Preparation for the workshop included research and training in restoration processes using both old and new technologies. The welding staff at Lansing Community College were trained in the historic process of hot riveting, including research in rivet heating methods, and also used their expertise of current welding practices and state of the art facility to refine welding techniques for restoring historic metals. In addition, LCC welding and machining staff prepared welded wrought iron samples for tensile testing and created a display of the results for the workshop.
The workshop was held March 8-10, 2010, with two days of hands-on demonstrations following one day of presentations. Participants not only watched experts perform the restoration processes but also used the equipment themselves. This firsthand experience of the processes, along with the interaction among the variety of attendees (from blacksmiths to engineers) was a highlight for many participants. Collaboration with businesses resulted in three important contributions to the workshop: an extensive display of rivet equipment from Michigan Pneumatic Tool, a heat-straightening demonstration from National Bridge Company, and representation from The Lincoln Electric Company for welding processes.
Professional quality videos were produced by LCC to illustrate hot riveting, rivet removal, pack rust removal, pad welding, heat-straightening and welding processes for restoration. These videos were made available to the public on LCC, NCPTT and YouTube websites. In addition, a DVD of Workshop speakers was produced for Workshop participants.
Two courses have been developed to further training in restoration processes for historic metals beyond the workshop. The courses are in module form and will be offered by LCC’s Business and Community Institute starting Fall 2010.