Saturday, 11 March 2017

Maintenance Update (wet, fire, taps, spirit)

Monday 6th
After the weekend running, the list of outstanding issues reads thus - the first two being brought forward; numbers 3 to 5 had been cleared before the weekend:

1 [PG]: J cocks are stuck {reported July 2016, but we never found out which J cocks!}
2 [JC]: LH front & rear top mud hole door & RH door top blowing {Reported December 2016}
6 [PG]: RH piston rod gland blowing.
7 [PG]: Safety valves lift at 215 psi.
8 [PG]: Top front LH mud hole door weeping {= duplicate of issue 2}.
9 [PG]:Top front RH mud hole door weeping {= duplicate of issue 2}.
10 [PG]: Right fire hole door pivot pin loose causing doors to jam.
11 [PG]: Rear damper not shutting.

Wednesday 8th
Brian was keen to get wet, and was at Todders before dawn getting himself ready! Gilbert is in his supervisory role. Brian spent all morning beneath the loco, getting seven-years’ of clag from under the running boards, between the frames and everywhere below there! He found things painted red he’d thought were painted black!

Loco Dept chaps tidied up the coal space, which seemed mainly to contain coal dust! With the aid of Pete G and the JCB, this was cleared out.

John G tackled the rail chairs in the boot scraper production line, applying a primer coat to their tops. I fitted brushes to those that were fully painted.

I decided to tackle issue 10. The handle that operates the fire hole doors pivots at the bottom (yellow arrows) and the linkages operate the doors via studs on the doors (blue arrows). Once I had removed the grime from the pivot pins, it was indeed clear that both were loose.

I cleaned up the pins, while Brian cleaned the handles. It all went back together again nicely, and at that point I could see why the issue said that the doors jammed - the fireman (or lighterupper) had not fitted the baffle plate correctly in the fire hole. It had slid below the protection ring (that should be beneath it, and upon which the baffle plate rests) and hence was protruding slightly at the corner!

Brian moved me out of the way, so that he could steam clean the entire cab!

Gilbert inspected the damper door problem, but decided it was too much to take on today. He then decided to tackle issue 6, removing various bits that get in the way of removing the gland cover. An extra strip of packing should do the trick! This was then completed by end of play.

We were advised to drain the axle boxes to make sure any water in there was cleared out. When he’d run out of things to steam clean, Brian, along with John G, went round them all draining and then topping them up again.

During the whole day, John G was playing a support role to everyone and anyone. He was trotting to
& fro for me (fetching spanners, etc), guiding Pete in the JCB and later I saw him being runner for

Just as we were wrapping up, JC [Loco Dept] said, “Roger, are you busy?” I got roped in to supervise Alex in lighting a warming fire in the Manor. It is out on Fire & Drive on Thursday. Starting at 4.30 meant a quick dash for a meal at 5.30, while Alex kept an eye on the fire; then I arrived back at 6.30 to relieve her to go for her meal!

Saturday 11th
Bruce spent the day working on the bracket to support the brake column. He’s cut a bar such that it can be welded up into the curve-shaped neck to reach the collar on the brake pillar. It took him quite some time to get the angle right. Then there will be two bolts to hold the bracket onto a base plate which will be welded onto the tender tank top. Had we got any suitable bolts? No, but we have now, as Bruce cut more thread on a couple. They will need shortening, too, but it is now well on the way to being made.

One things leads to another, and Bruce ended up sorting out taps, dies and drills to suit the bolt holes!

Gilbert, Graham and a new recruit to Loco Dept, Lee, were all playing with the rear damper door that won’t close fully. They managed to get the door off, which is not easy because of its weight and position. Then using a cold press, they did manage to straighten up one side, but the other proved a bend too far. The image is end-on so that you can see the curve caused purely by the heat down in the ash pan. In the end, they had to resort to heat to get this straightened, at which point John T joined in ... with a lighter!

Most of the day, though, John was fitting the cladding pieces around the valve chests. Here he is with a front piece. The bolts that hold it together have nuts welded onto the back of the panel and inevitably one has come off!

Two new recruits from the Loco Dept spent all day cleaning the running boards.

I spent most of the day polishing the tender. White spirit took the surface grime off (but then needed wiping off, itself!). T-Cut took off some of the bloom, though it did consume vast quantities of elbow grease. The residue also has to be wiped off. Finally, a go with the wax polish did show some improvement. But I gave up after doing half of one side. Wimp or what?! Can you tell where I’d been? I bloomin’ hope so!


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