Bruce brought his homework in. The tricky pin that was supposed to prevent the ring from turning in the gradient pin turned out to be trickier than expected. When Bruce made a replacement pin to fit the original hole (O), he discovered that the hole was not in line with the corresponding hole (H) in the gradient pin. No wonder the old pin did not work. So, Bruce had to drill a new hole (N) for a new pin. Now it does work!
Surprising though it may seem, John T (henceforth known as John-Le-Measurer), Bruce, Gil and David spent all morning and some of the afternoon measuring again! Gil was quite keen that the measurement that he gives to Andrew for machining new bushes are absolutely complete and correct.
John G began by cleaning up the covers for the ends of the valve rods. After stripping the remains of paint that was beneath the grime, John repainted them both.
David removed the glasses from the gauge frame for John to clean and repaint. It was showing its age - I imagine that the heat and steam attack the inside more than the outside.
Loco department chaps set-to, applying bitumen paint to the coal bunker on the tender.
Clive also organised a gang plus the fork-lift to get the spare springs and fire bars off the back of the tender. We normally send spares away when 2807 goes visiting. They are heavy beggars to get up & down from the tender!
Then Clive, Jeff, Pete, et al., gave me a hand to remove the rear brake hangers. I cleaned up their bottoms ready for welding on rail guards. You can see what a pretty rough fabrication they were to begin with!
From the re-measuring, Bruce discovered that the front left gradient pin (the one where the wheel hub has an unexplained recess) was longer than it should have been. Not that that was the cause for the recess. Bruce moved on to refit the J-cock, but could not persuade the pipe connections to line up! He gave up in the end and will retry on Saturday.
At the end of the day, P-Way delivered two 8ft lengths of rail for a customer. Stefan is turning his garden into a railway museum! He’s extending his track now - probably got the idea from GWSR extending to Broadway!
Rob was keen to get inside the firebox, so he and Alistair removed all of the fire bars to gain access to the foundation ring rivets. They then cleaned the surface around the rivets and first row of stay nuts. Then they applied a coat of heat-resistant paint. This product can cope with up to 750°, and they said that you could still see traces of that which was applied last year.
Steve assisted Rob in getting the bars back in, later in the day when the paint was dry. They then discovered that one of the side double-bars had a fracture. Clive will order us a replacement.
Stuart [Loco Dept] finished applying bitumen to the tender;
Meanwhile, Steve repelled all boarders …… while preparing the rear section for bitumen.
John T cleaned up the gauge frame, de-rusting the innards, in particular. The components then had a coat of black Deproma, and the glasses had a wipe over.
While in the mood, John went on to clean various other bits that we had recently taken off the loco.
Finally, he re-fitted the vacuum gauge in the cab. It was not safe to fit the pressure gauges, because Bruce has not fixed his J-cock yet!
Bruce spent most of the day working on the guard irons. It took a while to carefully fettle the ends of the brake hangers such that their radii matched that of the newly fabricated guard irons.
Once they were a good fit, Rob (having a break from being inside the firebox) welded the holding bracket onto the hangers.
Gil & I (independently) seemed to spend time organising people. Gil discovered that the new bush material dropped straight through the end of the rod, so needs to procure a larger diameter piece. He has set in motion the fabrication of a smaller bush.
Fred finished fitting the LED lighting inside the siphon van at Winchcombe, and then joined us for lunch. Having an additional pair of willing hands, I set him on painting brushes in readiness for more boot scrapers.
I’d had an email order for a boot scraper, originally saying, “I was looking to get one of your upcycled boot scrapers - ideally with 1948 date.” After an email exchange with GWSR (rather than me) she added, “I think Southern would be great - any colour is fine.” I replied that SR rail chairs are rarer than hens’ teeth around here, so I would go in search of 1948. Today, P-Way were working down by the head-shunt, so I popped along for a butcher’s. Blow me, there on a pallet of chairs was an SR albeit from 1923! So, I advised the lady of my find, but she replied, “I'd ideally prefer the year, rather than the region.” Back to searching through the pile of chairs!
Oh, and embarrassment of all embarrassments: Graham came along hoping to collect his 1949 boot scraper. I’d forgotten that he’d ordered one … and had sold it to someone else! 😞