Watercress Line

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang - 1st March 2017

Our reader will be reassured to know that the slow procession of tradesmen through our kitchen continues – it seems that progress is inversely proportional to our tea-bag bill. I’m sure it will be completed before 80150 gets overhauled, but I’m starting to wonder!  We gathered together for a review of tasks on offer – the list is getting longer (which is good) but the writing is getting smaller (bad).

The usual suspects went off to drill and ream more holes in their tender chassis – some of them getting advice about using a safety strap with the mag drill. I have to say that my concern is to protect the mag drill from crashing to the ground if the power is disconnected, but it may also save a few toes from visits to A&E.

A few of us opted to move a bench and picnic table that had been delivered to the workshop door.  Both items were made from a plastic wood that’s widely believed to be manufactured from recycled fizzy drink bottles, and were inscribed with the name of a recently passed-away volunteer.  They will in due course by placed by the “other Wednesday Gang” in a suitable spot overlooking the yard and the beautiful Hampshire countryside.

Work on Cheltenham continues.  Axle-boxes have been metalled and I could see signs of measurements being taken to ensure they are centred accurately.  Dave-the-print and Andy T were scraping the white-metal in the eccentric strap that attaches the middle cylinders valve gear to the driving axle. This involves slightly roughing the surface of the white-metal  then  scraping it to remove a few thou of material until a good fit is obtained. It’s painstaking but necessary work and you have to wonder whether BR would have given it this much care.

I joined Keith and Welsh Pete to assemble the 4 springs onto Swanage’s trailing truck. The springs carry about 14 tons between them, and they bear on equalising beams that have a spigot at their centre, that in turn transmits the load onto the top of the axle-box.  These equalising beams had been given a cosmetic overhaul, but we discovered that the spigot contains an oil reservoir and to our dismay the oil-holes were blocked.  After a bit of poking around with lengths of studding, we removed some pieces of ancient cork, followed by some equally ancient oil.  One of the spigots was missing an oil groove so this was duly created using an angle-grinder.

We also discovered that the drawing shows a hardened steel pivot pad that sits in a recess in the top of the axle-box and compensates for any uneven movement of the spigot.  Oh dear! Where are they?  We were getting ready to raise a work order for some new ones when the old ones were discovered sitting in the recesses in the axle-boxes, held in position by a layer of gunge. The gunge had stopped them from falling out when the axle-boxes were up-side-down for re-metalling etc and the SR engineers must have anticipated this as they’d thoughtfully provided a 7/16” threaded hole which allowed the pads to be wound out with a suitable bolt.

Out in the wheeldrop shed, Ollie was assisted by Alasdair in rubbing down Thomas’s first coat of gloss with wet-and-dry. The top coat is due to go on in the next few days, followed by the middle piston being re-fitted.  Pete(rsfield) is now working on CAD drawings for the rear part of Thomas’s cab and bunker. These are similar to Hunslet drawings with adjustments to suit Thomas’s detail differences.

Lastly, does anyone have a PC that they can donate to the railway?  One of our PCs has died and we need a standby spare. It needs to be modern enough to run Windows 7, capable of 4Gb of memory and preferably 64-bit compatible. That means it’ll be less than about 10 years old. If you think you might have something suitable, please email friendsof80150@btconnect.com and Martin will pass the message on to me.

Under Assistant Ropley Scribe


Cake roster for the next few weeks:
8 Mar 17             Welsh Pete & Les-the-bogieman (*)
15 Mar 17             Paul & Petersfield
22 Mar 17             Pilot Pete & Dave-2Jags
29 Mar 17             Colin Morris & Alastair

* this slot may have been traded in a cake futures swap

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