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 Post subject: # 190 Slope Cable Replacement
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:41 pm
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
This weekend we replaced the cables ( or ropes) at Lackawanna... Theres 2 emergency cables that run underneath and though the mantrip and the main hoisting cable. ...big job.

We started by putting in the 2 brand new emergency cables. In the winter time they use a mine car with boards across it to sit on instead of the regular tourist mantrip, so they pull out the emergency cables for the winter. We put the 2 cable spools on a bar, and layed the bar into notches in the sides of the mine car to hold the spools so that they could freely spin. Then we dropped the mine car down to the foot of the slope, and connected the ends of the cables to the weights on the weight stand at the bottom. The weights then held the cables as we pulled the mine car back out of the mine, slowly unraveling the cables behind it. When we got to the surface, we picked the bar with the spools up off the mine car and unraveled the remaining cable by hand. The tourist mantrip has a system of pulleys that these emergency cables run through inside the car that restrict its speed, and can stop the loaded car (if necessary) if there is a major problem with the main cable or the hoist. These emergency cables, therefore, must be strung through the system within the car. What is done to accomplish this is to leave a length of the old (previous year's) cable within the system. Then, when you're installing the new cable, take an end of the old cable thats already strung through the car and braze it to the end of the new cable. If you have a good braze, and a little luck, you can use the opposite end of the old cable running through the car to pull the new cable through the system, thus installing the new cable. Works good! Once the new cables are strung through the car, adjust them and lock them to the concrete reinforced ground hooks, and with some adjustment for tension, you have 2 new emergency cables!

That was Saturday. Today (Sunday) we replaced the main hoisting cable... all 3000lbs of it. To replace the main cable it has to be unhitched from the mantrip. Whats the problem with this?

....theres no weight to pull the cable off the hoist drum. Start flexing your muscles... this is a back breaking job. Not only is the hoist drum an incredibly stubborn opponent to pull against, but the cable itself is extremely heavy. it's not possible to life the cable up to the point where you can stand up and pull it with your arms like a tug of war with the hoisting drum... it's simply way to heavy. I spent a long time today bent over, keeping most of the weight of the cable on the ground as I pulled as hard as i could against the hoist. you can imagine the joy it created. However, after a back breaking 1500 feet of rope, and hearing you were on the final layer of cable on the drum three times before it actually was the final layer, we got it off.
After tossing the old off into the weeds (like every mine..chucker style) we got the new cable. we backed the truck it was on over the slope opening in line with the hoist house, and lugged the new one over the slope and up into the hoist room, and mounted it of the drum. Once secure, pop Supey slowly pulled the new cable onto the new drum with the hoist motor while we all did little jobs keeping it in line, out of the dirt, and overseeing in general.

Soo.. now the highlight of the day! We hooked the new cable up to the mantrip and started pulling the mantrip out of the mine.... CRUNCH. we had layed boards down to keep the main rope out of the dirt as we rolled it onto the hoist drum. Unfortunately, we put the boards on top of the emergency cables. Remember how those emergency cables go up into and through the car? Boards don't. on of the cables lifted a board and pinched it between the car, and the cable and a guide... breaking the guide off, and pinching the cable to where it wouldn't travel through the pulley system in the car.

........wonderful.

You can imagine how the rest of the day went.... jacking up the car, fabricating and welding a new guide into place, and planning what to do with the cable....tomorrow. The integrity of the cable wasn't compromised, but it can't be used where it is. We're hoping tomorrow to take the surface end of the cable to the foot of the slope where, hopefully, the car wont need to run over it, sending it through the pulley system. Not sure yet though.... we might need to completely replace that safety cable.. :roll:

Mistakes happen...

the hard part is we have 1 day to fix it...tomorrow (Monday) :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:10 pm
Posts: 562
Location: My own little hole in ground.
Your mother told you there'd be days like this.
:?

Good luck today.
Your muscles will grow as big as mine sooner than ya think.
:shock:

xox
~S

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
After you get some rest, let us know how attempt two went at getting the cables ready...

Miner Greg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:58 pm
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Location: Documenting anthracite mining history, one photograph at a time
hope you had an easier day today with it. I had the same kind of frustrating day at work today myself, but I just throw stuff and punch things when I get frustrated :lol:

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