Main image above:The throat plate and RH side of the boiler. The steel pad seen at the top in the middle, is where the blow down valve will eventually be attached. This allows water to be drained from the boiler
Blog by Rory Edwards:-
Work has been focusing almost entirely on 75014. Since the last report, all the riveting has been completed, all the steel stays have been inserted into the boiler, caulked and the steel nuts put on the fire side. These nuts are to protect the end of the stay from the fire, thus meaning they wear out and need replacing instead of the stay! A start has been made on the copper ones, but these require a bit more work prior to fitting as they have to be annealed to allow the dome shaped head to be formed. This protects the end of the stay from wastage and damage from the fire, just like the nuts do for the steel stays. The new smokebox door ring (which is what the smokebox door tightens up against) has been fitted & riveted in place. Work is progressing well with the new smokebox door, it is hoped this can be trial fitted to the smokebox in the next couple of weeks.
The smoke tubes arrived early in the New Year, but are currently sat on the frames of 4555 as were literally running out of room in the workshop!
The crane is coming on the 19th of Jan to turn the boiler & trial fit it in the frames with the ash pan on to ensure everything fits properly. With the boiler up the right way, the remaining caulking of all the rivets can be done. The regulator assembly can be put in along with the tubes.
4277 is in the workshop also for her annual boiler exam and various other jobs. She will require some work on the lap seams in the firebox, along with repair work to one of the tank support brackets which has cracked.
7827 is also having some remedial work done on the left hand piston rod taper and crosshead. It was found to have a small amount of movement between the 2 and requires the taper of the rod to be machined, whilst the taper in the cross-head is welded up & then re-machined to fit the piston back tightly again. This is being done by South Devon Railway engineering, as their facilities are much more suited to a complicated job such as this. This work along with 4277’s will be completed well in time for the start of the season in mid Feb.
Not much work to report on 4555. The frames have progressed whilst the wheels were returned back to us just before Christmas after having replacement tyres fitted and turned.