Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Maintenance Update (crack, fire, wedges, stud)

Saturday 17th
Bad news following the washout on Wednesday: Carpo is concerned that there are signs of a crack in one corner of the foundation ring. This was the reason that Foremarke Hall was failed - that loco seems to have a leak from a foundation ring rivet that could imply a crack. However, on 2807 there is no sign of a water leak. A second opinion on Thursday suggested that there was grooving, but no crack; a third opinion said that there is a small crack. Nevertheless, we now have to await an inspection from the GWSR’s insurance chappie before we can proceed. If he says there’s a crack that needs fixing, it’s “game over” for 2807 and we’re straight into 10 year overhaul (early)! He could demand an NDT on the area, which would be a further delay and continued uncertainty. Not good.

It was a rather warm day (!), so we appreciated the loco being inside the shed. David began with reassembling the gauge frame. This has to be dismantled at each washout; the glass and rubbers are changed, and the throughways into the boiler checked for clear.

Bruce had recently discovered that the support for the fire irons was loose. It was only secured with a single bolt anyway, so Bruce applied a forceful spanner … “crack!” The bolt went into a nut that was tack-welded onto the underside of the platework. I say “was” - not knowing his own strength, Bruce had broken the weld!

David took a look and decided that it was a challenge too far to remove the plate and re-weld the nut, so he made a baseplate and tapped it with two holes. He welded this plate in position and bolted the support in place. An altogether more satisfactory solution.

John T began by needle-gunning a rail chair that John G had selected for processing. It was a tad warm for spending the entire day out in the sun, so after completing the one, John adjourned for other things.

Notably, John, Gilbert and I reattached the chain-link fencing to the post that I had concreted in last time. This is just a small section of fence adjacent to our container, but next to the gate into the yard. So, it is very visible to the public, and the undergrowth had become overgrowth which presented a challenge in retrieving the fencing. It took the three of us quite a while to adjust the chain-link and fix it to the post. The end result looks presentable and provides a suitable corner for the Toddington Gardening Section to plant up a small flower bed!

John returned to the needle-gunning and finished a second chair.

Some chairs are in such a state. This 19th century GWR chair, for example, can only have been submerged in mud. I chipped off the clay and stones before it was even fit for being needle-gunned!

Gilbert had complained that when the loco was in motion the back of the boiler was moving sideways. The firebox is not fixed at the back because of expansion. Therefore, there are two wedges (one either side) between firebox and frames to prevent sideways motion. David, Bruce and Gilbert all had an investigate and fiddled with the wedges. The wedges are loose when it is cold. Bruce calculated the expansion when at operating temperature (somewhere in the range 105 - 125 thou’). It is impossible to get both wedges out (without lifting the boiler) and the result is that no action will be taken.

The photo is taken pointing downwards in the corner of the cab, at the side of the reversing lever, with floor panel removed.

Bruce removed the pep (aka “slacking”) pipe valve. As you can see, it is a taper fit. There is a feed from each injector to the rubber hose which can be used for damping down coal dust; washing the cab floor, or (as in my trainspotting days) squirting scalding hot water at lineside children!

As the cab was already full of bodies doing things, Bruce deferred the lapping-in of the valve until next time .… but he couldn’t resist the chance to clamber up onto the boiler again and move the brass bonnet along a bit!

Wednesday 21st
Gilbert tackled the issue that says that one of the glasses on the hydrostatic lubricator was leaking oil. He replaced the seal for that glass. JP was carrying out an “A” exam (mechanical) on our loco, so Gil kept an eye on him!

Bruce finished off the lapping of the pep pipe valve, and refitted that. Then he removed the stud on the fire-hole door mechanism that keeps working loose. His plan is to make a hexagonal end to it such that it can be tightened with a spanner (as opposed to using molegrips).

John G was in painting mode as usual. He wire-brushed the three chairs that John T had needlegunned on Saturday, and then painted their bottoms. While wielding a brush, Bruce pointed him at the new bracket that David had made to fix the tool support.

I had inadvertently volunteered to make an inventory of the machines in the GWSR workshop so that we know who is authorised to use what, and perhaps find out how frequently some of the kit is used.

After lunch, we continued to tidy up the parcel of ground adjacent to our container. I identified a sleeper in the yard which was exactly the right size to use as an edge to the ground, preventing the soil (“soil” you call it!) from falling against the container. Clive manned the fork-lift and positioned the sleeper for us. All it needs now is for the grass/twitch and bramble roots to be dug out, and the gardening group can pretty it up!

Cotswold Steam & Wildlife Preservation Corner
We have seen a pair of pied wagtails diving into the sandbox on 2874. I have sat for minutes, camera at the ready on two occasions! Finally today, with John and Bruce watching too, I was able to get a shot of one of the wagtails pacing up & down the running board before deciding that it was safe to dive into the sandbox hole.

There are now two bowls - food and water - on the running board to save them having to fly off in search.


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