Progress April 2024

Final Week

Four working days this week.  On Tuesday, various parts that will fit to the boiler were taken out of storage including the regulator, its rod, the fire hole door runners and fire grate holding brackets 

all of which were cleaned up, gaskets made and parts given a coat of heat resistant paint where necessary.

On the 541 tender tank front, holes were marked and drilled in the side sheets for the grab handles 

and the last bit of curved beading had a replacement section welded in and was then given a coat of primer.  On Thursday, the last of the shaped steel sections for the tender were delivered and unloaded in the pouring rain after which it was all checked off and stored.

Friday saw the sections that will comprise the water well moved inside and set out ready for assembly on Sunday 

and the bosses for the water sieves were weld prepped 

and had threads tapped into the mounting holes.

On Sunday we built up the water well starting with welding the water sieve bosses into the front bottom plate and then aligning the two bottom and side sections.

The front and rear end panels were then positioned, aligned and welded in 

followed by the front and rear baffle plates 

then the two main sections were welded together 

and finally the last, centre baffle plate was welded in with this shot showing the completed water well.

Additionally, the front end plate for the tender had the fabricated curved angle marked out for drilling the rivet holes 

after which it was clamped to the plate followed by positioning a support bar and then welding it into place.

At HBSS, the boiler has now had the front tube plate riveted into place with four of the lower tubes in position to ensure alignment.  All that’s now needed is to fit the tubes and hydraulic test it.

Week Three

This week involved removing 4253’s brake cylinder yet again as it still isn’t quite right.  It was then palleted up to be sent back for more remedial work.

We’ve also decided that it’s time to catalogue all our engineering drawings so we can locate what we want without half an hour’s search.

Work has continued on 541’s tender tank with the long, top beading sections having been repaired, painted and set aside.  The front coal space panel received a lot of attention starting with enlarging the holes for the water valve bosses which turned out to be slightly too small,  

drilling the holes to rivet the angle section to the top end, 

measuring the position for the coal chute door runners

and then drilling the mounting holes followed by the holes for latching the door at various heights.  In between rain showers, others were outside grinding weld preps onto various panels, drilling the front end of the side sheets to accept the curved sections of beading 

and using the mag drill to drill out the rivets holding the various steps to the rear panel which will be set aside for reuse.

The piece of curved angle made last week to support the front of the coal floor had fill-in pieces made to fit the sections cut out to facilitate the bending which were welded into place and then dressed back 

so that job is now finished.

Back at the front panel, the holes for the water valves retaining studs were marked out, drilled and tapped 

and the brackets that hold the valve operating levers had their mounting holes drilled as well.

Another section of curved beading didn’t sit quite right so this was clamped to the bench, heated and the bend increased a little.

Week Two

The week started with the new brake cylinder being palleted up to send back as it was ½” too tall so work on that front has come to an abrupt  halt.  However, there was plenty to do on the 541 tender tank with the repaired coal space back sheet being given a coat of primer and the beading bolted on and reamed ready for riveting.

The water gauge float has been completely taken apart, cleaned in an acid bath and is now undergoing repairs to make it watertight again.

The tool box doors have had the holes in the hinges welded up and dressed back.  All the shaped, flat parts and panels have now been delivered, sorted and numbered so we know what’s what

and the side beading lengths had the repair sections cut to length, drilled, weld prepped and tacked into position.

On Sunday, the side beading had the repair sections fully welded into place.

a number of the sheets had weld preps ground on the edges 

and the main front sheet was manhandled into the booth and onto the build table.

A length of angle was clamped to the marking out table, heated up 

and bent into shape.  This will support one end of the coal chute panel in due course.

The front side sheets had the sections of beading and end uprights clamped into position to be drilled ready for riveting.

4253’s boiler is progressing with the last of the foundation rivets fitted

and this shot shows the main steam pipe, longitudinal stays and one smoke tube fitted.

Week One

On Tuesday, 4253’s new brake cylinder turned up on a lorry while we were on the phone to the courier company chasing non-delivery and they were insisting it had been delivered the previous Thursday – impressive customer service.

Meanwhile, during the week, the team were busy dismantling, cleaning and repairing the various reusable parts from 541’s tender tank.  The water gauge components were mainly scrap but there are some parts capable of rescue.

The water sieves were cleaned up 

and then the years of crud removed from the mesh by drilling out.

The tanks’ stay bars had the remains of the rivets knocked out 

before having all the rust and scale removed and the coal space rear sheet had new corner sections welded on.

The toolboxes had the last traces of rust removed followed by drilling and bolting up ready for riveting.

On Sunday, the toolboxes were riveted to the front coal space sheet,

the repaired back sheet had the new corner sections drilled and the bottom edge hammered straight again over an anvil.  A length of angle was cut to size and then drilled to match the holes in the sheet.  This will attach it to the top panel of the coal space in due course.

Others were working on the brake cylinder starting with cleaning up the seal on the piston and then bringing all the parts together

so the bottom cover could be placed over the piston,

the cylinder dropped into place 

and then the top cover fitted 

and the four newly machined joining rods used to bolt it all together.  Just needs replacing in the frames now and connecting up ready for a final test before the bunker is refitted.