Progress October 2023

Final Week

This week, Charwelton’s cab repaint is coming down the home straight

and the various other Charwelton parts we’ve painted have been finished and moved out to make room for the metalwork for 4253’s crinolines that we need to start next.  Many odd jobs were carried out on 4253 with the gudgeon pins trial fitted to the crossheads,  painting of the water tank balance pipe elbows and cab doors, cleaning up the pressure gauge holding brackets and removing bits of the vacuum pipework for testing and modification.   The reversing rod roller mechanism had the newly machined spacer fitted

and a start was made on cleaning up the valve spindle crossheads.

The vacuum pump was stripped, inspected and reassembled and all the fittings into the vacuum retaining valve were checked.  On Sunday there was more work on the vacuum system with a hole cut into the rear pipe section

to enable a hose spigot to be welded into place

before it was refitted which, given the extremely tight space it occupied, was not a comfortable job.

Once in place, the section of hose that will attach it to the vacuum cylinder was trial fitted.

The small bore copper pipe that will run up to the vacuum gauge in the cab was annealed, had the end fitting silver soldered on and was then fed into position, bending into shape as it went, connected up and left extra long to await final fitting into the gauge.  The driver’s side intermediate coupling rod was taken off again as the thrust washer was found to not be sitting properly into the recess in the wheel around the crankpin.  The bush was pressed out slightly to free the washer which had a chamfer machined onto its outer edge before being heated and dropped back over the repositioned bush.

The crankpin nuts were measured to establish where the holes need drilling to take the taper pins

some of which are shown below.

Week Four

This week, Charwelton’s tank was finished with the filler lid being painted, reassembled and fitted,

the fire iron brackets were cleaned and painted and the gauge pads were reattached to the cab.  On 4253, oil felts were cut to size and fitted to the fireman’s side con rod which was then refitted to the loco,

the water tank balance pipe elbows were cleaned and painted, a start was made on cleaning up and polishing the backhead fittings,

some of the gaskets for those fittings made and the wooden plinth for the vacuum gauge was rubbed down and varnished.  On Sunday it was back to the driver’s side con rod with the small end bush keyway first having to be milled down by 30 thou to fit after which the bush was successfully pressed into the rod.

After that, all the thrust washers were heated and dropped over to shrink fit onto both sides of the protruding small end bush and the inner side of the big end bush.  The final task was to trial fit the gudgeon pin which, once again, involved some flap wheel fettling to the bush before it would comfortably pass through and rotate.

The rod was then refitted and, with all rods in place, the loco was barred along until one complete revolution of the wheels was achieved to ensure everything turned freely.  In addition, a batch of egg timer bodies was spray painted and all the backhead gauges were stripped, cleaned and polished.

At HBSS, the foundation ring rivet holes have all been countersunk

and the first of the rivets installed.

Week Three

This week, with the weather changing, made painting outside a bit more difficult with waiting for the damp to clear and the sun to come out and warm things up a bit.  Despite that, we still managed to get a coat on the tanks

and on Charwelton’s cab.

For Charwelton’s tank, after a rubdown of the first coat, we raised the gazebo over it before applying another gloss coat as more rain was expected.

Others, luckier to be working inside, were removing the burrs from the connecting rod small end bushes after the machining of the keyway slots last week

and marking out and drilling the mounting holes in the front running plate to accept the central lamp.

On Sunday it was back to the rods with keyways being machined for fitting to the con rod small end bushes.  The fireman’s side bush was then pressed into place with the keyway being visible facing the length of the rod while the slot for the oil pad felt is 90o degrees to the left.  

After that, all the thrust rings were machined

and then had two rings of holes drilled part way through to act as oil retainers. After a great deal of fettling they were heated and shrunk fit into position around the bush on both sides.

Another ring was then fitted around the big end bush which proved even more time consuming to achieve.

Finally, after yet more fettling, we managed to trial fit the gudgeon pin into the small end bush.

Week Two

During the week, more progress was made on the tanks with the back and bottom panels rubbed down and painted black

after which they were stood upright again and the outer panels rubbed back

before more paint was applied.

Charwelton’s tank was rubbed back yet again

before receiving its first coast of gloss.

On Sunday, the final signs of leakage round the bottom seams of 4253’s tanks were addressed with the areas concerned being ground back and cleaned up prior to being welded and given a coat of primer.

Others continued work on the rods with all four gradient pins being fitted with minimal effort other than the need to manoeuvre the loco backwards and forwards to get the rods in the best position and then jacking it up and levering wheelsets round to get the joints into perfect alignment followed by repeating the entire operation for the other side.

Here’s a shot of the fireman’s side with all the rods, bushes and pins finally in place.

No sooner was that all accomplished than we took the connecting rods down again as the small end bushes need finishing and pressing into place.

That work commenced immediately with the keyways and felt pad slots getting milled into the brasses.

Work has also recommenced on the boiler with the crown stays finally being delivered to HBSS

and the first ones fitted.

Week One

This week was a continuation of the existing work with our new stove getting a coat of heat resistant paint and a new concrete pad to sit on.  Its missing door turned up and had a few corroded bits removed and new ones made and fitted.  Charwelton’s water tank had the filler neck welded into its new position at the front 

after which all the various imperfections were filled and rubbed back followed by an application of undercoat.

Additionally, the cab was treated to its first gloss coat on the inside.

The plate rollers refurbishment progressed with top coat applied to the frame

while the cover panels had the odd dent beaten out before receiving paint.

followed by the motor.

On Sunday it was back on 4253 with the water tanks having a bit of remedial work on the bottom edges to cure slight weeps.  This involved grinding out slots in the joints concerned

before laying a bead of weld to seal them closed.

The snifting valves were removed from the loco, stripped down and given a good clean up before getting reassembled.

We also fitted a new flue through the roof for the stove and fitted the door along with a new seal.  Just needs the new glass now which has been ordered and should be with us next week.