Sunday 22 April 2018

Maintenance Update (clack, gauge, fire, connector)

Wednesday 18th
Bruce tackled issue 14 (flange lubricator not contacting wheel). Paraphrasing Bruce’s comment, ‘It took less time to insert a new graphite block than it did for the driver to log this issue!’

Bruce had dug out some new top clack castings from our spares pile. They needed quite a lot of work doing on them to bring them up to spec, apparently. So, Bruce machined the parts at home and on Wednesday replaced the existing top clacks with these new ones. [Photo depicts path of water from injector up to the top clacks (red arrow)]

John G got stuck into boot scraper work. He noticed that the F&W had none left to sell, so re-stocked them with three more.

Gil climbed into the waterproof gear and cleaned some of the underneath of the loco. Bearing in mind the ambient temperature (~25°C) that was brave of him! Thereafter, he played with the hydrostatic lubricator. There was a problem with a rubber seal and also the regulator tap needed re-packing.

A Loco Dept chap cleaned the running boards during the morning, but then had to do it again after lunch … this is a problem of the shed being both a running shed and a restoration shed, methinks!

Saturday 21st
David tackled issue 15. He changed the glass and rubbers in the gauge frame, and replaced the Klinger seal in the drain tap. It appears that there are two types of Klinger sleeve - one with oval eyelets and one with round eyelets. Some of the eyelets are loose, and David thinks one was actually missing from the sleeve in our gauge frame drain tap.

David later adjusted the ejector handle to make it vertical when in the “off” position. It is normal practice to have handles vertically aligned when “off” (apart from said gauge frame drain tap!). However, they are mostly on taper shanks and after having a few hefty bashes by the crew, tend to slip round a little.

Finally, David cleaned the running board yet again! [Photo: just look at the crap that settled on our loco today!]

Bruce was measuring the blow-down valve pipe. We plan to fit a ‘standard’ fire-hose connector to make it an easy and speedy method of filling the boiler. Needless to say, the pipe and the hose connector have different diameters! The pipe is quite low to the ground, too, because it would normally discharge steam into a pit. So, the pipe will need shortening.

Blow-down valve pipe
fire-hose connector
diagram of fixing hose connector to pipe

Bruce, John T, Rob and I turned to boot scraper production, because the cafes had sold 7 during the week, so we need to build up stocks once again. Bruce was on painting; John angle-grinding, wirebrushing and bolt cutting; Rob manned the needlegun; and I was painting the lettering and fitting brushes. The production line had 9 black bottoms; 4 primed tops, plus 6 finished articles. P-Way delivered us a pile more rail chairs, fortunately.

All issues are now resolved apart from the pin-hole in the injector steam pipe, which we shall tackle in due course. It is not a serious leak, and the pipe is “fun” to remove, and even more fun to align the top & bottom pieces either side of the leaking sleeve!

Sunday: F&W sold 4 more boot scrapers! I popped down to restock both cafes (once again). I also applied a top coat to the four that Bruce primed on Saturday.


Saturday 14 April 2018

Maintenance Update (token, frost, graphite, frame)

Tuesday 10th
I felt the urge to go to Todders and stock up both cafés with boot scrapers. It just happened that 2807 passed by …

Note that token exchange is the fireman’s most fun task. (S)he has to hand over the token for the section just traversed and simultaneously collect the token for the section ahead … without dropping either! Dropping that which you are handing in is mildly embarrassing, but the signalman will only mutter under his breath. Dropping the one you are supposed to have collected is grossly embarrassing, because the driver has to stop the train while you walk back and find it!

Wednesday 11th
With 2807 in service, there was only one thing to do … and it was not warm! Frost crept over my needle gun, Bruce was smartening up chairs with the angle grinder and wire brush, while John G was painting in the warm!

Six black bottoms & five green tops completed.

Saturday 14th
Loco roster is all changed (again); 2807 now in service: April 14th & 15th; 23rd to 26th, 28th & 29th.

Bruce, John T and I pressed on with boot scraper production (the F&W had sold 3). Fred & Gil popped in for lunch then buzzed off again! They had been doing some painting on the siphon van.

Only two new issues raised during the week (both by Driver IB on 8th):

14: Driver’s side flange lubricator loose / no contact with flange.
{This is probably that the graphite block has worn out and needs a new one inserting}

15: Gauge frame intermittent leak from bottom nut.
{Normally this is cured by tightening the nut a little bit! It compresses a rubber seal.}

2807 should be having a rest now until wartime weekend, so Bruce may be able to get on with replacing the clack valves. We want to fit a standard fire hose connector to the blow-down valve for faster filling of the boiler (when cold!). Also the leaking injector pipe could do with mending.


Saturday 7 April 2018

Maintenance Update (brakes, rail, seats, faces)

Wednesday 4th
Bruce had barely arrived before he was asked to release the brakes on 2807 because they wanted to move it (and couldn’t!). Apparently, the piston in the vacuum cylinder had stuck up at the top, holding the loco brakes on! Bruce found a suitable length of wood; wedged it above the actuating bar and heaved the piston back down. Once started, it dropped easily.

The loco was then hauled out and the ashpan was cleaned by Loco dept chaps. We needed her over a pit, anyway, to tackle the jobs on the issues list:

5 pep pipe leaking - Bruce had fixed this last Wednesday, but not signed-off. So that was easy.

6 Driver side, under cab side, main steam pipe to injector leaking at joint/sleeve. Can’t fix it until the loco is not required, or on standby, because of having to remove the pipe, re-braze the sleeve, and fit it back together. This might be more than a one-day job.

8 Gauge frame drain-down tap out of line (vertical) when closed. Bruce & Gil tested this, but it seems OK now. It is possible that Mark Y fixed it. It required a new Klinger sleeve within the tap, and Mark had said that he had some and that he also has a gadget for fitting them.

10 Both clack valves passing-by steam. Bruce’s homework was to play with a new pair that we had in our spares pile. He measured then against the drawing and adjusted them for clearances. He also made a groove in the surface, which seems to give a better seal. All that remains is a hole to be drilled for the fitting of a c-spanner. Then he can replace the clack valves.

11 Fireman’s side flange lubricator spring broken. New coil spring required. JC supplied a new coil spring and Bruce fitted it. Arrows point to the graphite lubricator rubbing on the wheel flange and the other end where the spring goes in.

12 Loco brakes now require adjustment. Gilbert and Nigel [Loco Dept] were left to adjust the loco brakes. There’s a “bottle screw” with a “left-hand” thread on one end, and a proper thread on the other. By turning the “bottle” it lengthens/shortens the brake rods. That’s Nigel wielding the King Dick.

13 Tender brakes now require adjustment. More than 8 turns on handbrake. Bruce examined the brake handle and found that it only requires 6 turns to apply the brakes. A second opinion was sought, and the result was that the tender brakes are declared fine! Issue rejected.

Since folks were busily fixing problems, and the cafés have been selling boot scrapers like mad over Easter, John G and I dodged the showers to progress some of the chairs in the production line.

Saturday 7th
2807 was in service, so nothing to do but boot scrapers!

Well, apart from Stefan coming to collect the rail, chairs, keys, nuts & bolts that he has acquired from the P-Way Dept for his back garden! Luckily, Stefan had been able to borrow a flat-bed truck, because it is a three-man job lifting each rail. Today, we had Brian and Dixie join Bruce, John T, Gil and myself here, so we easily loaded Stefan’s truck. Except, where was Gil? Gone for a ride!

While waiting for Stefan to arrive, Bruce had spotted that the bottom hinge of the gate leading into the yard had been “modified”, causing the gates not to close properly. Here he is removing the four bolts that hold the hinge to the sleepers. That’s Dixie, John, Brian, and Bruce in the orange with the spanner. 😊 Bruce took it away, prep’ed it and got it welded back together.

Bruce brought his homework in for marking. He has prepared the clack valves, their seats and faces. Note the groove which experience has shown improves the seal. There is also a small hole (almost not visible) into which a c-spanner can be hooked to tighten the pieces.

The weather was not a wet as the Met Office had promised, so boot scraper work commenced! Dixie was painting rail chairs. By end of play, there were six black bottoms plus three green tops.

John was cutting off bolts, angle-grinding off rough edges and wire-brushing chairs during the morning, and then moved on to needle-gunning more chairs during the afternoon.

Bruce joined in, angle-grinding and wire-brushing during the afternoon.

I started the morning with needle-gunning, moving on to fitting brushes and painting after lunch. Four BR(W) / GWR boot scrapers completed plus four LMS / BR top-coated.

Hang on, where was Brian? Gone for a ride!

Typical! Here’s John beavering away with the needle gun, and where is everyone else? Standing looking at the engine!


Tuesday 3 April 2018

Maintenance Update (polishing, connecting, outstanding, Broadway)

Wednesday 27th
Alex and her happy band had already cleaned much of the loco, but there was still some brass and copper than could do with a shine. The trouble was, we had been moved out of the shed into the rain for work to be carried out on the shed lighting! Furthermore, they were pouring concrete all morning just by the track that we were on, which stopped us from moving. Eventually, we were shunted back inside and work began.

Fred started by wiping the rain water off the boiler top so that he could sit up there and polish the brass bonnet.

John G, Bruce and Gilbert all crammed into the cab.

John started around the gauges, polishing everything that would shine. Having moved across the cab, he finally attacked the condensing coil in the cab roof, which appeared to have been painted. If it was paint, it had flaked off (due to the heat, of course) and looked a right mess! So, that had the John-G treatment, too.

Gil fitted extra packing into all five of the sight glass taps on the hydrostatic lubricator. This had been making a mess with its oil, which might have been leaks or it might have been duff glass (too thick walled). In due course, Gil became gopher for Bruce.

Initially, however, Bruce tackled the pep pipe tap that had been dribbling. He lapped that in. Once that was done, he moved on to the next issue - oil feed pipes loose. People had tried tightening their nuts, but to no avail, so Bruce had them off and inserted some copper wire as packing.

Being stuck between the frames beneath the boiler, it is at this point that it is quite handy having a gopher on the outside!

John G ended up finishing the cleaning of the connecting rods.

John T and I were on boot scraper production (in high hopes of flogging a few over Easter). John wire-brushed and angle-ground a couple and then slapped black paint on the bottoms of five.

I attempted to needle-gun one, but there wasn’t enough time between showers to finish it! Rain + rust = brown soup.

Being concerned about the top clack (waterfeed) valves passing steam by, Bruce and Gil went in  search of spares in our pile of pieces. Two were found, and Bruce has taken them home to examine and determine if it is more sensible to replace ours rather than lap them in yet again. He has an idea that the gap within the valve gets larger the more you lap them in and it might by now exceed the specification. That might explain why they don’t last long before passing steam again.

Saturday 31st
Awful weather plus loco in service meant that there was no point in coming to Todders. However, I did paint primer onto eight rail chairs. Gilbert was on PR duty at our stand in Winchcombe.

2807 performed almost faultlessly (well, you can argue that she performed faultlessly, it’s just that things wore out! Issues logged to date and outstanding are:

5 pep pipe leaking - was fixed last Wednesday, but not signed-off.
6 Driver side, under cab side, main steam pipe to injector leaking at joint/sleeve.
8 Gauge frame drain-down tap out of line (vertical) when closed.
10 Both clack valves passing-by steam.
11 Fireman’s side flange lubricator spring broken. New coil spring required.
12 Loco brakes now require adjustment.
13 Tender brakes now require adjustment

For those of you who would like to see 2807 in action, she is currently rostered for 19 to 26 inclusive, plus 28 & 29.

Friday 30th
At 13.03 (three minutes early) 2807 approaches Broadway for the very first time … and the heavens opened up! Fortunately, the weather had managed to stay dry for the morning, but BBC weather said it would rain at 1 o’clock … and it did!

Timeline Photos posted the following on Facebook, of 2807 as she arrived for this first visit.

See also
(2807 appears at 4min 40secs).

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