C2 Project News

May 2018

A Busy Month

Firstly, apologies for not keeping on top of our regular website updates this month. It’s not that we haven’t done anything, rather that we have been so busy working on the C2 that we haven’t had time to write about it. We'll try to cover the major areas of work here.
The group has had two major working parties in May, at each of the bank holiday weekends. However, individuals have also been working on the loco and tender between these working parties, so hardly more than a few days have passed without some progress.
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Early May, and the weather was so still one morning that the Traeth Mawr became a perfect mirror. .
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Late May, and a view of Snowdon from the cob near Boston Lodge. The thunderstorms passed us by - most of the week was dry with a few showers.
The major focus has been on the tender chassis. However, there has also been progress on the loco itself. Most obvious on the loco is Andrew’s superb paint job on the bufferbeams; a great deal of care has gone into this. Come and see us at the 'Hunslet 125' event to see it for yourself!
Ed improved the fit of the axlebox underkeep oil trays, fitted the sealing felts and bolted them all in place. Alan had made some pipe adaptors so that the axlebox oil feeds could be connected to standard hydraulic hoses. Ed then made some temporary oil supply trays and plumbed them to the axleboxes with the oil hoses that are a standard fitting on the FR double Fairlies. In the long term, the axlebox lubrication will be fed from a mechanical lubricator, but the temporary arrangement will let us keep them well-oiled until the lubricators are fitted.
Although we keep the frames under dust sheets most of the time, they had accumulated some dirt. Erle and Dave 2 gave them a hoover and careful wash down so they are looking their best.
Andrew has also been gradually working on the chopper coupling components, and these are now completed and ready to fit.
The tender horns have been a major focus of work, machining and grinding these to achieve the dimensions and tolerances required, and checking the measurements achieved. Most of this work was done by Dave 1 and Paul, though Erle tapped the holes for the grease nipples and Stephen helped with painting. Alan, Erle and Dave 2 completed the reaming of the mounting holes.
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Milling the lateral faces of the horns, expertly done by Dave 1.
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Surface-grinding the horn faces
We had ordered a set of custom fitted bolts for attaching the horns, and once we were happy with the measurements these were used to bolt them up tight, with Jon and Paul doing the hard work with the sockets and spanners. It was 28 degrees Celsius in the C2 shed for several days; uncomfortably hot for physical work.
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Hot work!
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Jon's pleased to have finished bolting up the suspension brackets and horns.
A final measure showed that 11 of them had ended up exactly where we expected, but one had fitted in a slightly different place once firmly attached with all 5 fitted bolts. Paul removed this and gave it a final light skim on the surface grinder to correct its position, reattached it and checked the result. All was good, so the horns and fastenings were given another coat of paint.
Another focus of attention was the suspension. The springs were refurbished some time ago, and we had decided to renew the spring hangers so these were specified and ordered from a CNC machining firm. Paul checked the fit of these and then painted them with several coats. Dave 2 had made new equalising beams to go with them, which Paul also cleaned and painted.
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Dave 2 drilled and milled the suspension equalising beams. He also did a great job cleaning and painting the horn keeps.
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New spring hangers and equalising beams in the paint shop.
Erle machined up the pins for the spring hangers from stainless steel. We’re trialling some heavy duty engineering plastic bushes in the suspension pivots, which will hopefully minimise wear and be relatively cheap and easy to replace.
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Suspension pins machined by Erle.
Colin took on the challenge of making the new spring hanger knife edges. These are an awkward shape to machine, and he worked out that the best way to do it was with a tool-post grinder mounted in a large lathe. Undaunted by the fact that we didn’t have one, Colin made his own tool-post grinder and completed a beautiful job of these components.

Chris did a great job gathering together the fastenings needed for the tender horn and suspension assembly, and identifying what else we needed to order. Happily, when we came to the assembly stage we had everything we needed.
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Colin with his custom-made toolpost grinder, which did a superb job of the spring hanger cotters.
There are three spigots which react the brake gear forces that needed to be welded into the tender frame. Although we’re some way off finishing the tender brakes, we realised these would be much easier to fit without the wheels in. Paul designed and machined them, and Rob welded them in place.
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Paul turned and drilled the brake reaction spigots, which were then welded in place on the tender by Rob.
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The tender rear dragbox assembled.
Paul also assembled the dragbox components into the rear of the tender. These are the same as on the loco and had been made at the same time, so it was simply a case of putting the bits together and bolting it up tight.
The tender chassis has been upside-down for most of the last six months, but finally the day came to turn it over. Paul and Sam 2 worked with Dylan and the Manitou loader to achieve this; we’ve found this to be a safer way of turning it over than with our A-frame gantry.
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The tender frames posed outside, with the horns finally attached and turned the right way up.
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A busy moment as the tender frames get another coat of black paint. Graham and Alan worked on the outside while Dave 2 and Erle dealt with the inside.
The tender has also received several more coats of paint, both inside and out, and before and after turning it over. Almost everyone helped with the painting at some stage so thanks to all! Andrew, Alan and Graham carefully rubbed down the outer faces between coats to get a good finish.
Finally it was time to put it all together. Preparations included removing traces of paint from the mating surfaces and making sure everything fitted. A few last components such as special washers were cleaned up and painted. Sam devised a strategy for lifting the frames off our wagon onto stands, and then lowering it onto the three wheelsets in a controlled, staged process. Although we could have done this in our own shed we decided to do it in the main erecting shop where there was more space available.
Jon and Alan assembled the suspension onto the frames, which all went together well.
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Jon and Alan assemble suspension onto the tender frames.
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Going onto its wheels. The near spring is about to take some weight, while the next one along is guided into place.
Monday morning was the big day, and we carefully lowered the tender onto its wheelsets, guiding in one axle at a time. It all went together very smoothly; after a few minor adjustments we bolted on the horn keeps and took it for a trial run. The equalised suspension worked very smoothly over the uneven track in the yard, and the sideplay of the middle wheelset helped it round some sharp curves. The tender frame is currently much lighter than the complete vehicle will be, so there's not much weight on the springs. We didn't have any derailments, but we decided to load the frame a little more with a steel slab on a pallet.
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Alan adds some more grease to the horns, using the grease nipples fitted by Erle.
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A trip down the yard. Alan keeps a close eye on the tender frame while Paul drives the diesel shunter.
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Paul and Alan pose with the tender frames with a double Fairlie as a backdrop.
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The tender frames are longer at the front, and are designed to carry less weight at that end. We've temporarily ballasted the rear end with a slab of steel to even up the wheel loads.
The final touch was to paint the last nuts and bolts in black, and to add Erle’s battery box door.
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With the carriage shed empty in the middle of the day, we took advantage of the inspection road to add the final touches. Here Alan and Jon tighten the last bolts and open up the split pins. Graham and Dave 2 degrease the nuts and bolts while Erle follows round with a paint brush.
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Before putting the frames in the shed, we posed them next to the remains of the old tender tank. We'll be making a new one of these!
Hunslet 125