Board Meeting, so no work done!
Stuart held a tombola stall at the bus rally.
I had a boot scraper order to fulfil. Uniquely, the purchaser wanted one unpainted. "Rustic", she said. As it was being collected on Friday, I had to tackle this first.
Gil, John G and Howard [Loco Dept] attacked issue 36: "Rivets to die blocks loose". They started by removing the Left-hand side radius rod (that connects the lifting link to the combination lever, and ultimately to the valve spindle). This didn't appear to be too difficult .. and then it was elevenses time.
Shareholder Ken and his mate Rob popped in to say "Hello". They were using their free GWSR tickets and took a break. Much nattering ensued.
Tim [Loco Dept] joined in when they attempted to remove the expansion link. It is held in place by a tapered pin, and you know what they are like! Gil was between the frames, bashing away, while the others were giving moral support (plus handing him spanners, lump hammers, etc. as appropriate).
I figured that there was room for me (just) and I could tackle issue 28: "All eccentric straps loosing oil via felt pads". So, I began removing split pins and lock nuts and took off the first strap. Gil assisted me by holding the lower one up when I removed the upper one (else when the two halves split I need 4 arms). Well, blow me! It was plain to see …. no felt pads at all !!! Whoever assembled them forgot to fit the felt pads in. Felt pads lovingly created by Bruce, who had the foresight to make spares. So, we fitted pads, oiled up and reassembled. Ditto the second strap.
Meanwhile, the tapered pin was refusing to budge for Gil. So, I assisted him … but to no avail. Obviously the pin was beginning to get worried by all of our forcing and bashing because when JC [Loco Dept] came along with his great big lead hammer, the pin gave up immediately. However, by now it was almost teatime. So, the expansion link came off and was moved into the TPO.
I popped down to make a few wooden wedges for boot scrapers while no one was about. I won't use the band saw when folks might be trotting in & out focussed entirely on finding a one-and-thirteen-sixteenths Whitworth spanner! An accidental nudge of my elbow could break the saw blade!
The main objective of today was to extract the rivets from the die block so that it can be freed from the expansion link. Bruce and David tackled that. The rivets did seem to be fairly hard, so David attacked them with an angle grinder. Of course, that knackered the side plate, but luckily we have two new ones.
David & Bruce took a million measurements such that the block can be skimmed to best fit the expansion link, and the holes all made to suit the rivets. This was left in a box for Gilbert to collect and take to his "man" who does things.
Meanwhile, John T and I disassembled the right-hand eccentrics rods, which allowed the eccentrics to rotate. We could then access the split pins, lock nuts and finally the nuts to remove the eccentric straps (two semi-circles clamped onto the eccentric sheaves that are attached to the loco driving wheel axles).
Sure enough, there were no felt pads in these, either! We fitted pads and reassembled the eccentrics. Fitting the rods back was highly amusing, as we had forgotten which came of which! By trial and error (i.e. 3rd time lucky) we got one right. The inside rod (marked only as "R1") connects to the bottom of the expansions link and is the backward gear. The outside rod ("R2") connects to the top of the expansion link and is the forward gear. We confirmed this from a diagram. It could have been fun if we'd got them the wrong way round!
Other little jobs took place from time to time: David painted "2807" on his newly-built & painted chimney cap.
Bruce and David both examined the blower in the cab with a view to removing it and thence to skim the internal face in the workshop, rather than the previous attempt at cutting the face in situ.
John cut off some bolts from a few rail chairs that had mysteriously appeared (P-Way were working in the yard, so it was not really that mysterious!). I finished off the three boot scrapers in the production line.
We have about 10 days in which to get the die block machined, riveted and reassembled. 2807 is next due in service on 31st July.
Next weekend is the diesel gala. If Gil gets the work done during the week, the chaps can do the riveting and assembly on Saturday. I'm on duty at Winchcombe station (someone has to volunteer to assist these diesel chaps!).