Category: Engineering Update

Engineering Update on the current restoration

Engineering Update late Winter 2018/Early 2019

It’s been a little while since our last engineering update but despite the weather we have slowly been moving forwards on many fronts! Work has focused on setting up the frames and getting them square ready for riveting! Also whilst the weather has been against us we have been busy making a start on re-furbishing various parts of the motion cleaning, inspecting & re-machining where necessary. Off site the cylinder block is progressing well and should be ready for collection with’in the next month or to!

After a successful 2018, keeping to our predicted time line, with the initial erection of the main frames we hope to achieve the following for the coming year!


Current Plan

  • Setup & square off frames.
  • Ream & rivet up new frames.
  • Setup & fit new cylinder block to frames.
  • Machine & fit horn guides.
  • Build up rear Drag-box.
  • Continue with painting up wheels and new frame.
  • Re-metal axle boxes and machine with view to rolling chassis!
  • Water cut,cast & machine new valves,horn wedges,slide bars & leading horn liners.
  • Drill and fit running plates,side valances, etc.
  • Work towards a rolling chassis & re-wheeling.

18 month plans

  • Re-Wheeling.
  • New side tanks & bunker.
  • look into SECR bottle buffers.
  • start on pipe work (Vac/Steam heat).
  • Motion work/spring etc.
The RHS cylinder block almost complete and being machined to an extremely high standard for us at Statfold Engineering LTD
Rear view of the RHS cylinder block on the boring machine at Statfold Engineering Ltd.
An earlier view of the RHS Cylinder block showing how well the machining is progressing!
LHS Cylinder block on the boring machine at Statfold Engineering Ltd
RHS Cylinder block showing the underneath and the drain cock bosses machined!
LHS cylinder block.
Cylinder bore!
LHS Cylinder block
LHS Cylinder block jointing faces machined and valve face.
Machined valve face.
On a cold and wet weekend in January the team where out checking and adjusting the squareness of the frames using the trusty trammels to check diagonals.
Centers being checked for alignment.
A quick check of the frame spacing using the laser measure.
A consistent measure at several locations along the frames!! In old money this equates to 4ft as specified in the original drawings!
Scribe’d center line of the axle.
And from the scribe’d axle center lines a check was made ,using a laser, that the two frame plates where directly opposite each other!
The laser in action.
One of the frame stretchers in the welding bay receiving some repairs to the rivet holes.
Close up showing the worn holes having been repaired where necessary, re drilled and re countersunk.
Part of the rear drag box loosely assembled and ready to fit to the frames.
Work on the leading horns machining the worn out faces ready to receive new false faces.
RHS driving horn setup on the shaper ready for machining.
Raw material setup in the lathe ready for turning the eccentric machining jig.
Turning in progress!
Ian Ferguson at the controls drilling out the eccentric machining Jigs holding down cap.
The Jig receiving the same treatment.
Key way slot being machined out on the Jig.
Thanks to Ian Ferguson the eccentric machining Jig finished and the first eccentric being setup ready for it to be turn true.
The eccentric being clock’d to see how out of round it is to start.
The finished eccentric!
Eccentric machined round again and true to its keyway!
Setting up and re machining the damaged valve rod tapered end.
Truing up the tapered valve rod end.
Little painting exercise whilst its cold outside.
Steam reverser oiler overhauled.
Setting up one of the pistons ready to remove the rings and piston head.
Removing the piston head nut.
Piston head removed and cleaned up.

Could YOU help us? Donate today to help keep up the good work and see 27 run again!


November Update

With a few weekends of unusually mild weather and help from other loco department volunteers the team successfully finished preparing the frame plates and set about erecting the frames and taking initial steps to leveling them!

The initial setup
Frame plates setup and ready for leveling
Setting the frames level by adjusting the frame supports
Leveling the frames
Initial erection of the frames!
Initial erection of the frames!
Matt marking out the last holes ready for drilling!
Matt marking out the last holes ready for drilling!
Sean grinding today!
More synchronised grinding today!
More synchronised grinding today!
The Team and Volunteers from the yard busy grinding Mill scale from the frame plates!

Autumn Engineering Update

It’s been a few months since we’ve had any significant news on the restoration front to share with you, not to say we haven’t been busy but it has involved countless hours upon hours of grinding the various faces of the frames square! With this now completed, and various alignment reference marks spotted, the two frame plates have been split and we can hopefully accelerate now to finishing the prep work on the frames and erecting the basic frame assembly before the years end!

Meanwhile whilst all this has been going on Sean has been busy grit blasting and painting up the horn guides and various other components in readiness for remedial work and refitting to the new frames.

Offsite the work of machining the Cylinder block should hopefully be well on its way at Statfold Barn and it is hope’d that by the end of the year we should, after collection, be able to setup the new block within the new frames!

All in all we should hopefully be on track to fulfilling our aims, from the beginning of the year, to having the frame assembly loosely erected before the years end!

Work site re-arranged, frames split and ready for remedial work before the main frame assembly is erected!
The state of play at the beginning of September with the two frame plates still bolted together awaiting the horn opening being ground square!
Tapping the two frame plates for eventually bolting the front sand boxes on!
The Center reference point for marking out now redundant and awaiting being cut out!
Grinding the Horn openings square!
Horn openings ground square after many hours of repetitive grinding……
Frame plates separated and lay’d out for re-medial work prior to frame erection!
Horn castings and various other components cleaned up thanks to Sean’s hard work.
Horn Guides ready for attention.
Ben busy heating up the horn guides and removing the old studs in preparation for their replacement!
Studs removed!

Mid Summer Update

With the weather firmly on our side the team has made great progress towards achieving our goal of working towards erecting the new frames by the end of the year!

With a few weekends and a couple of days holiday to spare Matt and Ben have all but completed the drilling of all the holes in the new frame plates! Following on from this the frames now need all of the horn slots machining square and then we should be in a good position to erect the new frames!

Also at our last monthly working day in July the team got together and finally took the plunge disassembling the remains of the old frames into a flat pack P tank! We also welcome’d Russ to the team who made himself most helpful drilling and shelling out broken stays in the front counterweight!

The opportunity was also taken to have a good clear up of our little site and set-up a new area with better forklift access for assembling the new frames! Temporarily we have placed the cab in this area to help Clive and his team of Network Rail Employees on their Charity works days cleaning up and helping to preserve the cab from any further deterioration from the elements!

Offsite the cylinder blocks, as well as all of the fitted bolts and studs, will soon be machined at Statfold Barn with an expected completion date set for the end of October. So hopefully by the “Giants of Steam” event we should have the new block back on site and ready to fit!

We are progressing well but we can only keep up the good work with regular donations from all you kind folk so if you feel you’d like to help us, be it a small or large donation, then please donate today and help us see 27 run once again!

Bird’s eye view of our July Working day with Russ busy shelling out and removing old stays in the front counterweight (bottom left), Bean and Sean removing the final few rivets in the old frames (top right) before dismantling and the new frames can be seen all drilled outside the Villa’s (middle left!)
Leading wheel set temporarily placed on the tramway outside Atlantic house with Beachy Head’s boiler behind.
Matt gas cutting out some of the final rivets holding the old frames together!
Close up action shot.
The Team busy working away at dis assembling the old frames.
The Motion plate set and ready for removal!
And out she comes!
Motion plate removed from the old frames
Russ hard at work shelling out old broken studs from the front counterweight.
Shelling out you ask…? this is the process of removing a snapped stud in a threaded hole and involves grinding the remains of the old stud flush, drilling out the center and then collapsing the remains of the stud into the center hole using a shelling tool to hopefully save the old threaded hole for reuse!
Disassembly begins with removing the old frames from the stands!
Stands removed and ready to be lowered
Frames removed from the stands!
And on the deck!
Chains re- Jigged ready for finally separating the two remaining frame plates!
Finally the frames are disassembled!
New frames drilled and ready for attention to the horn openings!
New Frames all drilled
Rear shot of the drilled new frames
Marking out and scribing the horn openings!
Marking out in preparation for machining the horn openings.
Holes positions marked out for tapping.
Some more tapped holes in the rear section of the frames!
Matt caught inspecting the Cab! The Roof sheets will need replacing but with some repairs and rust blowing joints being sorted out the rest of the cab should be savable!
Flat pack P tank!
With the old frames dissembled the site was cleaned up and rearranged!
Wheel set going back in!
Tidy’d up site with cab brought in for attention by a group of willing volunteers from Network Rail on a charity works day lead by our chairman Clive!
Flat packed P tank and wheel sets moved back into the site previously occupied by the old frames!

18th June working day Update

*****Progress on Project 27, working day June 2018*****
An update after our June working day.

After hours of carefully marking out, the first hole can now be drilled. The two frame plates have carefully been position, one on top of the other, so that we can be assured that both frame plates match each other!
The first hole being cut in our new main frames.
And the moment when the cutter breaks through for the first time!
To secure the two plates together, after drilling the initial hole, Ben is using a bridge reamer to finish a selected non critical hole to final size. Then using a precision machined pin inserted into the finished hole the two plates can be locked together!
Reaming in action!
The finished hole ream’d to size!
At the front end of the two frame plates all the centre marks have been circled in chalk pen and hole sizes marked to help show each hole position and avoid any holes being drilled in the wrong place or to the wrong size! Also in this picture, one can make out the head of one of the locating pins as well as a temporary bolt fitted to hold the two plates firmly together whilst all the holes are drilled through!
Progress so far at the back end with all the rear holes drilled ready for being assembled to the rear dragbox!
Mean while inside the villa’s Sean has been busy needle gunning,degreasing and getting a coat of bonda Primer on the front and rear buffer beams!
As well as some of the many angle irons and spacer plates in preparation for assembling the new frames.

5th June 2018 Update

Talking of you’ve been framed (or at least Matt does) today Matt has also finished the task of painstakingly marking out all of the hole positions for the main frames! just over 400 holes in total and roughly 24 man hours spread over the last couple of months, weather dependent! Following verification and a quick double check, measure twice cut once as the old boy said, we should be in a position to commence drilling the main frames at our next working day later in the month!

Also the Vacuum Cylinder has been finally fitted together and tested fit for use and has now been put into storage waiting for the time that the new frames are erected and ready to have the cylinder fitted.

As always all donations to help us keep up the good progress are most welcome’d so please visit our donate page via the link below or see us at the upcoming Bluebell Railway model weekend on the 23rd to 24th of June!

Tools of the trade scattered on the frames as the rear of the frame plates are marked up! each white chalk pen circle identifies a centre pop denoting a hole centre!
Frame Plates lay’d out on top of one another outside the wainwright villa’s for marking.
The front of the frames being marked out with the holes for the cylinder block bolts having been marked and circle in white chalk pen.
The rear of the frame plates finished and ready for drilling. If you look carefully you should be able to make out the centre pop marks circle’d by the white chalk pen from which we can centre the Mag drill and drill all the various holes!
Marking out of the cylinder centre line & cylinder block centre, rising at a 1 in 9 incline from the centre axle, highlighted by the yellow chalk pen marks.
Vacuum cylinder freshly overhauled and tested to CEPS 1019 on the test rig passing with flying colours! she’ll now be put into dry storage awaiting the time that we’re ready to fit her up within the new frames.

Cylinders go for machining!

The Cylinder Blocks have been sent away to our friends at Statfold Engineering Ltd for machining!!

Undeterred by the British weather, on Friday, Matt and Ben popped up and delivered the cylinder block castings to Statfold Engineering Ltd for machining!

Another little milestone for the group and the ongoing restoration of 27 but now to a little begging/help post without regular donations we won’t be able to keep up with our current progress!!

So to all of our fans and contributors if your enjoying seeing the progress/updates we’ve posted so far and would like to see further progress in the future than please consider helping out by visiting our donate page below and donate any contribution, be it little or large! without your regular help 27’s restoration will cease to continue at its current rate!

Strapped up and ready to go! plus snow!
The Cylinder castings loaded and ready for their journey!
Beating the snow we made it up to deliver our cylinders to Statfold Engineering Ltd!
Inside Statfold Engineering Ltd Workshop showing the impressive setup!
The boring machine which will be doing most of the work on our cylinder block!
One of the CNC lathes.
Progress at home with the rear buffer beam drilled and the front buffer beam brought in for the same treatment!
Before and after! Rear buffer beam meets front buffer beam!
The rear Drag-box plate has also been drilled (closet to the picture) and is now ready for the re-enforcing plate to be riveted on!
Side valance parts painted up in Bonda primer ready for welding to make up the side valances!
Progress on the Overhaul of the Vacuum brake cylinder!
Vacuum brake cylinder and cover in Bonda primer.
Vacuum brake piston non working surfaces painted up!
and the reverse side!
Inside of the top cover in final coat!

****Donate Now to help our Little Loco’s Click below!***


February working Day

A brief engineering update on the progress made on our monthly working day for February.

Side valance ends drilled.
Rear view showing the angle work drilled and attached!
The finished artical on 323 Bluebell! Our Valance ends are now ready for welding to the custom angle work to form the side Valances.
Rear Buffer Beam marked out and ready for Drilling.
More marking out on the rear buffer beam! All the holes for drilling have been center pop’d and a yellow circle marked around them for identification!
The first holes drilled in the rear buffer beam! these have been tap’d and are now ready to have, at the time, the rear stowage hook for the coupling to be bolted on (Show’n painted up on the right).

January Working Day

With the group together for our monthly working day, progress was made on making a start on riveting the rear drag-box up! After a successful day of riveting this plate is now ready for a coat of paint and machining to square this sub-assembly up to aid in the erection of the main frames. Also many thanks for the workshop staff allowing us to use there space and equipment for the day! As always this project is self funded and run by a small team of volunteers and any donations will help us hopefully keep up the good progress so far! So if you feel you can help spare a penny for a P please visit our donate page below!

Matt & Reuben discussing & checking the set-up before work commences!
Another shot from the dry run. A good riveted joint can only be achieved from good planning and team work!
measuring blank rivets for cutting to size.
Cameron cutting the rivets to size for the plate work.
Starting to heat the rivers up.
The rivets have carefully been brought up-to a yellow heat at which point they are ready for being riveted any hotter than this and they would start melting!
Glowing hot rivets!
Matt inspects the rivets once they have been set in and cool’d down!

The riveting finished and all the angles now firmly fixed to the Horizontal drag-box plate.
Some of the formed rivet heads holding on one of the angle irons which will hold the Brake Cylinder on to the engine.
Side angle riveted on which can now be machined square to aid in setting up the frames!
And the other side! the square hole at the top is for the handbrake column rod to pass through.

Christmas Update

A brief works picture update of progress on 27 over the Christmas round up and the beginning of the new year!

Ben has been busy machining true the angle irons which hang the brake cylinder from the rear dragbox assembly.
Carefully taking the first cut.
Machining in progress.
The finished article! Both outside edges are now perfectly at 90 Degree’s to each other.
The rear buffer beam has been brought into the dry and partial warmth of the villa’s for drilling.
A quick wire brush brings back the arc markings.
Meanwhile the rear dragbox and angle irons where ream’d through to finish size ready for riveting. This finishing through with a bridge reamer ensures that the plate work and angle iron holes are perfectly inline and round!
The rear dragbox horizontal plate ready for riveting! The angle iron that Ben machining earlier for the brake cylinder have also been fitted and are also ready for riveting!
A close up of the ream’d holes with a small relief chamfer set in for the rivet heads. You can just make out the hairline break between the plate and angle iron, this also hopefully shows you how the bridge reamer perfectly cuts an aligned hole through the two parts!
Meanwhile thanks to the workshop manager we have been allow’d a small space within the works to progress the painting of the wheels. This would be impossible outside at this time of year! Steve Booth has been busy filling in casting pits and sanding back the spokes for a lovely smooth finish!
A lot of time and efforts goes into the preparation work but this should pay off when we finally get to final top coat! The spokes on this side are now starting to look very smooth compared to when Steve started!
Ben has also been busy at the beginning of the new year machining up the reinforcing plate for the front buffer beam where the draw-hook goes through!
Machining in progress cutting the reliefs for the front buffer beam angle iron!
A busy day’s machining and all ready for when the front buffer beam is assembled! The square hole in the middle is where the draw-hook passes through.