Sandstone Heritage Trust - News
I have always had a great fascination for steam and taking on a challenge (the impossible) and so when two S4 Sentinel Steam Waggons arrived on my doorstep in various stages of deterioration (the two to be made into one) it certainly put me to the test.
I used the boiler from one of the vehicles which was in a good workable condition. I only had a few of the necessary boiler fittings and had to manufacture new ones as required. I had to manufacture a new chimney, fire grate, ash pan, cleading and top boiler cowl. Also I manufactured new coal bunkers and water tanks.
The front axle has been totally overhauled and pins and bushes replaced where necessary. The rear axle was quite a task as over the years the brake drums were about 22mm oversize and I didn't know what to do, but on skimming the brake drums I realised that they were made of steel which enabled me to sleeve the brake drums and weld. Even the bottom of the brake drum colling fins were making holes in the drum surface but now all is well.
I stripped the engine down and removed the pistons, cylinders and cam shafts. After freeing the piston rings and polishing the cylinder bores I just had to put some welding in on one or two of the cam's and re-profile. The engine was then re-assembled. The cylinder lubricator was a bit of a problem as the gear box was missing on the outside of the chassis but true to my usual standard I "made a plan", with the help of receiving a lubricator (ex loco). I grafted it onto the chassis and manufactured by own configuration of a gear box as a means of drive. I had to modify a prop shaft to fit the necessary rear axle and gear box end. Another challenge came into being in installing the steam brakes and the necessary fittings which after a while proved very successful.
I used to be a talented woodworker in my youth and after 40 years I am now back in the saddle, making a Sentinel S4 rear deck, which is 99% complete.
Last week the boiler was given it's certification.
The waggon has had several test runs up and down the road with great success. I did initially have a problem with getting water into the sump but after reading in the Sentinel Transport News, issue 58 dated March 2002 in the article Pedants' Corner, I was able to overcome the problem.
The next chapter in the restoration will include mudguards and manufacture of the cab and further test runs.
Hopefully this will be a Christmas present to myself to see the S4 in it's final stages of completion.
|Keith Stevens, Stevens Mechanical