What's Happening This Month
The usual three days this week with Tuesday seeing the final bit of axle box lubrication pipework formed and fitted to the intermediate axle with Dick W and Scott seen here bending some of the sections
with this shot showing the end result.
Other jobs included finishing and fitting the operating handle for the rear sanders,
fitting all the brake blocks, Dave A drilling the remaining holes in the floor plates
followed by Grahame and Graham cleaning them and applying a coat of paint.
Friday involved more machining work, the forming of the pipework for the vacuum pump lubrication, a full scale tidy up with much rubbish collected up and disposed of and a general rearrangement of parts with the boiler backhead, doubling plate, spare springs and sundry steel supplies being moved to where the tanks and wheels were stored.
Sunday's work included cutting out a new operating handle for the front sanders using the plasma cutter followed by Bryan smoothing off the edges.
Its resemblance to a sword resulted in various Excalibur jokes and quotes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A start was made on fabricating the top mounting brackets for the cab sliding side doors, the new handbrake operating lever had the holes drilled for the retaining pin by Martin, Kelvin and Mac
and the lubrication pipework for the vacuum pump was fitted by Dave D.
Dick W, Jerry and Scott spent the day working on the cab with the rear mounting holes all marked out and drilled, the front driver's side received much fettling to get it to sit properly, four of the joining plates were made and the fixing holes for one of them were all marked and drilled.
Now that the tanks and cab are in place we have been able to fit a few more items into position. First the reversing lever and quadrant were bolted in (the former is seen here being passed up into the cab)
followed by the oil boxes that attach to the tanks in the cab. With all of these in place we could establish the best route for the oil pipes to the intermediate axle boxes and work started on making these up.
This is quite time consuming with the individual pipes having to come in and out a number of times as each succesive bend is measured and then formed with localised areas heated to anneal the copper.
For all the completed pipe runs, trimmings have been made and fitted and the oil boxes then filled to test them. Work on the machining front has included a start made on the second rocking shaft bearing, the turning of new handles for various operating levers and a large bush for the sand box operating lever which, as it was missing, had to be made from scratch.
This was completed on Sunday, the handle welded on and then trial fitted.
Work on the cab has also been needed. The condition of the front panel of the original was so bad that much of the bottom edge had rotted away completely so, when making the new one, the size and shape involved a degree of guesswork. Despite that it turned out to be quite a close fit and just needed raising up again and some of the lower edges trimmed back a bit to enable it to sit properly.
It just remains for the last sections of edge trim to be fitted to complete the job although it appears the ones at the rear corners that join with the bunker will require a certain amount of fettling. Other jobs included trimming where necessary to ensure the edges of the running plates and the tank base plates matched and also a start was made bending and forming the floor plates that will sit at the door entrances.
The culmination of this week's work was to get the tanks and cab fitted on Sunday. We started on Tuesday with some final work on the front running plates before they were lifted into position and bolted down.
The tank filler lids had new pins and washers made and yet more lubrication pipework to axle oil boxes was completed. Additionally, the brake shaft was taken down so that the new handbrake arm can be welded to it
and the new section of the brake pull rod was drilled to accept the pins at either end.
On Friday, the smokebox, front support brackets and chimney were temporarily replaced.
Sunday was the day for the tanks and cab to be fitted so, naturally, it rained on us from beginning to end. Previously I had suspected my boots were no longer watertight: now I know for sure. The tanks were moved one at a time from the field
to the side of the engine by Hiab lorry and then lifted into place. This shows the fireman's side tank at the start of the lift
and, after some trimming at the front edge, it was successfully bolted into place and was soon followed by the second tank. After that it was the turn of the cab
which required a fair amount of cajoling with ratchet straps and bars before it finally dropped into position after which a bit of trimming here and there saw it fitting comfortably. Following that it was time for the photo call
and to admire the fruits of our labours from the viewing gallery.
Then it was back to the more mundane tasks such as making more brackets and then a chimney cover but, at the end of the day, everyone went home feeling we'd done a very good day's work.
This week, Tuesday saw the valve covers coming out of storage to have the brass inserts removed as they had all worn distinctly oval over the years but will serve as patterns for new ones to be machined. Lubrication pipework was made up for the pony truck oilbox which was a time consuming job given the lack of room under the front running plate. This shot shows Pete H silver soldering one of the lines while Dave S is in the background bending the next one to shape
while this shows Jim die grinding out the holes in the running plate through which the three pipes will emerge to be attached to the oilbox.
Meanwhile, Moff was welding and dressing the brackets onto the new water tank filler lids.
On Friday, more painting was undertaken on loco 25, work on the pony truck pipework continued and machining of the second rocking shaft bearing was started. Here Pete C is in full instructor mode teaching Jamie how to use the lathe.
On Sunday, Paul and his paintbrush were hard at work again given the good weather, this time on the smokebox and the chimney.
Meanwhile Dick W and Jerry were attaching the new pony truck pipework to the oilbox, bolting that to the front running plate which was then temporarily bolted into place on the frames. This was easier said than done due to the lack of movement possible on the pipes to get then aligned with the connections on the bottom of the oilbox.
Other work included finishing the machining of the new final brake pull rod which now just needs drilling, fabricating and fitting a bracket to mount the vacuum pump oilers to the frames and making a start on bending the new handbrake arm prior to welding it to the brake shaft. Given the thickness of it a great deal of heat was required followed by Henry jumping on the end of it to get it to move.
Just the usual three days this week with Tuesday involving the holes in the top of the water tanks to locate the inspection lids being drilled and threads tapped for the holding bolts followed by a trial fit of the lids.
The operating handles for the water valves were machined up and the squares on the top of the shafts to which they attach filed to ensure a good fit.
On Friday it was the turn of the fireman's side rocking shaft bearing which had its oil hole drilled and the bottom half milled to accept the locating pegs. After that it just required a small amount of fettling
until it was a good fit on the shaft and in the holder.
On Sunday the bunker water tank breather pipe and bracket were fitted
and the inspection plates in the coal space floor had gaskets made and were bolted into place. The new fittings for the vacuum retaining valve were all trial fitted,
the stop blocks for the top of the axle boxes have been milled and the underside of the front running plates have all been given a top coat of paint prior to fitting. In addition, the work done on loco 25 by the 4253 team to get it out into the daylight again included undercoating and then top coating both buffer beams and all the hand rails and applying a top coat to the cab roof after it had been bolted down.
Tuesday saw the remaining baffles refitted to the water tanks with this shot showing Chris inside one of them doing the bolting up. The water level float was also trail fitted while he was in there.
However, most of the day was spent working on loco 25 with fettling of the cab roof undertaken to enable it to fit sufficiently to be bolted down, both draw hooks were removed, cleaned and polished
and the front and rear buffer beams were rubbed down and painted. On Friday another batch of clock bodies and legs were prepared for welding while the sales team loaded up the trailer for yet another weekend of fundraising, this time at the Railway's Hoppers event at Bodiam.
Sunday was spent preparing the water tanks for trial fitting with the tubes for the water feed to the clacks and the drain tubes being expanded into position.
The excess sections of plate on the front panels were trimmed back, the stud holes for the water level indicator were drilled and tapped
and the indicator trial fitted.
Additionally, the remaining nuts and nipples for the vacuum pump and retaining valve were machined
and final machining of the last section of brake pull rod was started as it's now been received after being water jet cut from a solid steel billet.
Five working days this week with Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday seeing the bunker breather pipe being bent to shape and fitted by Dave F and Scott.
The new plate for the cab floor was delivered and immediately cut to size and drilling of the mounting holes started, loco 25's cab was given another coat of paint and moved outside ready to be refitted to the engine and clock manufacture continued both on and off site. Chris and Rob, a new volunteer, fitted the underside cladding plate to one of the cylinders.
The trailer was loaded up for the sales team to attend the Old Oak Common Open Day on Saturday which involved a very early start but was certainly worthwhile given the amount of money raised.
Sunday saw the clock bodies welded up during the week given a final tidy up and clean before being spray painted,
Martin made a new bracket for the bunker breather pipe, Dave D and Jerry attached the underside cladding to the other cylinder,
Kelvin and Neil finished drilling the cab floor plate
and we started the job of refitting the last few baffle plates in the water tanks. As usual Dave D squeezed himself inside to do the bolting up with, at one point, just his boot visible.
Finally, to continue the Victorian working practice of sending youngsters into small, tight and dark places, we also enlisted the assistance of Jamie, who it has to be said, got in and out a lot quicker than Dave - the benefits of youth.