Sunday, 31 January 2010

Another cold weekend

Had an excellent weekend this weekend, got loads done. The picture above, is of the engine bearers with all the bolts fitted. I spent most of Saturday morning chiseling out the squares for the engine bolts to fit into, gawd it was cold!
I also got the floor plates fitted, these had to be trimmed to suit on site due to the engine ole being three inches narrower at the back, then there's the knees and also a butt strap to shape round, but after a bit of juggling everything went in ok.
Just to confuse everybody, I've left the mud box in position, I thought it might be a talking point. Due to the Armstrong Sidderley being air cooled it will serve no porpoise other than being a piece of history. Or you never know, Andrea just might come round to having a B####der. I dernt spell it in full, cos if Andrea sees it, I'll be in twuble.
Andrea has spent a lot of time talking to the likes of Henry Johnson and Joe Hollingshead and come to the conclusion B####ders are loverly other peoples boats!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Preparing for the weekend

These are the holding down bolts I've made, the square head will reacessed into the Oak bearers to stop the bolt from turning
Being self employed gives you a bit of time, when things are slack, for more important things in life, like messing about with boats. So I've been getting one or two things ready for the weekend. Such as, floor plates, a retaining strap for the bottom tank and of course, the holding down bolts.
I'll post pictures of the engine bearers complete with bolts after the weekend, just in case people don't get how I'm doing it.

Bearing up

The past couple of days I've been running about collecting material for Dove's new motor. First stop, local bolt stockist, 6 inch by 5/8ths whitworth bolts and some 1/2inch whitworth studding. Next stop, Brinklow to see Steve Priest. He has acquired some diamond pattern checker plate, from some place across the lumpy water and kindly offered some to price I might say.
On the way back to the boats I dropped in at Sykes timber for lump of Oak 4inch square by about 10 foot, this was to make the engine bearers.
Now, me being what I am, an old fashioned stick in the mud when it comes to engineering. I've put a solid shaft and flanged couplings in Dove, as I did with Achilles. This means there is no flexibility any where in the drive chain and everything has to line up. So, making the engine bearers is a right faff, having to plane and linnish the Oak to quite a fine tolerance. This took up most of the day, with the engine on chain blocks going up and down like a whores drawers and me in and out of the engine ole like.......well it must have been twenty times. It was a bit like scraping white metal bearings but in wood, mind you, not many people scrape white metal bearings anymore, do they. Anyway all done and dusted, prop shaft in and line up.
Just got to make some holding down bolts now, to keep the engine in place on the Oak and then we can give it a whirl.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Tank saga

As you may notice from the pictures above and below the bottom diesel tank is now in place
You may also notice, that the newly painted tank is covered in mud and very nearly something else!... bloody dog crap.

When I started this blog I said it was purely for the boat restoration and not like others, for voicing there opinions on the world. But, here I must just have a little rant.
I don't have a dog for various reasons, (you know whats coming don't you) such as, the stink, hairs everywhere and mainly, not wanting to go out in the teaming rain because the pooch needs a poo, the thought of putting my hand in a plastic bag to pick up the warm squidgy stuff left behind, makes me want to gip, then walking home swinging it in my hand like a fashion accessory. This begs the question, why should I have to clean up after someone else's bloody four legged crap producer.
So when you've driven ten miles to walk your sodding animal near our boat, please pick up the crap then I don't have to scrape it off my tools and equipment...Thanks! I've got that off my chest, back to fitting the tank.
Now all the snow and ice has melted into spring time, it is time for the Heath Robinson's machine movers (Me, Andrea and Fradley Geoff) to get back in action and get this tank fitted.
After carefully.....I said carefully unloading the tank from the trailer and getting it to ground level, then sliding it through the now thawed out grass, mud and the above mentioned brown stuff, we got it to the side of the boat.
Then by the way of various planks, ropes, chain blocks and verbal persuasion it landed in the bottom of the boat. I wish someone could have took a photo, I thought it was quite impressive.
All we had to do now is spin it round, no...the other way, lay it down and drag it in to the engine ole. This was easy, once I found some slings the right length, I'll never win the Kripton Factor. Every sling I have, is either too long or too short. In the end I used a ratchet strap...that sorted it.
By hanging the chain blocks from the cabin top and the lifting hook into the ratchet strap then just dragging it under the cabin bulkhead. At this point Andrea was supposed to remined me to put the pipe in for the lift pump but due to her not being there at the time, it got forgot. Not realising this until the tank was in position and now there isn't enough headroom (insert swear words here). After a bit of head scratching and Geoff straining his manhood it went in.....just.
Now it's all in and settled I will be having a couple of days sorting the engine out and refitting the prop shaft.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Knots and Splices

Following Blossoms piece on ropes, lines and strings. I thought I would add the animated knots link in the LINK box.
Splicing rope was part of my apprenticeship in the days before the dreaded H&SE! Hope it helps somebody.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Weekend away

Every month we have a weekend away from the boats and this weekend was one of them.
Andrea catches up on things domestic and family and, I scoot off to the Keighley and Worth Valley railway, this is where I do my thing with steam. Saturday is taken up with the making of copper pipework for the restoration of a Standard Class 4 locomotive 75078, then on Sunday Fireman on the service train and in between a little social drinking to support the local brewery, the Copper Dragon normally.
Working on the boats doesn't stop however, I was up and at it this morning shortening the prop shaft by 12 inches and cutting a new keyway and fetteling the recently acquired bottom tank.
The tank has been in storage at Malcolm's wharf for a few years and has gained quite a bit of green growth along with the white oxide you get from galvanised plate.
After a couple of hours of scraping and wire brushing is was looking new, well.....nearly new.
While cleaning the the tank I did notice that all the bottom corners had been lead wiped, obviously to seal it up and it also look like the flange joints are of lead. I don't know exactly how old the tank is but, riveted galvanised plate with lead wiped joints is certainly before my time.

The coming weekend should see the the tank fitted and the prop shat back in position.
We can then replace the bulkhead and finish the last bit of hold permitting!

Monday, 11 January 2010

The engine in position, needs lifting 4 inches to line up with the prop shaft, also the prop shaft need shortening by about a foot.

Looking at my fellow bloggers, Chertsey and Blossom, seems we are all now getting a little tired of this cold snap, as the Met office call it, four weeks now, isn't it?
It is certainly playing havoc our work schedule and we are falling behind rapidly. We were hoping to get everything done for the Easter get together at Coventry, but that's looking doubtful now.
Having to work under the sheets is a right pain, especially when you're cutting out part of the old engine bearers that are soaked in diesel and old engine oil. The fumes....
Sunday, I spent most of my time looking and planning and figuring the geometry of the forward and reverse lever, also the throttle has land just where the existing exhaust pipe is, dam!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Bottom Tank

Quite a while ago we were bashing away at Dove when, I heard a the sound of a two cylinder and as always you have to look, don't you?

Looking out to see a familiar Josher bow heading our way.......and the familiar face Jim Taylor on the back. This was just a bit of good timing due to us just purchasing the AS2 from David Dains and Jim Taylors boat Empress has the same motor. This gave me a good opportunity to have a chat.

On scrambling out of Dove we bumbed into another familiar face....Ian Braine, obviously giving Jim a hand.

While I went to converse with Jim about motors, Andrea had a chat to Ian, on my return Andrea and Ian were talking about Bottom Tanks and before I knew it was all priced and arranged for collection.

Well, on Saturday, in the snow, went to collect this tank, It turned out to be a proper riveted Josher fuel tank and in remarkable condition. While loading it on to the trailer Malcolm came out for chat, which I find interesting, he's always a good tail to tell.

We were hoping to drop the tank straight into Dove but, due to about three inches of ice, there was no way we were going to move anything, so the tank stayed on the trailer and back home where I will clean it up and give it a coat of paint.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Engine in

The problem with doing anything like this at Fradley, even on cold winters day, you always get an audience and I find this a little unnerving, it's as if there waiting for something to go wrong.
Anyway, it didn't, it went to plan

In goes the AS2

After nearly a full day heaving, tugging and pulling we finally got the Gardner out of the engine room and into the middle of the hold, and there it will stay until sold.
Now to erect the Heath Robinson engine lifting gear, this is our home made swinging gibbet. We made this while on dry land at Teddersly, it came in very handy for lifting equipment in and out of the boat and cheap too.

We now had to pole Dove down to the dock side, so we could get boat and trailer side by side to tranship the AS2.

After a trial lift it was desided best to put out a spud leg, this was a piece of steel "G" cramped to the top bulkhead flange of Dove's engine room and pack up with timber of the dock side. This now stopped Dove tipping over with weight of the AS2.

Let work commence

After the compulsory eating and drinking was over, we set too and laid some more flooring. The flooring is made up of 9 x 1 inch boards sat on 3 x 2 inch battens and held in possition by a rebate in the kelson. While Andrea was sawing off the boards with her new Christmas "Evolution Rage" circular saw, (very inpresive, cuts through steel too!) I was nailing it all together in to panels, this would then enable us to move all the equipment from the back of the boat to about midships, giving us room to remove the bottom section of the engine room bulkhead and drag out the Gardner, all two tons of it.

Christmas on the the boats

Just because it's Chistmas dosen't mean you can rest......there's work to be done.
Having both boats moored together makes life easy while we're down there, that is, you don't have to travel far to work.

On Christmas eve we packed up lock, stock and Barrel (homebrew that is) and set off to Fradley determind to have ten days hard graft.
In the van, was every tool I could think of and on the trailer all the wood for the remainder of the floor and of course, the AS2.
Ariving at Fradley in two inches of snow and ice made it very difficult to get out of a nice warm van and into two very cold boats.
We spent most of the day transfering stuff from van to boat and getting the stoves going, so not much progress on Dove. Also it was warmer in the pub.