Wednesday 29 Jan
Gil, Bruce Dixie & myself today. The latter being devoted to boot scrapering, while the rest attended the tender.
Gil b(r)ought some NEW bolts for attaching the brake hanger brackets to the frame cross-members. Guess how much this box of 3/4 inch x 3 inch Whitworth nuts bolts washers & split pins cost? Answer at the bottom of the post!
The chaps were aligning the brackets and suspension pins of the front two brake hangers on the tender. Getting the bracket in place such that the brake hanger suspension pin was horizontal proved a challenge. Clearly, they had not been horizontal before! The pin has to be horizontal for the hanger to dangle vertically. There's not much movement in fixing the bracket, but just enough to do the aligning. Then guess what? The pin wouldn't go through its hole in the tender frame. You can argue that they must have done originally, so ... ??? Well, maybe the brackets are not in their original sequence? In any case, there are at least two different patterns to the hanger brackets! In fact, two of them had to have one edge gently angle-ground back slightly, to enable it to fit in place at all. Otherwise it was being fouled by an angle on the tender frame. Also, two of the (NEW!!!) bolts had to have their heads "modified" for them to fit within the space where this angle is otherwise fouling them.
A couple of weeks back, (note the carefully chosen text:) "it was decided" that the tender would have to be jacked up in order to gain access to these hanger brackets. Jacks were put in place at the front. The horn ties (i.e. bars across the bottom of the bit in which the axle boxes rise & fall) were removed from the front two wheel sets to allow the wheels to drop. Of course, when we set to and began to remove the hanger brackets (was that Bruce & me? I quite forget!) we didn't need to jack up the tender at all. So, the horn ties were fitted back on today ... except that Dixie came into the TPO just as we were packing away, declaring that someone had put the bolts in the wrong way round!
I was oblivious to all of this fun that the chaps were having. I was cleaning up three absolutely caked-with-mud GNR 1913 rail chairs until the rain set in, and then I painted nine tops (3 red ready for Crimson Lake; 3 black; and 3 grass green ready for Darlington Green).
Saturday 1 Feb
Bruce procured a set of hole punches for us, as we are forever making gaskets and never have the right tool for the job. Two lots of new things in one week! Wow!
Gil & John busied themselves with fitting the brackets on the centre. Again, this meant quite a bit of fiddling to get the bracket lined up, the suspender pin horizontal and the holes all in line. Some fettling of the holes through the frame was inevitable.
Bruce made a jig for drilling a hole through each bolt into which an R-clip will be fitted to prevent the nut from falling off if ever it should work loose.
To get the hole spot-on, Bruce used a piece of plate the same thickness as the cross-member to which the bracket is bolted; used a spacer to represent a spring washer; assembled the plate, bracket, washer and bolt, and then drilled through the bolt immediately behind the nut. This should be tight up to the nut, so that it can't work very loose even if it tries to! To finish each off to look neat and tidy, Bruce tried cutting off the excess thread ... but only managed to do one before knackering the saw blade. He's going to use the angle-grinder next time.
I braved the cold and wind to continue cleaning rail chairs. My needle-gun froze up*. Found an LNWR chair dating from 1896.
Next Weds we need to clean the brake hangers so that we can start to assemble each of them (properly - with the correct bolts and R-clips).
* The air expands as it operates the needles and in doing so cools down (I thought it might be Boyle's Law, appropriately, but it turns out to be Gay-Lussac's Law (boring)). Due to the outside air temperature being only 3 degrees, water vapour in the compressed air was freezing as it coughed out of the needle-gun.
Info from Fred re. our Siphon van:
"I have been informed by Richard Johnson that the C& W dept. can take our Siphon into the barn for re-roofing on March 1st.
However as they are moving stock around in a fortnight's time we will have to be ready to move to a new outside location prior to that.
We will obviously have help in the re-roofing as the siphon cannot be in the barn for too long.
We have requested that we do not return to our present spot which is increasingly impinging on the S&T area as we progress down the length of the carriage so we will probably swap places with the coach behind us on the same track. Power will still be available via our existing cable. We will now have to purchase some white masonry paint asap to go with the adhesive and canvas we have in hand. Help in making edge securing strips has also been offered by C& W.
We will obviously need a reasonable team of workers at that time.
Things are looking up.
Answer to bolts: A total of 18 bolts, with nuts, spring washers and 25 split pins came to £109.76p