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 second report was posted on 22nd December 2003

The 2nd day saw much progress. 1st up was an epic shunt that we shouldn't of had to do if the works staff had bothered to read the mission orders as nothing was in the right place. Merddin was fetched back from the engine shed and other stuff dumped in the engine shed out of the way. Work started dismantling Merddin ready for the new tanks to be fitted. The other events of the day are show below: -


Sawing inch bar

One job today was making blind bobbins to weld to the inside of the tanks to support the namesplates. 1st job was to saw 76 1inch long pieces of 1 inch diameter bar

Bobbins on the Lathe

In this view you cab see some of the bobbins with their ends chamfered and holes drilled

Drilling the holes

The bobbins were turned in the lathe and bored to a depth of 3/4". For each plate 4 with tapping size holes for 3/16" and 6 with holes tapping size for 1/4" were needed.

Bobbins for the Square

A full set of bobbins have been made for the secodn set of tanks but these can't be fitted until we have the plates of the old tanks. These will be fitted nearer the time when the Earl is being overhauled.

Fitting the bobbins

Jo was pushing a drill through holes in the plates that will form the outside of the tanks marked from the plates. The drill aligned the hole in the bobbin and it was all held in place with a magnetic clamp.

Welding the Bobbins

Whilst aligned on the drill the bobbins were tack welded and then later seal welded all the way round

Bobbins Done

Here two of the tank sides can be seen with the bobbins in place. You are of course looking at what will be the inside of the tanks

Tank Assembly

Assembly of the first tank continues. Progress is relatively slow with this first one as the jig is being constructed at the same time.

Tank Assembly

More components are being added and just tack welded into place. The aim is to get the parts tacked together checking the alignment as it progresses.

Mounting Blocks

As you will have noticed the tanks are made of 6mm plate. This is not strong enough for mounting equipment to the tanks. The blocks will be welded on the inside so that they can be drilled and tapped to mount items such as the sand pots

Sodde's Law

As you will have seen, the location of the bobbins is determined by the nameplates. Of course two of them coincided with the tank baffles! DOH!

Inside Job 1

As the assembly has progressed it has become a box the welder has to get in. Being on a raised jig helps with this. Your are looking into Merddin's firemans side tank, which is the fuel tank.

Inside Job 2

Thats the outer skin of the tank being welded in to place

Inside Job 1

Rob Coulson is the captive welder in this tank. The lads have a vacancy for a skinny lass with GSH, ability to weld an advantage.

Trial Assembly

Last thing before home time today was to place the curved sections and the footplate on the first tank into place as a trial fit. After a bit of trimming these will be welded in tomorrow

Right, that's it for today - I'm off to the Pub



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