High Beeches Hot Air Engine Part 2
It’s been a joy to walk through the wildflower meadow on our way to the pump house these past few weeks, all in flower at the same time and looking spectacular, especially the orchids.
At primary school many years ago, I used to know the names of all the wildflowers but have forgotten many and really must look them up again.
The rhododendrons have also been in flower so we could not ask for a better view during our tea breaks! However, the job needs to be done so Ian Sampson and I have been piecing together the broken castings that form the hinged front and back of the firebox. How they were broken into so many pieces is a mystery but our chosen fix was to make up bridging plates and using screws, stitch it all together. The end result is rigid and the plates on the inside will be covered by the fireclay layer that must be applied internally.
Philip Sampson has kindly offered to weld the displacer piston, which has a crack. Michael Brown has cut two complex and thick metal plates, one to cover and seal the broken base of the power cylinder, the other to support the firebox side of the engine by resting on the firebox hinge pin. The cast boss impossible to weld sufficiently to support the engine structurally. We thank Michael for his invaluable assistance.
The engine brick base has been repaired and the cast base refitted and cemented in. The frost cracks to the cold cylinder have been stitch welded, filled to be water tight and then repainted. Dave Carpenter has the water pump away for refurbishment as it was in a bit of a sorry state. Sadly Dave has been in hospital, we all wish him a speedy recovery but naturally, he will have to take it easy for the rest of the year. Many of the smaller parts have been removed and worked on at home so we have a near complete kit of parts which are slowly coming together again clearing the floor in the pump house.
At the Hurst Farm gas up early this year, Mike Godley kindly donated a large tin of Whitworth nuts and bolts. These are of the old larger dimensions and are no longer available. These were perfect to replace the original but very wasted nuts taken off the engine when dismantling… where would we be without the support and skills of our members ? There remains some difficulties still to overcome, not least the main bearing journals on the crank which are badly rust pitted but, so far so good….