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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Trelawny to the Rescue

The job of removing paint from the outside and scale and rust from the inside of the tank is daunting.   I had been going through rather a lot of cheap needle guns, whose needles kept falling out.

Searching for solutions I came across Trelawny surface preparation technology of Leamington Spa and told them of my problem.   See

They have come up trumps, supplying me with two of their splendid air tools - a seriously large needle descaler and a peening tool.   Besides being less noisy and nearly vibration free the descaler shifts the paint far more quickly.   The peening tool is for flat surfaces which are left as though they have been shot blasted.

Magnificent!   Pictures of tools and the results later.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Half panels

Readers must be getting fed up with pictures of painted panels but I could not resist these two pictures.

They show panels 15 and 16 (out of 72), each half painted. These panels are on the east side of the tank ( the back of the tank when viewed from the station). As the gondola moves clockwise round the tower it reaches six panels at each positioning. The 9 foot gondola does not quite match up with the 4 foot panels so at times half panels are painted.

On these panels this results in stark before and after comparisons of the newly painted parts alongside the unprepared parts.

The first picture is of the lower panel and the second is of its neighbour above.

The upper panel had had some preliminary needle gunning but the lower one was, until now, out of reach. The flaky old paint can be seen clearly.
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Friday, 18 March 2011

Iron Posts for Tank-top Railings

Above is the first completed post, made by Settle blacksmith David Clements. We need 30 or so of these. Restoration Man George Clarke came up with the idea of making them from the ends of pieces of the redundant bracing rods from inside the tank. I put the idea to David who was sure he could adapt the bracing rods and what a splendid job he has done of the first one.
Here is David's modification for the base of the posts.
Here is a recovered bracing iron before adaptation, above the completed example.
This shows the clever balcksmithing close up. The old rod is forged into the shape of the finished post below. The square section fits intothe square holes on top of the tank sides. That section, and the threaded bit, both come out of the original metal.
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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

North end tank panels painted

Now that one end of the tank is fully painted we begin to get an idea of how the tank as a whole will look. This is the north end of the tank that faces the town of Settle. Gordon the Gondola has been lowered to the ground to reveal ten painted panels in all their glory. Only 62 more to do now. Paint quantities has been a problem but now we know how much has been used to do ten panels we can calculate the remainder. The second picture shows the contrast between the old and the new.
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Sunday, 13 March 2011

S.O.S. *

Here is the S.O.S. * posing with his paintbrush in Gordon the Gondola, about to start on the last four panels on the north end. As I get used to the job I am getting quicker and more proficient. To put a coat of paint on one panel takes about half an hour at this stage.   Photo courtesy of Bob Swallow.

* Silly Old Sod
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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Public Reaction to the Tank Colours

Here are the first six completed panels when seen from Gordon the Gondola now positioned to their left.

When working in Gordon the Gondola you cannot help hearing the comments of passers by - except when needle gunning of course. People assume that because the gondola is high above them they cannot be heard. They can.

Probably because of the novelty of the newly painted panels they come in for a lot of comment - all of it very positive and complimentary.

My day was made today when a hoodie instructed his girl friend to look up at the water tower.

His verdict? "That's really cool"

Posted by PicasaHere are the next four panels awaiting painting.   The needle gun does a good job.   Those bits of paint that survive deserve to stay where they are.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

First six tank panels painted

The late afternoon light is not ideal and we are on the north end of the tank.
The west side is in sunlight and the newly painted panels are in shade.
Furthermore, the pictures are being taken into the sun.

Anyway, the first six painted panels are done - and very good they look too.

The crane did its job well and Gordon the Gondola swung round neatly to be re-positioned for the next set of panels to be stripped and painted.

Here we see the six painted panels alongside the four north end panels awaiting painting.  Just visible in this shot is a line of white foam below the painted panels, sealing the gap between the tank and the stonework below. When cured the excess will be trimmed off and silicone applied on top of the foam. Besides sealing the air gap the foam should go some way to insulating what would otherwise be a heat bridge between the walls and the tank.

I applied second top coats this morning to the cream and green parts. There was a very high wind blowing from the west but the gondola felt perfectly safe and secure. I stopped for lunch when the wind began to blow the paint off the paint brush and it started to hail. There is a limit to the amount of fun a body can take.

It is a fiddly job painting round all those nuts and bolts.

The black line near to the top of the panels is the steel rope safety line, onto which the fall arrest lanyard is fixed and along which it can slide as the work progresses.

Six panels done. Just sixty six to go.
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