As soon as Cromwell’s back was turned our team found another project (or three!).
Some of the team went to work quickly on getting the O4 ready for the NRM’s big do at York, but others crept off into the yard and came back with .... the Class 33. Now that there’s a bit of space in the shed the NRM’s diesel was brought in and the team began looking at the work that needs doing. Much of it is “Cosmetic Enhancement”, but as the man said, “you can’t put paint on unless there’s something to stick the paint to.” The 33 has suffered the attentions of metal eating beasties over the years – I am reliably informed that it isn’t rust worm that does the damage, as most people think – that would be an erroneous assumption, not to say silly. No! It’s Metal Moth. The only way of curing a bad infestation is to keep the infected area dry, cut out the worst affected parts and weld in new material. With the 33 this meant replacing the old gutters which were allowing rainwater to get inside the body shell. We’ve made up new gutters to fit – obviously you can’t get things like that off the peg. Then it was out with the needle gun and angle grinder to find and cut out the worst patches. After that an industrial sized tin of filler to smooth over the worst dents and bumps. But before you get all excited and expect the 33 to come rolling out of the shed finished in the next couple of weeks, the preceding paragraph was more of a trailer for work to come than a resume of progress – when I left on Saturday the team were still at the early stages of finding the worst holes.
Gravity was extremely strong at the weekend – I know this because I went up a ladder to give a hand scraping the roof of the support coach – as I normally get vertigo standing on a thick carpet I found the whole ladder, scraper, strong breeze blowing dust around thing a bit much, but I can say with my hand on my heart that I tried. I will be back up helping on the roof just as soon as we get staging round the coach instead of ladders. Staging will also make the job much quicker because you can move around on the platform instead of having to untie the ladder, shift it a few feet, retie it and climb back up again to notice that the tools you need are still on the roof where the ladder was before...
The Five’s frames were the third 5305LA job at the weekend – both cleaning and painting. We put red paint on top of bubble-gum pink undercoat and cleaned off dirt. There’s not a lot more to be said about this long process, but it needs to be done. Anyone wanting to help progress the frames is welcome to come and join in. Training will be freely given.
Training – that reminds me – Alan gave a gang of cleaners a master class in how to clean an engine on Saturday morning (yes – Lamiel was in traffic – how did you guess?). Some people think “how hard can it be? You take the dirt off – what else is there to do?” Well, they found out that it’s not as simple as that. First you need the right kit – White Spirit (paraffin is a no-no – it spoils the surface of the varnish – we never put paraffin on paintwork) and Soft cloth – please, no buttons, zips or grit. Then you apply the clean spirit to a bit of clean rag and wipe off the dirt, turn the cloth over, wipe some more. Find a clean portion of rag, pour on some clean spirit and carry on (note that the dirty rag is never dipped in the spirit – that way the spirit stays clean). Then you take a clean dry rag and regularly remove the softened dirt. You carry on like this until a clean white cloth comes away clean and white. Although it sounds long-winded this method works, and it works surprisingly quickly, because you are always taking dirt away - unlike other methods which rely on moving the dirt around the locomotive by transferring the dirt to the bucket using a brush and then using the brush to bring the dirt back to a different part of the loco. Plus, at the end of the session, any unused spirit still clean and in the bottle ready for next time, not dirty in a bucket left out in the rain.
By Info | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Tags : 45305