Progress September 2023

Week Four

On Tuesday, the last of the spherical bearings was fettled and fitted

which meant we could finally fit all the rods to 4253.  It took most of the day, moving the loco backwards and forwards, to line everything satisfactorily and jack/hoist each rod until it could be slid into position on the crank pins and the fork ends engaged.

Finally, it was all completed and it’s just the gradient pins to fit now – in the interim, wooden blocks have been used to keep everything together.  The next two shots show each side of the engine after the job was completed.

While this was being done, others continued with the refurbishment of the plate rollers now that they finally have a home indoors.  The main frame had many years’ worth of rust and crud removed

after which they received primer and undercoat over the rest of the week.

On Friday, further painting was carried out on Charwelton’s cab

while the water tank had the filler neck trial clamped into its new position

before the neck and tank face were prepped in readiness for welding it into place.

Sunday’s main task was the resurrection of a cast iron stove to replace our life expired one.  There was much work to do as it had been reclaimed from the undergrowth, had no door or grate and the legs were too short.  Firstly, all the rust and dirt was cleaned off,

a grate measured and cut from some scrap steel bar and prepped for welding up and a door cut from plate and drilled to take an air damper.

New legs were cut from square tube and, again, will be welded into place next week.

After that, we fitted all the front lamp brackets to 4253.

Week Three

On Tuesday, Charwelton’s tank had the welded up original filler neck hole dressed back,

4253’s cab got a coat of gloss,

work started on stripping down the Railway’s plate rollers for an overhaul, repaint and an upgrade of the electrics.

and we moved 4253 forward a bit  to bring the leading axle crank pin into a position so we could fit the front coupling rod.

On Friday, Charwelton’s tank had filler applied to the various blemishes which was then rubbed back prior to the first undercoat going on.

Work on the front end platework of 4253 continued and is almost completed now.

We were gifted a steam heat pressure relief valve which was cleaned, stripped, overhauled and placed into storage until needed and the first of the plate roller cover plates was repainted,

Sunday’s main job was to fit the four spherical bearings to the side rods which turned out to be somewhat frustrating.  The first one was pressed into place and the ball turned freely.  The second one however wasn’t quite so easy.  The ball moved freely within the brass but, once the brass was pressed into the rod, it was locked solid.  This resulted in it being pressed out again, the inner surfaces of the brasses eased and it then being put back together and pressed into the rod again where, yet again, it was solid.  This performance was repeated a number of times with us using engineer’s blue on the ball to show where the high points on the brasses were so we could dress them back with a flap wheel.  

Eventually, the ball moved happily within the brass when pressed into the rod so, with a sigh of relief, we quickly fitted the anti-rotation bolt before moving on to the third rod.

That one, probably because it was a brand new rod, fitted perfectly first time so was straight off the press and fitted to the loco.  The spherical bearing can be seen to the right of the crankpin.

With renewed confidence, we moved on to the final rod where, again, the ball locked up solid when the bearing was pressed into place.  By now we had run out of time (not to mention enthusiasm!) so that last one will have to wait until next week to be sorted out and we called the day a 2-all draw.  While the rod saga was going on, Henry started machining the little end bearings.

Week Two

During the week, all of 4253’s rods had a good polish up prior to final fitting and some of the repainted parts were refitted including some floor panels, the sanding levers and brackets and drain cock operating unit.

Charwelton’s tank and 4253’s cab’s rear panel were rubbed down

and the latter painted

while the former received an undercoat on one end.

4353’s motion was inspected to ensure all oil pot trimmings and corks etc were in place and the conrod to crosshead nuts were trial fitted with the fireman’s side one needing some fettling before it would fit smoothly.

On Sunday, the last of the rods were bolted down onto the radial drill to have the holes drilled for the bush anti-rotation bolts.

and the last of the thrust face washers were heated, fitted to shrink fit and then dressed.

The rest of the team were working on Charwelton’s tank where a hole was cut with the plasma cutter for the new position for the filler neck after which the section of plate cut out was destined to fill the hole where the filler neck came from.  This required a fair bit of grinding 

and reshaping in the press before a decent fit was achieved.

After that it was positioned and gradually tack welded round at the correct height.

It was then fully welded and will be dressed back next week.

Week One

During the week, the remaining oil restrictor holes in the rod oil pots were tapped out,

the loco was moved so we could trial fit the driver’s side con rod

after which both con rods were taken down again.   There has, as usual, been much painting with the sales stand shelving getting another coat, more bits of 4253’s cab floor section receiving attention

and the cab roof was cleaned, rubbed down

and repainted.

Looks far smarter now; just the sides still to be done.  

For Charwelton, we finished removing the filler neck from the water tank and also rubbed down more of the cab interior with Bob transferring most of the yellow paint to himself.

On Sunday, we started fitting some of the spherical bearings to the rods which involved bench assembling all the gradient pins for fit

and then positioning the bearings level on the rod and with the oil holes aligned

before pressing them into position.

The bearings were drilled to accept the anti-rotation bolts and some of the thrust face washers were heated, shrunk into position around the bearing and then dressed back.

Hopefully, once all this work is completed, the rods will go back on and then stay there.