Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Not Butting Pony Tails

Following on from my brief R&D activity to prevent Gland packing turning into a pony tail, I bought a 35mm diameter wooden dowel from B&Q. The gods must have been on my side - how often can you go to a DIY store and actually buy what you want in exactly the right size? 35mm is the same diameter as Sentinel 7109's piston rod.

Wood is a good material for winding the packing around as it grips the packing surface just the right amount without abrasion. I first drew a line along the dowel so I could see the angle of rotation. Then I pinned the end of the packing to the dowel.

I rotated the dowel to pull the packing rope around the dowel and pinned each turn either side of the line to allow me to cut one ring at a time without the remaining packing unwinding.

One end of the dowel was held in a vice to make it easier to hammer in the pins.
Packing rolled on to the dowel
Along the line drawn on the dowel, I painted some Heldite around the outer surface and sides of the packing (but not the inside surface).
Packing pinned in place
I took the dowel and its turns of packing to site for fitting into Joyce's rear left piston rod stuffing box. By taking it on the dowel, I was able to cut one packing ring at a time and fit it straight away (soaked in warm cylinder oil). This minimised the time the packing might have to become a pair of pony tail ends and it proved very effective.

Next task is to light the fire and blow out the two old right hand piston gland packings and run-in this one.

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