Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Season's Greetings...

...and thank you for being interested in the restoration of Sentinel 7109 "Joyce". I'll do my best to keep up the 'blog's standard in 2012!
At 83, young Joyce playing in the snow on Boxing Day 2010
(I must make some Xmas cards with this photo for next year)
When I began the 'blog in May this year, I wasn't sure how it would develop and how it might affect progress with the restoration activities. In actual fact, the restoration has fed the 'blog and the 'blog has fed the restoration giving each activity a feeling that it is complete when lodged in the blogosphere.

I've also found that visitors to Midsomer Norton Station are starting to ask me more informed and searching questions lately (who's leaking the information, I wonder?). I even get a few 'blog comments, some sensible, some humorous. I'll leave you to figure out which fall into which category!

There is probably not much more to blog in 2011 but you never know. The weather has decided to cool it emphatically and contact with cold metal drains body heat in no time through gloves, footwear and clothing; not a pleasant experience.

The arrival of the DMU at Midsomer Norton has left Joyce isolated in the platform opposite the maintenance facilities of the goods' shed. Much anticipated activity has had to take a back seat and, after three weeks, I'm still waiting to turn the engines on compressed air to splash the gloppy crankcase oil about in the lower gear cases. Hopefully, when Santa has been and gone, normality will return and more progress can be made.

2012 should see Sentinel 7109 in steam again for the first time since the 1960s. There's still a long way to go but most of the major subsystems' restoration has been sorted and, when circumstances allow, it will be more a matter of bolting all the bits together and lighting the fire than the endless grinding away at rust and debris ("How naive", did I hear someone say!).

Have a good break and hope to see some of you as visitors to Midsomer Norton Station in the new year.

PS If you find yourself bored over the break whilst waiting for the next posting, why not have a look at Douglas Self's 'Unusual Locomotives' web page. It's rather short on UK Sentinels at the moment, however, hopefully that won't always be the case!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Diesel Dunking for the Chains

Here's Sentinel 7109's offering for submerging a celebrity in slime!
Is it a snake?
Eel maybe?
In actual fact, this is the recommended method for reconditioning rusty chains. As of 27th November 2011, two of the huge chains described in an earlier posting are now lying in a nice moisturising bath of diesel and thin oil.

After much searching for a suitable container large enough and strong enough to take a pair of chains, a S&DRHT volunteer, Dave Read, came up with the ideal thing, an agricultural style tank which may have done service in a dairy originally! It's always a good idea to explore other technologies for solutions to your own!

The chains will remain submerged for a couple of months before further examination.

One method of cleaning the chains I was recommended was to set fire to them to dry off the diesel. How ever good an idea it may be, the H&S police would probably have a heart attack at the thought!
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