4253 Locomotive
A not-for-profit company run entirely by volunteers
Contact us at: gwr4253@gmail.com


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What's Happening This Month





Four days this week with most of the work concentrated on the refurbishment of our sales trailer as it needs to be back in sevice by the 25th for our next scheduled event.  Tuesday saw the paintwork rubbing down completed, all the old wood on the rear ramp removed and the wheels repainted while Dave F replaced sundry rivets as necessary.

images/450/May 20 1.jpgIt was then time for Dave and Pete to start applying the new paint.

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Also, parts for the new dart bar were being made starting with the centre section through which the dart will pass to lock the smokebox door shut.  This involved setting two 90 degree bends into both the upper and lower sections which meant heating the steel with two burners until it was hot enough to be bent round the previously made former.  Here are Moff and Scott on the torches while Pete applies the bending force.

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Thursday involved more trailer painting as did Friday with the addition of cutting material for various jobs and Colin milling the hexagons on oil pot tops.

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On Sunday we had various people putting the trailer back together with a new wooden floor for the rear ramp which was then covered by aluminium checker plate, new rear light clusters involving a rewire and a new rear top closing panel.  Meanwhile Jerry was busy taking it apart again after investigating a noisy wheel bearing which resulted in two of the four hubs having worn bearings driven out for replacement

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and the need to replace all four sets of brake shoes.  Others did actually do some work on the loco with Paul welding in the curved section of the ashpan that goes over the axle and also laying the root weld to join the first two pieces of the dart bar together

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while Scott and Dave D continued with bending the copper water delivery pipes to shape.




Four days this week with Tuesday seeing the start of making the smokebox dart bar.  To be honest, we've had the steel to do this job for some two years but other things kept taking priority.  We've cut the various parts to length and started making the former around which some of the lengths will be bent.  The scrap skip went, having been filled to the brim so the site is now tidier and we are a few quid richer.  Wednesday was pipe bending day with the team brazing on flanges and forming the initial bends for the water supply pipework.

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Friday involved machining tops for the slipper block oil pots, finishing off the rocker shaft bearings

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and continuing with the pipework fabrication.

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On Sunday half the team got stuck into refurbishing our sales trailer to get the job done prior to its next scheduled outing in two weeks time.  The badly corroded rear closing strips were cut off, new ones made and welded into position while all the paintwork, including the roof, was rubbed back and prepped for a total repaint.  The rear ramp also needs rebuilding and will be covered in aluminium checker plate when finished.

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Back on the loco, the ashpan had the initial tunnel plate tacked into position

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and a former was made so we could start making all the brackets to hold the water delivery pipework.  This is it being used to press the first bracket into shape.

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The tidy up of the site continued on Tuesday with more scrap filling the skip and various parts being moved and stacked.  A spring clean you could say.

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Our new drill storage stand was finished off by Dave F

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who then, together with Kelvin, went on to drill the holes in the ashpan for the front damper door hinges.

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Other work during the week included cutting the missing brake beam safety chains to length and then fitting them,

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test driving our newly acquired 12 ton hydraulic pipe bender on some scrap pipe (and it appears to work very nicely),

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milling a section of one of the water valve support brackets to achieve a good fit

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and making and trial fitting shims to the front damper door hinges so the door will fit flush to the front panel of the ashpan.

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Given how hot it was on Sunday we all went home early although some of the team will be out on Bank Holiday Monday manning the sales stand and the K&ESR information stand at the Tenterden May Fair.



Back to three days this week after last Sunday's jolly.  On Tuesday we refitted the cab now that all the riveting has been completed,

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one of the new boiler backhead sections was moved,

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we started to make a rack to hold all our large drills and a bit more work was done on the ashpan.

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On Friday we got a skip in to load all the scrap that has accumulated over the last few months (which will produce a few quid to pay for consumables for a while) and melted all the white metal shavings from various machining operations which was then poured into ingots for future use.  On Sunday the last bit of fettling and bolting down was done on the cab and the copper pipework for one of the water delivery pipes was started.  First a cap was brazed onto one end

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before it was filled with sand, annealed and then bent to shape.

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Also, holding brackets for the water valves were cut and drilled using one of the flanges as a template

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and, after moving the vacuum reservoir to gain access and drilling mounting holes in the floor frame, were offered into position.

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There were only two working days this week as, on Sunday, we paid a visit to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road to see the 7200 Group and progress on the 7200 class loco they're restoring.  This gave us the opportunity to photograph the motion and pipework bits they've done that we haven't started yet and various bits of cladding and covers that we haven't got.  We were made very welcome and also got to see a number of other locos, their museum and a very impressive visitor centre.

On Tuesday the ashpan building table was drilled so we can bolt down the framework around which the new ashpan will be built,

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the template for the section of boiler barrel we are replacing was drilled to match the existing rivet holes

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and holding dowels to position the new platework were machined.  Brass flanges were machined and drilled for the pipework between the water valves and the injectors,

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after which the copper pipe itself was heated and bent to shape,

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a machined tool was used to flare the ends and the flanges then brazed on.  Friday saw more work done on the rocking shaft bearings,

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more machining done and the last bit of angle attached to the ashpan which is now beginning to take shape.

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The usual three days with Tuesday seeing another flue tube cut up to make clock bodies, ash pan brackets drilled and bolted to the plate work and the bending of the injector overflow pipe on the fireman's side completed.

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On Friday the rocking shaft bearing surfaces were cleaned up and final measuring undertaken on the bearings,

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many bits of pipework and brackets were painted and a supply of clock legs was cut ready for welding to the bodies.  On Sunday we had people working everywhere.  The fireman's side rocking shaft was fitted to assess the degree of shimming required to achieve sufficient clamping on the brass bearing halves without distorting them while giving sufficient clearance for the shaft to turn freely.

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The cab floor was taken up again to gain access for the water valves to be fitted after which work started on making the steel pipework.

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The first section of copper pipework was cut to length, annealed, a cap brazed onto one end, filled with sand and a plug fitted to the other end so that bending could commence.

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Further sections of the new ash pan were trial fitted to the foundation ring

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and a spider framework was welded up to hold it in position when it gets welded together on the construction table.

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It was then all dismantled again, taken down and moved to the table ready for building.


Tuesday saw lots of painting - clock bodies, damper door hinges and our new storage cupboard while work on the window frames continued.  Friday was more of the same with the last of the window frame hinges fitted

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and the new safety chain brackets for the brake beams getting machined.

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Saturday and it was off to the Vintage Transport Show at Detling to raise some funds and spread the word.  On Sunday it was almost exclusively work on the new ash pan with the various sections hauled up to the foundation ring

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and then temporarily positioned so we could measure up the requirement for all the angle brackets.

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It was then a case of cutting the various lengths followed by marking and drilling the holes in these and the plate work which, once we got going, meant that every drill on site was being used.

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Other work included top coating the damper door hinges, undertaking the final shaping of the safety chain brackets and making the attachment links for the chain. As well as that, all our drawings were orgainised and placed in folders.