Sunday 16 March 2014

Maintenance Update (siphon, die block)

Update from Colin:

Saturday 8th
"The siphon moved into the barn about 11am . We had already cut a new post and painted the new side panels and very nice they look.

Once in the barn we stripped all the tatty sheets that had been put on; gave some of the worse ones the carriage and wagon for body covers (for coaches).

I got up the ladder to examine the end of the coach and found it to be full of nails, screws, rot, so I took it off and we will make a new one for both ends, all in all a good day." Colin Bennett

Wednesday 12th
Gil & Bruce were in a conflab when I arrived.  They were comparing our expansion link and die block dimensions to those on a diagram.  Of concern was the width of the die block - specifically, the thickness of the two plate (either side of the brass bit). The ones on it are less than 3/8" (fitted in BR days).  But the brass bit is too wide for the expansion link width.  hence, skimming some off each side of the brass bit means that the side bits could be made thicker.  Should they be?  It would appear that they should be 1/2", and after skimming, they could be (without fouling or seizing anything!).

Bruce was dismantling the test cocks from the water gauge … except that one wouldn't!  The internal packing seems to have caused the tap to jam with the nut underneath.  Turn the tap, and the nuts turns in sympathy!

I cleaned one SR chair and then painted 13 black bottoms.  It was too cold and foggy to risk putting a second coat on the tender buffer beam, so I went home after lunch.

Today's rumour:  (actually, Bruce said…) a black tender is being delivered, but being Race Day, the car park is full, including several coaches!  I didn't notice it when I left, so maybe it went away again?

Saturday 15th

David was first to arrive, and was welding a die holder back together.  This is a thing in which you fit one of those dies that cuts a thread (i.e. nothing to do with the die block that he, Bruce & Gil are playing with!).  One of its handles had dropped off (and previously been soldered back on, apparently - hardly efficacious!).

Bruce & Gil soon arrived and began discussing the die block and expansion link sizes and clearances.  David also joined in, and I think that by lunch time they had decided on what dimensions to use!

Dixie came, too, and when he went to put his shoes on, he commented: "What's all this in my shoe?"  Morris appears to have been making camp in them and was making it quite comfortable in there!  Bruce made a comment (that I shalln't repeat) about mice liking cheese.  :-)

Bruce & Gil toddled off to Carpo's office to photocopy the drawing with dimensions upon it.  The office was locked, but they key is in a well-known place.  Gil opened up and they made a photocopy.  As they left, Bruce pulled the door shut and asked Gil where the key was (in order to return it to its safe place).  Gil had left the key in the office on the desk!  Bruce went on the prowl for a second key (by which to open the door and retrieve the first key) … there isn't a second key!  Lucky for him, Gil had escaped by this time, because the only Plan B is to climb up to a window, dangle through it and release the Yale latch!

Gil didn't reappear until after lunch!  He and Dixie had gone to Winchcombe to work on the siphon.  He returned with a well-worn bracket, asking David to build it back up with weld (please).

The F&W (under the new management of Lynn) had sold 4 boot scrapers, so I got stuck in to applying a base coat on the 13 chairs whose bottoms I had blacked on Woden's Day.  I now am faced with a dilemma: I need to needle-gun a new lot of chairs; Carpo has declared our compressor OOS until it has been inspected.  So, my thought was to do a Risk Assessment: What is the risk of (a) the compressor blowing up, or (b) Carpo finding out that I had switched it back on and used it?  It was obvious to me that the latter was the greater risk and not the former …


Oh, look!  There's a black tender in the yard.


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