Since we returned our engine to steam in 2003 she has always leaked steam out past the regulator valve even when it was fully closed. So one of the jobs we have had to do this time around is get the regulator valve to sit and seal properly in the regulator box of the Superheater Header.

Now to achieve this we needed a precision ground flat steel plate so as we could effective make the regulator face dead flat. To achieve this we had to have what is known as a lapping plate made to enable us to rub this face flat using various grades of grinding paste. Now this piece of precision engineering was not cheap to have made but also needed to be properly protected so as the ground face of the lapping tool did not get damaged. If it became damaged it would be useless.

Then up to the challenge steps our wood working master craftsman Mr Don Asher. My good lady and I had been to their home to visit Don & Diane and the task was explained to Don, who as always takes on the challenge with good spirit.

The attached photograph’s demonstrates his skills in ingenuity and forethought to produce what is required.

Picture One shows the kit all packed up in its box.

Picture Two shows the lid off with all the tubes of lapping and grinding paste in their respective positions.

Picture Three is the tray of pastes and accessories lifted out to reveal the lapping plate below.

Picture Four shows the lapping plate out of its box and the actual ground face on display. (The small square grid is to allow the grinding paste to work all across the whole surface).

We now have what can only be described as a professional tool to be envied by others.  His skills and attention will now turn to giving the driver and fireman wooden seats and refresh. These are old friends to Don as he made them originally for us.

So the current overhaul is not just about working on the loco only!

As always all contributions are most gratefully received.

Thanks Don