The only way to describe progress of S15 499’s boiler (numbered 799 to confuse all!) is phenomenal! Once we returned from lockdown, the remaining stays were drilled out and the R/H outer side sheet cut off the firebox. What we were then faced with was a long and laborious job to remove what was left of something like 500 + copper stays from the inner firebox.
The decision was taken to use a different approach and attack the job from the water side of the inner box. First off was to cut back the stays with a splitting disk to leave just a stub protruding.
These stubs were then tidied up and pilot drilled before going in with a 13/16′ bit using a combination of the large Asquith drill and our old favourite (the mag base) on a piece of plate bolted through the copper sheet.
The final part of the process was to then pick out the remains of the thread using a drift and the ULS ‘must have’ tool – a decent lump hammer!
At this time, work has been completed on the L/H side and the team are now working on the R/H side. A
small section of plate has also been removed from the bottom of the backhead due to local corrosion on the
outer face and around the foundation ring.
Two small areas of wastage, probably due to leaking stays, have been built up with weld, but other than that the backhead is good. New platework for the firebox sides and lower backhead has been ordered and arrived on site within the last couple of weeks.
The remains of all the foundation ring rivets have been removed and this is now held to the copper firebox with accommodation bolts. It is hugely exciting to see the specialist work going on with the new throatplate. The inner corners at the bottom have been carefully ground down to a wedge to sit snugly over the foundation ring and the bottom of the barrel cleaned up in readiness. Recently, the throatplate has been trial fitted; it’s all looking very
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