Whats Happening ?

Fighting on several fronts!

Trevor continues doing battle with the RB22 electrics   What is so frustrating is that its electrical system is very primitive and yet Trevor cannot find out why the running engine does not charge the batteries.  The alternator which he removed last Thursday, he has stripped down over the weekend and checked various components looking for breaks, damage, wear and has found nothing obviously wrong with it.  He re-attaches it to the crane and Adrian tries firing up the engine.  The batteries attempt to turn the engine but it is extremely ‘sluggish’, however the air temperature is very low again which does not help.  Using the battery booster, the engine is finally coaxed into life.  While Adrian works the machine Trevor tests the electrical output of the alternator.  It appears to be working and yet the batteries are still not being charged!

Barry arrive on site and sets to chiseling mortrices and ‘trueing up’ the tenons of the oak ribs for the lead tub-boat.  By the end of the day he has completed fitting the 6th rib.  only another six to finish and then the process of bending and fixing the side planks can be addressed.  But that’s a whole new ball game!

Bob, in the meantime has been working in the loading basin, clearing a channel to help out-flowing water to was away silt.

Trevor and Adrian abandon the crane for the day and continue working on the cat walks.  Over the weekend Adrian had stripped rust and flaking paint from the cat walk brackets, treated them with rust converter and painted them with metal primer.   Having decided on the height above the side wall the cat walk needed to be when the gates were open, Trevor and Adrian begin boring large holes through the balance beam that the cat walk brackets will be bolted through.  Boring large holes horizontally through mature Oak is not and easy task despite the use of a powerful electric drill.  The drill bit bites hard into the wood frequently stopping the electric motor and jamming the bit.  The bit has then to be released from the drill and turned out manually using Mole Grips.  A slow and laborious process.  Eventually the holes are finished and the brackets attached and leveled up.

The Oak boards previously selected have to be extracted from their stack  and carried to the gate.  Although these boards are only 50 mm thick, 250 mm wide  and are just short of 4 metres long they are very heavy and Trevor and Adrian are grateful not to have to move them too far.  A board is offered up to the gate.  It has to be notched to allow for an upright which supports the paddle gate winding mechanism.  The notch is duly measured  marked sawn and chiseled out.  The board is offered up a second time and with a little bit of ‘tweaking’ slides home nicely.  It is then marked for bolt holes and drilled with the appropriate drill bit and finally fixed in place.  The second board is considerably more straight forward and before long that is fixed in place as well.  each end of the catwalk platform is sawn to an approximate finished angle and the whole thing give a coat of Creosote.  The angles cannot be finalized until the catwalk on the other gate is fixed and the pair offered up together.  However, everything is looking good and Adrian is well pleased with the results of the team’s efforts on the different fronts!