Sunday, 1 June 2014

Maintenance Update (chairs, snake, die block, siphon and Tyseley)

Tues 27th
I called in at the Coffee Pot, to discover that they had just two boot scrapers left … and that two chaps in the BBC crew (who were wandering around the station) had bought those!

Weds 28th
If you've ever wrestled with a 98 ft snake, you'll know how Gilbert & I struggled on Wednesday.  The water supply to out TPO is a hosepipe from a stand pipe.  The hose is (was) actually four sections, and the joints often leaked; sometimes blew apart.  The hose itself tended to spring leaks … in fact, I don't think it was up to holding mains pressure!  So, we splashed out on a new 30 metre hose (10 year guarantee!).  It came coiled, didn't it!  We want it straight, don't we?  Unwinding it and feeding it through pipes, under rails, over the TPO buffers, behind the coupling, and up through a hole in the floor while the thing persisted in tying itself in knots …

Anyway, we finished the job; tested for leaks; fixed them, and buzzed off.

On the way out, I spoke with JC who conveyed the news from Tyseley, that they were not going to be finished by Friday … but probably by next Friday!

Just time, between showers, to replenish the boot scraper stock at the Coffee Pot.

Thurs 29th
I had an email from one of the BBC chaps, asking for a 1934 or 1964 boot scraper.  There was no such in the pile at Toddington, so I had a rummage around the yard at Winchcombe.  Pile after pile had mainly 1950s.  Then I found a 1964 (2-hole, "00" type).  No sign of any from the 1930s.  Finally, I clambered over to the very back, to the very last pile, and found some 1932 … which might suggest others from that period lurked nearby …  Hey, Presto!  One from 1934!

Friday 30th
Happily needle-gunning rail chairs, when Carpo came up to inform me that the hose had blown apart!  These bloomin' plastic connectors are just not up to holding mains pressure!  I had to insert a length of copper pipe plus four jubilee clips!  That appears to have sorted it … I hope !!!

Apart from that, two orders prepared and their bottoms blacked - 1934 for Alan Beech and October 1946 for Alan Tuggey.

Saturday 31st
David, Bruce and I all arrived within minutes of each other.  John T arrived shortly afterwards, having been to Winchcombe to work on the siphon van, but finding nobody there came to Todders.

David, Bruce and I played with the rivets on the die block.  David had made sure the block would slide freely when the side plate were riveted on.  He'd made the rivets, and now had the pleasure of bashing their heads.  Bruce played at Lucifer, and I just held things steady while the two of them did the hard work.  John played at being David Bailey.

David then ground off the protruding dome heads of the rivets, which is fine because they are counter-sunk.  They can't accidentally catch on anything in motion, then.

Various small jobs took our attention during the day: the hose sprang another leak at the join, but Bruce fixed that;  Someone had marked the right-hand eccentric rods as R1 and R2, but that didn't help identify which was the inside one, and which was the outside.  There followed some discussion over a diagram or two.  Then Bruce confirmed with … I can't remember who (JC? Carpo? John H?).  Anyway, the rods are now marked inner/outer and upper/lower!

John and Bruce tackled some rail chairs.  I fitted brushes to some that were already painted, then ran out of wedges.  So, I made a few more wedges, and David and John watched to see how it is done.

Bruce played with the largest of our R-clips.  The last ones that he bought turned out to be a tad hard to fit - requiring the use of a mallet to get them to clip on.  We decided that such strength was not necessary.  Bruce will probably get some of the easier-to-use ones.

David had been asked to make, and weld up, some brackets for the siphon woodwork, which he duly did.

There's no more news on progress at Tyseley.  David will chase them during the week.  My guess (hope?) is that the will complete the work by Friday 6th June.  We then have to see when the haulier can fit us in to return 2807 to Toddington.  With luck it might be Tuesday 10th?  I'll let people know as soon as I know myself!

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