Sunday 28 February 2016

Onwards with 828

For those who follow this blog - apologies for the long gap in updates - I was away for three weeks on other duties. But now we can catch up.....Quite a lot has happened in the last few weeks.

NDT inspection has been completed on the frames at the driving horns. We knew that the LH side had some extensive cracking. On the RH side we found smaller cracks. The LH side has been fully repaired and looks to be a great job. The RH side will be finished on 29th February when the welder comes back.

Additionally, the Boiler Inspector is due on Wednesday 2nd March to carry out a cold thorough examination of the boiler as part of the revalidation of the boiler certificate. This requires that we remove all the washout plugs, fusible plugs and safety valves so that the Inspector can get a good look at the boiler.

The replacement horn block casting for the LH Driving Horn was delivered to Aviemore on 26th February. It looks to be a first class job. It was cast by Blantyre Castings in the Central Belt and Engineering Director Brian Thomson has commented on how very helpful the company were. They certainly completed the work in a very short time and at a very reasonable cost. It's good to find such a company still working in Scotland. Let's hope that we can put some further business their way...

At Aviemore Shed we have been making good use of the white metalling plant that Alan French designed and built a few years back. John Greig has become an expert at using the equipment and has done a great job in remetalling the big end bearings and is now working on remetalling the eccentric straps. This will make a big difference to the loco - it's clear that for a while we have been running very near a metal / metal contact between the eccentric sheaves (pulleys) and the straps...

On a cold February day sunshine and snow stream in through the open shed door...

Blast pipe and blower ring with the smokebox tube plate in the background - look at the beautiful condition of the smokebox rivets..

A contrast in dark blue, light and shadow

Calum Titley examines the newly arrived horn block casting

Both driving horn blocks removed for weld repairs to the frames. Note the undamaged RH horn block sitting on the support beams..

John Greig checking the temperature of an eccentric strap as it is brought up to casting temperature for running in white metal
More heat required...

Success - a newly white metalled eccentric strap removed from the mould...!
Inside the firebox....looking over the top of the brick arch at the throatplate. Not much room for water in Mr Macintosh's boilers - the tubes take up most of the space - which is one reason why his smaller locos were so good at generating steam. But note also how easily the lower rows of tubes get blocked by ash and soot. 

Looking at the firedoor from the inside.......looks like a new inner door protector is needed. Fortunately we have a new casting in stock and it will be fitted shortly.

Another look at our new horn block casting....the old one is underneath and was used as the basis of the pattern for casting the new one..... Machining the new casting will be a challenging job for our machinist Mr Nathan Lightowler..!