Sunday, 9 March 2014

Achilles Report No49: Degrease...

Hi guys. Today "Achilles" saw the light of day again. Her frames, boiler and smokebox were today moved into the garden for a degrease. Using white spirits and a lot of rag, I set to cleaning the framing of the locomotive, removing years of accumulated grime. This basic task was done so as to ensure that the horn-guides were nice & clean ready for the wheels to go back when required. The gloss black colour of the frames was also shined up, as were the buffer-beams. A lot of grease, ash and muck was removed from the rear of the frames around the firebox and foundation ring. This accumulation of contamination was no doubt a strong factor in the almost inoperable condition of the old rear axleboxes, which have since been replaced. The smokebox of the loco has also received a light coat of smokebox black but I don't really feel very pleased with the finish. Either some kind of reaction is taking place with the paint or its just too thick. I think I'll try thinning the paint a little, and maybe heating it, before I try again once the first coat has thoroughly dried and been rubbed down. Smokeboxes are a bit of a pain I feel: you want them to look nice and smooth but at the same time the high temperatures encountered makes for quite a harsh environment when the loco is in steam. Some heavy duty exhaust paint may find its way onto the smokebox if the smokebox black doesn't start to improve! Meanwhile, the two front running boards are in primer and are drying in the shed as I write this...
"Running Boards in Primer"
The coming weeks will see the worst of the work on "Achilles" coming to an end as I hope that the smokebox will be painted and the door replaced, as well as all of the running boards. Keep an eye on the blog for more updates on my poor old engine, as they occur. Best Regards, Sam...

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