Nothing for the last two weeks as I've been on holiday... However much has been going on.  The day before I went away I picked up the last patterns from Gerald and took them to Derek Harper Ltd at Low Moor and got the handles for operating the bell rod and the brackets for the destination boards cast.  These were collected on Monday and taken to Middleton today.  Wheh I arrived the paintwork had really come on and the nice bit for me was the first coat of vermilion on the corner pillars.

They look rather appealing to me.  The brackets were drilled, countersunk and cleaned up then Jim spent the morning fitting them on the window pillars.

This is one of them on A side.   Mike spent the morning putting another coat of paint on the back of the first decency board and then in the afternoon most of the yellow top coat was applied.  I worked with Jim on the handrails and also got the D end dash panel marked and drilled for its supports.  I'd picked up the vertical rails for the gates behind the stairs yesterday so we spent the last few minutes looking at how these are going to be fitted.  All in all good progress.


Another multiple working week.   Sunday afternoon, Mike, Jim and I had a go at trying to get the handrails and decency board sorted out but had a rather frustrating afternoon. We also had a visit from Roger Mills of Hetherington Lamps who is making the two lamps for the saloon.  This was  a very useful meeting and the final design details were settled.  However on Tuesday Paul, Jim and I gathered at Whitkirk for one final work session up there.  We had to steam bend some ash moudlings to go round the inside of the foor frames in the saloon. This meant digging out our old steamer and making two new moulds that had the correct shapes. All went well and this was the result.

Not a very good phone picture but it shows what we achieved.  The ends were trimmed and we put it in the car to take to Middleton.  

The next day we reassembled at Middleton.   Paul chopped out the holes for the refurbished door locks and Mike managed to sort out the decency panel bolts on A side.  I was away most of the morning but then after lunch we got the decency board taken off and Mike then undercoated the back of it.  Jim and I worked on the handrails over the B end canopy and by the end of the afternoon had sorted them and finally fixed all the stanchions in place and jointed the handrails.  All in all a good day was had.  Yesterday I collected the last brass patterns from Gerald and this morning toom them to Derek Harpers to be cast.  These are the brackets for the destination boards and the handles for the bell rod.   All in all some good progress.


Well two days' work to report this evening.  I went down on Saturday and spent most of the day altering two commode handles to fit 107. We had very kindly been given two handles of the correct design by the TMS at Crich but they were both too short as well as being different lengths.  After consultation with Steve Roberts (The CME at Middleton) we decided to extend them by using some 1/2" brass bar drilled and tapped onto two pieces of M6 threaded rod.  These were made up to the correct lengths on the lathe. (I had to resurrect my night school teaching of 35 years ago.)  Then a drilling jig was made to allow the cut ends of the commode rails to be accurately centre drilled.  Then the old handles were drilled and tapped and then joined together.

Here you can see the first one completed with a small V notch filed around the joins so that they can be brazed.  The other one is below.







Now the second one has been done and they are both ready for brazing.  

John and Steve then brazed them and I spent some time filing them off and cleaning up.







The first one was then fitted to see how it looked.   I thought it was OK.  I then spent the rest of the afternoon working on the handrails.






Today Jim and Mike Waring turned up and Mike spent the day sorting out the brackets on the decency board. On Saturday Malcolm Johnson had turned me six pillars for the bell rods that go in the saloon. These were made on the copying lathe.

Here is the first one together with the pattern that Malcolm made for the copier to follow.  Also the drilling jig that I had used on the commode rails was modified to make a collet to hold the pillars so that the bases could be drilled and tapped.  This morning I tapped all six of them and also drew out the base plates on a sheet of 3mm brass.  These were drilled and countersunk then cut out and the pillars screwed on. Jim is going to polish them then we can mount the bell rails in the saloon. In the afternoon Jim and I had a frustrating time trying to get the steel and brass spiral handrails to fit at D end. The brass one is now OK but the steel one is being awkward. It seems to be one step forward and two steps back as we use the gas axe to heat it up and bend it time after time. It then has to be quenched and the stanchions bolted on again to try it.  We called it a draw at 4.30 and will continue the battle on Sunday.


Another great leap forward

Well, I remembered my camera and despite having to go out to do a talk in the morning we made a great bit of progress.   On Saturday I had gone down and with Jim's help we got the vertical handrail from the step to the canopy bend at B end set up and finished.

As you will be able to see it makes a great bit of visual difference. Whilst Jim was rubbing down I manged to sort the joints out and replaced some homemade brass rivets, that hadn't worked very well with M6 brass bolts after drilling out and tapping the holes.  The ends of the bolts were cut off overlength then heated up and riveted over to hide the countersink that I had drilled earlier. After judicious use of the gas torch to anneal the brass it worked out well.  Jim then filed off the excess brass and the head at the other side and the joints are almost impossible to see.





The top brackets are another nice piece of work by Jason Reeve.  When the pole had been positioned we drilled all the holes in the step and the canopy bend, took the photos then put the rail on one side until the final coats of paint are applied to the canopy bend.


Meanwhile, away from the tram work is ongoing to make the patterns for the destination board brackets and the bell handles.  the timber of the destination boards has been cut and also the mouldings that will run round the interior of the doors. The side strips for these are easy but the top part that goes round the Tudor arch will need steam bending.

Yesterday Mike Waring and I started on the A side decency board after lunch.  Paul had made it up and got the surround fitted then it had been filled, rubbed down and painted in wood primer.   We then marked out and drilled the countersunk holes for the supporting bracket bolts. The brackets are electrical conduit clips which have a backing piece.  These have been drilled out and tapped and then we insert countersunk M6 bolts from the outside to secure the backing plate that acts as a spacer.  With help from two of the team that are converting the PMV (parcels coach) next to us we lifted the board over the side rails and got it secured with the first three brackets.  After tea break I got it levelled up and secured the remaining brackets.  

Despite the difficult photographic conditions I hope that this shows what a difference it makes to the appearance of 107. This board will carry an advert for Oakland Glass and Cyril Isaacs who supplied all our glass. The remaining side and end boards will carry period adverts.    



This photo gives a better impression of the overall effect and also shows the timber for the destination boards and door mouldings.   All in all things are progressing well.


Sorry about the delay in recent posts but a combination of holidays and hospital appointments for various people have made the past three weeks a bit busy.  Anyway we had a good working party today. Four of us, with a new recruit, Martin, who has a good engineering background. Paul Abell, a railway journalist, turned up plus Mike Waring. Mike concentrated on filling and rubbing down various parts of the bulkheads ready for painting next week. The saloon was nearly finished last week with both casement windows fitted in the door screens, the other seat (A side) was fitted last week along with the final ventilator window. The interior now looks good but the presence of the seats does make sitting down to discuss things an attractive prospect.

Paul worked on fitting the first parts of the bell system by drilling and filing the four holes in each corner of the saloon so that the two rods fit straight and true along the cantrails.  I now have to finish the design of the various other parts of the bell system such as handles and support pillars as well as the bells themselves.  Martin and I spent most of the day working on the staircase handrails at D end and they are starting to look something like. I took my camera but forgot to use it as I was quite busy. Lots of little details but things are coming together.