C2 Project News
Easter 2016 Working Party
Over the previous few weeks, Andrew has made several visits to Boston Lodge, and had completed the reaming of four of the suspension pillar guide holes in the locomotive frames. So Chris and Dave commenced the Easter Working Party by continuing this work.the fifth hole was finished by Friday evening, and the sixth hole started.
For reasons which are unclear, reaming the sixth suspension pillar guide hole proved to be much more difficult than the other holes. No combination of lubricant and cutting oil seemed to make much difference. Sam joined the effort, to take turns on the ratchet drill. When it transpired that Alasdair is a keen rower he was quickly roped in, since pulling on the ratchet drill is distinctly rowing like.
With little progress being made, Robco offered to sharpen the reamer. After lunch, with our enthusiasm renewed, the four of us took it in turns to work the ratchet drill. Unfortunately the ratchet drill was less enthusiastic, and proceeded to break. We were able to withdraw the reamer, but we still have two and a half holes to ream and no suitable drill to carry out the task. However we are grateful to Jeff Nixon of CMS-Cepcor who has donated an adjustable reamer (which was surplus to his requirements) which fits the bill and should make the finishing off of these holes possible at the next working party. Thanks again Jeff!
The new tender axleboxes were delivered to us last year, and have been sat on a shelf protected by oil ever since. Oil is not a long term protection against corrosion without being reapplied frequently, so it was decided that we should better protect the components.
One of Andrews work colleagues Dave joined us for several days, and he led the work on the tender axleboxes.
We are reusing the existing tender axlebox front and rear covers, so the first task was to clean these up. Then they were trial fitted to the axleboxes to make sure that all the bolt holes lined up. With some adjustments made with a file, all covers now fit. Dave even applied some filler to rough patches on the front covers to give them an improved appearance.
Over the next couple of days, Dave assisted by Clare applied first primer and then a top coat of paint to the axleboxes and covers. With a layer of wax oil sprayed onto the inside face where the bearing will eventually go, the tender axlebox components are now fully and permanently protected against corrosion.
Thanks to some good detective work by Sam and Norman, we have now obtained a can of 'hellrot' paint. Sam was keen to see this applied to the locomotive wheels, so after the ratchet drill expired, Alasdair applied red to the centres of the first four wheels. This highlighted some of the imerfections in the wheel castings which will be filled or ground back accordingly, but the initial coat of red paint does look very smart!
Saturday saw Paul and James make another iteration of grinding the fixed horn faceplates. The sides were all straight and vertical by now, so work was confined to just the longitudinal faces. One plate seemed a little odd, so Paul left a few thou of material on it, all the others were ground to their final dimensions.
On Sunday, with the fixed horn faceplates refitted to the frames, Paul and Dave took another set of measurements. This indicated that, as expected, the 'odd' plate was still a little thick. The reason it appeared 'odd' was concluded to be due to it deforming by a few thou each time it was bolted to the frames.
With a better understanding of why the final plate exhibited odd behaviour, Paul took 3 thou off it and an adjacent plate, to reach a compromise which we were happy with. A final measure up on Monday morning indicated that all the fixed horn faceplates are now within 2 thou of where we want them; 2 thou being the accuracy of measurement we can achieve. Finally, job done!
With the fixed horn faceplates finished, attention turned to the horn wedges on the opposite side of each axle cutout. Dave has carried out a detailed survey of the horn wedges and the wedge faceplates. Chris then helped him fit the horn wedges to the frames so that their position could be measured while we had all the measuring equipment set up. This was completed on Monday afternoon, so now we should have sufficient information to be able to decide how to tackle the task of fitting and aligning the wedge faceplates.
Another task we have to complete before the horn faceplates can be finally fitted is to make new keys to locate them to the frames. The existing keys are all undersize, and have fretted the keyways. Therefore Dave stayed an extra day to record the keyway widths accurately. Assisted by Charlie and Michael, a set of measurements was taken. We have now ordered suitable steel to make new keys of the required widths.
To finish off the weekend (by now running into the following week!), Dave and Charlie removed all the horn faceplates and wedges and oiled them for protection until the next working party.