Sunday, 6 March 2016

Maintenance Update (painting, climbing, steaming, steaming, steaming)

Wednesday 2nd
I had been through the list of outstanding issues from last year, and we have cleared all but four - and they can wait! My hint about needing the pressure gauges to be calibrated (i.e. by dumping them on Carpo’s desk) paid off; they were back in our TPO - done! So, my first task was to fit them back in the cab.

John G was keen to slap black paint on things, so I pointed him at various items in the cab that were in need of smartening up … if it’s black and shiny (in the photo above), John had painted it!

Even the fireman’s seat got a licking …

 … as did the driver-side steps.

At some later time, John gave me a hand to move our display board (which I was about to re-install out in the car park) only to spot a bubble in the varnish on its back side. It seems that damp had penetrated and caused it to blister, so I cleaned it up a bit and John slapped paint on that, too.

Bruce was back up at the brass bonnet, again. He wasn’t happy about the way it doesn’t fit well over the pipe cladding. The application of a “Birmingham screwdriver” improved the fit.

Thereafter, Bruce was doing “little bits” - preparing for the steam heating connections to be fitted (they’re still in the workshop), for instance; and fabricating gaskets. He’d also noticed a “missing” wick in an oil pot - but discovered that it had been pulled out of its feeder tube and had disapeared into the oil! It seems that someone had pulled all wicks out of their tubes - presumably to prevent unnecessary dripping of oil. These all needed refitting, of course.

As there was nothing outstanding to do, Gil & Dixie tackled the next fitted bolt on the RHS rocking shaft bracket. Together, they completed this within the day: Dixie on the outside and Gil in-between the frames.

It keeps Gil fit climbing in & out.

Mike W joined us, and he was set on cleaning that bridge section underneath, and painting it red.

John P [Loco Dept] carried out a mechanical inspection and spotted that the front springs were a bit odd. We suspect that the jacking up of the loco to remove/replace the pony truck had caused the hanger to slip out of position. Bruce was able to fix that (possibly with the same “screwdriver”?).

At last, I was able to get back to manufacturing boot scrapers! I needle-gunned six rail chairs, but didn’t move on to wire-brushing them because of the weather: H&S says we’re not allowed to use electricity in the rain. Either ways, it was solid rain … and it kept dropping down my neck … and it was a tad cold.

Saturday 5th
I busied myself with boot scraper preparation, as the season starts today!

Carpo had lit {got someone to light?} a warming fire on Friday, and Martin Ryan [Loco Dept] was tending the steam-raising fire when I arrived. John P [Loco Dept] wanted to complete the “B exam” that he started on Wednesday. I think it took him all day (but not continuously).

Bruce & Gil used JC’s old steam heating connections so that we could couple up the tender pipes to the loco, and by end of day had tested the pressure relief valve, which now blows (correctly) at 40 psi. Our new connections are still in the workshop, but almost completed.

After tea-break, they helped me to erect our display board in the car park. This proved a less trivial task than expected, because one bolt was extremely reluctant to go back into its hole. Bruce did some filing, which fixed it!

B&G spent the rest of the morning pouring oil in relevant orifices. Talking of which, one of the glasses in the hydrostatic lubricator, that I had fitted with much difficulty, had filled up with oil. So, I got called in to remove it, clean it and refit it. Then back to the boot scrapering.

Martin, Andy B and Eleanor [all Loco Dept] brought 2807 up to steam gently, until by mid-afternoon she was building up pressure. We looked around for leaks, etc., and carried out some preliminary checks. The tender brakes were not working very well, because the vacuum was pulling the piston so high in the cylinder, it was close to its limit. Remember that the Loco Dept chaps had fitted new brake blocks, so it is only a matter of adjustment.

Bruce’s newly-made pipe for the condensing coil is looking good; the copper feed to the pep pipe that had become religious was now steam-tight. So, Carpo authorised a chuff up & down.

B&G both had a play with that Big Red Handle. Some minor things were spotted during this testing: both injector bodies leak (we obviously didn’t put enough PTFE on the seals); there’s a loose tapered pin in part of the drain cock linkages; there may be a steam leak from the centre or front drain cock on the RHS. The new £38 bolts on the rocking shaft have done their job - no sign of movement at all.
I finished the day by painting black bottoms once more - eleven in all.

Some rusty bits here for John G to tackle on Weds.

Fire’s looking good.

Pressure building nicely.

Steam drifting from snifting valve.

… and off she goes!

Heading for the hills.

And making her own clouds!

2807 is not scheduled to be in service until 31st March. However, she is the standby loco for Race Week, 16th to 19th March. One must not wish ill upon other locos, of course …


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