Friday, 20 November 2015

Further update on the stuffing glands

Ben has been hard at work again!

Following on from last weeks silver soldering exercise, this week Ben Dingley has finished making the remaining two bronze stuffing glands, ready for assembly. The outside dimension of the bush being carefully turned down to match the internal diameter of the bore of each individual gland.

Following this a pilot hole was drilled through the centre of the bush, before being bored out. This is undersize relative to the final dimensions of the piston rod which will pass through this hole. The bush will be bored out to final size after silver soldiering the bush to the gland.

The bush being fitted to for size to the stuffing gland prior to being removed from the stock material
(all pictures: Ben Dingley)

The three stuffing glands with the new bushes inserted, the one on the left is the one silver soldered previously
One of the glands needed further work in the shape of boring a step in the internal diameter as the original material was contaminated by previous white metaling processes and the silver solder would not have adhered to the surface in a correct manner.  

The third gland and bush clearly showing the step machined in the and on the bush
We must express our sincere thanks to The College for allowing Ben to carry out the work using their facilities, Ian Furguson for helping and Ben for the actual work being carried out.  I would imagine that there is not too much more to do before a start can be made on re-assembly!

We are starting to formulate plans for sales and information stands next year. We have a few definite dates already, including (at Sheffield Park)  Branch Line Weekend 19th/20th March and the Atlantic House open weekend 11th/12th June.  Away from the railway, we have been invited to attend the Steyning Model Railway show on the 2nd April, and of course we will be at the BRPS AGM 21st May. We are just awaiting dates for the remaining "Gala" dates before arranging stands at these.  If there are any events close to the railway that would like to invite us, we are always interested in getting our message out there!

We are also looking at a way to organise a regular working group, on a monthly basis, from early in the new year. This will require a bit of work, but it is believed to be a good way to bring new blood to the engineering side of the railway.  There are a few minor things to sort out, but we are hopeful that we can do this next year.  If you would like further information on any aspect of the project including how you can help us either physically or financially please contact the project on

Thanks for your continued interest in Project 27

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Weld Repair to the Right Frame

Stuart has done some grinding!

Stuart Marks, our Project Engineer has been working on the old welded repair to the right side frame.  He has managed to grind out to a fair depth, hoping to see that the weld would be suitable for further service, with minor repair and tidying up.
He found, however, that there was a high proportion of weld slag in the repair and it will need further work.  This may be a welding process, or may entail cutting out a small patch and replacing it with new material.  This is dependant on the size of the piece ground away, and the assessment of what is left behind.  The worst case scenario is if the gap in the frame is too great, a patch will need to be cut out and a new patch welded in for strength.  the best case is that it can be weld repaired.  This decission will need to be made by the workshop manager in conjunction with the project engineer. 

It's not all gloom and doom though! We have ordered some more steel for the manufacture of the fitted bolts so they can be ready for the day we come to fit the new cylinders into the frames. This is likely to be a little way off, but if we get the material ready so the machining can be carried out when there is spare capacity it helps the work flow in the macine shop.

The drawings for the new cylinders have been completed and are just waiting for a final check before we can order a couple of sets of cylinders.  This will of course need to be paid for!

If you would like to help us in any way, please contcat the project on

Thanks for your interest.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Photos of the 9F club's work

 A few pictures of the work done by the 9F Club

Just a quick update with some pictures done by the 9F Club last weekend.
the horn guide and keeper plate having been cleaned (all photos by Clive Emsley)
The brake hangers having been cleaned up by the 9F Club and treated by Jim Turtle

the four guard irons and struts awaiting cleaning and protective treatment
 These pictures give an impression of the work we will be carrying out for the next few months whilst we continue to raise funds to pay for the parts that need to be manufactured.  This includes many small parts as well as somewhat larger items such as the boiler and cylinders!

If you would like to help us in any way, please contact us at

Thankyou for your interest.

Progress this week on the Steam Reverser

Silver soldering takes place on the stuffing gland

This week at college Ben has go to the stage of silver soldering the first of the newly manufactured bushes into the first of three stuffing glands to be treated.  This was carried out with the help and guidance of Ian Furguson.

The pieces of the assembly were thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the operation. This required the use of a fine emery cloth to remove any surface impurities and the application of an "easyflow" flux.

The cleaned stuffing gland having easyflow flux applied at the start of the operation (all photos: Ben Dingley)
The gland was surrounded with fire bricks which hold the heat and help to keep the temperature correct during the operation.  the gland was then heated to 670 degrees centigrade, which is the melting point of the silver solder.

The heating commences and the flux starts to run
The heat is applied using two heat sources, creating a "vortex" of heat around the piece.  this helps to get an even temperature throughout the gland.  the silver solder is then fed into the joint to start the soldering process.

Heat applied to the bottom of the item to draw the solder through
The heat is then transferred top the bottom of the joint to draw the silver solder through the joint to create a firm and solid connection. The stuffing gland was then turned over and the process repeated on the other end.
Heat, flux and silver solder being applied to the other end of the gland 
Once a good joint was made, the heat was removed and the entire assembly allowed to cool down before the final process could take place.
The stuffing gland cooling from the extreme heat applied
In the picture it is possible to see the areas of silver solder showing against the cherry red of the brass stuffing gland and bush which have been joined.  The gland was left to cool before the final part of the proceedure which was to "pickle" the gland in a bath of dilute sulphuric acid.  This process is intended to remove the residue of the flux and other impurities.

The stuffing gland relaxing in a nice bath of dilute sulphuric acid!
Following this procedure, a final machining will to take place to ensure that the bore dimension is correct and the faces are square to the bore.

Please keep returning to this page as it is regularly updated with the latest news, usually weekly, but occasionally it takes a bit longer to update!

If you would like to help the project in any way, please contact us by E Mail at where we will be able to give you more information.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Another good weekend's work

Machining of parts for the steam reverser

Ben Dingley (Essex Ben) has been busy on the refurbishment of the steam reverser. following on from the grinding of the port face on the cylinder, he has bored out the cylinder to remove excessive pitting in the bore.
The steam reverser cylinder on the "Broadbent" Lathe undergoing boring (Photo: Ben Dingley)
This work was carried in the workshops at Sheffield Park. Thanks must go to Steve Czech and Chris Shepherd for thier advice and for allowing us to use the machine. Thanks must also go to Ian Ferguson for supervising and guiding the operation.
Bronze bushes being turned by Ben Dingley, who also took the photograph
Ben has also been continuing with his work at college and has started to make new bronze bushes which support and guide the piston rod as it travels up and down in the cylinders. This work will continue over the next couple of weeks.
There was also some work done in the Villa on Saturday when members of the 9F club spent time with us, supervised by Steve Booth. Jim Turtle provided guidance on what items to work on. This was the last 9F club meeting of the year, and our thanks go to them for their support.
As the day was slightly damp, the work was carried out inside the villa. The 9F boys and girls worked hard with scrapers and wire brushes to remove the rust off the brake hangers, previously stored outside.  They also spent some time cleaning up the hornguide and axle keep recently removed from the frame for the crack repair.
Once the items were cleaned up Jim applied Chelade to all items. This product stabilises any remaining rust and leaves a protective polymer barrier on the surface ready for the next layers of paint.
Jim has promised to let me have a couple of photos which I will post when they arrive.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A great Giant of Steam Weekend for Project 27

The "weekly" update

Giant of Steam weekend

We had a great weekend, meeting and talking to our many supporters, and if you were one of them, thank you for popping by.  Our sales and information stand caused a great amount of interest as people stopped to talk on their way to and / or from visiting the Atlantic and Class 2 projects. the arrangement of the three stands together seemed to work very well.
The Project 27 Sales and Informtion Stand set up in front of the work site (note cylinders on display to the left)
(All photos by  Clive Emsley unless otherwise stated) 
We made a lot of new friends over the weekend, many of which also are turning into supporters!  The financial results were the best for many a long year both from sales and donations, but almost as important was the goodwill we were given by our visitors, many of whom came back at least twice to have further chats with us and make donations.
We managed to sell many jars of chutney, marmalade, jams, pickled onions and eggs!  we now also only have a few of the commemorative badges left, so if you have not got yours yet, get in quick!

Work Progress

Work has carried on over the last couple of weeks, mainly behind the scenes in workshops and under cover on the frames.
The frames have been painted with a coat of temporary protective gloss paint in this instance it was "Maunsell" green as there was some left over from painting the tank which is on display on the platform! The colour at this stage is largely immaterial as it will be rubbed down and the correct colour applied in the spring. The final colour will be black for the outside and red on the inside.
The outside of the frames on the left hand side of the loco resplendent in Maunsell green!
The inside of the frames at the front end again in Maunsell green
Some machining of components have also taken place. folowing the removal of the RH driving axle horn guide, which required the fitted bolts to be removed with a "big hammer" 10 new fitted bolts have been manufactured, 5 for the one already removed and 5 for the opposite horn that still needs to be done. The machining of these was done by Ian Furguson in the loco workshop.  He has kindly also offered to make similar (but larger) fitted bolts for the cylinders.
10 fitted bolts machined by Ian Furguson ready for replacing the horn guides, note one old bolt that survived the extraction!
Also in the workshop, the steam reverser has been receiving attention on the surface grinder.  The exhaust port has been ground to tolerance by Ben Dingley, under the watchful eye of Ian Furguson. this is part of the ongoing project being carried out by Ben as part of his college work. It just needs to be inspected and assessed then it can be removed from the grinder.
The Steam reverser cylinder mounted on the surface grinder in the workshop at Sheffield Park
Amongst other things that have been happening is the production of CAD drawings of the cylinders by Matthew Holloway. These are complete and just awaiting final checking and approval. once this has been carried out, it will be possible to in initiate the ordering of at least two sets olf cylinders, one set for 27 and a second for 178.  There is a possibility that one more set may be cast, but this is dependent on other factors.  The CAD drawings will be used to produce a 3D printed polystyrene pattern to be used in the sand casting process.  This should save time and money over the construction of traditional wooden patterns, one of the great boons of modern technology!

We always welcome offers of help on the project, be they financal, on the restoration or helping with the sales and information stands.  We are aiming to be at most if not all of the "gala" weekends at the Bluebell next year plus the AGM, so if you would like to come along for a chat, or to lend a hand, you will be most welcome. Please email me for information and offers of help on

For donations via "Just Giving" either on line or by text doanation, please follow the links below.  Your contribution is always appreciated.  For information,  standing orders and cash donations please E Mail me for details at

Thank you for your continued support.
Clive D. Emsley
To make a donation please go to:
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