Burrell Tractor Winter Repairs

Richard Hawthorne reports on his winter project to repair the throat plate on Burrell Gold Medal Tractor 3626 “Jayne Eyre”

A visit from the boiler inspector is always a worrying time, he had a good look at the little Burrell –  “I am sorry he said – that throat plate is going to require a major repair”.

We soon got started. Belly tanks off, lagging off, gas torch out, let’s start cutting!

To start we blew the rivet heads off with the gas, then ground back the stay heads with an angle grinder. Next the stays were drilled out, and the throat plate cut out. Then the foundation ring rivets were drilled through and the remaining metal washed out with the gas torch. We could then create a cardboard template of the new plate and order a new piece through Goodman’s Steel. After all this it was time for a rest!

The Old Plate

The old throat plate had got very thin!

Once the new plate arrived we ground it to fit, then ground a 30 degree angle on the plate edges for a weld prep. Following this the new stays were machined from some EN3B at a local friendly engineering company. The 3 stays above the repair area also needed replacing so these were fitted in to the outer wrapper before welding started so to not allow distortion when welding. The mud doors were also fitted to ensure the correct shape is maintained. The coded welder has now visited and the plate is all welded in, all that remains is the foundation ring riveting and putting back together.


Winding in the new stays above the repair

As true to Edwardian tradition a small boy was used for holding up and peining over the stay heads in the awkward positions. Health and safety would have a fit these days, but Tom did a cracking job of the stays, he now has forearms like Popeye!

Young Tom Showing his excellent peining skills

Young Tom Showing his excellent peining skills

Other jobs undertaken this winter are:

  • New phosphor bronze thread in fly wheel brake
  • A new casting made for the hind wheel brake hand wheel as the existing looked like it came from an old lawnmower. New casting courtesy of Paul Turver owner of Burrell Tractor “Gladstone”
  • Water lifter tap handle replaced with correct Shipams handle and blower valve the same.

As I write, snow is on the ground and it seems a long time until spring… but it soon goes. We are well on the way for being ready for the nice weather or should I say rain!

About tvtecbeta

Thames Valley Traction Engine Club Website manager
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