Prony Brake Storage Building

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Jerry Christiansen, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. crystalaakre

    crystalaakre Mega Poster Moderator WMSTR Lifetime Member

    This is looking so good @Jerry Christiansen ....very much thanks to you all who have put in a ton of time on this project!
  2. Sid Fossan

    Sid Fossan WMSTR Lifetime Members WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Thanks Crystal.

    We have had a great time building this new structure. Great Team!!!!

    We are on the home stretch now.
  3. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi all,
    Jane and I plan to be at Rollag Friday evening and all day Saturday. The electrical work is just about done, I don't know if we will be ready to pull the pole out this weekend or not. We have to put the steel corners on the building, the rake (I think that is the correct term) on the gable ends of the roof, flower boxes need to be built, the Saw Shed needs to come down and the steel to do the walls of the Brake roof are on the grounds ready to be installed.

    Other than that, we will just be sitting in the shade watching the birds fly by. if anyone want to help, bring your tools you know how to use.

    Jerry Christiansen
    karl stange likes this.
  4. craig mattson

    craig mattson Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Is the know how a requirement or may one show up with tools and no know how and use some of others excess know how? If so count me in

  5. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi Craig,

    Some other options come to mind.
    1) Fake it until you make it.
    2) Someone else might be impressed with your tool collection, believe you know how to use them and therefore treat you like an expert.
    3) You could impress others with your generosity and give the tools you don't know how to use to someone that knows how. (This really works well with tools you borrowed from someone else and 'forgot' to return.)

    Jerry Christiansen
    craig mattson likes this.
  6. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi all,

    I forgot to post pictures from June 8. We didn't get a lot done on the building. Steam School was coming up fast, we needed to get the Saw Shed taken down so the Brake could be used.

    Some may ask why we built the overhanging roof with the extended slab.

    The chairs and the coffee cup show one reason. It is nice to have a good place for a cup of coffee before starting the day's projects.

    The wind was pretty strong out of the south east. There was a 2X4 running across this end of the rafters that held the brown tarp down. We took that off and moved the ladders to the sides to take the brown tarp off.


    Holding on to the tarp in the wind was pretty interesting. We won the battle with the tarp and no one got hurt.

    All the rafters are removed. We moved to the northeast corner and started taking the east side down.

    Notice Sid's confidence in the horizonal board, he has no fear of putting weight on it.

    The east and south walls are down.
    Sid sorted some of the lumber and inspected the design feature of the header on the south wall. I will let Sid comment on that if he wishes to. If you look back, you can find some dialog in an earlier post.

    We got the west wall down, only the north wall is left.

    I am not sure what Sid and Seth are up to.

    Are they praying to the Prony Brake gods? Is a good looking girls sitting on the rafter above them? Was Seth chilled and enjoying the sun on his back? Who knows?

    Bryce showed up and helped pick up and sort lumber.
    The bottom plate of the north wall is still in place and the north wall is still attached to it.

    Nearly done with Saw Shed removal.
    Seth is removing the last of the bottom plate.

    All cleaned up, the Brake is ready for action.
    Sid's van is closed up, all his tools are packed.

    Some work was done on the building.
    Josh came by for a while and did more work on the electrical.

    Thanks to everyone for the help on this project. The next weekend was Steam School. Jane and I were at the Hawk Museum with the Blue Brake.

    Jerry Christiansen

  7. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi all,

    Our trip to the Hawk Museum was uneventful in that we didn't have any flat tires or crashes. Saturday at the Hawk was rainy, muddy and cold. Did I mention that is was rainy and muddy?

    Friday evening, 21 June, Jane and I got the Red Trailer back to Rollag and set up in Steam Hollow. Our camping spot was pretty muddy and getting the trailer where we wanted was interesting. Not long after we got to bed, rain started falling. Saturday morning was cool and damp, but no rain was falling.

    The grounds were pretty muddy, there were not a lot of people on the grounds. Sid showed up and after a bit of coffee we headed to the Prony Brake Building. Our goal was to get the corners on the building and the roof done. Bryce and Seth showed up just as we were getting organized

    We did the corners on the west side first. I didn't get pictures of that work. Cutting those pieces was interesting.

    Bryce and Sid were doing some measuring on the south east corner.
    The tops on all four pieces were a bit tricky, take a look the next time you are there.
    The tracks on the hillside to the east are probably where steam engines were practicing starting and stopping on a hill during Steam School.

    We stayed pretty dry when we were working on the corners. We got an occasional mist, but nothing too heavy. Then we went to work on the final trim on the roof.

    We are getting set up for the final piece. By this time the drizzle was pretty steady. Bryce is lying on the roof because that is the only way he could stay up there. By the time we were done he was really wet. Seth is getting the ladder ready for Sid.
    Sid is handing the piece to Bryce while Seth steadies his ladder. This is the last picture I got before I climbed the silver ladder and we got the last piece in place.

    The exterior of the building is complete! We need to get the electrical run into the building, fill in the trench and remove the light pole. Other items left include: 1) shelves on the inside 2) flower boxes around the building, 3) steps to the concrete on the south side and 4) a ramp to the concrete on the north side.

    Jerry Christiansen
    craig mattson likes this.
  8. craig mattson

    craig mattson Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Jerry, thanks for the update and pictures. This project is coming along nicely.
  9. M Kerkvliet

    M Kerkvliet WMSTR Past President Administrator WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Looks great! Congratulations on your new digs! and thanks for sharing the story of the build here!
  10. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Craig and Mark,

    Thanks for your kind words. The crew that has worked on this project has been GREAT. Thanks to everyone that has been and will be working on the project.

    Jerry Christianen
    craig mattson likes this.
  11. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi all,

    The building is complete. The electrical inspector signed off on the work. Thank you Al and Josh for your work on that!

    We started building flower beds around the building 28 July. I was by the building about 8 am looking around, drinking some coffee and trying to get organized. Monroe B drove up and asked what was going on and if we needed help. What a great addition to the crew he was!

    Not too long after Monroe showed up, Sid F arrived with donuts and then Dan, Amanda, Xander and Brekke showed up.

    Sid is digging out and leveling the dirt getting ready to place a tie. Xander and Dan are in the background working on the north side.

    Progress is being made. Dan is in the foreground, Sid is on his knees working and Monroe is in the back ground. The row of ties being worked on here are stacked two high. The ground slopes enough that on the south side both ties can be seen, on the north side the bottom tie is completely under ground.

    Another shot showing four of the crew.

    We tried digging some of the sod out with the Bobcat. The ground is very hard and the Bobcat has a wide bucket, we couldn't get enough down pressure to cut the sod. We had to dig by hand and used the Bobcat to move the material out of our work area.

    Gary A from the railroad stopped by and said there were some long ties they had just removed that we could use if we wanted. We got some nice 16 foot ties. Thanks to the railroad for the nice material.

    In the process of picking up the ties, we met Jorgen near the Sandbox Sandbox. He asked if we could use a hand and foolishly joined the crew.
    He was an excellent addition to the crew. Jorgen is at the northeast corner of the building. To get the flower bed two ties high, the trench had to be deep enough that the bottom tie is buried. At the south end, both ties are visible.

    Jon H brought a wagon load of fertilizer for the flower beds.

    c P_20190727_151123.jpg

    He knew which end of the shovel to grab and joined the crew.

    We didn't get finished on Saturday. The inside ties along the building are all in place. The bottom row on the outside is all in place. We have part of the top row to finish. Then we need to get our ramp done to the north and finish the steps on the south.

    We plan to get back to it next weekend.

    Jerry Christiansen
  12. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi all,

    Sid asked why I didn't share a picture of one of our first trips to the Round House to get ties. I sorted through the pictures and found the one he referred to.


    I thought these ties looked pretty good. They were all bundled up for us and easy to load.

    Before I could get the bundle picked up, Sid came over and explained that these were probably not the used ties the Railroad folks said we could use. What do the rest of you think, should I have picked them up and used them for flower beds?

    Jerry Christiansen
  13. cjmlarson

    cjmlarson Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission:sorry2:
  14. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi Clayton,

    Thank you for that advise. The next time I need railroad ties, I will take the bundle of new ones. When the Railroad Crew askes about it, I say that it was Clayton's idea. Notice how I am going to drag you under the bus (or train) with me?

    Hi everyone else (and Clayton, too),

    We got some more work done on Saturday, 3 August. Not to cause alarm, did any one else notice we only have three weekends to get stuff done before the show? Where did the summer go?!?!

    We got all the flower beds built. Building with ties is always interesting. The ties are stacked, then we drill a hole through the top tie and most of the way through the bottom tie.


    Dan is drilling a hole with a 5/8 auger bit. As you can see, we had to cut quite a few ties to get the lengths we needed. Drill bits and chain saws cry when they learn they are going to be used in railroad ties. We use a corded drill for this job to be nice to our cordless tools. Amanda is coming over with a water.

    In the background Richard's garden tractor is parked for a bit. He was busy cutting grass around our area. You can also see the tractor-trailer rig for the mini-excavator.

    Craig was around the corner running the mini-excavator.
    That is a picture of concentration!. The wide bucket was on the excavator. The clearance between the ties was just barely enough for the bucket to fit. Craig did an outstanding job. The ties stayed in place, gravel and muck were removed and not one dent in the new building. Thanks, Craig!

    Jon H brought a flare side trailer full of manure for the project last week. I didn't get a picture of that. After Craig was done, we put a mixture of manure and black dirt in the boxes.

    We use the 'new' dump truck to get a load of black dirt. I didn't get pictures of Sid using the Cadillac loading the truck. We brought the Cadillac back to the job site so Sid could play with it a while longer.


    After we dumped the load of black dirt, Sid used the Cadillac to pick up the stuff Craig had dug out and reload the truck. Notice the red shovel handle close to the camera on the right side. That is where the yard light used to be. We were able to use the payloader when the woodcutter went for dinner and pulled the pole out.

    Meanwhile, Dan was still working staking the ties together.


    Dan cut the rebar to length and then sharpened one end. We tried to be as nice as possible to the auger bit and didn't drill all the way through the second tie into the dirt. Sharpening the end made driving the rebar a bit easier. On the right, Sid is dumping a load of dirt we didn't want into the dump truck.

    Part of the black dirt pile is south of Dan. You can also see where a bucket of manure was dumped inside the flower box.

    Dan has a piece of rebar ready to drive home. Amanda and Jane were picking the rocks and big chunks of clay out of the flower bed and getting the beds ready for flowers.

    A bit of landscaping is left on the north side. We are ready to empty the old belt trailer out and send it down the road. Next week Jane and Amanda plan to get flowers moved. We also want to get the steel put on the walls of the Brake roof.

    Jerry Christiansen
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  15. M Kerkvliet

    M Kerkvliet WMSTR Past President Administrator WMSTR Lifetime Member

    That "storage building" is becoming a display in itself! If it weren't for the new Yaggie (Steiger) west gate building, it would likely be the talk of the show this year... at least as far as new buildings go!
  16. donnellythresher

    donnellythresher Intermediate Poster

  17. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi again all,

    The building is done. The landscaping is done. Flowers have been transplanted. Grass has been seeded and came up. Here is a walk around three sides of the building.




    The grass is a lot thicker than it appears. The straw makes it look thin. Some one is all ready using the outlet on the side of the building. Thanks to everyone that helped on this project.

    Jerry Christiansen
    M Kerkvliet likes this.
  18. mrnewway

    mrnewway Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    nice looking building and a great improvement to what you had.
    You mentioned at the start of this thread {a donation was made for this project} did the donation cover all the expenses of the building? did any WMSTR funds be used?
  19. Jerry Christiansen

    Jerry Christiansen Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Hi Jim,

    I don't know how to answer your questions. I don't know how large the donation was. I believe part of the donation was used for another project that involved accessibility for folks that use mobility devices.


    Jerry Christiansen
    mrnewway likes this.
  20. mrnewway

    mrnewway Mega Poster WMSTR Lifetime Member

    Regardless of how it got built it is an asset to the WMSTR grounds.

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