Progress May 2024

Week Four

A lot of prep work carried out on the 541 tender this week with areas that will be welded being measured, marked out and then ground back to remove the mill scale.

One of the thick bars to which the door shut plate is attached was too corroded for further use so a new one was cut, drilled and trial fitted.

The front hand rail mounting holes were marked and drilled out

and the water gauge float repairs were completed 

and the two halves joined together again.

Also, a temporary framework was made up and tack welded to the floor to act as datum points for the rear side sheets and to support the top angle lengths which were lifted into position and clamped.

4253’s brake cylinder arrived back for the third time so the holding band for the seal was gradually clamped round the piston 

until it resembled a porcupine after which a new retaining bolt was fitted.

After the application of graphite flakes the piston was turned over 

and eased into the cylinder after which the top cover was fitted and the holding rods bolted up.

At HBSS, the tubes have now all been expanded into place 

and a start made on beading over the ends.  

This shot shows two of the tubes where the beading has been completed.

A date has now been set with the boiler inspector for the official hydraulic test.

Week Three

This week, at HBSS, all the flue tubes have been fitted to 4253’s boiler 

and the expanding of the ends into the front tubeplate has started.  

Back at Rolvenden various sections of the copper pipework have been taken out of storage for a clean-up in preparation for fitting. 

On the 541 tender tank front, the rebuilding of the float for the water gauge has continued with the boss being prepared and soldered into place 

followed by filling the bowl of the float with water to check that it didn’t leak.

The welding in of the well section has been completed, the front side sheets given a bit of minor repositioning before being welded on the inner seam,

the large support bracket for the end of the coal chute received some minor adjustment before being bolted to the front sheet 

after which it was riveted into place.

Finally, the positions of the support brackets for the operating rods for the water valves were measured after which they too were welded into place.

We also helped the shed staff out by doing a bit more painting of the Terrier’s brake gear 

and also supplying some bodies to move No 65’s water tanks from in front of the shed to an area of ground we had cleared behind it.

Week Two

Tuesday saw more of the 541 tender steel side sheets being drilled for hand rails, steps, lamp brackets, door closing catches etc while they were still lying flat 

plus the grinding of weld preps on these plus the coal chute panel.

The floor panels were marked where the side panels will sit and then the mill scale was ground back to give a decent surface to accept weld beads.

On Friday, prep work continued on the sheets and our rivet rack had to be emptied, moved and refilled to give us a bit more room around the growing tender which was no quick job given the number of rivets and consequent weight concerned.  When finished, the front side sheets were manhandled into the booth to be dealt with on Sunday while the rear sheets were placed upright in a temporary rack and clamped securely until needed.

Some of the team broke off to help the shed staff with the painting of the brake components for the Terrier which is now being reassembled.

On Sunday work was concentrated on the seam welding of the well to the tank floor which involved some serious contortions on the part of Paul the welder.

The first side sheet was hoisted into place and then clamped and wedged into its eventual position 

after which the second was lifted and positioned.

This one was easier to place as we laid the vertical support for the coal floor temporarily on its side to give the correct distance between the panels.

The rebuilding of the tank’s water gauge float was started by tinning various parts prior to soldering it all together.

On the 4253 front, the front cover of the regulator box was re-tapped to accept the new atomiser 

and, at HBSS, the small tubes are all in place the fitting of the flue tubes has started.

Week One

During the week the welds holding the 541 tank well together were dressed back, 

the angle support for the coal chute and the front plate it will be riveted to were bolted together, drilled through

 before being separated and be-burred

and weld preps ground onto a number of steel panels where even the ever-present rain didn’t halt progress.  

There are many joining plates needed in this construction and the chop saw was set up in the yard to cut a number of these to length – you can see those already cut on the ground between the trestles.

On Sunday, all the floor sheets were bought in, 

lined up with the aid of tape measure, spirit level, clamped lengths of angle and ‘percussive adjustment’ where necessary 

after which the entire assembly was measured corner to corner diagonally to ensure correct alignment.  After that, they were tack welded together and then the water well was manoeuvred into position underneath, jacked up to contact the floor sheets and that in turn was tacked into place.  This was followed by positioning and tacking in the heavy angle sections to the floor and to the three baffle plates.

Finally, the front sheet was lifted onto the floor section and clamped to the previously welded on positioning angle pieces 

after which that too was tacked into position.  At day’s end this is what we had.  

While that was going on, others positioned and drilled the holes in the side sheets to accept the hand rails with this shot showing one trial fitted.

At HBSS, the tubes are now being fitted to the boiler bringing the hydraulic test ever closer.