Friday, 9 March 2012

Keeping RECRUITS busy.

Ian and Richard S take a breather
We all had a bit of a rest over Christmas and the new year but in January, work got going again with a vengeance and we've been joined by new volunteers Richard Dean and Richard Seager.

Lifting Woolwich's boiler is imminent and Richard Seager has conducted an initial ultrasonic test. The results are heartening for now but show that operating pressure may have to be reduced unless heavy platework repairs are conducted. Reduced pressure is no problem, and the boiler's remarkable considering that it started life 96 ago!
Richard D and the offending cab roof

Richard Dean spent a sweaty day chiselling the bitumastic paint off Woolwich's cab roof, his first day's work at Crossness. It was originally painted gloss black and it will be again. The two circular plates on the roof are for filling the fuel tanks from above. They were never used but we'll ensure they're kept intact. There's still a lot of the horrible bitumastic to strip, a filthy job.

John Mitchell has been soldiering away at the seemingly endless task of cleaning the encrustation from the cleading.  This requires immense patience, which John seems to have plenty of.  Scraping paint by hand is time consuming but ultimately rewarding.    
Incognito John with project in hand

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Exposing the BOILER

Removing oil tanks
We got to a stage where the oil tanks had to be moved.  Although now held on with just two bolts, they were very heavy, requiring some mechanical assistance.

We were then at a stage where we could get to the cleading - the proper name for the cladding around the boiler.  Woolwich's galvanised steel cleading is thankfully in good condition, which means that it can be reused.  Once the remaining rivets had been removed, the cleading had to be gently detached and lifted away from the boiler.
The last of the insulation

Under the cleading, the insulation is made from aluminium-backed glass fibre.  It's all that stands in the way between us and the boiler, and we're desperate to see it.  The condition of the boiler is critical to the restoration of Woolwich.    

View the full story in glorious detail here.