Ian reports beautiful blue skies and sunshine at Grosmont yesterday "but oh dear" minus 2 degrees (sounds wonderful compared to the 35C we are having to cope with this week!), with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Derek Shorten, Ian McCall, Dave Donegan, Roy Marshall, Steve Hyman, and Ian himself. Quite a bit of water in the pit first thing so it was pump out as priority job, then the stove was lit and Derek brewed up. Round the stove with cups of tea and discuss the jobs.
The new copper rings for the piston covers had arrived on site on Tuesday, so it was decided to have a collective effort fitting the piston covers, and also the piston back covers which had been machined last week, and maybe the con rods, big and little ends - ever the optimists! Derek was given the job of cleaning the gauge frame fittings, in between washing up, going for water and cooking eggs and bacon on the stove at lunch time. In spite of all the other demands on his time, he managed to complete the Q6 ones and got a start on the J27 fittings. By lunch time both rear piston packings and covers had been fitted and secured. Also, the left hand cylinder cover was fitted and tightened up with the aid of Shaun Bowler's torque wrench. Bill had brought eggs and bacon, and, in passing, Derek mentioned he had been a cook in the Army, so that's why he got the job of cooking lunch - bacon and egg butties all round.
Afterwards, Ian P did some work on the J27 by fitting the left hand water hose to the water valve, and its securing bracket to the tender frame, with the aid of Steve and Derek. Steve then tried to remove the right hand water valve handle but the small taper pin that holds it in position would not move at all: it looks as if it will have to be drilled out. Bill and the team fitted the right hand cover but for some reason it was reluctant to be pushed flush to the outside of the cylinder. Even when the nuts were being screwed up it was showing signs of resistance, so it was removed twice but still would not screw up. It will be taken off next week and checked out. The right hand con rod was lifted on to the crank pin, and the big end bearing fitted and secured - the little end is still to fit. The left hand con rod and bearings are still to fit next week.
Mark O' Brien spent some time in the fire box measuring up the new Q6 front gate side bearer fittings. These will have to be shortened a little and the boss faces ground off. He also was welding brackets into the ash pan. Our compressor is back in action: the inspector was there yesterday and it is now OK. Ian P spoke to Barney during the afternoon and asked about the J27 valves and ash pan sprinkler. Barney reported that the valve covers can go back on as Piglet has inspected them and says they are OK. He was going to have a look at the sprinkler today.
Nigel rubbed down the frames on the left hand side only, but had a business appointment at home so he had to leave just after lunch.
The next working Party is arranged for Saturday 2 February with James Pearcy, Trevor Wilford (make sure there is a good selection of biscuits for him!) and Roy Marshall, plus anyone else that would like to join them. This will be mainly J27 work. But check the weather reports before setting off as there may be some bad road conditions due to snow! Ian P will not be at Grosmont as he is on an MIC course at Pickering if the weather is OK. Enjoy!