A three day report from Ian this week.
Tuesday was mild and overcast with some bright periods later, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley, Trevor Wilford, Gordon Wells and Ian Pearson forming the crew. Ian lit the stove and Nigel got the water supply turned on after it had been off over the weekend. Kettle filled, tea made and then disaster. Checked the biscuit tin to find it was empty! The weekend crew must have eaten them all!
The boiler had the latest two replacement tea tray studs fitted, the bottom right door refitted, and the boiler filled on Monday. Bill then fitted the ejector supply valve on Tuesday morning. Ian cleaned the boiler grate of old ash and prepared a warming fire which was lit early afternoon with the intention of a steam test the next day. Gordon and Bill then worked on the copper pipe, cutting and bending to fit the rear axle boxes, while Nigel painted the brackets with quick drying zinc undercoat and a coat of red gloss later on in the day. Jon painted the five sections of cab backplate with black undercoat and also cleaned the lower cab area with white spirit, before giving the area a coat of black primer. Trevor spent the day working on the ash pan sprinkler system under Bill's guidance. During the afternoon Bill drilled and tapped some of the holes for the oil pipe brackets.
In contrast, Wednesday was a grey mild day, blustery and with heavy rain after lunch, to welcome Bill Dobson, Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Terry Newman, Ian Pearson and Jon Bradley (for two hours only). Ed lit the stove while Jon made a cuppa, but, most importantly, the biscuit tin was replenished with fresh packets of biscuits. The Q6 boiler had been relit early in the morning by the MPD boilersmith, and when the NELPG team arrived, the fire was burning nicely but no steam was registered on the gauge except for a wisp from the whistle.
Terry spent all day soldering brass fittings onto the copper pipes. Ed made cotter pins for the left and right trailing gradient pin taper pins and then fitted them. Ian, while looking after the boiler in steam, took off the righthand little end oil pot and fitted a new plug tail trimming after soaking in oil for 24 hours. This was tested for oil flow and later refitted by Ed. Nigel gave the oil pipe brackets another coat of red gloss paint and also completed the monthly check on the Defibrillator. Bill finished drilling the bracket holes and then continued to tap the threads ready for fitting the brackets. There is still another hole to drill, but this won’t be done until the pipe work is in the correct position as the bracket may need to be swivelled slightly. Jon painted the five sections of cab backplate with another coat of black undercoat.
Unfortunately, the Q6 boiler steam test had to be abandoned due to poor steaming with only 30psi on the gauge, and time running out for the MPD boilersmith and fitter who finished their shift at 3pm. The two tea tray studs at that point were steam tight, with nothing leaking. The test was to resume the next day. The 9Fwas also in steam on Wednesday.
On Thursday (yesterday), Ian called in at the MPD about 12.30 to help out if necessary. However, there was only 15psi on the clock in spite of it being lit up at 06.30. By 14.00 it was showing 30psi and yet this was a warm boiler from the day before. So, again, the steam test was abandoned. It is thought that the tubes may be blocked so today, Friday, the MPD is going to blow through the tubes with compressed air before trying another steam test next Monday/Tuesday. Third time lucky?