Saturday, 1 February 2014

Achilles Report No47: Slowly Coming On...

Hi guys. Today gave me another chance to attempt to beat the cold and continue with the work on "Achilles". With the heater on and a mug full of tea, I set to it. The main parts of the locomotive have now been separated for painting into a new blue livery, lined in red. However, the remaining parts such as the running boards, smokebox and cab steps require stripping and painting into black again. All I can say is, paint stripper seems to work well on anything that isn't a smokebox! The 'smokebox black' that has been applied had stuck wonderfully, so much so that it was very difficult to even begin to remove it. In the end, for the door, I opted to strip the top coat off with remover, and then use a wire-brush tool at high speed in order to clean off the worst of the dilapidated paint. It was then sanded by hand in order to bring the shape level and clean again. The plan is not to remove all of the paint, just to sand it down cleanly in order to produce a flat, tidy surface for repainting. Here is the result on the door...
Paint stripper was used again on the running boards and the blue of the rods. This is applied for a first coat of 5-6 minutes and then, when the paint bubbles, you can apply a second coat and leave for around 35-40 minutes. When you come back you can pull the paint off with a scraper as best as possible...
Goodbye old running board paint...
When I came back from lunch the running boards had bubbled massively. Therefore it was time to scrape them and then sand them down with light wet & dry paper. The result was two very flat and clean boards ready for painting...
"Ready to Run"
Whilst more paint stripper was left to cure on the rods, I decided to carry on with the smokebox. Its so strange seeing the loco in this state as I've never yet had the courage to bring it down to this extent. Fine sandpaper was definitely the best way with the smokebox and it allowed me to sand down the various paintwork dents and imperfections in order to bring the smokebox to the correct shape again. The smokebox is now ready for repainting into black...
"Smokebox Rubbed Down"
Elsewhere, though it wasn't really a post's worth of information, the wheels have also gone away for painting. Well, I say that, four of them have gone, the other two remained with me. Just after the loco was stripped down, and just as the major parts were about to go away, the rear axle was discovered to have very bad axleboxes. The leading two axles had wear but not too much wear: they were still in a serviceable condition. However, the rear pair were just terrible: they were very, very bad. As much as I tried to talk myself out of it, unfortunately they just had to be replaced. Therefore, at least one of the wheels had to come off, and the axle had to be checked. With a lot of heat and a quick bit of work with a press, the wheel popped off easily...
"Rear Axle and Old Boxes"
The two old axleboxes were later stripped of their springs and new material was purchased. The axle was turned in a lathe to remove some terrible imperfections that would affect its service life. It came off the lathe looking really well and I am very pleased with it. It has since been blessed with two brand new axleboxes which are a nice running fit. The removed wheel has been pressed back on and pinned before the wheel-set was sent away to join its two brothers for painting. Well, that's another job done. Moving right along! Best Regards, Sam...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Sam, where did you get the axle work done? I have a similar issue on my Caribou. Would have liked to see that work in more detail, especially how to put the wheel set in the lathe, and how to re-set the quartering, as those bits are puzzling me.
I'm enjoying your blog immensely! Emma-claire.