The skies were ominous as the team assembled in Wharf yard but while it was dry work could commence. Allan Black, David Broadbent, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen got the cover off the new wagon 136 and brought out the tie bars and bobbins; the former for more holes to be drilled and the latter for painting with Hammerite. John had been busy during the week seeking a solution to the problem of Allan’s high torque drill pulling the augur off plumb when drilling holes in the wagon frame. His solution was two pieces of box section steel from the scrap bin that had their ends squared up and then bolted together to make an ‘L’ shaped augur guide. Two steel L sections bolted to the assembly acted as clamping points with which to hold the guide firmly on the frame. It took a bit of setting up as it required very long clamps to hold it down but once the drill was in the correct position and the guide in place Allan pulled the trigger. The guide was of necessity quite tall so it needed to be removed halfway through the drilling, but by this stage more than enough of the augur was in the frame to keep the remaining drilling plumb.
The team stopped for coffee to toast this success and were joined by Chris Parrott and Keith Theobald in the bright sunshine for coffee biscuits and chat.
Returning back across the tracks it was decided to attempt to drill through the first slat and the frames at the corners; this necessitated placing support timbers on either side of the slat for the guide to be clamped to. With clamps and hands holding everything in place the drilling commenced with the guide keeping the augur true. There was a bit of an issue with one of the holes that had been previously drilled being too far off plumb, but with the growing confidence in the guide it was corrected by drilling through the first slat and then into the frame, cutting a vertical hole in the process. The grey and threatening clouds gathered once more as the last hole was drilled out and rain stopped any further work in the yard.
Photos by John Olsen and Allan Black