Sunday, 28 February 2016

Maintenance Update (condensing, skimming, cladding, shunting)

Monday 22nd
On Saturday, Gil had been struggling to fit a bracket under the cylinder block to carry the steam heating pipe. He gave up in exasperation - a nut that had [allegedly] come off a bolt declined to go back on. So, I decided to take a look. Not only were the two bolts non-standard, but were both rusty and loose (and impossible to access their heads and clamp them). There was no option but to remove them and replace them with new nuts & bolts. It took two hours!

I also applied an adhesive/filler to the water scoop operating column to disguise the fracture in it.

Wednesday 17th
Gil was really looking forward to tackling that bracket again [NOT]; so was pleased to see that he didn’t have to! Instead, he explored the options for finding/making lock-nuts to replace those that were cut off the bridge section, at the end of the pony. Some were doable, but he couldn’t fins any for the larger two bolts. The solution was to find a large nut, drill out the centre to required size; tap it to the correct thread and then cut it in half (cross-ways) to make two lock nuts.

My first task was to drill out the remains of the split-pins in these two bolts. That wasn’t too difficult. At the end of the day, I helped Gil fit the split pins (they were a tight fit once the lock nuts were in place - in fact, Bruce had to skim a few thou’ off one of the lock nuts to make room for the pin).

Bruce brought his homework in for inspection; then proceeded to fit the copper pipe to the condensing coil in the cab.

He spent most of his day on top of the boiler skimming and lapping the clack valves. These are completed apart from requiring the Boiler Responsible Person to inspect and approve them. While up there, he discovered that the securing bolts for the brass bonnet have gone AWOL. Bruce remembered that there were three copper pipes disconnected from the hydrostatic lubricator in the cab as part of “winterisation”. So, he fixed those.

John G tidied up the filler on the fractured water scoop handle and applied a coat of paint. Once John has a paint brush in his hand, everyone has to watch out! All sorts of places found themselves covered in black paint! We were banned from climbing up the LHS into the cab, for example!

John T was being an assistant to Gil, I think, and/or doing little jobs around.

Mid-afternoon, once the lock nuts were all locked up, I took the steam heating and vacuum pipes back to the loco. A gang of Loco Dept chaps [Chris, Ben, Pete, …] gave me a hand to thread the pipes through the underneath of the loco and then bolt them back together.

Saturday 27th
While bolting up the pipes, Ben noticed that there were four bolts missing from the cladding beneath the cylinder block. Guess what my first job today was!

I re-tapped the holes to clean them; then fitted new bolts. No idea how or why this line of four bolts had gone AWOL (the fourth one is hidden behind that bracket).

Graham was given the task of fitting two operating levers from the sanding equipment. These had been removed purely to make enough room to work on the pony pivot pin (also arrowed, centre) while we were messing around with the pony.

Bruce had been pestering Carpo to check the tightness of the top clacks that Bruce had lapped and refitted. While up there, they put the brass bonnet back in place over them (over the clacks, that is). 

Bruce then moved on making pads for the oiler that sits on top of the piston rod, just outside the cylinder. John T had made the LHS one last time, and Bruce made the RHS today. Again, we have no idea why there were no pads in these oilers. We are certain that we previously made and fitted pads. Bruce thinks there’s a ghost about. Gil blamed it on Maurice, our mouse!

David continued with the tender steam heating pipe. He’d had to modify the existing flange by drilling new holes to align with the new (“standard”) connection that we have had made. For homework, he’d made plugs for the old holes, and today he welded these plugs in place. We’re just awaiting the completion of those connections, then that’s completed.

Gilbert had gone round carrying out a mechanical inspection. He found four bolts to be too short on one pipe connection, so new bolts were acquired.

Just before lunch, Ade fired up the shunter and we pushed loco and tender together. Initially, three of us pushed the tender back to 4270’s buffers, then applied the brakes and put chocks beneath all six tender wheels. There are three links between loco and tender, and these have to be lined up accurately (else risk bending a link - which did happen up at NYMR). Blocks of wood raised them to the right height, and Bruce stood on the tender with a rope around the centre link (which is the hardest to get fitted). Ade, assisted by Graham, squeezed loco up to tender, and all seemed to go remarkably well …

Sometime later, Gil & I were beneath connecting up the water and vacuum hoses when I spotted that the one link (nearest in the photo) was not straight in line! Sure enough, when the pin had been dropped on the loco footplate to secure that link, it had missed its hole and pushed the link sideways!

When they had nothing else to do, Graham and Alex [Loco Dept] applied wax to the tender side.

The bolts for the brass bonnet had also gone AWOL, but Bruce found five new ones. I slapped some green paint on them to ‘posh’ them up a bit.

We are almost ready to go. The pressure gauges need calibrating and the fusible plugs need replacing. Given a bit of coal and water, we could then do a steam test … next week, perhaps?


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