Progress on 4 fronts - July 2014
The July working party might well be summed up as "More of the same". We focussed on turning the blanks for the axles, but managed to carry out a few other tasks as well.
Andrew and Paul spent the previous weekend on a mini-working party during which the turning of the blanks for the four locomotive wheels was completed. In addition, a start was made on the tender axles. Martin provided guidance on how to use a steady with the lathe, since the tender axles are longer than the locomotive axles and hence need better support when machining them.
Because we are now carrying out a lot of lathe work, we decided to buy our own lathe tools, dial test indicator, etc. These were delivered prior to the July working party. However, Martin also kindly lent us his lathe tools for the working party, which meant it was possible to carry out turning work on two lathes simultaneously. Andrew therefore spent most of the working party using the "Dean, Smith and Grace" lathe to continue work on the tender axles, while Dave turned the blanks for the crank pins on the Colchester lathe.
With work progressing rapidly on the wheelsets, thoughts have turned to "What comes next?". With the aim of getting a rolling chassis in mind, axleboxes and hornguides are now coming to the fore.
Previous discussions with Martin suggested that whitemetalling the bearings before machining them and fitting them into the axleboxes would be advisable to avoid any problems with distortion caused by heating during the whitemetalling process. Ted spent Saturday morning instructing Chris how to whitemetal bearings. This required making a former to keep the whitemetal in the appropriate places while pouring it. It took a while to prepare everything, but by the end of the day Chris had tinned all the bearings and everything was ready for the whitemetal. On Sunday morning Chris took the plunge and poured whitemetal into the first of the bearings. The results look good, and although there are a few tweaks we want to make to the clamping arrangements to make things easier, we feel that we should be able to complete the task at the next working party.
The frames are currently on their side on our wagon in the C2 shed. Before they are rotated for work on the hornguides, Paul took the opportunity to rub down drivers side in preparation for the final coat of paint. He was helped by brothers James and Will who also started to scrape the protective paint off the horns. On Sunday the painting progressed, with Sam, Ian, Nathan and Alex applying another layer of paint to the frames and to the springs when they had finished cleaning locomotives before they went off shed.
Paul has now turned his attention to the hornguides and axlebox keep plates. The latter are in varying conditions, ranging from pretty good to in need of complete replacement. We have started to plan out how we will re-machine the faces on the frame to accept the keep plates, and have formulated ideas on repair/replacement of the keep plates themselves.
All in all, it was a very productive weekend with at least four major tasks all progressing in parallel.