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Merddin's New Tanks -2003

This illustrated tale was originally written as it happened over the Christmas period of 2003 to provide a blow by blow account for those not with us in Wales.

The plan is to reshow it here for awhile and then it will move to be part of the full story of the rebuild

 
This it the report for the 27th December. A momentous day getting the first tank done, even now five years on this still strikes me as a massive achievement.
 

Headlines - Tank 1 is out of the jigs

At about 4pm today the first tank was lifted out of the jigs. The story is told in the gallery below.

 

Painting - 1

Inside of the well of tank one has been painted with a 2 part epxy waterproofing paint. This had to be done before the ends are sealed as it won't be possible to reach down the entire length.

Painting - 2

Painting down the well was done with a roller and to be able to reach it had to be fastened on a broom handle.

Welding

There has been lots of welding today. Here Rob is finishing one of the seams on tank one whilst it is still in the jig.

Preparing to lift

1st move in removing the tank was to sling it so that it lifted horizontally to be placed on timbers. The timbers were used rather than lifting it straight to upright as the jig girder nearest the camera isn't fastened down and might have tipped.

Lifting

With a little jolt the tank lifted clear as a couple of welds that got a bit close to the jig broke.

Lifting

Down it comes on to the timbers

Lifting

With the chains re-slung on to the spreader beam lifting it upright started.

Lifting

Nearly upright

Lifting

That's it upright and hanging from the crane. Just for a change the means to lift it has been designed at the same time. A spreader beam between the tanks has two lifting eyes welded to it.

Turning

The first tank is for the firemans side of Merddin so it needs to be turned around. With the crane repositioned the tnak is lifted again.

Turning

The tank also had to be moved into some open space. The space had to be cleared of all the junk from cutting up the old firemans side tanks.

Turning

With the tanks back on the blocks the A frame is turned as far as possible.

Turning

Next up the tanks is turned as far as possible until it was up against the A frame again.

Turning

Next the A frame is moved round again.

Turning

Then the tank was turned a bit further.

Turning

Thats it round through 180 degrees and sat on blocks.

Finishing

The tanks have to be finsihed welding inside and out at bits where we couldn't get at in the jig.

Finishing

More seams being welded along the length

Finish Welding

Bob is welding inside the tanks.

Welding Inside

Rob is welding inside the top end water tank demonstrating the merit of the access hatches.

Welders

We need more welders! Despite getting three MIG sets we have still managed to run out of welders.

Welders

We have three MIG sets, two are being used on the 1st tank for finishing off and the third is being used on the 2nd tank on the jig

Tank 2

As soon as the 1st tank was out of the jig work started laying out the plates for the second tank on the jig.

Tank 2

The manhole frames are placed in place and clamped down with G clamps.

Tank 2

The frames are positioned equally spaced around the cut outs

Today was one hell of a day! First thing in the morning we were finish welding on the first tank and cutting up the last of the old fireman's side tanks. We even had the general manager shovelling scrap and rubbish and fetching wagons for scrap. The afternoon was spent finishing the lifting beam and clearing the space for turning the A frame. As soon as the first tank was lifted clear work started on laying out the plates for the second one and with a team grinding all the weld preps on the plates for tank 2.

Tomorrow there will be a skeleton crew working on the tanks as most of us are going on a coach trip to the Welshpool and Llanfair railway for the Christmas special drinking train.

Normal service will be resumed on Monday.

 

 
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