Wednesday 11 November 2015

Maintenance Update (can, kettle, tap, solder)

Wednesday 11th
Well, we were expecting to have an awful lot to do in this one day, in order to get ready for a steam test tomorrow … When I arrived at 10.00, all of the inspection hole plugs had been fitted; all of the mud-hole doors had been fitted; even the grate had been replaced in the firebox.  I suspect that someone had been very busy yesterday … possible until late in the evening?

David came expecting to be hard at it all day, and couldn't find anything to do, so he painted an oil can.  So expertly was it finished, that he was given a second one to paint!

John T and Bruce started fitting the safety valves, and David joined in on that. Note the spacer wedged in above the spring - this is to stop the tightening at the point at which the valve blows off at the correct pressure (or not, as the case may be).  The rest of us were almost at a loss knowing what to do!  Gilbert fitted the ferrules round the plugs in the cab, and replaced the small section of floor.  I put the kettle on!

Carpo popped into the TPO to tell us that the boiler inspector was most impressed with our loco on Monday; gave it a clean bill of health, and gave his opinion that the boiler was good for lasting out the 10 year 'ticket'.  Good news.

At 11.00 we held a 2 minute silence in the TPO (apart from the noise of the kettle).

John G tackled the rail chairs, applying an enamel top coat to 8.  John T assembled the gauge frame (in the cab) and fitted it.  At this stage, the boiler was filling with water, and John H [Loco Dept] was keeping an eye on the level for us.

Having just about run out of things to do, Bruce offered to lap-in the safety valves on 4270.  His offer was eagerly snapped up!  David then assisted Bruce, and once lapped, they fitted the valves.

Bruce had had great trouble removing the safety valve bonnet from 4270, and asked John T to run a tap through the bolt holes to clean them up.  This he did, and then checked how much clearance there is between the side tanks and cladding by dropping a tap down there.  Gilbert checked below, and sure enough it fell right through.  :-)

After lunch, I watched over John H and Martin C [both Loco Dept] as they carried out all of the pre-lighting checks and then lit a warming fire in 2807.

David had previously taken an oil can home to re-solder where it had been leaking.  Today, he ended up taking another one home to repair similarly!

John T ran out of things to do, so cut off bolts from some of the rail chairs in the pile.  John G noticed that the Flag & Whistle had only one boot scraper left on the trolley, so he & I restocked that.  Bruce & David discussed various options for replacing the copper pipe between Y-splitter and condensing coil, where there is a very sharp bend (that has now split).  Looking at that in 4270, the Y-splitter is fitted directly onto the steam fountain (aka header), whereas ours has a sort-of adapter between them (hence making it closer to the cab roof, with less room for a comfortable bend in the pipe).

Martin C & John H banked up the fire, and we called it a day.

Thursday is planned to be a steam test.  Assuming all goes well, 2807 will be in service on Friday and Saturday conveying race-goers twixt Todders and Cheltenham.  So, there will be nothing (much) for us to do on Saturday, but next Wednesday we will position her in the shed ready to commence winter maintenance … and address the pony truck enigma!


Saturday 7 November 2015

Maintenance Update (chairs, springs, doors, plugs)

Saturday 31st
John T and Bruce tackled more boot scrapers (as there was nothing to do on the loco).  John needle-gunned and wire-brushed six chairs; Bruce applied top coat to eight that were already in the production line, and then slapped black on John's six bottoms.

Wednesday 4th November
Gil, aided by Jeff L [Loco Dept], removed most of the mud-hole doors and boiler wash-out plugs.
John P & Martin C [both Loco Dept] removed the fire bars from the grate.
Bruce stripped and lapped the safety valves.
All of this was in preparation for a boiler inspection next Monday.

During the morning, I needle-gunned and wire-brushed three rail chairs that were boot scrapers back in for refurbishment.  After lunch, I was giving Martin a lesson in lighting-up.  It was a bit tricky, as most locos had had their grates removed, and some locos kept moving about!  What we decided in the end was that next Wednesday 2807 will need a warming fire lighting in readiness for a steam test on the Thursday … Martin can do that!
After the lesson, I returned to the TPO to black the bottoms of the three that I had prepared, plus pick out the gold lettering on six that Bruce had top-coated.

Saturday 7th
John T cleaned the wash-out plugs and the mud-hole doors.  Then he applied primer/undercoat to 7 rail chairs.  Finally, towards the end of the day, when the last few plugs were out, he cleaned these, too.

Gil removed a small cab floor panel in order to gain access to a ferrule that was fouling a wash-out plug (that needed to come out!).

Bruce & Gil cleaned up the safety valve components, ferrules and gauge frame.

The plugs inside the smokebox were determined not to come out, so Ben, Cliff and Andy B [all Loco Dept] tackled these tough ones.  Even then, two plugs are still refusing to come out!  … one in the smokebox and one on top of the boiler, I believe.  Let's hope the Boiler Inspector will let us off those two!!!

After lunch, Bruce was commandeered to help with 4270 … and Gil got swept up by it too.  They assisted in removing plugs and mud-hole doors, but couldn't remove them all because the boiler had not yet been drained.  In fact, because the loco was in the shed and not near a drain, they had to manually bar the loco along to reach the drain!  Bruce clambered up to remove 4270's safety valves, too.  Their brass bonnet is held down using round-headed brass screws, and one of them ….
… proved too tough for Bruce to undo on his own!

Anyway, I think we are pretty much ready for the inspection on Monday, now.

Family chores held me back today, so I only did the afternoon shift.  I assembled 4 boot scrapers, sanded and stained 10 brushes and finished off applying primer/undercoat to the last two chairs in the production line.

Loco Allocations. 2807 is scheduled for the November race trains with No 4270 as a backup.
Nos 5542 and 7820 are scheduled for the Santa Specials.