Work Progress.

April 2010


March 2010

       One weekend again and that was for a firing turn. It was a good day though.

February 2010 

Only got to Didcot one weekend and ended up doing a test steaming on pannier 3650.

January 2010

 Start of a new year and hopefully we can get a lot further forwards with the loco and boiler. 

December 2009 

As said last month nothing done on the boiler.

November 2009

Another 20% of the holes have been reamed and tapped, this will be the last work done on the boiler this year due to other committments at home and Didcot.

October 2009

                       We have now started to ream and tap out the holes on the firebox front. 40% of the holes have been done and the aim is to get the next 60% done before the end of the year then in the start of the new year to put in the stays. 

September 2009

                          Work was carried out on the loco but nothing was done to the boiler. 

August 2009

                     This month was spent mainly on holiday but work was carried out on the loco during the yearly work week. A couple of firing turns including one on Tornado and that was the month gone. 

July 2009

Started to ream and tap stay holes in the front of the of the firebox.    

June 2009

Didnt get anything done this month due to other commitments including doing a boiler washout on 3822.    

May 2009

The 82 holes on the front inner firebox have now been reamed with the bridge reamer.

April 2009

                  Work was started on the cutting out of the water balance pipes. 

March 2009

                   The rocker shaft and bearings were finished this month and due to Thomas event involvement very little else was done. 

February 2009

                          During February work was done on the loco to finish putting the rocker shaft and bearings up in position. Also the water valves in the cab were finished off.

January 2009

                            This month 82 stay holes have been reamed out with the bridge reamer on the front outer firebox. The next step is to ream them to tapping size and finally tap them and put the stays in. After a long time it feels as if we are starting to get somewhere with the boiler. Thanks go to Oliver and Roger for their help it was much appreciated. The longitudinal stays were spread so that we have access into the boiler barrel to start cleaning things in there. The safety valve flange on top of the boiler has been ground flat and the flange for the fountain was also ground which was a bonus. Both these items have now been greased to stop them rusting and pitting again.                

December 2008

                            This month we have removed 8 studs from the safety valve flange on top of the boiler which had sheared. This was done in preparation for the flange to be ground as the whole area is badly pitted. The grinding is going to be contracted out and should be done towards the end of January. Thanks for your help Baldric and Chris (Rimmer) Barry.

November 2008

                            All taps and reamers have now been aquired and reaming, tapping and restaying will start in the new year.

September 2008

                            We have had a good bit of news this month. Over the weekend of the 13th and 14th i reamed and tapped one of the stay holes that had the worse caulking around it and we now know that 7/8 steel stays and nuts can be used on all but a few of the holes. This will mean a great saving over getting copper stays. A new 7/8 x 11tpi tap has been purchased and 2 reamers are to be ordered by the end of this month. As soon as 100 holes have been reamed and tapped then we will order the stays and nuts. Things are now looking up for the boiler and we hope to make good progress with it over the next few months.

July 2008

                    The decision has now been made that the 72's firebox will be copper stayed on the bottom half up to the brick arch. Above the brick arch we are going to go up 1 or more than likely 2 sizes on the stays and fit oversize staynuts to completely cover the caulking. The copper stays will be the first ones done and the tap has been ordered for doing the holes. The stays will probally be ordered in the next couple of months as soon as the lengths required is sorted out.

May 2008

                  Have been helping with some rivetting on the right hand tank of 7202, also the tank was taken off the frames so that the remainder of the rivetting can be done. The spare chimney which will replace the present one was undercoated and then top coated, this will not be fitted untill the boiler is in the frames.We done a large shunt to move the 72 outside and then to a different postion in the works to enable the right hand tank to be removed for the remainder of the hard to get at rivets to be put in.

March 2008

                        The boiler is a long way off at the moment as we have hit a problem with the stays. All 800+ have been tapped ready for new stays to go in but where the boiler had its last overhaul at Caerphilly in the late 50's the caulking off the stays was so bad that they might all have to go up a couple off sizes which means re-drilling and re-tapping them all. Worse case scenario is that they will have to go up to copper stays instead of steel, this also means approx 3 fold price increase. When one off the stays was put in you could really see how bad the caulking was, so after a discussion it was decided to get a couple more opinions on the boiler before deciding what to do. Will post details on what we find out on here in the near future.

January 2008

                      Christmas steamings with Thomas are over now so hoping to get a bit done on the boiler during February.

November 2007

                          All of the stays have now been checked for length, the next job will be to check diameters to see how many stays of each size we will need.   

October 2007

                     One of our group Phil has during this month prepared and red oxided the spare chimney for the 72 as the one on it at the moment is cracked. 3 gauges are being made up to check the size of the threads in the stay holes, at the moment we have 11/16, 3/4 and 13/16 x 11 TPI.

September 2007

                          The 3 steel stays have now been made and will be fitted in the next few weeks. Once this is done the stays can be checked and then the decision will be made as to whether we use copper or steel stays. 600 hundred of the stay holes have now been measured so that only leaves approximately 250 to go, hopefully i will get these finished in October/start of November.

June 2007

                In the very near future 3 steel stays are going to be turned and put into the worst caulked holes to see whether we can use this type of stay instead of copper. It all depends on what the firebox side looks like once the nuts are on the stays inside the box. Due to numerous firing turns this did not happen in June.

May 2007

                  Nothing was done to the boiler this month this was due to Didcots gala weekend at the beginning of the month and other commitments.

April 2007

                 The Ultra sonic test was done today the 11th April, a couple of areas around the washout plugs will need building up with weld, but the worst bit of news was that where the stays were caulked inside the firebox the caulking tool left rather large indents meaning we might have to go up a size on the stays or use copper stays which are three times the cost of steel stays, caulking was probably done in the late 1950's or early 60's at Caerphilly.                                                                        

March 2007

                      During March 252 stay holes were measured to find the lengths of the stays needed. Small areas around and along the barrel were ground back to bare metal. All four corners and all around the foundation ring were thoroughly wire brushed. Also on the sides of the firebox some areas the size of a two pound coin were ground back. All this is in preparation for the boilers ultra sonic test which will tell us how thick things are on the firebox and barrel also whether there are any cracks down the corners of the firebox. Hopefully the ultra sonic test will take place in the first couple of weeks of April. Thanks go to Nigel Hunt and "Roger" Stephen Lear for finishing off grinding the patches on the barrel.

February 2007

                        During February the holding plates on the sides of the firebox were removed. Not a lot else could be done as the boiler was moved to the far end of the site into the transfer shed. Thanks to "Brewery" Dave and Dave "QD"  for their help.

January 2007

                       The only thing that happened in January was the plan of attack on the boiler.

PRE 2007

                  All fittings,tubes,cladding,safety valves and so forth were removed before this site started so the work progress will start from January 2007.




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Please note this is not a official website for  "GWR 7202" which is owned by "The Great Western Society" and based at "Didcot Railway Centre".

All photographs
 © Ricky Webster unless stated otherwise.