Monday, 2 May 2016

Maintenance Update (bolt, nuts, spanner)

Wednesday 27th
I decided to have another go at the centre left drain cock, which continues to let steam pass even when it is closed. I checked the operation and found no problem: the plunger works; the spring springs, and there remains a 1/8” gap between end of plunger and the operating rod when closed. So, I took the innards out and examined the plunger. There were a couple of shiny spots on the face; I did think there was a crack, too, but after cleaning, this appears to have been a surface scratch.

But there was one small section that was rough, whereas you would expect the face to be smooth all of the way around. So, I spent the rest of the morning lapping the spindle in.

That all went fine until I found that the spindle was in contact with the operating rod - there was no gap left! Bruce couldn’t understand how I could have lapped off 1/8”. I thought: “I wonder if anyone has fiddled with the drain cock lever in the cab?” Sure enough, a certain person (who shall remain Gilbert) had pulled the lever back to balance a tin can on top of it, catching oil dripping from the hydrostatic lubricator!

Gilbert had been taking out the sight glasses from the lubricator and cleaning them.

Later, Gil & Bruce took more measurements of the water hose flanges between loco and tender, with a view to David coming on Saturday to work on these.

Bruce’s first job was keeping his bottom warm measuring the spacing on the safety valves. Since Carpo had adjusted the valves such that they blow off somewhat closer to the 225 psi than they had been, the spacers need reducing. The rear ones (which had previously lifted at about 210 psi) need 80 thou removing; the front ones only need 25 thou removing.

John G was on chair painting duty during the morning, then he and I trail-fitted the conduit for the ATC. It did prove a challenge to cut a thread on these steel pipes, but we managed by about 4.30 pm. The conduit needs cleaning and painting, and then the main run can be completed. Still the two ends to do.

Saturday 30th
John T and Gilbert reamed and fitted the 4th fitted-bolt on the RHS rocking shaft mounting. The hole for the bolt has to be something like 1 thousandth of an inch less that the bolt itself. This means that it takes a lot of whacking to get the bolt into its hole.

Whacking the bolt from outside the frames is a problem, as lots of things are in the way. So, David made a gadget that slips over the bolt head and allows the bolt to be bashed on the head from outside the frames. Washers hold it in place on the bolt head.

David was in welding-mode today. The first task was to weld the nuts that hold the cabside number plates onto the cab sides. This makes it considerably easier to remove the number plate when one needs to. Otherwise it is a two-man job!

It is particularly troublesome on the driver’s side, because a panel has to be removed from the reverser to be able to access these nuts! David very professionally lined up the slotted screw heads (on the outside) such that the slots are all horizontal when tightened up. The reason for going to this trouble may become clear at the GWSR Gala, 20-30 May.

David also welded up Bruce’s special spanner (for fitting the top clacks). Once more, most professionally, David tidied up the weld to make it look the part.

Bruce felt that he’d been the gopher to David during the morning, and did a few minor jobs thereafter. Some days are like that - time goes and you wonder what you’ve achieved!

On the way to the railway, I called in at the local blacksmith and collected the short front section of the trunking for the ATC equipment pipe that he’d shaped for us. It needed its end thread cleaning up. Thereafter, I applied top coats to 4 crimson plus one LNER (Darlington Green) boot scrapers.

Other interesting things around the yard included the arrival of a class 20 diesel to be broken up. Very odd colour scheme.

[it's been working in France - - Steve]

Plus work on the yard water tower is nearing completion.


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