Part 2: Methods for Training in Restoration of Metals
The Preservation of Historic Iron and Steel in Bridges and Other Metal Structures project featured an innovative combination of three training components: informational web-based videos, a three-day workshop including hands-on demonstrations, and two training courses. All three components shared the goal of addressing the national need for preservation expertise involving historic metals, with the aim of preserving as much of the original fabric of historic metal structures as possible.
Informational videos demonstrating six restoration processes were a key component of the project. These were produced by staff in Lansing Community College’s Media Department, with videotaping done in the LCC welding facility and professional narration added in production, based on expertise shared by the project P.I. Vern Mesler. The purpose of the videos was to have a audiovisual record of the restoration processes that could be used both for advertising the Workshop (letting potential attendees know ahead of time the kinds of processes to be demonstrated) and for widespread dissemination through websites in order to reach those who need this information for historic preservation. Although not intended as stand-alone training videos, they could be used as an introduction to metals restoration processes as part of more comprehensive, hands-on training sessions. The videos were produced in such a way that the same videos could be used to advertise future workshops in case it were possible to offer a metals restoration conference on a regular basis beyond the grant-funded period.
The project originally proposed two videos, each to be distributed on DVD, with shorter segments produced for web-based viewing. The two proposed videos were titled The Restoration of Historic Metals and Hot Riveting. After videotaping was completed, it was decided to produce the six shorter segments (four for The Restoration of Historic Metals and two for Hot Riveting) to offer on the LCC and NCPTT websites (and on YouTube) rather than on DVD. (On the other hand, the presentations from Day 1 of the March 2010 Workshop, which were originally proposed to be available on website only, were produced on DVD instead.) In the future, the web-based restoration videos could also be made available on DVD. The six video segments appeared on an LCC website specifically developed for the March 2010 Workshop:
The Restoration of Historic Metals
- Pad Welding for section loss in historic steel and wrought iron
- Pack Rust Removal for historic metal structures
- Heat Straightening for steel and wrought iron
- Welding processes for the restoration of Cast Iron
By late August 2010, outside of the grant-funded period, a stand-alone webpage featuring the six videos will be created and the link made available to NCPTT and other organizations with an interest in historic preservation and metals restoration.
The central component of the Preservation of Historic Iron and Steel in Bridges and Other Metal Structures project was the three-day workshop held March 8-10, 2010, at Lansing Community College, designed to inform participants of feasible, proven preservation techniques for the restoration of historic metals. The methods demonstrated at the workshop have been described in Part 1 of this section of the report. The workshop was divided into two segments, paper presentations on Day 1 and hands-on demonstrations on Day 2 and Day 3. The first day was offered as a stand-alone conference, attracting 53 attendees. Participation for Days 2 and 3 was limited to 40 people due to the hands-on nature of the demonstrations. This portion of the Workshop filled to capacity. Most attendees for Day 1 chose to participate in all three days. A sit-down lunch on Day 1 proved to be an excellent occasion for discussion, along with luncheon speaker James Cooper’s well-received presentation on Indiana bridges.
The presentations on Day 1 (March 8, 2010) were given by a variety of experts from business, government and academia:
“Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory”
Lloyd Baldwin, Project Manager for Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory, Michigan Department of Transportation Sigrid Bergland, Historian, Michigan Department of Transportation
“Design and Performance of Riveted Bridge Connections”
Bill Vermes, Project engineer for Euthenics, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio
“Engineering and Historic Metal Truss Bridges” Frank J. Hatfield, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
“Wrought Iron and Historic Steel”
Dario Gasparini, Professor of Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
“The Continuous Clatter‟: Practical Field Riveting” David A. Simmons, Editor of Timeline, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio
“Arc Welding Wrought Iron”
Lon Yost, Lincoln Electric Global Application Engineer, Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
“Beauty and Efficiency in Historic Hoosier Highway Truss Bridges”
James Cooper, Professor Emeritus of History, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
All seven presentations were videotaped in order to document this portion of the Workshop and to provide a vehicle for dissemination. The Lansing Community College Media Department produced three DVDs that, together, provide a record of Day 1 of the Workshop. The PowerPoint slides submitted by each speaker were integrated into the video of the speaker’s presentation, resulting in a high quality record of the seven presentations. Each Workshop participant received a set of the three DVDs.
The demonstrations on Day 2 and Day 3 featured the restoration processes described in an earlier section of this report (Methods and Materials, Part 1), as well as proper safety procedures for all aspects of the work. Hot riveting, pack rust removal and heat straightening were demonstrated on Day 2. Rivets were heated in a propane gas forge (commonly used by blacksmiths for making knives) and riveting with the field rivet hammer was done using a steel fixture designed for rivet training and fabricated in the LCC welding facility. Top chord sections from a historic metal truss bridge were used to demonstrate pack rust removal, and heat straightening was performed on a modern structural steel member. The demonstrations on Day 3 focused on welding processes adapted for restoration of historic metals. In two cases, the metals used for the welding demonstrations were from historic metal structures: a wrought iron eye-bar from a bridge of the 1880’s with section loss was repaired by pad welding using the Shielded Metal Arc Welding process; and a cast iron finial from a 1895 bridge that had been badly damaged in the removal of the bridge from the river was repaired using the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding process.
Demonstrations of the restoration processes ran in concurrent, repeated sessions so that participants were able to view each process in a group small enough to allow for easy viewing and interaction with the demonstrators as well as hands-on participation. Demonstrators were experienced instructors, most of them faculty in the welding program at Lansing Community College, assisted in some cases by LCC students.
Day 2 (March 9, 2010)
Methods for heating steel rivets: Jeff Haynes (LCC faculty)
Driving rivets using field riveting equipment: Roger Morrison (LCC faculty) assisted by Adam Mena (LCC student)
Pack rust removal: Roy Bailiff (LCC faculty) assisted by Dan Stinson (LCC student)
Heat straightening wrought iron and steel: Dan Garijo (National Bridge Company, Okemos, Michigan) and William Eggleston (LCC faculty)
Day 3 (March 10, 2010)
OFW (Oxygen Welding and Brazing): Jeff Haynes (LCC faculty)
SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding): Vern Mesler (LCC faculty) assisted by Dan Stinson (LCC student)
ACA (Air Carbon Arc Gouging) and OFC (Oxygen Fuel Cutting): Roger Morrison (LCC faculty) assisted by Adam Mena (LCC student)
GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding): William Eggleston and Roy Bailiff (LCC faculty)