Whats Happening ?

Sat 23rd Jan 2010

Saturday 23rd

John finishes welding the out-riggers and side supports to the bridge framework. Jpg out-riggers Apart from decking and hand-rails it is completed and now awaits craning into place across the lock chamber. 

While John was busy welding, Adrian was coating the raw steel in red oxide paint but noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a lot of disturbance to the water surface inside the lock chamber. On investigation he was delighted to see an otter exploring the paddle chamber.  He and John watched the otter as it disappeared into the opposite paddle chamber exit where it hid for a while before re-emerging and then casually swimming down the chamber to the river whilst having a good look at the two bridge-builders.  What a brilliant day!

Friday 22nd Jan 2010

Friday 22nd

Norman who arrives after lunch and sets to coating the gate bolts with a coat of bitumastic paint.  Adrian applies a dose of Creocote to the mortises that were cut yesterday and to the bolt recesses.

Thurs 21st Jan 2010

Thursday 21st

Despite weather forecasts of torrential rain and high winds which never materialised, today has been very productive at the restoration site.  In the morning, Barry, Trevor and Adrian marked out the positions of mortises to be cut for the attachment of the balance beams.  Barry then left Trevor and Adrian to cut them out using a combination of electric drill and chain saw.  This was achieved reasonably quickly and easily so they then set about using an electric planer to reduce to the finished size the lengths of timber added to the width of the gates.  All is ready now for the extension pieces to be caulked with bitumen and permanently bolted together.  A very satisfying day’s work!

Wed 20th Jan 2010

Wednesday 20th

Trevor and Adrian visit Phil Vanstone at Groundplant looking to borrow a 50mm socket needed to tighten to bolts holding gate frames together.  Since one isn’t available a plant-fitter fabricates a spanner from a length of square section steel tube.  All Trevor and Adrian need to do is to drill holes through it to accommodate a tommy bar. Once this is accomplished they run the bolts through the gates and extension pieces, and apply the tube-spanner to the nuts which works a treat.  Applying sufficient pressure to the spanner to achieve the required tension, results in the tommy bar bending so a stronger one has to be found. The bolts and the extension timbers now have to be dismantled so that the joints can be sealed with bitumen to make them watertight now that all is ready for its final assembly.

Tues 19th Jan 2010

At last the weather has been mild and dry enough to allow work to continue at the lock site.  Today Barry and Adrian began drilling and chiselling recesses for the long bolts which hold the gate styles together.Trevor, in the meantime, painted some of the bridge framework with red oxide primer.