Sunday 27 April 2014

Maintenance Update (siphon, bootscrapers, Tyseley)

Tuesday 22nd
Message received from Fred:
"We have agreed a date with the C&W Dept. for the Siphon G re-roofing and it is May 3rd.  We have been thankful for the dry conditions in "The Barn" and their help in getting the Siphon ready for this.  So it is now crunch time as they need the space for their own work again.

We would like some volunteers for this who would work alongside some of their chaps who have done it before on the Monster, which is 10 feet longer than the Siphon. Thanking you in anticipation."

I popped in to Winchcombe and Todders.  Slapped an undercoat on 12 chairs.

Wednesday 23rd
I popped in to Todders; slapped a top coat on 12 chairs.  Tony G called in to collect a GWR boot scraper.

Thursday 24th
I popped down to Todders while it rained, and did the lettering on the 12 chairs.  Delivered some new needles for our needle-gun (didn't fit them, though).

Saturday 26th
Wartime Weekend, and as we don't like walking all the way from the field to the yard, I suspect that no one attended.

Colin reports:
" I went down to the siphon sat to help Gilbert (and had to go past a check point to get in) with laying out the cloth for the roof so it flattens out  before the glue is put on.  We thought we needed 2 scaffolding towers so I moved them into the barn and assembled them then realised that they wouldn't  fit down the passageway just then an offer by C/W came along and said they had 3 tier towers we could use so I took ours down again.

In between this we had a visit from some reenactors who had missed their train and were being shown round.  They were most interested in our plans for the coach and when I gave them the pictures of what it looked like they were very most taken with them.

I move all of Rogers chairs into one pile and cleaned up where the siphon had been before as we expect to be in a different place when we come out of the barn.

Gilbert had finished the corner bracket so there is only one small insert to do on the roof.

The last thing we did was to assist David from C/w to fit the cloth on top of the coach.  This went on quite well although at one stage it looked too short, once it was put in position it fitted nicely.  You can see how long the coach is while doing this bit and it will take a lot of work to glue it down.

All in all a good day and all this in only 4 hours


Sunday 27th
While on crossing duty at Winchcombe, I was told that the Turkish 8F had limped home on Saturday afternoon with … a broken spring !!!

Update from Tyseley:
" I regret to report that we have got a little behind with this project, partly because the standard axle brasses which we had ordered, proved to be an annoyingly small amount too short for this application as the boss faces on your wheelsets have obviously seen a number of remachinings which mean that your boxes require somewhat longer axle bearings to make up for this. We have managed to obtain a further supply of 4 and there are 4 more due on Monday. 4 boxes are complete with their brasses, and the guide faces should be completed today with the first wheels going back in Monday/Tuesday."


Sunday 20 April 2014

Maintenance Update (bootscrapers, siphon, die block, Tyseley)

Wednesday 16th
Just me, today.  I got on with boot scrapers - cleaned & prepared six, and then painted their bottoms.

Just as I was packing up, John Mayell turned up ready to help do some boot scrapers!  Excellent timing.  :-)

Tony Goddard called in to buy a 1911 GWR boot scraper and to order a GWR 1933 one for next week.

The Coffee Pot had sold 4 and the F&W had sold 2.

Colin B. also popped in, but only to collect a pressie from Stuart.  BTW: Stuart has now moved to Lancashire.  He will continue running the 100 Club, but we now have no-one to coordinate sales & stall activities !!!

Colin reports:
" Ann and I went to help on the siphon on Weds.  We had a really positive day Ann painting the outside of the ends of the coach . Me helping Fred remake the back corner post we found some rot in the solebar so were forced to grid out the bolts but it was not as bad as it looked and should be easy to fix.

I also helped Gilbert in fixing the support brackets which hold the sides in, and that  means that we are quite close for the roof fixing just one new bit being made by C/W to go.  All in all a good day

By the way the idea from Stu about internal fittings and dummies for siphon I should have said we were going to beg or borrow the stuff we need rather than pay overpriced antique type set ups.  Just thought I should say that.

After work the dog was platting his legs by the time we got home.  All these people on the road should be stopped! "

Bruce commented:
"I was at home doing my homework - making the spacers for the safety valves.  I finished them off on Thursday".

Wednesday's rumour:  They've just changed another spring on the Turkish 8F.

Thursday 17th
I nipped down to Winchcombe and acquired half-a-dozen Midland Railway chairs, circa 1900.  Took them to Todders on the workbench, in anticipation.

Gave a guided tour to three people, one being a P&O advocate up visiting from Kent.  No kind donation received.  :-(

Friday 18th
I compiled a new 2807 noticeboard for Toddington yard.

Saturday 19th
Gil passed through, principally to deliver the machined die block (the photo hardly shows how sparkly it is!).  David is going to take this home and get two side-plates made for it - laser cut.  He's also going to make the four rivets to sandwich the block between the plates.

Meanwhile, David cleaned an injector drain; made the split pins & nuts for the lifting links, and then spent the rest of the day playing with a tapered pin whose end had been abused to the point where there was extremely little metal between the hole for its split pin and the end of the nutty bit.

Dave decided to add weld to the top, building up the metal.  A five-minute job, of course, that needed all of the welding gear to be got out and set up.  Much welding and slag-chipping too place and then he could angle-grind the weld into something resembling a circle with a flat(-tish) surface.  The weld, of course, had bunged up the hole for the split pin.  So, David attempted to drill it out again.  This nearly worked, but the drill bit broke .. and the hole appeared to go sideways (not straight-through)!  David decided that the only solution was to angle-grind a wedge down to the hole, and weld it all up!  This did show that there may have been two holes originally - one bearing slightly to the left (as it were).  So, with a big V in the top, David began welding it again!

By the time he had welded it up, chipped off more slag, angle-ground it to shape, and drilled a proper hole … it was time to go!  But we all had a cuppa first.

Bruce had finally decided on the optimum hole-cutter and density of felt for making the lubrication pads for the eccentrics.  Thoughtfully, he made lots of pads rather than just two.  He finished off making the mesh dome (that improves the flow of oil behind the pads).  He'd also bought and brought some O-ring seals for the injectors, and fitted those.

I took the new noticeboard, fitted it in its case, and the chaps assisted me in erecting it in the car park.

Thereafter, I prepared six Midland Railway chairs 1899 ~ 1901 that P.Way had found for us.

On the way out, Bruce spoke with John Whatsisname, who just happened to have been at Tyseley yesterday.  They are still working on the centre two axles, but the axlebox slots in the frames have been squared up and aligned, and they are white-metalling the bearing surfaces of the boxes.  It doesn't look as though 2807 will be back with us by end of April, though!

We all agreed to take a week off (next weekend being the Wartime Weekend, and car parking is on the field, only, which is much too far to walk!).


Sunday 13 April 2014

Maintenance Update (felt pads, Tyseley, siphon)

Wednesday 9th
Only Bruce and myself (apart from a brief visit from Gil … up until he'd had his cuppa & biscuits!).

Roy Gamlin did call in and bring three more boxes of books for the FLA stall.  He adjourned for a necessary relief, and wasn't seen again!  He may still be stuck in the loo, for all I know!

Bruce is trying to get felt pads made to the exact size for properly lubricating the eccentrics.  Inside the "big ring" is a little hole (arrowed) which sits below a lubrication point.

In the hole should be a sort-of mesh that enables oil to spread over the top of .. a felt pad.  If the pad is too loose, the oil quickly flows past it and runs out; if it is too tight, the oil struggles to get through it (because of it being compressed); similarly, if the felt is too dense it impedes the flow …

It appears that the ideal diameter of the pad is 38mm.  Bruce has been using hole saws to cut pads (there's a row of them in the photo, of different sizes).  He has now almost a perfect fit.  He has obtained felt that is just thick enough (it must lightly rub on the bearing surface), and less dense than that which we had.  Furthermore, Bruce's logic says that a flat gauze does not allow oil to flow sideways across its surface, and hence the oil is not evenly distributed over the pad's surface.  So, using a large washer, Bruce persuaded the gauze to become concave.  Provided you fit this the right way round, it will hold the felt away from the base of the hole such that oil can spread over the surface of the felt.

Apart from painting rail chairs, I also painted Ls, Rs and Fs on the spacers for the safety valves - they need to be replaced in their correct positions.

Saturday 12th
Bruce reports:

" I was on my own for the first part of the day so I started by fettling the metal inserts for the lubrication system on the eccentric straps.

I then started cleaning some of the injector parts.

After tea break Steve arrived and we put the world to rights, we then carried on cleaning more injector parts.

Early afternoon we decided to call it a day, so Steve departed for Winchcombe and I took my homework home where I started making the spacers for the new square section safety valve springs."

Tyseley - David visited last weekend and reported
" I received the usual warm welcome and was plied with coffee (and the offer of biscuits). Bob Meanley was initially busy with another person, but I was soon taken to view progress. They have a special grinding jig for the horn guides, based on the one originally used at Swindon. This was set up through the driving axle guides and has a long bar that goes right through to ensure squareness across the frame. A similar bar is secured through the intermediate driving guides in readiness. The driving guides had been partially ground and they reported that they were not only tapered from top to bottom, but were also not square across the frames. The aim is to remove the minimum of material to ensure parallelism and squareness in all planes. When complete each axle box will be machined to suit its corresponding horn guide.

A problem will arise when grinding the right hand intermediate horn guide, in that the step will be in the way. This, along with the vacuum pump, will need to be removed. They suggested that it is reattached with fitted bolts, as it would have to be removed again should a future regrind be needed. The bolts will be fitted in stages, some being fitted while some rivets remain in place, to ensure the true position is not lost. It was interesting to note, by the presence of rivet head witness marks on the running board, that at some point the step has been moved back about an inch.

The gunmetal castings for the bearings have been obtained and six are machined with the white metal added. See the photo (of six of them) and one which shows the serrated edge, which helps to key in the white metal. They now just need to be machined to suit each individual axle journal. The remaining two are only partially machined."

Siphon van
I have had an email from Colin concerning the projected contents of the van when its overhaul is complete.  Briefly, I believe the plan is to have one half kitted out as a fruit/milk van, and the other end as a hospital van.  This covers the two intended uses of the siphon van at the date of construction.

Therefore, we are on the look-out for:
1) old-style fruit/veg boxes;
2) milk churns
3) two dummies (manikins) that can be dressed up as wounded soldiers.
4) wartime-style bed covers (khaki blanket, etc.) and mattress (palliasse)

Can anyone help in this regard, please? 


Sunday 6 April 2014

Maintenance Update (felt pads, siphon, Tyseley)

Wednesday 2nd April
It started with me all on my own!  So, I painted the (silver) lettering on some black rail chairs; fitted brushes, and boxed them up.

Mike arrived and, without any pressure or hint, volunteered to finish off the bitumen painting on the tender.  The tender being in the shed does help.

Finally, I slapped an undercoat on some more chairs, including a BR(S).

I needed to borrow Gil's right hand, so I retired to Winchcombe and caught him in the act of squeezing into a corner of the siphon van … probably heard me coming!  Hence the first photo montage shows what they are getting up to - him, Fred & Ray.  Gil said that the wooden edges and ends are almost complete, ready to fit the roofing felt.

Saturday 5th
Bruce was deeply focussed upon making circular felt pads to fit the eccentrics - these control the flow of oil, so have to fit correctly; too tight = no oil; too loose = floods and runs out of oil quickly!  Bruce was testing using a hole-cutter.  After much experimenting, he got the method to work, but the size of the pad was a shade small.  What he needs is a 40mm (outside diameter) cutter, which would leave a 38mm circular pad (i.e. cut out of the felt material).

Later, Bruce decided to begin cleaning the loco's injectors.  Also, they have a seal at one end which Bruce wants to work out exactly what it should be made of and what size.

I was just slapping paint on rail chairs, as usual.  I also applied a coat of varnish to our display/noticeboard and took home the inner board to re-arrange the display for this year.

Mike came along, yearning to finish off the can of bitumen paint by coating everything left on the tender … except, that is, the screens each side of the coal chute, which need to be painted black gloss.  He may have started on that, but I couldn't find him when I departed.

I called in at Winchcombe, where Fred & Gil were beavering away on the siphon.  While we were nattering, John & Jon Giles arrived for a butcher's.

I believe that David popped in there to check on progress.  As far as I can tell (from Gil), work is on schedule (i.e. for completion by end of April).