Monday, November 16, 2009

Big Changes in the Works!

On November 22, 2009 the Tod Engine Foundation will become the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation. The new name better describes our mission of preserving the steel industry heritage of the Youngstown steelmaking district which includes both the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys. Our primary function will continue to be the construction and operation of the Tod Engine Heritage Park, however other projects are in the works including instituting memberships, publication of a quarterly journal featuring articles about Youngstown district steelmaking history and steel preservation around the world, and of course working to educate the public about the dynamic history of steelmaking in the Youngstown district.

For our new logo we are using the former "Youngstown Steel" ladle and arrow mark which was developed by the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. This mark once represented high quality steel products manufactured by YS&T, now it represents the preservation of all of our steelmaking heritage.

The officers of the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation include: Rick Rowlands President, Zara Rowlands Secretary and Rich Rees Treasurer. The board of directors include: Rick Rowlands, David Tod II, Dr. Thomas E. Leary, Ken Izzo and Chris Dawson.

New bylaws are being drafted and we expect to have a new website up and running and begin a membership drive by the end of the year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tod Enginehouse Progress

Here are the latest images of the enginehouse now that the Morgan crane has been installed. I am planning to hang the rest of the steel siding on the north side of the building tomorrow, and then the major work will be done until we can raise some additional funding to erect the endwalls.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Steelwork is Erected

The steel framework of the Tod Enginehouse has been erected, and next week once the weather improves we will install the roofing and sidewalls. The crane will be installed probably within the next couple of weeks as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crane Runway Prep Work

The two overhead crane runway girders for the enginehouse were purchased secondhand for half the cost of new steel. They both need a few gussets welded in place and holes drilled for the runway rail clips. The photo shows one of the girders in my garage at home being drilled for rail clips using an ancient Black and Decker magnetic drill press. It poked twenty 7/8" dia. holes in the cap channel and top flange of the 22" wide flanged beam without any trouble at all. However the gear whine could be heard throughout the neighborhood!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Progress Report for Sept. 7

While many Americans celebrated Labor Day today by taking the day off, your s truly was hard at work building more concrete forms for the Tod Enginehouse at the Tod Engine Heritage Park. I've set a goal of having enough of the building finished by next summer to hold a couple of public open houses at the site and try to build more interest in the project and our wonderful Youngstown landmark. 2010 will be the Tod Engine's "Coming Out Year".

Construction of the enginehouse is progressing at a good pace. There is a bit more concrete work to do before we can start erecting the building, but by the end of October I plan to have the basic building erected. We'll get there one way or another as I've never been more motivated than I am now to get this goal reached before winter.

By the way now is a rare opportunity to see the Tod Engine in the open before it is enclosed by the building. So come on out to the Park and see the engine before the building goes up, you'll be glad you did!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Engine House Construction August 1, 2009

The Morgan crane received its first coat of Caterpillar yellow today. This color is a bit more pleasing than the bright canary yellow which the crane previously wore. Also, the temporary shelter which had covered the cylinders for the past three years was taken down, making this the first time that the assembled engine could be seen unobstructed.

Engine House Construction July 20, 2009

The four footers for the south piers of the enginehouse were poured on July 20. Each 6' x 6' x 12" pad was poured with 5,000 psi cocnrete and reinforced with rebar. The concrete piers will rest upon these pads.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Work Begins on the Tod Enginehouse

Now that we spent another $1,500 for a civil engineer to design a stormwater retention system for the Heritage Park property, the Youngstown Engineering Department has given its approval of our building permit application. This only took about eight months to accomplish! Now its back to the building dept. to review and hopefully they will sign off and we can finally obtain our building permit.
I have started construction of the wooden concrete forms for the building's eight piers in my garage. The photo shows three of the four panels made up to form one pier. We will pour the south four piers first, three will be eight feet tall and the west pier will be ten feet tall, due to the fact that the property slopes from east to west. Under each pier will be a 6' x 6' x 12" thick reinforced concrete pad to spread out the building load to the soil. I'll be doing the excavation, formsetting and rebar installation just as soon as possible so that we can pour concrete without much delay.
When the south four piers are finished I'll move to the north side and repeat the process there. On the north side the process will be a bit different since there will be concrete infill walls between the piers. This will require pouring a continuous footer between each pad. I will make regular entries to this blog during every step of the way of the construction of the enginehouse.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Sheet and Tube" Crawler Crane Joins Collection

Recently the Tod Engine Foundation purchased this 1950s Insley model K12 crawler crane. The crane has a capacity of 12 tons at 10 foot radius and a 40' boom. We decided to purchase the crane since we need an easier way to handle heavy objects at the Heritage Park, and it will also save us a great deal of money later this year when we begin erecting the enginehouse building. We have spent a total of approximately $2,000 on the crane including purchase price, cost of shipment and replacement parts.
An added benefit of having the crane is that it "fits" perfectly into our industrial themed museum project. All steel mills employed cranes similar to this one for a myriad of uses, including handling finished products, plant maintenance and general lifting duties. We thought that the crane would look appropriate painted in the Youngstown Sheet and Tube colors and wearing the ladle and arrow logo, although it does not have a YS&T lineage.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Morgan Crane Removal Part 1

On Friday, February 27 I hired AB Crane and Steel Service to bring their 30 ton Grove truck crane to Masury, OH to begin the major dismantling of our Morgan crane. My goal was to take the trolley and one crane girder down, and in a little over three hours we had finished the job.
Dale Desser and Jason Graves from Erie, PA came down to assist. Dale works for a crane service company and his knowlege and expertise was greatly appreciated. The trolley was way too heavy to lift in one piece, so we took down the hoist drum first, followed by the hoist idler shaft and finally the frame of the trolley. The total weight of the trolley is somewhere around 15,000 lbs. The last lift involved taking down one of the girders. Dale climbed out onto the girder and rigged up the slings, and then the crane lifted the girder out and down onto the floor.
More preparation work is needed before we can attempt to take down the other girder and the end trucks. Once everything is down the crane will be trucked to the Tod Engine Heritage Park and stored until it is put up in our soon to be built enginehouse building.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Tod Engine Youtube Channel

In our efforts to continue educating the people of the Mahoning Valley and the world about the industrial heritage of our fine area, the Tod Engine Foundation has created a Youtube channel where I have begun to upload various videos and films of interest. My favorite is a film (with an unforgettable soundtrack) about steelmaking at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Campbell Works in the 1920s. Also online is the 1984 documentary "Shout Youngstown". I also shot much home video in the 1990s and am posting some of those videos as well. You can watch as I toured the Jeannette Blast Furnace and coke plant, had a chance encounter that put me in the right place at the right time when the Ohio Works ore bridges were felled, and another chance encounter that netted me a cab ride on the Lake Erie and Eastern Railroad a couple years before it too disappeared.

So go to: and enjoy the videos!