Tuesday 30 August 2016

Maintenance Update (wiring, metal, storm, tender)

Monday 22nd
Six hours overtime! Nigel BH came to install the electrics in the container. Surprisingly, the easy part was feeding the 21 yard armoured cable underneath the six containers. Yes, the power comes in at container #1, and we are container #6. Nigel has some rods for cleaning drains, and these fed through. Then the cable was fixed to the end, and the rods pulled out. We had to do it in two stages because of the length. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get into container #1 to connect up the power because the keys to #1 were in South Devon. So, we pressed on mounting fitments and designing the conduit & cable runs inside our container. Most of our cable was illegal - being the sensible red/black pairing rather than the blue/brown that was forced upon us by the EU. So I had to bin that. Sadly, all of the fluorescent tubes from the TPO had been tossed in the skip, so I’ll have to buy some new ones. By end-of-play, we had not got as far as I had hoped.

Tuesday 23rd
Nigel was again toiling away in the container. He assured me that it gets a touch warm inside when the sun is beaming down. There’s no air flow. Nevertheless, he continued by fixing up conduit for a ring main and then threading the cables through. He put up two 5ft lights over the benches because our old 4ft ones don’t adapt to conduit.

I put in 3 hours overtime, and lent a hand. All I could show for it was the battens for the third light which will be along the centre line towards the back. Inside the van (turns out to be a tool van, converted from a Toad brake van) I struggled to clamber over the piled-up boxes of tombola prizes, FLA books and Dapol 00 wagons to reach the packs of fluorescent tubes. Guess what? They are 3ft and 4ft. No 5ft at all.

Wednesday 24th
Much discussion took place between Gilbert, Bruce and Carpo - all about the cross-head and the oil that rapidly disappears. A simple outline of the situation is depicted below.

There’s a reservoir of oil that is filled through the hole that has a cork in it. There is also a feed down to a felt pad that restricts the flow of oil onto the slide bar below it. In theory, when oil is poured into the hole, some goes down to the felt pad, but most will flow into the reservoir. When the loco is in motion, oil splashes out of the reservoir, over a barrier and down the feed tube.

Gil noticed that the filler tube has been replaced - don’t know by whom, or exactly when (but since she has been operational). It used to be broken at the rim, and corks may have been flung out; hence someone “fixed” it for us, by removing the old filler and welding in a new one.

If you look carefully down the filler, it looks as though there may be spurious bits of metal. It does not look to be a clean tube. Is the filler tube too long; or is it fouling the entrance to the reservoir? Bruce adds: “It is not obvious where the tube ends so I could not measure it.”

Bruce did a test fill of the reservoir, and discovered that “it only took about two tablespoon full's of oil”. This suggests that there is no oil getting into the reservoir; it just goes down onto the pad. This will rapidly soak through the pad, and then there is no more to continue the lubrication (which ought to last all day!).

Meanwhile, Nigel pressed on with connecting the circuit up to the power source. John G painted some brushes and the bottom of the one rail chair that is in the boot scraper production line!

Saturday 27th
Do we open up the oil reservoir, or do we not? That was the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to send 2807 to NYMR and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against this sea of troubles …

In the end, we decided to bite the bullet and cut into the reservoir. First, we cut the filler tube off.

Then we cut a rectangle in the top of the reservoir and bent the flap up. {I say “we”; actually, John T and I were trying to get the boot scraper production line going again}. With the reservoir exposed, it was instantly obvious what the problem was. When the cross-heads were last white-metalled, the white metal was allowed to flow through the oil feed tube {bear in mind the crosshead would be upside down to do this} and into the reservoir, thereby blocking the reservoir completely.

David and Bruce, assisted also by Steve [Loco Dept], and watched by many {I’ll avoid their embarrassment by not publishing the photo} drilled this white metal out. It took all afternoon.

There were masses of metal shavings. We broke two drill bits doing it. The reservoir was absolutely full of white metal shavings.

I brought the hoover and John T brought 240V cable, and we used the hoover to suck/blow white metal out of the reservoir.

Finally (after 4.30 pm) the reservoir was clean and the oil ways clear. Bruce dropped some oil into the filler tube and we noticed that it did soak through the felt, slowly.

So, on Wednesday, David will weld up the flap and weld the filler tube back on, and we shall all feel a lot happier about 2807’s lubrication of the slide bars!

While this was taking place, Brian was assisted by Sean [Loco Dept] in fitting the spark arrester into the smokebox. The cinder arresters were fitted to the damper doors, too.

Fred popped up from Winchcombe to seek assistance with the axleboxes on the siphon van. Brian was despatched to help there.

There was an incredible storm just after 2pm. Three of us were inside the container at the time, as rain lashed down and lightening flashed around us. Power went off, briefly. But we thought that we were safe inside the container, because it should act like a Faraday Cage; and anyway, it is earthed!

Eventually, the rain subsided and play resumed.

Gilbert and Jamie [Loco Dept] weighed the loco and tender - something that NYMR had asked to be done.

That’s Jamie on the floor reading the weight - it looks to be about 9 tons. Gilbert is in the pit beneath the loco. His task is to insert a feeler gauge between wheel and rail, which shows that the whole wheel is being lifted (and hence weighed correctly).

When I get the weights, I’ll let you know what they are.

Verbal feedback from Winchcombe is that an inspection of the axleboxes on the siphon van showed that they are looking good. Hopefully some photos next time


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