Progress August 2022

Final Week

The machining of the brasses for the connecting rod little ends was started this week and, to obtain the necessary measurements, it was necessary to remove and measure the gudgeon pins from the crossheads.  This, of course, was not straightforward and required the manufacture of a puller arrangement to do the job after one of the crossheads had been removed so we could properly see what we were trying to do.  The following shots show one of the removed pins complete with the puller and a pump trolley being used to lift the crosshead for refitting into the slide bars.

Once the diameter of the pins was established, work commenced on the machining of the brasses.

Meanwhile, work on the next project continued with more drilling

and repositioning of the work done thus far on its side so we can access other sections.

Sadly, the next panel we offered up had had the two folds bent in the opposite direction to where they should have been so that bought things to a bit of a halt.

Finally, if any shareholder is not receiving the regular emailed Newsletters (the last was No: 18 in Summer 2022) please email us at

Week Three

During the week it was a bit of a replay with more drilling of holes in various bits of platework

followed by reaming them through

and then de-burring all the holes.  On other fronts, the connecting rod bushes are progressing with one finished and ready for white metalling while the second is currently being machined.

Some of the team were dispatched on Friday to help set up the sales stand for the Weekend’s Tractorfest at Biddenden while others manned the stand over the two days to raise some much needed funds to get the boiler finished.

As a consequence, the Sunday team at Rolvenden was a bit depleted but we still managed to get quite a bit done fabricating various bits to modify some of the platework components that hadn’t been made correctly.  This involved a fair bit of cutting up plate

shaping it and then welding it into place.

Additionally, just for a change, even more holes were marked out and drilled.  Finally, the newly machined bolts that fit into the side rods to stop the brasses revolving were all trial fitted and fettled as necessary.

Week Two

On Tuesday and Friday, more work was done on the drilling, bolting up and reaming front while progress on the inside motion and brake gear continued to check that everything is fully assembled, tightened and pinned.  This shot shows how much there is to check just on one section of the motion

and here’s part of the brake gear.

On top of that, the K&ESR Infrastructure team bought their trailer down to be overhauled and repaired.

On Sunday, some of the previously drilled holes were countersunk to allow flush rivets to be fitted,

many more holes were drilled, some of which required a number of extension sleeves to be used to reach if the Mag drill couldn’t be placed close enough on the plate itself.

There was one section that requires an ‘S’ shaped piece of plate and angle but the supplied parts were found to be incorrect.  This was resolved by cutting a piece from one end and welding it to the other to effectively more the curve along a bit.  Not a big job but, nevertheless, annoying and time consuming.

The boiler has had the longitudinal stays nutted up on the backhead, the mudhole doors and openings finished

and all the wash out plug holes drilled and tapped.

Week One

Only 1½ spent working this week plus 2½ days fundraising.  Tuesday and Friday morning was business as usual with the drilling of numerous holes

and the marking, bending, welding and drilling of angle support sections.

Friday afternoon was spent setting up our Sales stand and photographic record of 4253’s rebuild for the Weald of Kent Steam Rally; a two day local event which is always a favourite with us due to its seemingly guaranteed good weather, the attendance of a great many and variety of steam vehicles, the great atmosphere and the chance to catch up with many people in the steam fraternity.  This year was no exception and the following shots show the ‘photo wall’ and tables displaying various components for 4253

the Tombola and Sales Stand on Sunday morning ready for the gates to open

and, finally, the entire Saturday team gathered around Heidi’s traction engine with the K&ESR loco ‘Marcia’ in the background.