Progress August 2023

Week Four

During the week we’ve progressed work on 4253’s front running plates with sections painted

and then fitted, together with the hand rails and lamp brackets.

The rods had all the old restrictors removed from the oil pots which turned into almost a day’s work on its own given they were corroded solidly into place and had no intention of moving.

In the end, the majority had to be drilled down the middle until they collapsed and could be picked out after which all the threads were re-tapped.  Work on Charwelton continued with the cab roof rubbed down and undercoated.

a Lobo work platform was assembled around the tank (seen in the background above) so we can remove the filler neck which is to be relocated.  The cab gauge plinths have received additional coats of varnish and now look very smart.

On Sunday, it was the turn of the rods with the new bushes being located into the driving axle end of the connecting rods after some fettling to the retaining keys

and were then pressed into position.

Once done, the fireman’s side rod was taken to the loco on the pallet truck and then hoisted up to be trial fitted onto the crankpin.

With a little “up a bit, down a bit” it finally slid into position and was lined up with the crosshead.

Quite a sight. 4253 has not had a con rod in place for many decades.

Week Three

This week, the front side rods were taken down which, for the fireman’s side, involved barring the loco forward to get the crank pins into an accessible position.

While they were off, the oil pads that fit into the bushes were cut to shape and the newly machined key ways were dressed to fit the slots in the bushes.

We also started rubbing down 4253’s cab in preparation for a repaint,  painted some of the cab floor sections,

the mud hole door covers 

and dismantled some of our sales stand shelving and began a repaint as it was beginning to look a bit tatty. We also laid the water tanks on their sides so we could carry out some remedial work on the bottom sections.

Other activities carried out to help the Railway included working on a clack from Sapper to get it back into traffic as soon as possible plus continuing with the work on Charwelton which included filling and sanding back the weld repair to the cab roof,

sanding back the wooden gauge pads

before giving them a coat of varnish,

and drilling out the rivets holding the filler neck to the tank as this is going to be moved.

Week Two

Main task on Tuesday was loading the frames and other parts of Charwelton onto a couple of lorries as it sets off for a bottom end rebuild.  The frames were extracted from the shed

and then lifted onto the flat bed along with much of the motion components.

Meanwhile, the second lorry was in the field loading all the pallets followed by the wheel sets.

and, once everything was securely strapped down, they left in convoy.

Next, the sales stand gazebo was inspected for the extent of the damage caused by last Saturday’s winds and was found to be not too bad.  Worst damage was a couple of legs had been separated from their feet where the small retaining screws had pulled through but that was easy to remake and they are now stronger.

Charwelton’s cab had the repair patch welded in and ground back after which the inside was rubbed down

And then undercoated other than the repaired section which requires a little filler to smooth the join.

The big end con rod bushes for 4253 had the keyway and oil pad slots machined

followed by machining the keys themselves.

After that, all the burrs were removed and the newly cut oil pads trial fitted.

Other work included painting all the mud hole door covers, cab floor plates and the draincock frame and operating levers.

Week One

Four days this week as, apart form the usual Tuesday and Friday working parties, we also attended the Weald of Kent Steam Fair on Saturday and Sunday.  Tuesday saw the various pieces of pipework, securing flanges and joint rings for the main steam pipes taken out of storage, cleaned up and given a coat of protective paint.

The last bit of work was completed on Charwelton’s cab sides with the vacuum chamber being fitted.

The cab itself had a small area of rot ground out of the roof panel joint prior to repair and the exterior was given a coat of undercoat.

Friday, the team transported all the equipment up to Woodchurch to set up the sales stand and information display ready for the weekend.  This show has always been blessed with good weather but not this year.  Saturday it rained fairly non-stop and, to top it off, during that night, a strong guest of wind uprooted the gazebo which helped no end.  So on Sunday, the Tombola and merchandise tables were relocated into the main tent which usually just holds all the display information.

On the plus side, the weather was far better with no rain and plenty of people attending.  Here’s a shot taken from the tent doorway of three sizes of traction engine.