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





Apologies for the delay but I've been away manning a stand at the NEC Classic Car Show.  The usual three days this week with Tuesday's efforts concentrated on finishing the scraping of the eccentric bearings as the loco is, once again, ending up outside which also meant that we had to clear away all the loose items and also sheet it over as far as possible to protect it from the elements.  Friday was mainly machining with more motion thrust washers being made and more work on the piston rod swab boxes.  Sunday involved a lot more variety with trial fitting of all the motion pins now they're back from being case hardened,

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the building up of the 350 shunter's radiator shutter boxes,

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cutting and drilling of hex bar to make some more of the large castellated nuts for the motion pins,

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the making of two splash covers for the rear wheels and a water deflector to protect the vacuum cylinder

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and a final bit of fettling to the edge of the boiler barrel where the repair plate is to go.

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Tuesday saw Dave F and Jerry spending all day scraping the eccentric bearings, Graham cleaning up the slide bar carriers ready for the trial fitting later in the week, strengthening gussets made for the dart bar and the last of the eccentric rods trial fitted to the expansion links.  On Friday Pete C was drilling the new piston rod swab boxes,

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more washers were made for the motion pins and the 350 diesel shunter was moved to Tenterden for its final top coats.  On Sunday yet more work was done on the eccentrics by Dick W, Jerry and Scott,

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Our newest volunteer Tom finished connecting up the drain cock linkages,

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while others started fitting the slide bars.  Dave S tapped holes in them

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before they were loaded individually onto a trolley to take them to the loco

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to be offered up for trial fitting.

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Inevitably more work is required on both these and the eccentrics so we didn't manage to get as much done this week as we'd hoped.  Frustrating but, as the saying goes, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.  A specialist welder also called in to look at the boiler and specifically the repair patch that needs fitting to the barrel and, subject to our boiler inspector's approval, will start work on this shortly.



Work this week included cleaning up the front coupling shackle unit pending getting a couple of trunnion blocks made,  Dave F cutting back a section of cladding on the driver's side cylinder

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to provide clearance for the centre draincock pipework followed by fitting the entire draincock assembly assisted by Dave A and Dick D.

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Dick B continued fitting the new thrust washers to the expansion links

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after which Dick D trial fitted the eccentric rods to check clearances.

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Sunday saw Henry finish the front spider for mounting the lining wire through the cylinder for positioning the slide bars

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followed by making the rear mounting to hold the wire under tension.

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The job of scraping the white metal bearings in the eccentrics continued with Jerry completing the third one assisted by Dave D, Dick D and Paul.

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Finally the rod that mounts the bell cranks operating the damper doors on the ashpan was fitted, the last of the new motion pins were fitted to check clearances and are now all ready to go off for case hardening.


On Tuesday the boring machine was packed and loaded into the trailer for its return to the Bluebell Railway - many thanks for the loan.

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Now that the valve chest boring has been completed the front running plate sections

were replaced by Kevin, Dick W and Jim

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and the cylinder covers were removed in readiness for the centring wire to be put up for the slide bar fitting.

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This gave us the opportunity to replace a number of the cylinder cover studs and also install new studs for the snifting valves.  On Friday new studs for the drain cocks were fitted followed by offering up the drain cock assemblies

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and the cast valve cover ends were milled flat prior to drilling.  Sunday saw more painting of the 350 shunter and the engine compartment doors reattached,

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the new motion thrust washers had their oilways drilled, some were fitted to the expansion links and work continued on the white metal scraping of the eccentrics to get a good fit.

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Apart from the continuing repaint of the 350 diesel shunter, all the 4253 work has again been on the inside motion components.  The expansion link die blocks had the final radius machined to suit the new pins

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after which the long and laborious task of ensuring the blocks will slide smoothly within the arcs of the links was undertaken.  This involved much rubbing down with emery cloth and wet-and-dry until a perfect fit was achieved.

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Hopefully, this is the last of the motion bushes to be machined.

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The boring of the last valve bore was completed after which the front cover of the main cylinder underneath was removed so all the swarf could be cleaned out.

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The eccentrics straps having been returned after machining the, next task was to fit these to the sheaves.  The first one was lowered in and attached for a trail fit

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followed by removing it to scrape back the high spots on the white metal where it was rubbing.

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Sadly this is neither a particularly quick or exciting pastime and it took a number of us half of a day to get the first one almost right.  Only another three to go!


We got a few more machined parts back this week with the return of the eccentrics

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and the Masons valve which regulates the steam heat.

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Some more maintenance of the construction booth has been necessary as a number of the heavy plastic sheets have suffered in recent winds and needed replacing.  The repaint of the 350 diesel shunter continues with some top coat being applied to the side covers

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and the roof sections.

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The boiler barrel has received some more prep work prior to the repair section being welded in,

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new studs for mounting the snifting valves were finished off and then fitted

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and some work was done on the drain cock mounting with the threads in the cylinders being re-cut and measurements taken for making new studs.  After that, shaping the copper pipework for the middle drain cocks was started which necessitated cutting back some of the cylinder cladding to gain sufficient clearance.

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