On the tender we've been able to refit the brake hangers and fit new brake blocks. This should have been a very straightforward job. Where it became awkward was when we found that the new brake block castings didn't quite fit the hangers. The blocks have a clevis cast into them into which the hanger should slide and then the securing pin pushed through and locked with a split pin. Bob Edwards, the man from the RPSI, drilled the pin holes through the new blocks and we set about fitting the first one and that was when we found the problem. The solution adopted was to remove all six hangers and skim them by about 0.060" in the milling machine. This should have been pretty straightforward but the Caley (or the LMS) chose to make the hangers from a very hard grade of steel. Using Nathan Lightowler's best cutting head and a lot of new tips we finally managed to get a fit for all of the hangers and the new brake blocks are all safely fitted...
On the loco we took the opportunity to strip the old paint off of the smokebox and the chimney so that they can be repainted with high temperature gloss black. This was done using a needlegun. The chimney needed some filling to recover the elegant curve of the Macintosh design. The end result looks very nice particularly after the smokebox door was repainted.
The smokebox door closure mechanism has not looked completely satisfactory for some time so we decided to try and improve it. The problem lay in the tendency for the locking screw to droop below the boiler centreline and give a rather untidy appearance when viewed from the side of the loco. Correcting this involved some remedial work on the "dart" that pulls the door tight against the internal crossbar inside the smokebox. An improved guide tube was made and fitted and the overall result looks much better.
We hope that the replacement set of tyres will be with Ian Riley before the end of November....
|Tender brake block correctly fitted to the RH Leading brake hanger..|
|Bob Edwards and Nathan Lightowler finding out just how hard is the steel used by the CR for their tender brake hangers. Even Nathan's biggest and best multi-tipped milling cutter struggled to do its job..|
|Fitting the new springs to the centre axle was easier than renewing the brake blocks...|
|The smokebox and chimney minus their old paint (the chimney cap didn't need the old paint removed)|
|Filling the imperfections in the chimney casing and the doorplate rivets..|
|Rubbing down the filler...|
|The chimney ready for painting...|
|Partly painted chimney...|
|Roddie McRae painting the inside of the smokebox wingplates..|
|Alan Murphy painting the fallplate (piano lid) that covers the cylinder and steamchest front covers..|
|Smokebox painting completed but the door lock removed for maintenance..|
|The "dart" receiving attention..|
|Job done...! Painting completed and the door lock back in place complete with the famous Caley star..!|