Whats Happening ?

Bits and pieces but work progresses.

Operating the Rb22 while Trevor directs, Adrian lowers the two  most recently cast coping blocks onto the top of the wharf wall.  Adrian parks the crane and then he and Trevor settle the blocks into place and level them using crow bars and levers.  Trevor mixes a load of concrete and fills the void beneath the blocks while Adrian sorts facing stone to fill the front gap.  While they are involved in this Carol and David arrive.  Carol sets about applying a coat of bitumastic paint to the paddle blades of the weed-cutting boat and David works on extending the scaffold platform along the wharf wall.  Carol and David are only able to put in a short day and have to leave early so Trevor and Adrian spend the remainder of the afternoon removing debris from the next section of wharf wall to be rebuilt.

More attempts at bending timber.

Having already moved the planks to be used for cladding, the lead tub boat into the bottom of the wharf area in the hope of keeping the wood wetter, Barry decides that the the way in which the timbers have been stacked in order to bend them, is not right since the weight applied is in the wrong place.  It is decided to re-stack them which requires the use of the RB22 to lift the bock of concrete which is laid on top.  Adrian maneuvers the RB22 into place and lowers the hook block to which Barry links the concrete block  using a lifting strop.  Trevor gives Adrian direction since he cannot see the block behind and below the wall but soon it is lifted clear and Barry re-arranges the timbers.  Weight is re-applied in a different position and Barry is confident that this will now encourage the timber to bend in a better way.  All that is required now is  for the wood to have a good soaking.


I can see for miles and miles!

National Windscreens send a fitter to Sea Lock to replace the damaged glass in the front screen and side window of the Cub with new toughened glass.  Adrian is keen to see how the glass is cut to size on site.  The fitter is a friendly and interesting man who reckons to have cut over 30, 000 pieces of glass during his working life.  He is not at all fazed about fitting glass to an old crane, saying that he has fitted replacement glass to vintage coaches, railway carriages and ocean-going ferries in the past.  Having gone to all the trouble of removing the front screen’s frame from the crane, he says that it was just as easy to replace the glass to the machine as it is to fit it with the frame removed.  It is decided that replacing the frame with the glass in is going to be more difficult than without it so they put the frame back in again.  It goes in much more easily than when Trevor, David and Adrian struggled to remove it the day before.  The fitter cuts each piece of glass and fits them  with the minimum of fuss and makes it look much easier than it actually is. He has an unusual method of  cutting the plastic layer between the out layers of glass.  Once he has measured and drawn out the  size required, he scores along the lines with a diamond-tipped cutter, taps the glass to fracture it along the scores and then sets fire to the joints!  Having given the replacement glass a good polishing he departed.

Adrian spends the rest of the day working the crane and getting familiar with its controls.  By the end of the day he has picked up and moved 2 coping stones, transported and laid them on the top of the wharf wall ready for bedding down.  It is much easier to move the Cub around the site than the RB22 being a smaller machine but still has its idiosyncrasies.  It will be a while before Adrian feels at home with it as he has become with its bigger cousin.

Getting It Together!

Norman arrives to help with sorting the mechanics of the Priestman which Alistair has now moved from the top of the drive down to the wharf side   A jerry can has been strapped to the back of the crane and connected to the fuel intake because the original, internal tank is known to be contaminated with dirty diesel and water.  Adrian cleans and greases all the undercarriage while Norman and Alistair decide to remove the tank in order to thoroughly clean it.  Despite having a complete users manual and part manual to guide them removing the diesel tank proves much more difficult than is first supposed so they abandon that idea in favour of leaving where it is.  It has a very large filler opening in the top which enables Alistair to get a brush in and stir up the contents which are then drained into an old plastic drum.  Having flushed through the tank several times with diesel Alistair and Norman then wash it out with an engine de-greaser and fresh water.  Before long the water is flowing out of the tank clean and bright.  The tank is carefully dried, the fuel lines flushed out and new fuel filters are installed.  Fresh diesel is poured into the tank and Alistair attempts to start the engine.  After some moments hesitation it fires up and runs perfectly.

Having satisfactorily completed this task the next job is to reattach to top section of boom which was removed to aid transport.  Kevin, a colleague of Alistair  has arrived in his lorry carrying not only the missing bit of boom but some more balance beams and a dragline bucket for the Cub.  Kevin uses the HiAb on the lorry to lift off the ‘goodies’ and then helps to line up and reattach the boom section.  Once this is completed Alistair shows Norman And Adrian how to reeve the crane for lifting.  The hook block is attached and Alistair runs the machine through a series of operations to ensure everything is functioning properly.  He then gives Adrian a quick lesson on how to drive it.  Time has moved on and the crew pack up for the day.  Once again Adrian is very happy with what has been achieved.

Late Night Delivery

Adrian is excited because he is expecting delivery of a new ‘toy’ today.  He has acquired a Priestman Cub crawler crane which will be used to dredge sections of the canal and wharf basin.  Alistair has come for the weekend to help with driving the crane from the low-loader which is transporting it, onto the site.  Due to unforeseen complications the low loader does not arrive until gone 11.00 pm!  Fortunately the main road has little traffic on it at this time of night and the crane is off loaded quickly and easily.  Alistair drives the crane onto the drive at the top of the site and parks it there for the night.  The low-loader is packed up and driven away to its yard.  It’s a late night but all has been sorted quickly and safely.