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





This week, the first injector overflow pipe was completed and then painted while Dick D and Scott started bending the second one into shape.

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In addition, the new bracket to support the damper bell crank mounting was shaped and some of the team started preparing the wagon that will house Charwelton's tank, cab and sundry other parts for the duration of the overhaul.

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On Friday, the sun shone and the temperature rose to forgotten heights.  Dick W painted the refurbished damper bell cranks,

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lengths of angle were cut for the new ashpan and various shaped components that need water jet cutting and folding were ordered up.  Our A frame hoist in the boiler house takes some effort to move around so we have decided to fit it with a set of wheels that can be lowered to take the weight when it needs positioning and then retracted again prior to any lifting.  Accordingly, four swivel castors were obtained and mounting plates cut and shaped to start the job off.  The hinges on the cab to bunker doors were considered a bit lightweight so, as we needed some heavy duty ones for the tool boxes and the crew doors, ordered replacements and removed the old ones.

Sunday saw the temperature drop back to zero and snow flurries replaced the sun but Dave D and Martin braved the conditions and fitted the completed driver's side injector overflow pipe

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although had to come in for a warm-up half way through.  The A frame wheel mounting plates were drilled to take the wheels and then drilled and tapped to take a length of studding, the tool box hinges were drilled and countersunk by Dick D and Martin

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while the padlock hasps for the front of the boxes had the slots milled out by Jerry.

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On Tuesday there were many jobs to follow on from the previous Sunday's work.  Colin made the bushes to return the pivot holes in the ash pan damper bell crank levers back to standard

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after which Dick D pressed them into place in the levers.images/450/Mar 11 2.jpg

The new damper door support bracket was tidied up and painted, Dave D made a mould so we could melt down the bits of white metal left over from last Sunday and return it to bars to be stored for future use.

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Apart from all this, the new storage bins were labelled and some of the team helped out the Railway by working on the dismantling of the loco Charwelton for its overhaul.  Friday saw the remaining bits of steel cut for the damper door brackets and a new bracket to support the rod on which the bell crank levers sit was cut and bent to shape.  On sunday, the main work was on the eccentrics with the denso wrapping protecting the sheaves being removed so they could be cleaned up and measured for the machining of the straps.

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On the straps themselves, the studs had a die nut run down them all, the bolt holes were all cleaned out followed by the new white metal cast last week being fitted into each section.  After the end spacers were cleaned and measured one was deemed unfit for further use so another was machined and drilled after which the two halves of each strap were bolted up and placed aside for machining.

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The remaining new damper door brackets were welded up and painted and the steel overflow pipework and bracket for the driver's side injector were finished and welded up.

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Despite the snow resulting in seemingly half the county's road network at a standstill, delivery drivers not delivering and bin men staying indoors due to 'safety concerns' work on 4253 carried on the same as usual.  During Tuesday racking was made and assembled to take storage bins to hold our newly sorted stock of nuts and bolts

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and the ash pan damper door brackets were prepped ready for welding.  On Friday the first components of the new ash pan itself were given a coat of red oxide

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and all the fixings storage bins were filled and labelled.  On Sunday the bell crank levers for the dampers had new pins made to hold the operating levers/rods which, after the old, corroded ones had been ground off and drilled out

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were welded into place.  Then the mounting holes, which were also in a very worn condition, were reamed out until round again ready for new bushes to be made and pressed in.  A start was made on welding up the damper door bracket components

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and Heidi spent much of the day sorting our large collection of drawings into some semblance of order so we don't waste time searching for what we need.

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Pouring the white metal for the eccentrics inserts was also done with this shot showing the first one of the day

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while this shows the full set done with a spare being poured for good measure.

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Finally, we leave you with a shot of 4253 languishing in the yard covered in snow.
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Christmas card material?



Apart from the usual working party days we also manned the Sales Stand at the Tenterden Model Railway Show which is always the first event of the year for us.  Most of Tuesday involved heavy rain so we were limited on what could be done and took the opportunity of sorting and tidying our stock of nuts and bolts, undercoating the eccentrics and, after the eccentrics white metalling mould was finished,

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giving it a coat of Apexior which prevents the white metal sticking to it.  The rain eased off in the afternoon giving us a chance to start making the injector overflow pipework which involved much heating and bending.

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On Sunday we actually got the loco into the shed and over a pit so could finally get on with the delayed planned work and started fitting all the brake pull rods

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followed by the turnbuckle

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and, by close of play, it was all assembled with just a couple of fettling jobs to attend to.

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Work has also started on the new ashpan and associated parts with a new pin to support all the damper pivots for operating the doors being machined and steel cut and drilled to make new damper door mounting brackets.

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Tuesday saw the final prep work for fitting the injectors with the last of the flanges shaped and number stamped so we know what fits where, fixing bolts all cut to length and the last bit of drilling done on the new mounting brackets.

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The mould for the white metalling of the eccentrics had holding down brackets made and drilled and the previous week's rivets were given a coat of red oxide.  On Friday the remaining holes on the front boiler barrel section were reamed in readiness for riveting

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and the new cab roof rain strips were also drilled, painted and bolted on for riveting.  

On Sunday the rain strips were riveted on (meaning the cab can now be refitted to the loco to provide a bit more weather protection while it's outside)

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and then the last of the front boiler barrel section rivets that we can get at were done.  The last few will have to wait until the boiler is turned at a later date.

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The injectors were bolted onto the mounting brackets

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and then lowered into place and bolted to the frames so we can begin the process of making and fitting all the pipework (the holes in the front flanges have yet to be drilled out to full size).

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The first bit of pipework to be done will be the steel overflow pipes that run back and under the cab steps.  The original brackets that support these pipes as they exit the frames proved to be reuseable after a bit of straightening and tidying and have now been bolted into place.



The usual three days this week but no photos from Tuesday as Charlie left his camera at home.  First job was a long overdue one of sorting and racking all the steel stocks so that we have a clue what's there and, more importantly, can actually find it.  Others were drilling the cab roof ready for the final riveting and grinding smooth the steel flanges for the injector overflow pipes that were cut out last week.  Friday saw quite a few volunteers so the steel sorting got finished with Dave F and Kelvin seen here putting it all back in some semblance of order.

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The brass injector flanges were progressed with Colin turning and facing the blanks to the correct size

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followed by Dick W drilling the holes for the fixing bolts

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while the riveting of the cab roof and window bars also got completed.  On Sunday Henry finished building up the wasted section of the boiler barrel,

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Jerry milled curved cut-outs into the brass injector flanges to make room for the cones to be removed and then drilled out the steel flanges for the overflow pipes.  This shot shows the intermediate hole being drilled with the drill for the final size seen lying on the right.

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The riveting on the cab was finished with this shot showing Dave S heating a rivet, Neil picking it up prior to carrying it into position, Kelvin waiting to hold it in place and Dave D (under the cab) ready to knock it home.

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The injector mounting brackets were removed from the frames and, once inspected, it was decided to make new ones so these were cut from plate, ground to final shape and the first one marked and drilled.   The second will be finishing during the coming week.


On Tuesday the cab was lifted and turned so we could bolt on the front panel prior to riveting,

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the inside of the tool boxes and the useable parts from the ash pan damper actuating rods were painted while others continued with the Ruston repaint.

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The usual large team was present on Sunday so lots got done.  Henry spent most of the day building up a wasted section on the underside of the boiler barrel as required by the boiler inspector,

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the work platform on which the new ash pan will be built received futher attention, the front draw hook was attached,

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the new brass injector flange blanks were started, drilled and faced off

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and four more oval steel flanges for the injectors were cut out and ground to shape.  Meanwhile the riveting team were back working on the cab riveting on the front panel and the remaining trim pieces although one had to be heated and tweaked to achieve a comfortable fit.

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Other jobs included making a start on milling the axle box top stops

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and welding up the mould for the white metalling of the eccentrics.

Finally, a hello to Ross in Australia who I know follows our progress via this website and often sends us donations to help - thank you.