Sunday, 30 March 2014

Maintenance Update (tyseley, siphon, gaskets, rail chairs, painting)

Tuesday 25th
Two things I'd wanted to do today were (i) brickwork, (ii) bike ride.  It rained on & off all day, so I nipped down to Todders instead.  Five boot scrapers sold, mainly at the Marketing Day on Monday!  Painted some black tops (makes a change from bottoms).

Update on progress at Tyseley, supplied by Bob Meanley:

"the first two wheelsets have been removed from the locomotive and the bearings dismantled. We have ordered and received all of the new bearings etc and are in the process of machining them so that they can be white metalled and pressed into the axleboxes. The white metal has been ordered and we expect deliveries in the next day or so as that particular supplier is always extremely prompt in expediting orders. We have undertaken initial measurements on the first two sets of axlebox guides which have been exposed by removal of the wheelsets and grinding works are now underway to bring them back to flat and parallel with each other. Once this is accomplished in the next day or so we shall be able to re-measure the guide faces and decide on the dimensions to which the axleboxes have to be machined in order to get the wheels in exactly the right place. That then allows us to adjust the brass liners on the axleboxes and re-machine them to the correct dimensions. Hopefully you will see that quite a lot is now going on and the first two wheelsets should be back in place in the not too distant future"

Wednesday 26th
Only Bruce & me at Toddington today.  Gilbert passed through before I had arrived, just to collect his nuts & bolts, then went back to Winchcombe to work on the siphon.  Didn't even stay for tea & biscuits!

Bruce pressed on with gaskets.  He has now made 10 for the vacuum system (see photo of new fitted, with old nearby).  There are just 4 pipes for the steam heating system remaining to have gaskets made.  Bruce says that JC tells him off for calling them gaskets - they should be called "joints".  Well, joints has several other meanings, so let's stick with gasket!

As the day began dry, I attacked a few rail chairs with needle-gun and wire brush.  Some interesting lettering: 

(i) There's one with no railway initials nor year, just the manufacturer TS&S.  Any ideas?

(ii) There's a BR(S) chair from 1952 with manufacturer TSB (and I don't think the Trustee Savings Bank had an interest in iron foundries - unless one went bankrupt, of course, and the TSB took it over!). 

(iii) And finally one marked as L(M)S.  Why is the M in brackets?  I assume it is London Midland & Scottish.

Carpo popped in to say that he had "borrowed" four of 2807's ferrules because he was about to fit pipework on 4270 and could only get the ferrules in before the pipework was fitted, so …    I've ordered a new lot!

Rain stopped play at 2.45 pm. 

Today's rumour is that the railway are interested in displaying out siphon van at Winchcombe station, once we have restored it and kitted it out.  We have in mind covering its two intended uses: (i) as part of a hospital train during WWII, and (ii) as a milk van (to hold milk churns).

Thingy Manor had an outing today.  Seemed to go OK.

Friday 28th
I varnished the SR (Malachite) rail chair, but then had an attack of the toothaches, so had to adjourn & visit Sventist (Sven, the Dentist).

Saturday 29th
Bruce & David tackled the loco steam heating pipes - cleaning up the flanges; finding new-ish bolts to fit and/or cleaning the existing bolts; making new gaskets.  Bruce remembered that there's one extra one for the tender-to-loco connection.

They finished by end of day, and David moved on to modifying new split pins to fit the castellated nuts on the eccentrics.

Gil & Fred popped in (ostensibly to collect some sales items, but it didn't take much to persuade them to stay for elevenses!).

Ingo arrived and I set him on painting toolboxes, mushrooms, etc., on the tender.  Talking of which, you never knew where it was going to be next, today!  First it was along our road, then Bruce lost it because it had moved across two roads and was hiding behind a coach; then I went to take a photo of Ingo painting, and the tender had gone again!  … with Ingo on it!  It finished up inside the shed, with Ingo still painting.

I painted 7 black bottoms and enamelled four black tops.  Then Gil helped me remove our notice board from the car park, and I started refurbishing that.

Maurice left a piece of biscuit in my shoe - not sure if this was a peace offering or a reject biscuit!

Fred, Gil & John were playing with the siphon at Winchcombe today.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Maintenance Update (tender, bootscrapers, welding, siphon)

Monday 17th
Nobody was there to see it, but our tender was turned round!  It is now facing south.

Wednesday 19th
Moveright were in the yard removing the "orange" tender that had been delivered for the use of Thingy Manor.

Bruce was first to arrive and decided to do some tidying up.  Spanners had been randomly distributed across shelves, drawers and surfaces.  He'd laid out and cleaned our set of Draper spanners, and identified the smallest one as being missing.  He then tackled the socket set (I say "set", it's a nearly-set with two missing and two strangers in the box).  Then he discovered a toolbox with more things in it … including the "lost" smallest spanner!  By the time Bruce had finished cleaning & organising, it was coffee time!

After coffee (actually, we drink tea) Bruce made gaskets for the blow-down valve.

Mike [W] arrived, after being un-diverted around a closed road, and exploring the scenic route to Toddington!  We set him on applying a second coat of bitumen paint to the rear section of the tender.  To be honest, that showed up the painted bits … and these could do with a lick of paint!  However, see pic of tender gleaming in the sunshine!

I did my usual thing: applied a top coat to 4 crimson chairs plus 9 GWR green ones (though one is a Southern Railway of 1942, so I will give that an extra coat of the dreaded Malachite).  Carpo had been in during the week and got our compressor certified.  He popped in today to tell us (though it was obvious from the note that he left on our whiteboard!) and had a quick bickie while he was there!  So, I could restart needle-gunning rail chairs, and tackled 4 from 1939 that I shall paint black - yup: 4 bottoms painted black before going home!

Fred & Gill called in, late in the afternoon.  Had a cup of tea & biscuit !!!  Gil says that Tyseley are machining the brasses for the boxes on the first axle.  Thereafter these will be white-metalled; then Tyseley will move on to the next axle.

Nothing else exciting, so I've included a photo of 2874's cab.  :-)

Today's rumour:  The suggestion that on Race Week Friday, Geof fell out of his signalbox, but manfully crawled along to the platform in order to collect the token from the incoming train, is a slight exaggeration.  However, he did trip over a signal wire and shoulder-charge a row of sleepers.  He's in some pain, but denying that it really hurts.  He's also proud of the wide range of colours down his arm, side, leg, knee and ankle.

Saturday 22nd
Chilly, with periodic, though light, showers.  It didn't stop Bruce & David from working outside.

David painted the water gauge frame (fun doing the white / black striped back plate!).  He was cutting longer threads on the new bolts for the drain cock linkages.  He also did a spot of welding on the flange face on one of the vacuum pipes - the one with the rubber hose on the end (see photo) … which he managed to set alight!

David also showed some bolts from the brake gear who was boss (cleaning the threads and making them do their job better!).

Bruce mainly worked on making gaskets for various sections of the vacuum pipework, assisted by Ingo during the afternoon.

Oh, Gil popped in at coffee time (!), autographed our annual accounts ready for the tax man.  He took the opportunity to speak with Rd in the workshop.  Rod later dropped off half-a-dozen bolts (see photo) that are destined for the siphon van.

I was painting lettering and fitting brushes to boot scrapers.  Painted an SR one in Malachite ( a yuckier green you never did see!).  I expect someone will rave over it, though.

I gather that Gil, Colin (and hence probably Anne) and Geof were working on the siphon at Winchcombe.  Colin reports:

" Today I arrived to find Fred had given himself a day off but Geoff and Gilbert were ready and willing. We put up the ladders and fitted the roof outside supports these hold the upright side pieces of wood on the two ends of the coach they also give room for the timbers to be overlapped by the roofing canvas .The shape of them are to the profile of the roof and  a lovely piece of work , our friends in C/W made them for us in three parts for each one.

We assembled them, and with some further fettling will look great,  one more piece of the coach finished

abiding memory of the day was Geoff sitting on the edge of the roof with his feet dangling over the edge.

A good day 



Sunday, 16 March 2014

Siphon Photos

Some photos from Saturday 15th showing the siphon at Winchcombe.

This is the bit that's been restored.


And this is the bit that hasn't.


Maintenance Update (siphon, die block)

Update from Colin:

Saturday 8th
"The siphon moved into the barn about 11am . We had already cut a new post and painted the new side panels and very nice they look.

Once in the barn we stripped all the tatty sheets that had been put on; gave some of the worse ones the carriage and wagon for body covers (for coaches).

I got up the ladder to examine the end of the coach and found it to be full of nails, screws, rot, so I took it off and we will make a new one for both ends, all in all a good day." Colin Bennett

Wednesday 12th
Gil & Bruce were in a conflab when I arrived.  They were comparing our expansion link and die block dimensions to those on a diagram.  Of concern was the width of the die block - specifically, the thickness of the two plate (either side of the brass bit). The ones on it are less than 3/8" (fitted in BR days).  But the brass bit is too wide for the expansion link width.  hence, skimming some off each side of the brass bit means that the side bits could be made thicker.  Should they be?  It would appear that they should be 1/2", and after skimming, they could be (without fouling or seizing anything!).

Bruce was dismantling the test cocks from the water gauge … except that one wouldn't!  The internal packing seems to have caused the tap to jam with the nut underneath.  Turn the tap, and the nuts turns in sympathy!

I cleaned one SR chair and then painted 13 black bottoms.  It was too cold and foggy to risk putting a second coat on the tender buffer beam, so I went home after lunch.

Today's rumour:  (actually, Bruce said…) a black tender is being delivered, but being Race Day, the car park is full, including several coaches!  I didn't notice it when I left, so maybe it went away again?

Saturday 15th

David was first to arrive, and was welding a die holder back together.  This is a thing in which you fit one of those dies that cuts a thread (i.e. nothing to do with the die block that he, Bruce & Gil are playing with!).  One of its handles had dropped off (and previously been soldered back on, apparently - hardly efficacious!).

Bruce & Gil soon arrived and began discussing the die block and expansion link sizes and clearances.  David also joined in, and I think that by lunch time they had decided on what dimensions to use!

Dixie came, too, and when he went to put his shoes on, he commented: "What's all this in my shoe?"  Morris appears to have been making camp in them and was making it quite comfortable in there!  Bruce made a comment (that I shalln't repeat) about mice liking cheese.  :-)

Bruce & Gil toddled off to Carpo's office to photocopy the drawing with dimensions upon it.  The office was locked, but they key is in a well-known place.  Gil opened up and they made a photocopy.  As they left, Bruce pulled the door shut and asked Gil where the key was (in order to return it to its safe place).  Gil had left the key in the office on the desk!  Bruce went on the prowl for a second key (by which to open the door and retrieve the first key) … there isn't a second key!  Lucky for him, Gil had escaped by this time, because the only Plan B is to climb up to a window, dangle through it and release the Yale latch!

Gil didn't reappear until after lunch!  He and Dixie had gone to Winchcombe to work on the siphon.  He returned with a well-worn bracket, asking David to build it back up with weld (please).

The F&W (under the new management of Lynn) had sold 4 boot scrapers, so I got stuck in to applying a base coat on the 13 chairs whose bottoms I had blacked on Woden's Day.  I now am faced with a dilemma: I need to needle-gun a new lot of chairs; Carpo has declared our compressor OOS until it has been inspected.  So, my thought was to do a Risk Assessment: What is the risk of (a) the compressor blowing up, or (b) Carpo finding out that I had switched it back on and used it?  It was obvious to me that the latter was the greater risk and not the former …


Oh, look!  There's a black tender in the yard.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

More Siphon Move Photos


Maintenance Update

Wednesday 5th
Gil & Bruce started the day at Todders.  They finished off the tender steam heat pipework by attaching the final section (the bit with the hose on it) at the back of the tender.  Bruce painted the new bracket and tidied up the lagging on the pipe, which had unravelled where the welding was needed.  Gil escaped to Winchcombe to help Fred restoring the siphon van.

Two Loco Dept chaps, Pete & Roger, applied a second coat of bitumen paint to the tender's coal space.  The rear section with the dome in it could also do with a second coat.

I had to give a lighting-up training course (theory) during the morning.  After lunch, I tackled the remaining loco brake rods & linkages.  I cleaned all but two.  These were the heaviest ones, and my back was aching by then!  The problem is all of the bending over while scraping, brushing, wiping and polishing the things!

Bruce moved on to the die block in the right-hand expansion link.  There was too much slack (sideways movement) in the block as it slid up & down in the expansion link.  Essentially, it is a lump of brass with  a steel plate on each side.  So, the brass needs about 1mm shaving off it.  Removing the side plates turned out to be a challenge.  There are four rivets holding the assembly together.  They have counter-sunk heads, and Bruce started by trying to drill out a head.  He soon discovered that they had become work-hardened, and refused to be drilled.  So, it took him some of the morning and all afternoon, re-sharpening drills; threatening it with a masonry drill; persuading it with a mallet; and finally extracting the rivets.  At least one of these had had a spot of weld on it.  Bruce's thought was that at some stage (during BR days) the rivets had worked loose, and the quick answer was weld!  Certainly, we have never had this apart, whereas we did have the LHS one apart when up at Llangollen.  That one was also loose, and I believe that assembly was held together with counter-sunk bolts.  We sent that to South Devon to be riveted together.

Saturday 8th
Gil popped in to see Bruce (and sneak a cup of tea + biscuit!) then buzzed off to Winchcombe, where they were about to move the siphon into the "barn".

Bruce began by moving the compressor and removing the (other) end for Carpo and the inspector to inspect.  The he took a multitude of measurements of the die block and expansion link.  Then went home.

I attacked the loco pipes and rods, cleaning the grot off of the last three, ready for when the loco comes back.

Then I decided that the tender's buffer beam looked very faded, so I applied Signal Red to it during the afternoon.  I did do a (mental) risk assessment, and figured that if I didn't do it today, it might rain, so I did it today, despite the presence of visitors (the railway is open again).  Actually, I stuck four "Wet Paint" signs all over it, too!  It was nice to have people come up to me and ask to which loco this was the tender.



Rearrange the following words into a well-known phrase or saying:

"The north facing tender is still".

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Maintenance Update

Sunday 23rd
I popped in to do lettering on a few chairs.

Monday 24th
I popped in on the off-chance of seeing/assisting with turning the tender.  Rumour has it that Moveright are now coming on Wednesday instead!

Boxed up some boot scrapers, but I have now run out of shelf space.  The railway starts operating in another week, so hopefully sales will take off again.

Weds 26th
Poor old Fred was all on his own working in the siphon at Winchcombe!

Gil and Bruce, assisted by [Loco Dept] Dave had begun cleaning and drying the tender top by the time I had arrived.  Bruce was making gaskets for the steam heating pipe.  Mike W [also Loco Dept, but increasingly helps with 2807] turned up, so there were three of them tackling the bitumen paint.  Somehow, they all managed to complete the job without painting themselves into a corner.  Luckily, it was a sunny day (apart from two minor anointments of heavenly water) and the bitumen went on fine.

Bruce has been preparing the rear steam heating pipe section ready for David to weld on the flange at the end so that it can be bolted back in place.  It had been welded in place, previously, due to some rushed job by another mob!  The bracket on the back of the tender required some tidying up to make a smooth surface.  Bruce also cleaned up the end of the pipe ready for welding.

Me?  Oh, rail chairs!

Today's rumour: Moveright might be coming on Thursday or Friday.

Friday 28th
Tender still pointing north!  But at least it is now in the car park, which kind-of suggests that a lorry is expected soon!  It looks quite smart with its shiny black coal space.

I painted 3 chairs crimson plus 4 GWR (bronze) green, and fed the mouse.

Saturday 1st March
Tender still in the car park.  Gil joined Fred & Ray at Winchcombe, working on the siphon van.  It was supposed to be moved under cover … I forgot to ask!

John & I started by doing some rail chair work.  John decapitated bolts that were still in some chairs.  I painted the lettering on those that were almost complete.

After elevenses, we tackled the bits that we'd taken off the loco before it went to Tyseley.  Armed with diesel, scrapers, wire brush, plastic brushes, paint brush and rags, we began cleaning the grot off the rods & pipes.  By mid-afternoon, we'd had enough.  It was not easy working alongside another engine inside the shed, and being bent over doing the cleaning, it became a back-aching task.  Nevertheless, we got through almost half of the bits.

Today's rumour: Moveright has had a lorry stolen.

Sunday 2nd
An early start, with Bruce and David arriving to do a spot of welding on the steam heating pipe.  The rear pipe had previously been welded in place, so Bruce & David have made a proper bracket, and flanges for the pipes on either side of it.  I misguidedly thought it was a quick welding job and I'd be home for lunch … so didn't bring any.

It transpired that the positioning of the bracket, and the alignment of the flange on the pipe, and the length of the pipe all took time!  The weather didn't help, though much of the time Bruce & I were relatively dry beneath the tender - unfortunately, David was getting wettest, as he was at the end of the tender doing the fixing!  The heating pipe itself is about 9 feet long, and when David was welding the flange onto it, Bruce & I were holding it at various angles to enable David to access each side of the flange.  At one point we had it completely vertical.

Finally, the bracket was in place and the flange welded onto the pipe, and all that was needed was to tighten up brackets holding the pipe to the tender.  There's not a lot of room under there, and David found it even more troublesome because he had his welding helmet on.  By this time, 4 pm, it was beginning to rain quite hard.

And when you've finished a job … there's only to putting-away to do!  In this case, that also included putting the tender back in the car park where it was yesterday!

Many thanks to Carpo for shunting us about.


Post Script

Those of you who read railway magazines may well notice write-ups about the late Mr Francis Blake.  Francis was instrumental in the rescue of many locos from Barry.  He was also one of the early  shareholders in what was to become Cotswold Steam Preservation Ltd.  His was a significant contribution to the rescue of 2807.  There is a write-up by Andy Bryne in the next edition of 2807 News. [the 2807 supporters' magazine]