Andy Lowes reports that five stalwarts, plus himself, enjoyed the challenges of the Q6 at Deviation shed yesterday - all progress was hard fought for.
The oxygen bottle ran out and the Railway had just ordered more bottles on Friday so no burning or heating could be done. A hand barrier cream dispenser has been put up in the workshop so we don't have to go all the way down to the sheds for some in future. The pump played up early on but after removing stones etc. there was no more trouble all day. A set of lights has also been installed along the edge of the pit to illuminate it and the underside of the locomotive so, hopefully, no more banged heads! A two step ladder has also been purchased to ease access to the underside of the locomotive from the pit.
After a lot of difficulty, the crosshead was split from the right hand piston rod. It was nowhere as simple as on the K1 as the clamp did not fit. With help and advice from the MPD, and also the use of their splitter as the NELPG and B1 cross head splitters had different and larger sized drives than required, it was all got apart and then the slide bars and crossheads re-assembled. The lessons learned should make the removal of the left piston next Saturday a bit less of a challenge!
Ian drew the short straw and set to with a new improved face mask to clean the fire box and tubes and intends continuing with this at the Wednesday working party. Peter continued with lubricator pipework and cleaning under the valve chest. Trevor Wilford fitted the steam heat drip valve protector with help from Peter. The new fire hole door flap was shaped to fit using the angle grinder and the hinges were welded together, so it is now ready for it all to be riveted together next Saturday. The pipework to lubricate the axle boxes has been removed on the right leading so new flexible pipes can be fitted as recommended by the Railway.
There will be a working party on Wednesday, whose jobs will include:
- all the rubbish to be cleaned out of the pit, including the central drainage channel, once the pit has been emptied of water.
- if the Railway has had a delivery of oxygen bottles, arrange to put one on our trolley (the old bottle was put into the empty oxygen bottle store).
- clean the locomotive frames now they are well lit, so it should be possible to clearly see the muck inside the frames.
- the piston valves are to clean, using the bench outside workshop - not the one inside - but the rings are not to be cleaned. These should be left as they are.
- the cylinder and valve covers are also to clean, but care will be needed not to damage the copper washer on the cylinder covers.
- continue getting the boiler ready for the insurance exam (clean for the inspector, need to impress him as it will be his first time in the Q6 boiler).
- the smoke box concrete at the back of the steam pipes still needs to be removed.
- the drain cocks to be removed and checked, marked up for ease of refitting.
- side rod caps to be removed and clearances checked with feeler gauges: size to be marked up on side of rod.