This week we have a bit of an engineering focus for those who are interested in the minutia of some of the jobs carried out by the team. This time of year is certainly busy and the construction of a new barn, extension of the Fairground, relocation of the ice rink, completion of work on the overflow car park and a huge list of maintenance work is keeping everybody busy. On the collections front, the proposed loan by the National Trust of Robert Stephenson 0-6-0T ‘Haydock’, located at Penrhyn Castle, has been cancelled. This is due to the escalating costs of the logistics for its extraction. This is a shame, but every cloud has a silver lining and something else has appeared on the horizon that we are in talks about. As ever, watch this space…
Once again we have some of Chris Armstrong’s photographs to illustrate his week in the machine shop…
Below: The need to precisely bend various sheets of metal saw Chris making an adaptor to create a press-brake for the workshop – essentially a former and die that mount in our press but which allows repetition and precision in the folding work to be ensured. The first job was a plate to cover the brake cross-shaft for Samson. Here are the basic components which fit the break to the press.
Below: The former takes shape – this presses the sheet into the die, its circular form making contact in two places away from the fold itself.
Below: The former and die in place.
Below: These two views of the sheet metal for Samson being folded illustrate how the press-brake works, giving nicely rounded folds but aligned perfectly along the scribed folding line.
Below: Next up came repairs to the B-Type bus. A new shackle pin for the spring assembly was needed, and a replacement bush was manufactured, this being fitted into a rubber sleeve to create a composite bush. A spare was also made at this time.
Below: From left to right is the old bush, the completed assembly and the spare bush.
Below: The shackle is to the right, the bush has been fitted into the spring in this view.
Below: Another longish-term resident of the vehicle shop is the Fordson Thames van. This vehicle works very hard and, not being an accessioned item in the collection, doesn’t always receive the TLC it might! It has a wishbone/yoke appearance to the front axle suspension, and the bushes for the cross-spring, located outside of the pins which locate the assembly onto the front axle beam, were life expired and required renewal. The wishbone also needed straightening.
Below: To preserve the position of the bushes, Chris made a jig and tacked this to the forging.
Below: Before the jig was tacked in place, this view shows what was being accomplished, i.e. to preserve the exact position of the bush. The jig was turned to take the old and new bushes, before being secured. Thus the old bush could be removed and the exact position preserved for its replacement component.
Below: Old bush removed and new one made and fitted over the end of the jig. This was then welded to the forging, taking the exact position of the original.
Below: The assembly is seen inverted, the welding completed and the vertical bushes receiving attention by being built up with weld These locate onto the front axle beam as we shall see below.
Below: The completed component, also straightened…
Below: …and fitted back under the Thames. View from the front looking towards the rear – note the crossbeam sandwiched by the yoke and the steering rod in the foreground.
Below: This view should clarify the position of the wishbone/yoke. Note the spring runs across the chassis rather than along it, the front axle suspension being bourn by this and its mount to the top (centre of the lead spring) and controlled by the tail of the wishbone/yoke (I don’t actually know what it is called in this setup!). The steering rods are more readily apparent in this view too.
Below: Elsewhere in the workshops Alan is seen repairing the Bedford CA’s gearbox (also receiving attention to the clutch).
Below: The gap under the Bedford where the gearbox once was…
Below: Russell is also busy overhauling the running gear of the B-Type replica. As well as work to the suspension bushes, he is servicing the brakes and fitting new liners – the rear assembly seen here with the hub/drum removed. We have plans for a vehicle cleaning bay – the condition of the bus here showing just why that is so desirable.
Below: When this bus was repainted, Phil went to a lot of trouble to try and eliminate rust from the waist panels. Unfortunately this has reappeared and so in the not too distant future these will have to be removed and replaced. This will coincide with the first re-varnish, so the work will probably be tackled in one fairly invasive programme, as all of the beading has to be removed at the same time.
This post was very much focussed on the work undertaken in the workshops, as well as by the plant out on site – hopefully showing something of the less-glamorous side of Museum work!
Below: Darren and Mark are digging away a huge area of earth to the north west of our site behind the Regional Museum Store where a new collections barn is to be erected this side of Christmas. Whilst it is hard work and fairly tricky, there is a certain element of ‘boys toys’ in the plant we’ve hired for them to use on this particular job! The spoil is being used behind the Town to screen the railway passengers from some of the more unsightly views to the rear of the Masonic Hall and the associated service doors and gas tanks etc. Once planted up it should make for a more attractive and ‘rural’ ride for folks on the trains at Rowley.