Friday, 17 June 2011

George Sholto progress

The new cab has been fitted
Back at Bressingham after the naming ceremony I found that I had a couple of hours to spare, and sticking my head in the workshop found that Phil had started work on fabricating the saddle tank for George Sholto.

The cab that a couple of weeks ago was being made has now been fitted to the chassis and is being finished off.

I was expecting that I would come in one day and it would all be complete, so this was a pleasant surprise for me.

Heating and shaping tube to accommodate the steam dome
The two sheets of rolled steel that have been sitting in the Locomotive Shed since before Christmas have now been cut to length, and a hole cut into each. A large tube will be welded to these cut-outs thus forming a port so that when the saddle tank sits atop the boiler, the steam dome will protrude through it.

With the tank upside down and the sleeve tack-welded in place, Phil heats the edge of the tube until it's red hot and then hammers it from the inside so that it sits tightly against the edge of the hole that's been cut out — it needs to be water-tight when finished.

Once done it's away with the oxy-acetylene torch and out with the MIG welder to weld around the join, and then the bottom section is hoisted up whilst the top section that was underneath is moved out of the way allowing the bottom to be inverted and put onto stands so that the join can be welded from the opposite side.

MIG welding the bottom of the tube that will allow the tank to sit around the steam dome

Welding a continuous seam around the top of the join — this part will be inside the finished tank

Top section of the tank

Inside view showing bracing

The wooden template shows how the tank will sit, with the steam dome clearly visible on top of the boiler

Bottom section with finished tube

I am hoping to be in over the fiftieth anniversary weekend, so with luck will be able to get some photographs of the (probably) completed tank, along with some more of George Sholto without getting in anybody's way.

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