Progress January 2022

Final Week

This week, on 4253, the cylinder covers fitted last week have been cleaned up and painted,

the regulator rod was welded back together following the building up and machining back of the section that passes through the packing gland

and work continued on checking out and finishing off work already done under the loco.

Work on 5668’s second water tank has been put on hold until we can get the panels folded for the rear section so we’ve turned our attention to the bunker.  The (few) parts we managed to salvage were bought out of store and checked over. The rear ducket panel is badly corroded where the lamp bracket attaches so a section was cut out

and a repair panel cut to size, welded in by new man Andy on his first visit (seen below in the helmet)

and then dressed back until flush.

Many of the angle sections were beyond saving so new ones have been cut, the rivet holes marked out and centre punched and then drilled.

New bottom angles were cut to length, then had a section cut out of one side before being heated and bent to right angles round a former to give the right radius.

Plates to fill the cut-outs will now be fabricated to fit and then welded in.

Week Four

On Tuesday and Friday we had people working on 5668 and 4253.  For the former, the various bits of capping strip were fettled to fit properly and the fixing holes were marked and drilled.  With the rear top tank panel already in place, the only way we could drill these holes straight was to make a long extension for the drill bit so that the actual drill could be held horizontal rather than at an angle.

For 4253, the cylinder covers had new copper wire seals cut to length and tapped into their grooves once these had been thoroughly scrapped clean

and a new cotter pin and washers were cut and shaped to fit the handbrake operating screw.

On Saturday afternoon we held our AGM (the first for two years thanks to Covid) and then it was back to work on Sunday.  The main job for the day was to trial fit the cylinder covers, tighten them down, take them off again to check that the copper wire seals had compressed into place evenly and then replace them again.  Given their size and weight, a crane is very necessary to lift them into position so they can be pushed onto the studs.

This shot shows the fireman’s side cover after it had been bolted up for the second time – it will get painted next week.

Other jobs included starting machining a bush for the vacuum pump operating rod and the final machining of the section of regulator rod where it passes through the packing gland after it had been built up with weld to repair wastage.  It’s just a case of welding it back onto the rest of the rod now.

Meanwhile, the boiler is progressing at HBSS where the first tranche of steel and copper stays have been screwed into place.

This last shot shows some of the copper stays awaiting fitting.

Week Three

This week the rear top section of 5668’s water tank was bolted into place ready for riveting, the front section of  trim capping was offered up, marked and the mounting holes drilled, the new pins for the handbrake linkage were finished and trial fitted

and the mounting plate for the water tank gauge’s float arm was given final fettling prior to fitting.

The rear tank splasher was fully welded in,

baffle brackets were tacked into place, the plate cut for the joining panel in the rear of the tank

And the old copper sealing rings were removed from the cylinder covers.

We also riveted the top rear panel into position which, as usual required some ingenuity in securely holding the rivets up so they could be knocked over.

Meanwhile, at HBSS Liverpool, all the flue tube holes in the firebox have had their threads recut.

Finally, if you enjoy reading these progress reports each week, why not go to the How You Can Help page and make a donation.  Evan a few pounds will be gratefully received and will bring completion of the restoration that much closer.

Week Two

The week started with more prep work on 5668’s water tank with grinding back the welds on the newly fabricated length of trim capping, holes marked and drilled for the cab floor support angle

and various other parts being weld prepped such as the floor to back panels angle seen here which subsequently had mastic applied before being bolted in position ready for riveting.

On Sunday, all the holes in the above joint were reamed through prior to being riveted

with this shot showing the finished product prior to painting.

After that, it was the turn of the final run of rivets in the back panel where access is severely limited.  This involved Kelvin passing the hot rivet to Henry inside the tank (you can see has hand waiting to take the rivet) who places it in the hole, Jerry then grabs the end of it, pulls it fully up and holds it while Henry positions the pneumatic holding up tool to anchor it so that Paul can knock it down.

Once that job was completed, the floor support angle was riveted in (involving the same process) after which the rear splasher plate sections were offered up, trimmed as necessary, clamped into position and tack welded

Prior to being fully welded on the outer joins.

Once finished, the tank was, once again, lifted upright and ended the day looking like this.

Week One

After ten days of fundraising at the Santa Specials we let the team have Christmas off but it was back to business as usual by New Year’s Eve.  The water gauge float for 5668’s tank has been refurbished and, after a test to check it did actually float,

the new support rod was heated and bent to shape before being trial fitted.

On Sunday it was back to riveting beginning with the tank being laid on its side and the bottom angle holes reamed through.

After that, the rivets were put in along the entire length

After which the tank was lifted upright again and then laid down on the other side (quick to say but not to do given its size and weight).

This enabled us to put in the rivets holding the inner rear panel, back panel and floor together which was a slow business given the very limited space available to position the holding up tool.  This involved passing the rivets though the fairly small oblong balance hole in the base to one person squashed into the end of the tank who would put the  rivet through the hole and position the end of the holding up tool against it.  Another person lying on the top of the tank then applied the holding force to the back of the rivet (which he can’t see) through the inspection plate hole in the tank side while a third person knocked it down.

Another job started was the welding together of a new capping strip for the top of the tank.

Finally, a Happy New Year to everyone following and supporting this project.