To assist the reader of my blog and its meanderings this diary page will be kept updated with news on when a page has been updated or new stuff added.
Some published pages from the start till now will not appear in the diary as I cannot remember when they were done or updated so the diary starts from October 18th 2017.
Oct. 18th 2017 Updated the axle box page with the crank axle box machining.
November 1st: added the front boiler support stretcher in Stretchers.
November 3rd; started on the inside motion plate in the stretcher chapter.
November 11th; Started on the first cylinder block …. the middle one. Also found an omission on the frames drawing as there were no holes shown for the K exhaust casting so made a note in the frames chapter.
20th November Still working on the cylinder block. Page updated with work so far. Photos to add.
22nd Nov Some photos added of the cylinder block progress.
30 Nov. all the machining on the cylinder block done and holes tapped. Valve liners and studs to do once the material is delivered. A couple of photos still to add.
4th Dec. Added a couple of photos to the cylinder block chapter and started writing on the valve liners
8th Dec. Valve liners made and fitted to block but end cap fixings have to be redesigned.
9th December ……decided to have a break from the middle cylinder work and take on the challenge of the cartazzie axle boxes for the trailing frames.
12th Dec. Started to machine the Cartazzie horn blocks ….see the horn block chapter.
16th Dec Started to machine the Cartazzie axle boxes … see the axle box chapter.
3rd Jan 2018 The Cartazzi axle is machined ( see the axle chapter) and the the cartazzi axle box problem comes to light (see the axle box chapter)
4th Jan Decision made on what to do about the Cartazzi axle boxes.
6th Jan Cartazzi axle boxes now modified and working.
17th Jan sliding and spring plates made for cartazzi axle box.
31st Jan Made the drag box to fit to the drag beam.
9th Feb Just added some pictures of the drag box, buffer blocks and finished cartazzi axle box
10th Feb. Started the eccentrics. See new chapter.
13th Feb Boiler has arrived. plus a bit more work on the eccentrics
20th February. Decided to have a start on the inside motion bits commencing with the trunnion brackets and expansion link, the trunnion brackets being the first job. This is a new chapter.
23rd Feb . Decided to do the front cover for the inside cylinder as I had to wait for some material to be delivered before I could tackle the expansion link.
27th Feb Machined and fitted the front exhaust cap for the middle cylinder.
28th Feb Started the front cylinder cover and ended up with a couple of cockups!
2nd March machined the first plate of the inside motion expansion link
7th March …Peed off as I have just discovered the expansion link is not as I had interpreted the drawing ………rework needed.
9th March Having real problems machining 1/4″ thick gauge plate for the expansion link. Two drill snapped (problem due to peck drilling CNC post processor not configuring a G code entry correctly) and three slot cutters later and still not finished. New 3/32″ cutters ordered.
14th March Made the piston for the inside cylinder. Yet to make the rings.
17th March Gave up CNC machining the expansion link, too difficult fo my X1 machine using gauge plate.
21st March Hand finished the expansion link but also looking into having the expansion links wire eroded. Piston rings are made and fitted and a start on the slide bar assembly made.
27th March Started the cross head for the inside cylinder having completed the slide bar.
2nd April Crosshead finished and fitted to the slide bar and trial fitted to the piston in the frames. Also finished off the expansion link.
9th April eccentric arm made and fitted and start made on the inside motion connecting rod.
1st May The connecting rod is now finished and awaiting a trial fit.
2nd May Connecting rod fitted.
4th May Decided to start to put primer on the frames. Started to polish the connecting rod too.
8th May started the piston valve bobbin.
17th May tackling the valve guide
25th May valve guide completed but modified to overcome a perceived weakness in the as drawn item. Completing the valve rod and bobbin and starting the piston rings.
29th May Problem, the rings will not go over the bobbin so now have to modify the bobbin.
1st June Finished the new bobbin but found the bobbin assembled with its rings would not pass through into the liner at the valve guide end as the short acute taper would not compress the rings. So took the liner out and machined a 5 degree taper and that solved the problem.
2nd June Made and fitted the crosshead for the piston valve.
4th June finished off the valve guide and crosshead and all fitted to the cylinder block temporarily. Decided to start the K exhaust as this fits to the cylinder block. Easier to test fit with the block out of the frames. It also covers the inside motion so access to the motion is then a problem so it will be on and off like a fiddlers elbow!
15th June The K exhaust is completed and a start made on the combination lever.
25th June. Made a start on the radius rod having completed the combination lever.
3rd July Radius rod completed and fitted to the expansion link OK.
5th July The drop link is partially completed. Just its holes to be done.
8th July Union link made and trial fitted.
9th July Commenced the inside motion assembly.
11th July The inside motion is assembled in the frames and a new chapter started for the weighshafts and reach rods as I will do the inside motion weighshaft and lifting arm and lifting lever next.
18th July Inside weighshaft work started and also some work on the brackets that fix to the outside of the frames
23rd July Inside weighshaft levers completed and work started on the outside weighshaft brackets.
28th July Started the slidebar brackets having completed the outside weighshaft brackets
3rd August. While waiting for material to do the spring hangers I started to do the boiler saddles. The front one first and it turned out tbe a bit of a problem….casting issues. The saddles are in the boiler page.
10th August. Well the boiler saddles are done and the material has arrived for the spring hangers so I can now make a start on those. A total of 12 have to be made eight of which are similar and the other two pair different. I think it will take a while as they are all fabricated.
14th August Spring hangers underway. They are in the Frame bracket page.
17 August.Still working on the spring hangers, a lot to do for a simple fabrication. Whilst the CNC was doing its work I began thinking about the smokebox. 6 1/2″ in diameter and between 1/8″ and 3/32″ thick is called for. I cannot roll that thickness and sourcing a tube in that size seems difficult from my early enquiries.
20th August. Finished machining the spring hanger legs. Can start on the plates to which they are silver soldered next.
21st August. Discovered the drawing for the oil wells which I could not find when doing the boiler saddles. I have updated the boiler page accordingly.
22nd August. Nearly finished making the plates for the spring hangers, three more to tidy up and then I can start assmbly silver soldering. Whilst the CNC was doing its job my thoughts turned to how I was going to turn the loco over. Normally with my loco’s I use scissor jacks modified to have a turning worm/wheel mechanism on one and a bearing on the other. The turning end fits over the buffers whilst the other end has a tongue to fit into the drawbar slot. I cannot use these as that will put them out of action when on the A1 so a new mechanism has to be made. The new mechanism also has to fit my building bench which is shorter than the loco. Hmmmmmm.
29th August The spring hangers are all done. They have to be fitted to the frames next but the fixing screws have to be obtained. In the mean time I have timed the eccentric on the crank axle ( See eccentric page).
6th September. Fixing screws have now arrived so I can finish off fitting the spring hangers.
8th September. All the main spring hangers are fitted and a start made on the smoke box saddle. This is described in the boiler chapter.
12th September the smoke box saddle progresses with a few problems.
19th September. Just added a few photos of the smoke box saddle progress.
1st October. Not much happening right now. I have been off for a few days and also doing work on our club signal equipment. Hope to be back on the A1 in a week or so.
5th October Had a break from signalling work and did a little bit on the boiler saddle to check dimensions and alignment of the smoke box with the boiler.
8th October. Machined the curvature on the smoke box saddle.
9th October. Started the machining of the outside cylinder blocks.
16th October. Both cylinder blocks have been bored but not yet honed. Also had to read my own blog to remind myself how I did the machining of the middle cylinder ports.
17th October. Started to hone the bores on the cylinder blocks. Its a long job with amateur hones also the honing speed is uncertain for firstly best removal of material and then for finish.
24th October. Given up on honing. I cannot get the hone to cut without the stones getting blocked quickly despite using lubricant. Putting the cylinders out for professional honing.
27th October. Managed to find a firm who can roll my smoke box. Stumbled upon them when looking for someone to hone the cylinder blocks. Beleive or not they are virtually on my doorstep and the owner lives in the same town as me! So now I am waiting for the return of the cylinders and the smok box.
30th October. Cylinders are back from being honed. Happy chappy now.
31st October. Started to machine the cylinder block fixing holes and steam inlet cross drillings.
2nd November. All fixing holes drilled and tapped for both cylinder blocks including the end covers. Machined the ports from cylinder to valve chest and managed to cock one up. Not too serious a problem fortunately. Also found I had mistakenly drilled the front cover holes wrong having totally forgotton my middle cylinder experience (should have read my own blog). Again a recoverable error. Not a good day at the office as they say.
3rd November. The drain cock holes have been drilled and tapped and a trial fit to the frames resulted in finding out the K exhaust must be fixed in position with countersunk screws as otherwise the cylinder block cannot fit flush to the frames.
9th November. Busy making four valve liners. Just the turning and boring at the moment
11th November. Liners fitted.
12th November. A few drillings done on the cylinder block and collected the smoke box from being rolled and started a new chapter for the smoke box with a picture of the tube on the saddle. Not likely to do any work on the smoke box for a while as I want to get the outside cylinder finished and fitted.
14th November. Cylinder end caps are in progress whilst awaiting material to do the exhaust steam way on the cylinders.
15th November. Finished the end caps.
16th November. Started the exhaust channels. They just have to be jig drilled and machined to match the cylinder block rear so nearly finished too.
19th November. Made a start on the driving wheels as a break from the cylinder blocks. Started the leading drivers and ran into problems straight away as the Myford is too small to use a four jaw chuck and the wheels have to be turned on the faceplate. Anyway part way into doing the first wheel.
20th November. First driving wheel finished ……just 5 more to do.
24th November. Not much to write about at the moment, still doing wheels. The front and middle axles are done but two more to do for the trailing axle. Crank pins have to be made and fitted to all and all need fettling.
26th November. Six wheels have been turned and bored to fit their axles. Next job is to do the crank pins, but first I must go back and finish the exhaust channels for the cylinder blocks. Just two to make and fit.
30th November. The cylinder blocks are now finished with the exhaust channels bolted on. I have decided to start the outside motion by doing the pistons rather than carry on with the wheels at the moment.
1st December. First piston turned and check fitted in its bore OK. No rings yet.
2nd December. Second piston completed.
4th December. The pistons are now fitted with rings into their respective cylinder blocks and the front covers finally fitted. The rear covers will not be finally fitted until I have done the valve guides. But first the valve bobbins have to be done.
8th December. Working on the valve bobbins. Quite a few bits to make for one bobbin.
15th December. Not much happening at the moment. I have been away for a few days and just before I left I had an unfortunate accident with my parting off tool and I have to replace it. One is on order. I have used the Greenwood Q-cut one for years and went to replace the insert only for it to slightly damage its clamp jaws when taking a cut and the insert coming out. This tool has been superceeded by Greenwood tools but is expensive so I am trying a cheaper tool. However one bobin is complete but no rings yet.
19th December. Accidents seem to come in threes …..had another one today whilst attempting a pressfit of the driving pin into the middle driving wheel only for the boss around it to crack. It was caused by my not supporting the rear of the boss whilst pressing it in as I had forgot the back of the boss is not flush with the rear of the wheel. I think the wheel can be saved by some clever welding as the crack is barely visible. I also found that my ER collet chuck runs 2 1/2 thou out. Only found that out having turned the drive pin in the chuck for its main diameter and the fixing diameter into the wheel but had to turn the other end of the pin for the return crank and thought the collet chuck would automatically ensure it ran true …… it did’n’t.
23rd December. Not much happening at the moment. I did enquire about having my cracked driving wheel welded but the advice was not to bother as the outcome could not be certain and the cost of having it done was a lot more than a new casting. That has to wait until the new year to find out if I can get just one.
Not sure what to do about the ER collet chuck. I’m wondering if the taper could be ground true on the Myford mandrel.
So …. nothing more now until the New Year, so a happy Christmas and healthy New Year to all my readers.
28th December. Had some time to spare so used it to make the valve piston rings and fitted the bobbins into the cylinder blocks.
29th December. Another couple of spare hours so I made a start on what I thought would be a simple job of making the trailing axle spring hangers. ……. that turned out not to be simple………. a poor casting.
2nd Jan 2019. back to the workshop. Just a simple job to ease into 2019, turning the piston rod gland bushes for the outside cylinders. Done just the same as the inside cylinder so nothing new there. But the valve rod guides are next on the list.
4th Jan. The valve rod guide castings have been part machined and one nearly finished.
7th Jan. Both valve rod guides are finished, just need to do their cross heads next.
13th Jan. Finished machining the replacement driver wheel for the one that I cracked. I plan to do the valve rod cross heads next to finish off the valve guides and then get back to the wheels to make the drive pins.
15th January. The outside cylinder valve guide cross heads are finished and the valve guides finally secured to the cylinderblocks.
16th January. Finished fitting the cylinder blocks to the frames. Next job back to wheels.
23rd January. Apart from having a few days away I have been putting a coat of black paint onto the frames. Once the wheels are done and painted and in the frames I don’t want to keep on dissasembling them from the frames if I can avoid it. Just trying to think ahead a bit.
25th January. The crank pins are now all press fitted to the driving wheels OK. Just need to fettle the wheels before giving them a coat of undercoat.
28th January. First wheel set has been “thirded”
1st February. All wheels are now “thirded” and having a coat of udercoat/primer applied. They will then be painted black. After that its back to the motion and making the slide bars.
5th February. All wheels painted but not pinned. That’s a job once they have been checked in the frames. Going to start the slide bars next.
8th February. Slide bars are making progress in that they are made but not assembled. The cylinder end covers to which they fix have to be drilled and tapped, one of which is done. This gives the opportunity to check the gap between piston rod and slide bar and at the same time see what packing is needed between the slide bar and its frame support to ensure it is parallel with the piston rod.
Whilst trial fitting one of the wheel sets it became evident that a turnover building frame was now needed so I am in the process of designing one suitable for the building bench. My other loco’s use a pair of scissor jacks but these will not fit on my building bench satisfactorily due to the length of the A1.
11th February. Trial fitted the slide bar assembly to the outside cylinder.
13th Feb. The first slide bar is now fitted OK and the second one underway but I have a difference in space between the slide bar and its support bracket between the two sides which is under investigation.
15th Feb. Found the reason for the different spacing. An error by me some many months back on the cylinder block machining. I think it can be left as is without having to do worry too much about the loco not running.
19th February. Made a start on the cross heads as I cannot complete the far side slide bar until I have built the turnover frame ( in progress).
26th Feb. Just in case anyone is wondering there is not much happening on the loco at the moment. I have only just decided how to machine a couple of components for the cross head ( drop link and cover plate). I was hoping to machine them as one piece but have decided against it so it will be two pieces and then silver soldered. I am also still in the throes of getting the turnover frame put together. I need some welding done and hopefully that will occur in a couple of days. All this plus work on the Clubs signalling has kept me busy.
2nd March. A little more done on the cross heads. The closing plates have been silver soldered on.
14th March. Not much happening at the moment. Busy building the turnover frame and our clubs signalling. One cross head has been completed but not many photos of it in progress so I will have to take photos of the second one as it is being built.
1st April. The cross heads are now fitted and it just remains to make the oilers to complete them.
3rd April. The three driving wheels sets have been assembled in the frames (unsprung at this stage) and the front driver connecting rod and expansion link rod connected only to find the motion jammed when turning the wheel set. This turns out to be a problem of insufficient clearance in the bottom of the fork of the radius rod where the combination lever joins it. So now the radius rod has to be taken out to machine a larger clearance.
12th April. Finally got the inside motion to move freely in forward and reverse direction. Turns out there was more than one inteference problem.
19th April. Returned to the cartazzi axle making the dummy springing and eventually its wheels.
22nd April. First wheel of the cartazzi wheel set machined.
23rd April Both wheels machined and fitted to the axle plus a coat of undercoat.
3rd May. The cartazzi axle is now fitted to the frames and complete. So I am now starting the coupling rods and the first blank has been machined for the front rod.
8th May. First coupling rod is done and the second whilst fitted needs to be completed – but the wheels turn.
23rd May Both front coupling rods are now finished having been in holiday mood as well so not a lot has been done. The next job is to start on the rear coupling rods.
4th June. Made the first blank of a trailing coupling rod today only to find I had made it too short! That’s 3 hours down the drain. I had forgotton to make the allowance for the pin diameters at each end. Plonker!
8th June. Yet another mistake ……..having made the connecting rod to the right length and trial fitted it to one side and it was looking good tried it on the other side only to find the thirding of the wheel set was wrong! No idea what I did to get it wrong but fortunately I had anticipated the potential for errors on the thirding and had not pinned the wheels. So pressed the offending wheel off and set the wheel set up on the mill table and using height gauges under the drive pins reset the wheel on the axle with Loctite. Once set the wheel set was put back in the frames and all lined up OK.
12th June. Made the second trailing wheel connecting rod and trial fitted it and all was well. All wheels turning satisfactorily. The next task was to finish machining the two rods by thining down and fluting. The first was done OK and the second one was in the process of fluting when the woodruffe cutter caught and wipped the rod out of its fixings and resulted in one mangled rod and a broken cutter. Expletives followed! So back to square one with the second rod with material and a new cutter on order.
One ruined coupling rod
28th June 2019 Well the side rods are all now successfully completed and fitted, and the wheels turn OK. Now I can turn my attention to making the piston connecting rods.
29th June. Made an adjustable connecting rod to check the measured centres of the RH wheels set and turned the wheel set over successfully.
5th July. In the process of machining the first connecting rod.
10th July. The first connecting rod is complete and fitted OK. Also the driving wheel sets have been pinned now I am happy the motion turns over OK.
28th July. Just in case anyone was wondering I have had a weeks break away and now I am back and can get on with the second connecting rod.
5th August. The second connecting rod is now completed and fitted OK although I did struggle to get this one done.
I think I will have a break from motion work and tackle the main driving wheel springs next.
13th August. Work on the A1 has been slow of late. Too many other things to attend to. I had a derailment on my 7 1/4″ ground level loco that needed some minor repairs to the drain cock operating rods. Paint scratches have yet to be attended to under the cylinder covers. My 5″ Jubilee has been test run following some repairs to the inside cylinder rear cover that had produced a steam leak and our club ground level signalling had two train detection treadles that needed attention. Anyway I made a start on the springs which is described in the wheel section.
15th August. Did a rough weighing of the loco/boiler bits to date to see if the driver spring loading is in the right ball park. Results are in the wheel chapter. Also busy making the bits for the spring hangers. Last bits to be made are the buckles but I need to decide exactly how the springs will be made up so I can determin the correct depth of the buckle.
27th August. Still plugging away at the main springs. The spring make up is determined and the buckles made apart from the radius around the buckle pin. Three springs are assembled…. three to go.
6th September. All springs now made and commenced fitting them to the axles. Not straight forward as it turned out.
8th September. All six springs now fitted OK. Musing what to do next. I really want to get back onto the outside motion as there is a lot of work there to be done but feel like a little more relaxing task so I have decided to do the axle lubrication for the middle and rear axle.
11th September. Lubrication wells and pipework for the middle and rear axle is completed. Howeve not too happy as the wells are slightly lower than the running plate and whilst they are made to drawing I found a GA that implies they should be proud of the running plate. I am leaving it as is.
13th September, I know Friday the 13th is unlucky, so they say, but I made a start on the outside motion lever workings. The weighshaft for the lifting levers was the first to be done and is fitted OK, but it did have a minor issue to be fixed before it was satisfactory.
18th September. The weighshaft lever on the main shaft is done and so is the weighshaft link rod.
24th Sept. Many hours being spent on resolving fouls when assembling the connecting link between the the two weighshafts.
28th Sept. The main weighshaft lifting arms are completed and fitted.
1st October. Made a start on the outside expansion links.
2nd October. Outside plates for the expansion link are completed.
10th October. First combination lever machined and fitted for outside motion.
11th October. Second combination lever finished and fitted.
14th October. Made a start on the radius rods ……. not an easy one this.
23rd October. The first radius rod is in the process of being made. It has caused me some problems in maching due to release of stresses in the stock bar. Its now been hand finished.
26th October. Trial fitting of the first radius rod, expansion link and lifting lever to one side showed it to be stiff and a day has been spent tracking down all the points that are rubbing and relieving the interference points.
27th October. One radius rod and expansion link finally fitted.
30th October. Out of action for a while as I have torn a calf muscle and cannot risk being in the workshop whilst I am hobling around and could easily trip……
4th November. Managed a couple of hours a few days ago to fit the lubrication pump but now I have been able to spend all day in the workshop and completed the first cut on the second radius rod…….. another 9 hour marathon!.
7th November. The second radius rod is finished and trial fitted and that showed up a problem ……… which is waiting to be resolved.
11th November. The wayward trunnion on the expansion link has been corrected to allow the second radius rod to be fitted.
13th November. All three expansion links can now be operated together but are a little too stiff for my liking so investigation is needed to locate why. Also In operating the expansion links I found that the radius rod fork at the valve end was not deep enough and had to be altered to avoid a foul with the combination lever.
14th November. Both union links have been made and fitted.
19th November. The two return cranks have been made and I now have to work out how they can be correctly aligned.
20th November. Had a go at fixing the return crank in its correct position.
23rd November. I have spent three days mulling over how to set the return crank rod length and whether to go for equal cut offs on forward and backward strokes ……Ummm, still thinking.
24th November. Decision made on the return crank rod length ………. just got to make them now.
29th November. The first return crank rod is finished and fitted.
6th December. The second return crank rod is now finished and fitted. Not without incident though as half way through cutting the profile the cutter caught and moved the work a fraction. Fortunately I was machine minding at the time and was able to stop the CNC running without damage to the work cut thus far. In order to finish the profile it was a case of using the band saw to cut off the remaining material and hand filing to obtain the finished profile.
I can now start to think about setting the valve timing.
13th December. Not much to tell at the moment. I have decided to make the steam pipes to the cylinders before doing the vavlve timing as I can then use low pressure air to double check the opening and closing events as I will have something to connect the air supply to. The steam pipes will feature in the smokebox section. I await the material to be delivered for them.
15th December. Material arrived and decision made on how to make the steam pipes and their cladding.
21st December. Two cylinders, inner and one outside have been timed (more or less) by using air and monitoring the air coming out of the drain cock holes. Not an exact science as I have no means of measuring whether the same amount is coming out front and back when the piston is at the same relative stroke position. No pics on the page as yet. Stream of bubbles in water might give an indication. Might give it a try.
23rd December. The last cylinder has been timed; done the same way as the other two for the moment.
Finally finished the turn over frames so I can now turn the chassis over without a struggle.
The front frame has a worm drive, the handle is just visible, to turn the chassis over. The front is held in place by two bushes bolted to a plate and the bushes fit into the buffer housings. The rear uses an L bracket that slips into the drag beam slot for the tender drawbar. Each frame is raised/lowered by the nut at the top (the screwed rods do not turn). The nuts bear onto a thrust bearing housed in the round boss on the top.
The bench had to be extended to mount the frames with new legs added. Oh, and the frames are bolted to the bench.
27th December. Very happy to be able to report that I have had my first successful run on air. My little compressor will not keep the required air supply and pressure for it to run continuously with the gear in full forward but it self starts and that at least indicates that the valve timimgs are there or thereabouts right. It is rather on the tight side so needs 40 psi but perhaps with some more running it will loosen up a bit. A nice way to end the year and just over two years work to date.
To run the chassis I have three seperate ball bearing stands that fit one under each wheel, two bearings per wheel.
Having achieved that milestone I have now started on the draincocks and levers. Why these? Well all the front end is between the frames and the very front under the cylinders and the front bogie cannot be done until all the draincock stuff is fitted. So a new page has been started “Cylinder draincocks”.
10th Jan 2020. The front draincock shafts and levers have been made and fitted. I have to do the operating levers that connect to the drain cocks but await some material to do those. In the mean time I have made a start on the front bogie ….. a new chapter.
18th January. The front bogie is making progress. The basic frame is complete minus horn blocks.
29th January. The drain cocks and levers are all done. Just need to paint the levers to finish them off.
The front bogie is making progress. The horn blocks are fitted and machined to width.
5th February. Painting the bogie finished frame and starting on the wheel axles and bearing blocks.
8th February. All axle bearing blocks finished and one axle fitted.
14th February. The bogie wheels sets are complete and just have to be painted.
19th February. The front bogie is finished and fitted. Made the steam fittings to connect the steam pipes in the smokebox. These are shown in the smokebox chapter.
24th February. Steam oil lubrication pipes made and fitted.
27th February. Made and fitted the front valve covers for the cylinder blocks as the valve chests can be closed up having had an air run. In doing so I managed to shear one of the 8 BA bolts so at some later point I will have to drill it out and retap it but I have to remove the lifting stand to do that ….. it can wait a while.
Following that I have made a start on drilling the holes in the smoke box.
1st March. The holes in the smoke box have been machined and the door ring made and fitted and a start made on the door, only to find problems.
4th March. The door is finished and fitted. As yet the bridge and dart have still to be done but I need to buy material to complete these. So in the meantime I decided to fit the cladding to the cylinder blocks as this will allow me to finish the fitting the draincocks. A new chapter for the cladding.
13th March. The superheater covers and chimney have been fitted to the smokebox.
14th March. Not a good day in the office as they say. I found my boiler was 3/8″ too long which affected the superheater cover retaining bolts and one drain cock lever was slipping and its repair proved a problem. All written in the relevant chapter. Only success was the making of the bridge for the smokebox door dart.
17th March. The office problems continue. The door dart was made only to be found to be short when fitted. A solution has been done but perfectionist might want to look away now.
20th March. A start has been made on the blast pipe. An interesting exercise with its own problems emerging.
22nd March. The blast pipe is finished plus two nozzles. This nasty Covoid-19 virus means I have to stay in so a bit more time in the workshop! So, pressing on with the smoke box which is now mounted on the chassis. I don’t think it has to come off anymore. Any holes needed eg deflector brackets will have to be drilled in situe. Current job is the kylchap chimney bits.
24th March. Lower and middle kylchap cowles have been fabricated. Just need to get some larger copper pipe to do the upper chimney next.
Just a taster I decided to mount the boiler again to check that it does slide into the permantly mounted smoke box OK. It does.
26th March. Whilst awaiting material to finish the kylchap chimney I have made start on the brakes. A new chapter.
27th March. Spent the day trial assmbling the blast pipe and bottom two kylchap cowles. A very fiddly job.
31st March. The steam brake cylinder is done and also the bracket that takes the operating lever.
2nd April. The operating bellcrank lever is done and a start made on the bars and numerous links.
8th April. Progress on the brake bars and links.
10th April. Started to make the forks for the brake bar connecting rods.
12th April. Made the blower ring as I have run out of material to finish off the brake roding although all the forks are now done.
13th April. First of the two top kylchap cowles made.
16th April. The Kylchap chimney is finished and an odd job I’ve been meaning to do for ages, the boiler clamp bracket, started.
17th April. Boiler clamp finished … just a coat of paint needed. Made a start on the running boards. Getting quite confused trying to make sense of the drawing and the loco as built as the dimensions do not seem all agree in places.
21st April. The brake rodding has been finished. Work on the running boards continues but I have found a serious problem which I cannot resolve satifactorily.
26th April. Time seems to fly by and progress seems inversely slow. Still working on the front section of the running boards.
30th April. More work on the running boards and a couple of problems show up. One I think I can solve the other is still taxing the brain cells.
1st May. Can’t solve the problem taxing the brain cell so will have to put it off for now. Missing brackets now have to be tackled before more running boards can be made.
2nd May. Two new brackets made for the running boards.
Just a taster with the boiler on while I was working out the design of the new brackets to miss the rear driving wheel and the underside of the boiler.
7th May. progress on the running boards, mainly the rear end.
8th May. Gone as far as I can with the running boards having finished the rear end so I am going to turn my attention to making the brake blocks and as the supplier of the original casting has not advised if one is still available I am going to machine them from round cast bar. At least that will finish off the braking system.
11th May. The brake shoes are all done and the brake gear finished. I have also fitted the drain cock extension pipes to one cylinder. A fiddly job making a suitable adapter to fit to the drain cock.
15th May. The other cylinder has had its drain cock pipes fitted. I have now turned my attention to the boiler. The dome cover was the first job and the wet header connection the second. Problems were identified and solutions adopted.
19th May. A variety of jobs have been done over the last few days. The cover has been fitted to one of the steam pipes exiting the smoke box. An oil box has been added to oil three points on the inside motion and a start made on the wet header block. All had various problems.
22nd May. Not a lot happening at the moment as I am waiting on material arriving.
2nd June. Its been a while but I have been working on a couple of lubrication details. The dummy lube oil tanks have been made and the sand box filler stations done one of which is used as the filler for the cylinder oil tank. This enables me to complete that section of the running baord and get it painted. Also made a start on the radiant superheaters. That proved to be problematic.
6th June. The running board with its lubricators and sand box fillers has been completed and the return bends for the radiant superheaters have been machined. Also silver soldered the wet header together, (but not to the superheater tubes yet).
10th June. The loco has been turned around on the bench and a start made on the running boards for the right side.
The superheater elements have been stainless welded with problems. Not what I wanted as I need them to be 100 percent OK as it’s a boiler off job if they are not.
13th June. The leaky superheater element has been repaired with sifbronze. All elements have to now be checked at 2 x working pressure before I do any more with them.
In the meantime I have made a start on the regulator valve.
16th June. The work on the regulator valve is on hold until I make a lathe spindle handle so I can screwcut the 3/4 x 26 tpi thread into a blind hole. It takes the steam pipe to the wet header. I do not want to risk doing it under power.
The front two running boards on the right side are in the “paint shop”.
Taking advantage of the good weather and easing of lockdown restrictions to run my 5″ Jubilee and G1 Duchess over the last few days.
22nd June. The lathe spindle handle has been made and the regulator valve body screwcut by using it. Surprisingly simple to do. very happy with the outcome.
Another running board has been made leaving just the back two to do on the right hand side.
26th June. Very hot in the workshop at the moment so not too much work has been done. What has been done is filing of the regulator valve body for the valve aperture, which is warm work anyway so that is stop and start at intervals. The valve aperture has given me problems due to its shape and length and there is no way I can machine it as drawn. Hey ho happy days.
July 3rd. Not a lot happening of any substance to write about at the moment. The rear running board is completed and fitted on the right side, the axle box lubricator for the right side has been made and the regulator valve has its operating arms made. All small jobesbut fiddly to complete. There is a step on the rear running board that has to be made and fitted on bothsides, another fiddly job which I will tackle and get out of the way. The dummy sandbox fillers have to be made for the right side and the front oil well and pipework has to be done too for the right side.
July 4th. Made some progress today with the trial fitting of the completed regulator valve and the partially completed wet header (not yet got the superheater tubes in place)
8th July. Two superheaters checked at pressure. Another one needed a sif bronze repair. Also I had a problem to resolve regarding the glanding arrangement for the regulator rod on the back head.
12th July. All superheater tubes checked and leaks repaired. Work started on fitting the regulator rod and its operating assembly on the backhead and a problem encountered.
14th July The regulator operating mechanism is made and fitted but there is a sticking point when initially opening the valve that needs investigation.
18th July. Problem with one superheater element fitting as it will not go through into the firebox. Probably a new element needs to be made.
22nd July. A result with the superheater element which now slides in and out of the tube without having to make a new one.
26th July. The wet header has had its elbows silver soldered in place for subsequent connection to the superheater elements. Not without its problems I have to say.
29th July. All super heater elements are connected to the wet header and fit into the boiler ……. just! Dry header is the next job.
7th August. Working on the dry header and the tubes that go to the cylinders. Not an easy job at all.
13th August. Having a break from the superheater work as I am getting worried about how best to fit the pipework in the smokebox so it all lines up with the boiler in place. So I have done some work on the feedwater pipes and blower pipe that have to be fitted into the boiler also there is easier access to the front tube plate without the superheater headers in the way.
16th August. Both feedwater pipes and blower pipe have been fitted and a decision taken to fit turnbuckle joints in the pipes from the dry header on the superheater to assist in getting the fitting lengths correct. The dry header is now all done and the whole assembly has to now be pressure tested.
19th August. The pressure test failed. I could not get leak free joints between the wet header and stainless elbow. The stainless type was not accepting the silver solder wetting. So, a decision on whether to make some gun metal ones or use commercial brass ones has to be made. Both mean cutting off the wet header and a messy job.
26th August. In the process of making new Calphos elbows for the joint between the wet header and the superheater elements having cut off and unsoldered the stainless steel ones that proved to be a failure.
2nd September. The new elbows have been fitted but I have now spent a week chasing leaks. Very frustrating. The problem is the various joints are close and heating up one tends to affect adjacent ones. After each “repair” a pressure test has to be done so its time consuming. I think I am winning as the leaks are now very small pin holes or minute cracks. However they tend to be difficult to fix as the whole joint has to be heated. I am using Oxy/propane now so I can keep the heat more local than a big propane torch. The copper soaks up heat like a sponge.
3rd September. Not winning!.. ….thinking about giving it up and trying something different.
6th September. I have been advised to use a different flux for the stainless steel so will give it one more try.
21st. September. Been on holiday for a break. Now back and refreshed to have another go at that bl****dy superheater.
23rd September. Finally the superheater is free of leaks and pressure tested. It is now fitted.
25th September. Made a start on the ash pan. Not the easiest part to get into ones head from the drawing. Also design decisions have to be made about the grate as its drawn as per full size with cross bars rather then longitudinal bars. A drawing note just remarks that if it is to have a drop section cut here! Numerous other anomalies I think too. As it is attached to the boiler the write up is in that chapter.
30th September. The ash pan main form has now been made. I have to decide on the grate design soon which is no easy task. I can get on with the ash pan doors in the meantime.
9th October. I have been spending the last few days on sorting out the ash pan doors. The as drawn items are incomplete and also have a possible foul in operation. However the doors are now at least fitted in a trial form.
14th October. The ash pan doors are now all operative and a decision made to use a rocking grate which has to be designed and made. The basic design is done.
21st October. Material has been acquired for the rocking grate, all 304 stainless. Lots of bits to machine and cut which is in progress. Then I have to get someone who can weld stainless steel to put the main frame together and put operating levers and axle pin on each rocking grate segment.
25th October. All the bits for the grate have been made and a jig is being made to enable the grate operating arms to be welded in position all at the same angle.
1st November. Well, bit of a delay at the moment on the grate. I need to find someone who can tig weld the stainless steel small components. With the new virus restrictions coming into force I cannot travel so it could be another month or more before the grate can be completed and trial fitted into the firebox. Meanwhile the ashpan is being painted with a high temperature paint. The ashpan and boiler then have to be put on the chassis so I can mark the ashpan fixing holes in the foundation ring of the boiler. This cannot be done off the chassis as there is no jiggle room for the ash pan in the chassis nor for the boiler with reference to the smokebox. Getting the boiler on and off the chassis is now a two person job. With the superheater in place the connecting pipes to the steam cylinders mean that the boiler has to be put on far back and slid into the smokebox.
7th November. The ash pan is finished and being fitted to the boiler …….proving to be difficult.
A start has been made on the cab reversing stand.
14th November. The grate parts are all tig welded and a start can be made on final assembly and fitting.
Bits for the reversing stand are being made …… left hand thread stuff …..covered in the “in cab” chapter.
17th November. Waiting for some 3 mm cobolt drills to arrive to drill the operating lever of the grate parts. HSS drill just burnt away.
19th November. The rocking grate has been assembled and it works fine. However I need to get it to rock to a nearer vertical position to maximise the gap for the ash to fall through.
21st November. Big day today, the boiler has been finally fitted onto the chassis and the steam pipe connections made in the smoke box.
24th November. Working on the reversing stand at the moment. Realised I have made a bobo by silver soldering the steam brake valve plate on the wrong side. It does not affect anything thankfully and can be ignored. A new plate can be bolted to the correct side.
30th November. The reversing stand is all but finished and set up against the backhead. This has highlighted a problem that I had not realised before in that the cab size is too small as there is no room for the drivers seat behind the reversing stand. Also the fire hole openning is too high compared with the prototype. I think the boiler design is incorrect but I do not know how. I will have to see if any works drawings are published anywhere. Not that I can do anything about it now with being so far advanced in the build.
Update …..That did not take long to find. The works drawing I found shows the cab very much like the Breeze design with the driver seat on a pedestal behind the reversing stand and almost level with the rear of the cab side wall. So the modern Tornado A1 build is different. That has put my mind at rest for that issue. I could not find a works drawing of the backhead so I do not know if the fire hole is right or not.
1st December. Made a start on the drivers brake valve. It fits onto the reversing stand.
4th December. The brake valve is finished and fitted.
7th December. The boiler blowdown arrangements are my next task. They have to be done before the reversing stand can be fitted as otherwise the left hand side blowdown connection point is not accessible. Just another in-cab item that has to be designed to fit.
8th December. Forgot to mention the regulator dome bush has now been secured with the small spring fitted that bears down on the valve. Meanwhile work on the boiler blowdown arrangement continues.
15th December. The boiler blowdown valves and fittings are finished but not fitted as the back head cladding has to be done first. Which brings me on to thinking about starting the cladding anyway which I have now started to sort out how to go about it.
17th December. Have done some more research on the cladding arrangement for the A1 and concluded that the boiler taper starts at the smoke box.
24th December. The backhead cladding is fitted in place, the blowdown valves fitted and the fire door almost completed.
27th December. The fire door is complete. The reversing stand reach rod has been made and fitted. A trial run of the reversing stand was a failure as the motion work is too stiff and the reversing rod shaft just slips under its clamp. I am going to wait and see if things free up somewhat by being run on air as soon as the remaining boiler fittings are made.
30th December. Made the snifting valve and fitted it to the smokebox. Slightly different to the as drawn design due to the boiler barrel being slightly over length which affects its position in the smokebox and I had already drilled the hole in the as drawn position.
2nd January 2021. Made a start on making the twin water gauges for the backhead in the cab. I have to make some design modifications to be acceptable.
5th January. The water gauges are made and in the process of being painted. Whilst the paint is drying I have made a start on the steam turret block.
7th January. Water gauges are fitted and work is well on the way on the steam turret block.
9th January. Having a break from the steam turret block. The block is finished but the valves have yet to be made. In the meantime I busied myself by making 12 boiler inspection plates that fit into the cladding.
12th January. Six of the inspection plates have been soft soldered into the rear firebox cladding, no phot’s yet. I spent the day today chasing small leaks on all the backhead fittings having pumped the boiler up with a few pounds of air. One gauge glass blowdown valve refused to seal so it had to be modified to use a viton ball seal rather than the steel screw down into a hole. The two blowdown valves need some thread removed form the valve stem as they were not screwing into the valve seat properly. One gauge glass was actually broken below the seal, I must have overtightened it and the other gauge glass bottom nut wasn’t sealing as the nut was not screwing onto the thread squarely due to the angle of the gauge glass not perfectly matching the angle of the stub into which is slides. A bit of clearance on the nut around the gauge glass solved that problem.
17th January. I have proved to my own satisfaction that the reversing gear stiffnes is due to the three piston valves ring pressure making thm stiff to move. With the reverser just driving the inside cylinder its fine. I did have to do a bit of relieving on the outside motion work to remove some stiffness in the expansion links but as soon as all three valves are driven the stiffness is there but not as bad now.
21st January. The steam turret block is finished with the injector steam valves fitted. Also made is the whistle valve which also fits in the steam turret block.
28th January. The turret block is finally fitted on the boiler and boiler insulation and cladding fitting, including painting, has commenced.
5th February. Slow progress on the cladding front. The insulation is now all on and the firebox and throat plate done. Now the barrel is underway.
6th February. Having trouble with the tapered section of the cladding………I do not like sheet metal work!
11th February. The tapered section is cut and fits (I think) so I am now painting it and three of the boiler bands. Painting is a long job as a day has to elapse in between each coat of primer, undercoat and top coat. There are usually at least two coats of undercoat and top coat and sometimes three when spraying, depends how many runs I get that need to be sanded down with wet and dry. There is definitely an art in getting the paint consistancey right and the movement of the airbrush so too much does not go on at once.
14th February. The tapered section is finally painted and fitted and the last section to the smoke box has been cut and rolled and trial fitted. I had a bonus as the fitting of the tapered section was actually a little high which meant the front section to match had to be tapered, so I ended up with my original intent of a tapered cladding at the top all the way from the smokebox.
17th February. Had to make a second version of the reversing reach rod cover that fits over the firebox cladding. A very time consuming job getting the bends right. Still its done and now in the “paint shop”. Also finally fitted the last piece of running board that abuts to the throat plate on the left side and that too is in the “paint shop”.
20th February. The last piece of boiler cladding has been fitted and just three boiler bands that are currently in the paint shop need to be completed to finish off the cladding. The dome cover has also been machined and trial fitted to the dome/cladding. A bit more work to do on it yet as there is a boiler band to fit under it and some clearance has to be produced for it.
23rd February. The boiler dome cover is completed and in the paint shop. One more boiler band to do, but I have run out of masking tape so that is on hold. The rear wheel splashers have now beeen soldered to the running boards now the cladding is done as they have to fit up to the cladding. one is fitted and the other is in the paint shop. The other running boards are beginning to be fitted back in place with minor adjustment to get them to fit against the cladding where the wheel splahers rise up.
1st March. The cladding is now all fitted and the running boards all back in place. The smoke deflectors are made, ( see smokebox chapter), one fitted and the other in the paint shop.
2nd March. Both smoke deflectors are now fitted. A start has been made on the drain cock rodding that runs from the cab to the outside lever at the front.
6th March. Finished putting the grab rails along the boiler and the ejector exhaust steam pipe to the smoke box. Now they are being painted. No pictures at the moment of them. The drain cock roding is pending at the moment as I am short of one length of rodding long enough. Also been doing some design work on how the rocking grate will be operated from the cab levers.