Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Maintenance Update (injector, weight, first train, freight charter)

Wednesday 11th
Bruce expanded upon the fun he'd had with the vacuum gauge calibration.  From the photo, you can see that the calibration was performed with the gauges horizontal.  Guess what happened when the gauges were set vertical (as they are in the cab)?  The reading was different!  It appears that the gauges need to be calibrated in the orientation in which they operate!  So, Bruce had to do it all over again.  He had to set the pepper box first and then calibrate the gauge against this, while holding the gauge vertical.  He's explained to Neil (owner of the equipment) and asked if a suitable set of connections can be devised to set everything vertical for the calibration.  Today, Bruce noted that the vacuum gauge can get to 26 ins in the train pipe, using the ejector; but when running and using the vacuum pump, the gauge sits at 25/23 as it should.

Today, however, Bruce had a play with the injectors.  He checked the steam cone in the RHS; there seemed to be a dribble of water (possibly condensed steam) trickling out at times.  The back cover of the LHS still leaks.  Bruce suspects that he didn't put enough PTFE on the thread to fill the run-out against the nut end.  He noticed, too, that there is a steam leak on a braised sleeve on the LHS injector feed pipe - which explains why I got steam through the floor & into the cab last week.  He also tightened up some of the balance weights in the driving wheels, which had become loose.

John G was wandering around with black paint & brush.  It started off as a minor task: to paint the two steel pipes that feed down to the injectors.  However, once seen with paint, he was soon directed towards many a small chip in the paintwork and which he proceeded to patch up.

Gil was determined to weigh the loco, but from time to time, people kept driving it away!  In fact, both he and John G managed to get a ride round to the coal & water for a top-up.  Bill was also assisting in the weighing - manning the pump and pencil.  You have to weigh one wheel at a time, by raising it a couple of thou' off the rail.

The weather was predicted to be cloudy and rain starting at about 1 pm, so I decided to clean a few rail chairs outside to begin with.  I chose a couple of gunge-covered ones (someone has to do them eventually!) and managed to clean just five before 3pm.  The rain didn't come; nevertheless, I moved inside and boxed up last week's completed boot scrapers before carrying out the bottom-blacking ritual on today's five.

Friday 13th
I popped down to apply green Deproma primer to the five chairs' tops.  The TPO was so quiet you could hear the paint stick.  Apart from the sound of a fly frantically bashing its head against the fluorescent tube, and Maurice rearranging his bedroom, there was nothing!  Maurice did stick his head out at 3.30 to see who had come, but he reversed back inside again.  2807 was simmering quietly in the yard, obviously not having been required to be called into action on race trains.

Saturday 14th
Everyone had decided to take the day off - that is, apart from Fred and Gil, who were at Winchcombe working on the siphon van.  One side looks immaculate.  The other side is what they are working on!

I slapped a top coat on the five chairs, but that's all.  I watched 2807 as she pulled her first train of the year out of Todders (see photo).  Later, I took the family for a ride behind her.  Tony Coombes was having a cab ride on that trip.  Minor last-minute panic when I was told that he needed a pass from the Station Master, and Tony had to sign it in person.  Sorry, Tony.  No one said beforehand!

Sunday 15th
Just nipped down for an hour to do the lettering on the chairs.

Monday 16th
Popped in at Winchcombe to see 2807 arrive for the freight charter (see photos).  The weather was not kind.

Later, I fitted brushes to the chairs; prepared a further 9 brushes; and carried out a model wagon stock check (we've still got 361 to sell).

The issues list for 2015:
There are 4 issues carried forward from last year, renumbered as:
1. Fizz from rivets bottom left back firebox;
2. LH cross-head slide bar warm & using lots of oil;
3. Vacuum fault - slow to create & sudden drop in train pipe;
4. Puff of steam from air valve when ejector turned on.

We can just watch (1); (2) has possible gone away; We might have accidentally fixed (3); and (4) needs the brake valve removing and lapping.

One new (well, one issue with two points):
5. Regulator suffering from lack of oil. J-cocks on smokebox leaking.

Wednesday 18th
Discussion about (5) today: Bruce suspects that the loco having stood for four days in steam but going nowhere, the regulator would have been shut (obviously) and knowing that there is always a dribble of steam passing everywhere, it is feasible that a small amount passed by the regulator valve and cleaned off the oil that we had put on there.  With the J-cocks leaking (as they always do) they would allow the oil in the steam to escape through the point of lowest pressure - the leak.  Hence, the regulator valve has not been receiving its due lubrication.

On Monday, Clive noticed that one brick in the arch had sunk (though not fallen out), so he, Gilbert, David and Jeff Lacey worked on the arch (not all at the same time, I suspect … though it is quite spacious in the firebox).  The brick was jacked up and a slip was inserted in the gap twixt it and its adjacent one.  They all came together nicely this time.

Gil then continued to examine every nut & bolt on the loco (against a checklist) and measured clearances.

I set John G on cleaning up a piece of … ah, this week's quiz: what are the black things, and where do they go?

Once armed with a tin of paint and a brush, John gets the urge … and touched up cladding, running board /frame sides, smokebox dart & hinges, lamp brackets and steps (that Gil duly stepped upon).

Having run out of black things to paint, John began polishing brass and copper in the cab.  [Methinks the crew will need sunglasses!]

Bill and I cleaned rail chairs all day, completing 8 by home-time.  Bill had the honour of painting their bottoms.

I lingered on, fitted a new wire brush to the drill (having totally worn out the previous one, today); tightening up the needle-gun that had worked loose; and fixing a lamp that had been thrown away!

Whilst doing these, I heard a noise in the roof.  Above our kitchen area, there is a cavity in which the original water tank was situated, and various pipes pass through there.  There is a rather insecure trapdoor in it, and I could hear tiny footsteps and the trapdoor visibly wobbled!  The footsteps crossed the ceiling and ran down the wall … to Maurice's hole!  I sat, poised with camera, but he spotted me and wouldn't come out.  :-(

2807 is next in service Friday  27 March, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday following.


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