Sunday, 18 May 2014

Maintenance Update (brakes, bootscrapers, plugs and doors)

Tuesday 13th
I popped down and did a bit more to boot scrapers for an hour or so.  A black 3850 arrived for the weekend gala.

Wednesday 14th
Bruce continued measuring the brake rods, and more specifically, the holes and pins that connect everything together.  He's produced a diagram of the dimensions, and it's clear that there's a touch of play on the holes.  However, we don't have time to rectify that at present.  It will have to wait until later in the year.

Mark Y [GWSR} took a look at our brake blocks and declared them fit for a further thousand miles or so.  Hence, we can simply fit them back on, without having to replace them and then somehow adjust the rods to suit the thicker blocks.

I finished off 7 boot scrapers and then re-stocked the two cafes.  I also cleaned a further 8 rail chairs, but (unusually) hadn't the energy to paint their bottoms.

John Rogers [P.Way] had spotted a rail chair with the railway company as "CLR" and wondered what that might be.  Without finding the chair again (it was somewhere in the pile at Winchcombe!) and checking the date and size of rail, it's hard to guess.  Possibly Central London railway, if the date fits.

Thursday 15th
I was all togged up ready for going for a bike ride, when a tin of Crimson Lake enamel paint was delivered!  The delivery was quoted as between Friday and Monday!  The delivery chap didn't bat an eyelid.  Maybe he often sees blokes wearing lycra shorts and day-glow yellow tops, who knows?!

Friday 16th
A Black Five arrived, pointing North.  In keeping with the current theme, I painted seven bottoms black.

Saturday 17th
I'd got stuck in to painting rail chairs when Bruce arrived.

Bruce cleaned out the split pin holes in the brake rigging and made split pins to suit (i.e. cut them to length).  We then both tackled the old brake shoes that initially we had thought needed replacing … but then found out they didn't!  I scraped muck & grease off, then Bruce washed them in diesel. We'd just finished, when …

Steve arrived.  The three of us moved all of the brake things into the shed, where the other pipework is.  Bruce's diagram of the left-hand brake rods and their holes plus the pins shows that the pins are slightly oval - not unexpected.  The pins are nominally 1.5 inches, and their holes should be 30 thou larger.  The two figures for each, shows the max & min diameters (in effect). Only one hole is 1/10th inch out, the rest are not bad, considering.

There was some discussion between us about the reassembly.  Bruce is concerned that there may not be someone present every day who properly understands what needs doing.  We also agreed that we would not replace the existing "Everlasting" blow-down valve with a GWR one at this stage, because of time constraints.  Bruce hypothesised that the adapter twixt it and the boiler might not be corroded, as the water there is treated; probably has little oxygen in it, and it is permanently under water anyway.  Carpo agreed that we could continue to run with the existing valve for now.  As Bruce said, the pipe leading away from the valve was corroded to buttery (I think that's what he said - a technical term, I expect) and that will be replace with copper pipe in due course.  We don't actually need to do a blow-down now that we have treated water.

We had just decided that it was a suitable point to go, having done everything we could think of, when Carpo (bless his cotton socks) pointed out that the wash-out plugs and mud-hole doors all need cleaning.  Of course, we were unaware of this, as he'd hidden them in the boiler store!  So, Steve disappeared to a meeting (after taking one of the photos!), while Bruce & I made a start on the 42 plugs and 8 doors.  Curiously, one plug I noted was numbered 47, so I hope we've not lost any!

Today's rumour (from John H): Tyseley were just fitting the final brasses when he was there.  This bodes well for the rods going on next week and general movement testing … so, 29th for a return is still looking good!


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