Finsihing the cylinders

Well, after a thorough pickling, the cylinders do look much better! The brass even got a little reddish color (which some light polishing removed) from the copper that has accumulated in my pickling acid (10% H2SO4).

I'm going to use ordinary plumbing couplings for the steam and exhaust "Tees" - this has worked well on the 3003, so why change?

I've now made the cylinder covers' glands, using O-rings and Teflon spacers - the O-rings seal, and the Teflon keeps the piston rods centered, preventing contact with metal in any circumstances where an O-ring would deform too much, such as entering a too-tight curve, when the loco frame may flex more than normally, causing the piston rod to touch the gland metal - this has happened with the 3003, and there are some scrathes on its piston rods due to this...

The valve guide assemblies and crosshead guides are now also attached to the cylinder covers. Each valve guide consists of nine parts, all of brass, except a Teflon-coated bearing ring (at arrow), and the gland packing (same as in cylinders). There will of course be cosmetic covers to hide the out-of-scale stainless bolts.

Here you can also see the piston rod's guide cover, the rod extension functions as a ram in a water pump that will be hidden behind the rod cover, close to the frame.

And... believe it or not, but the loco chassis ran on air for the first time today!!!

Not too well, yet, I must admit, since I have no gaskets sealing the cylinder covers or drain cock plugs, and the valves will still need some fine adjustment - but a "milestone" in the construction anyway!

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