Saturday saw the start of refabricating a Ward Leonard support bracket on the shelf on the rear of the T86 cabin. We are not able to use welding gear at our location so it is a case of riveting everything together. Two accompanying photos show the work in progress. The first one shows the rectangular section resting on the support bracket replacing the original antivibration mounts which were badly corroded and their rubber separators perished.
It is very unlikely the Ward Leonards will run again, hence the very rigid steel rectangular section!
Work commenced on preparing the internal walls for a repaint. The main problem is the heads of the many self-tapping screws securing hardboard sheets to the cabin frame. Corrosion means that the self-tappers cannot be removed so it is a case of wire brushing and treating each screw head before repainting.
The LCP main door lock is badly worn after many years of use (obvious statement) To keep the original lock in use it was sent away to be refurbished by a locksmith who fitted new key pins to the lock but the barrel itself is badly worn and guess what, there are no replacement locks of this design to be had. The lock still works (just) but then we have a problem with the cam behind the lock not engaging correctly. We have yet to secure the lock correctly in the door handle (I obtained the wrong size grub screws). We are following the rule that it’s easier to take something apart than to refit it! The accompanying photo shows Dave reassembling the door lock in the door handle.
When the T86 was in open storage, before we took possession, it was not secure and hence visited by metal thieves who smashed off the three on-launcher reference aerials (waveguide horns). Fortunately we were able to source replacements but now have the problem of removing sheared bolts. The attached photo two shows the problem of the sheared bolts, these being the last two to be removed.
Yet more painting was carried out on the draws from the T86 and a Ward Leonard. Two accompanying photos show ‘painting in progress’.
The Ward Leonard is being painted in original Dark Bronze Green, the original colour of Bloodhound ground equipment. The paint ordered was to be Satin, as marked on the tin, but it looks gloss to me!
Thw first T86 Radar task on Saturday was to replace the wasted rivets that secure the aerial pedestal steel roof section to the top of the rear cabin wall. Rivets on the two other sides have already been replaced The original rivets were alloy and not steel and very little remained of them! Several rivets were drilled out successfully but one section of the roof edge was found to be so badly corroded under some previous filler that had to be cut out. The photo below shows the remains of the badly corroded roof edge after it was cut out
A second photo shows the cabin wall where the steel roof overlaps shows how the steel roof is bowed upwards from the frame (not as a result of removing the edge). This section will be repaired by fabricating a new roof edge which will involve riveting the bowed roof section to the frame.
Additional painting of a Ward Leonard and the T86’s drawer case was also carried out.
Cosford work days have resumed after our winter break and the first task was to clean all the chrome handles and fittings in the LCP. During the last Cosford work day it was noticed that some of the handles were becoming tarnished (not surprising with the damp environment). We cleaned all the chrome work with Autosol metal polish and restorer, a job that took all morning. As all the chrome LCP fittings have been re chromed a couple of years ago we need to keep them nice and shiny!
It was also found that Autosol cleaned and polished the drawer fronts etc. Two photos below, one, a close up of our nice and shiny draw handles after cleaning, the second shows the sparkling handles and fittings on the LCP racks. Note the amount of items stored on top of the racks!
The remainder of the day was focused on preparing the rear of the T86 cabin ready for painting and re installing the Ward Leonards. The accompanying two photos show Neil at work on the rear of the T86 cabin and one of the Ward Leonards primed before top coat is applied.