Progress May 2023

Final Week

During the week, the painting work continued and one of the number plates was fitted to the bunker

plus a start made on the lining to show how it will finally look.  This was mainly for the benefit of visitors to the weekend’s Steam Up and open day at Rolvenden.

Some of the insulation for the cylinder area was made, starting with a bit of cardboard engineering to get the shape correct.

and Projects 1 & 2 had the rubber seals made and glued to the inside of the filler lids after which they were clamped down to hold everything in position while curing.

After that, the tank was moved before receiving a coat of gloss to the outer panels.

Meanwhile others were reassembling more of the front running plates as well as fitting the policeman’s helmet and, in addition, we did a quick job for the infrastructure department by making a new safety bar for their cherry picker.

On Saturday we manned the 4253 sales and information stand at Rolvenden for the open day and, on Sunday, it was back to the rods.  More of the bronze bushes were machined 

and then trial fitted.

The gradient pins were successfully trial fitted and will now go away for case hardening.

Finally, a sample crown stay was been has been sent up to HBSS for trial fitting.

Week Three

A continuation of the rubbing down and painting this week.  The coal space of the bunker has been tackled

and the fireman’s side of the bunker and cylinder cladding have received their first top coat.

Also, the various bits of the cylinder cover cladding received some more rubbing back prior to getting undercoating and the first top coat.

Later in the week the front running plates were re-fitted as the painting of those parts was been finished.

The filler lids for Projects 1 & 2 were finished which meant that Mac could trial fit the closing mechanisms that he’s made from scratch over a  number of Sundays (these have to be the most complicated design known to man) and, having proved satisfactory, they were tack welded into place.  Mac looks well happy to be have that task behind him.

The gradient pins and spherical bearings machined for us by Automation Technologies were trial fitted to the rods to check fit.

and, finally, sections of the boiler crinolines had their ends drilled and countersunk to accept the Allen bolts that will connect the two halves  together.

At HBSS, the good news is that the new superheater flues have arrived – the bad news is that they cost over £12k!

Week Two

Apologies for no update this week.

Week One

More work this week on the crinolines for 4253’s cladding which is going to be a long job given the many parts of various shapes that we are going to have to make and then weld/bolt together.  The many, curved joining pieces for the cladding retaining bands have been bent and cut and then marked out 

after which they were all drilled

and the holes then tapped to take the countersunk retaining screws.  Our youngest volunteer Jake was shown how to tap threads starting off with the tap aligned vertically by using a centre held in the pillar drill

after which it’s transferred to the bench vice and finished with a tap wrench.  After the number he did today, he’s now fully qualified!

Others were cutting, heating and bending the 30+ ‘U’ shaped brackets that are also needed using a purpose built jig.

Project 2 was given another coat of paint

and more progress was made forming the tank filler lids.  The former over which the lids will be shaped was ground to shape and

the pieces of plate for the lid were cut out with the plasma cutter,

That plate was then bolted to the former with another, smaller plate on top after which the entire construction was clamped to the bench and then one section of the plate heated red hot.

The edge of the plate is then beaten down over the former, the next section heated and beaten and so on until finished after which it’s left to cool.  

The next step is to remove the shaped lid from the former which is not easy once it has cooled and therefore contracted.  First step is to roughly trim back the edge 

after which it’s a case of beating the living daylights out of it until it separates.

It will now need final dressing to give an acceptable finish and  the bottom edge trimmed properly.  Other work included more painting of 4253’s frames and the final assembly of the Dave Dee memorial bench following its total rebuild.