The replacement of the shed roof restricted working party access to the engine, but over several Sundays we tackled the unpleasant job of cleaning the boiler and firebox shells and painting them in heat resistant paint. This work too was curtailed when the boiler was moved outside to be warmed through to allow the new metal welded in to ‘relax’ into its proper place. The embargo was lifted on 14 August 2022 when the boiler was back on the ground in the paint shop.
A glimpse inside the completed works, with the first locomotive item to enter it, 2968’s smokebox, neatly framed by the new overhead crane and the pre-existing lifting jacks.
The smokebox is of larger diameter than the boiler casing, and the two are joined by the ring visible at this end. This is in the process of being drilled to take the attaching rivets which will go through the smokebox wrapper, ring and front of the boiler shell. Some holes have been drilled and the ring retained by nuts and bolts. The front of the cladding sheets when fitted are to same diameter as the smokebox so the step isn’t apparent.
The fires lit to heat the water to allow the relaxing of the platework also allowed a layer of soot to fall on the previously applied heat-resistant paint. It also meant some reassembly of other components, such as the firebox doors and their slides; these are still in place. They are actually parallel: the apparent angles are due to distortion from a wide-angle lens.
The doors themselves lying on the ground, complete with operating linkage. The item at the top is a hinged flap to reduce the ingress of secondary air.
The view inside the now soot-encrusted firebox. The items low down on either side are supports for the grate which, of course, also had to be fitted.
Working conditions were not always comfortable, as Fraser discovered in tackling the new steel of the throatplate.
Meanwhile, John used the needle gun to work between the nuts of the crown stays.
The firebox roof showing the crown stay nuts. How awkward it is to de-rust between these is obvious.
An unexpected find was this rivet removed from the base of the top feed housing. The story is that, under hydraulic pressure, it was found to contain a pin hole so is to be replaced by a patch screw, as used in assembling the inner firebox. This rivet was fitted by the LMS in 1933 so the hole has taken almost ninety years to make its appearance!