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Summer 2024 Update

As mentioned in the last update, instructions had been given for the second cylinder to be cast and since the patterns had been made for the steam inlet and exhaust manifolds, the castings for these were produced on the same day.


Pattern for the steam inlet manifold between the cylinders


Corebox for the above


Casting and pattern for the steam inlet manifold


Pattern for the steam exhaust manifold


View of the other side of the exhaust manifold pattern


Corebox for the above pattern


Exhaust manifold casting


The first images show the patterns and castings for the steam inlet and exhaust manifolds. We were able to collect these items and include them in our display at CTL Seal for the Hengist open day. Please see the other pictures of these items in the article about this event later in this issue. Referring back to these latest items, I was fortunate to be able to visit the foundry and take photographs of them being cast, which has resulted in some quite impressive effects. Before going on to the actual pour, an indication of the materials used is shown, this being scrap automotive brake discs, which are made from very high quality fine grain cast iron. These are used in conjunction with amounts of silica and manganese etc., which gives the correct material composition together with making the molten metal flow more freely. The materials are brought up to the molten state in the furnace using coke which is currently imported in quite large lumps from Poland. In view of the risks associated with the foundry environment, great care had to be taken when capturing these images, mainly due to the sparks, which fly out in seemingly uncontrollable directions at certain times during the pour. However, this has resulted in some quite impressive effects as will be seen from the following.


Weighed out and palletised brake discs with the necessary blocks of silica and manganese, ready to be charged into the furnace


Loading the skip which will then be lifted up to the top to charge the furnace


Metal pouring from the furnace after it had been tapped

Metal being poured into one of the moulds


Starting the pour of the second cylinder


As the mould fills with the molten metal, gasses start to be expelled


The mould is now almost full of iron


Mould is now full and overflowing


Brake cross shaft bearing brackets being fitted to the carrier frames


Painting inside the carrier frames


The painters have also been turning their attention to applying more coats to the inside faces of the carrier frames whilst they are still accessible, as this will be very difficult once the bunker has been fitted. Progress is continuing on the fabrication of the tanks. The first illustration shows the left tank tack welded together, followed by completing the welding and then water testing (72 hours and no leaks!). Fabrication of the other tank is now well underway. Work is also at an advanced stage on the assembly of the trailing bogie. The hornguides are now finally attached with fitted bolts and new pre-war size nuts. The frames will be assembled and checked for accuracy of alignment in preparation for the fitting of the bogie stretcher, which is currently being riveted together at Gilspel Engineering.


Left side tank components tack welded together


The first tank is water tested


Garden awash following emptying the tank. Test successful.


One pair of trailing bogie horn guides being fitted


Further view showing both sets of horn guides on the same frame


Frames assembled to check for squareness of the horn guides


Final assembly of horn guide with fitted bolts



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