The winter weather hit Canberra Central this work day with rain and wind. Fortunately our Garratt is nearly all under cover – many other times some of our earlier team volunteers will remember these sorts of days out in the open were most unpleasant.
A good turn out meant once again key tasks that needed technical skills could be commenced. The first was installing the support brackets for the coal bunker at the cab end. These brackets mount to the frame on the front of the hind engine and then to the front of the bunker. They required welding and grinding to be accurately put in place. Thanks Mark for your skills in this area. Next work day will mean this can be completed and that task can be put in the “done” list.
Andy and Toby continued to work on the coal trough and associated running gear – they have worked tirelessly on the auger trough and bunker now for many weeks. There are many bolts and mounts to align for the coal trough and auger to ensure it mounts properly to the frame. The talents of a contortionist and the hydraulic ram to make things align have come in handy. The space is quite difficult to access and is quite literally in the bowels of the bunker. Their work progressed well during the day – see the associated pictures for details and how tight some of the places they are working in really are!
Polishing of the connecting rods and valve linkages continues as these require constant work to maintain. Our newest recruit, Ewoult, has spent quite a while on the rods on the front engine. In deed this will be a task that needs to be done very regularly when we are up and running but not with a wire brush as can be seen being used in the pictures. Oil spray from the engine when running will mean rust is controlled and it will be a matter of really polishing and rubbing not scrapping as we have been doing up to this point.
The split pins used to keep the pins holding the various value rods and connecting rods together was finally been sourced - on the second attempt - in their correct size (the saying “what could possibly go wrong?” comes to mind for the first order of pins). This has meant accurate and correct pins and locking nuts and cotter pins have been place and ready for inspection on the whole of the hind engine’s linkages. The front engine requires two new pins of differing and unique length for the valve cross heads and two old pins to be drilled out and replaced. Strangely the old pins do not budge even after the gentle persuasion of the time and tested oxy heat treatment. Once these pins are out and new ones inserted the front engine will be ready for inspection.
Grease nipples are the next issue for the brake hangers and link pins – locating new ones, cleaning the old ones that mysteriously have been painted over in black – maybe we volunteers got too carried away with the instructions – “just paint it black”! Some of these nipples will need to be made up.
The rear light also came into attention receiving a much needed clean up and new coat of paint. The finished product is quite stunning – see the pictures.
The next workday is this Sunday, it will be cold.... That's a given this time of year in Canberra, but it will be fun so come along and get a little dirty.
Lastly – and it is a worn out message but it is very true, we need as much spare change as you can afford. Try a new method of saving – put a gold coin aside each day for a month and drop it in at the office. Ten of people doing that means $300 for June alone.