battery box to the Diamond and Caldor Railbus No. 10. Once cut, Marcus Hodge will fabricate the box at his home shop.

Keith shows Jacob how much pressure to apply to the chop saw as he cuts a piece for the coupler pocket on the railbus.

Jacob cleans the edges on the piece of tubing for the coupler pocket. This ensures a clean surface when Wayne Thorley welds the piece in. And it gives Jacob a chance to learn how to control and use the grinder.

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