June 17, 2000
Greetings from the not so wet north of England. Since Jesse left early this morning, it will be my job to keep everyone informed on the mining activities here at the Rogerley Mine. Jonina will be writing the daily general reports so everything should be covered.
Yesterday, the 16th, was track laying day. Dave and I had laid a temporary bend the day before to be able to use the Eimco 12B to muck out the new tunnel we are driving towards the end of Byron's green pocket from last year. The last shot went so well that we figured we could lay a full 18' length of track in the "S" curve we have in our new heading. Dave suggested that we use heavier rail for a permanent track so the mucker would be less likely to spread the track going around the corners. Thank God for his experience in these maters. To make the temporary track we used a lighter rail that easily bent to our configuration by using the mucker as a rail bender, but the heavier rail was a bit more stubborn in being bent. This time instead of using the mucker to bend the rail we had to bring up the "Rail Bender". Although not very big it must weigh several hundred pounds and no one wanted to climb up to the portal with it. Byron hooked it up to the winch mounted at the portal and we pulled it up that way. Using a hydraulic hand pump we were able to conform the one of the rails to our liking. That was the easy part. Then we have to bend another rail to the same curvature keeping the distance apart more or less equal. We worked on this rail most of the afternoon until it was time to go home and clean up for our dinner engagement with our landlords, Jeremy and Phillipa. Monday morning's job will be to finish the track laying and then drill in another round moving the tunnel another 5 feet closer to the green pocket.
Since Dave works five days a week, Byron and I use Sat. to catch up on other activities at the mine. Today, Sat., we used the time to reinstall the fuel injector pump in our non-running compressor. Neither of us are diesel mechanics nor do we have a manual on the machine but we were able to put the thing back in. Making it run was a different mater. We both new that the pump and engine must be in harmony together so there must be timing marks where the pump bolted to the internal gear. The port access to the gear is about 3 inches in diameter and there is no way to be able to see in without a mirror. On the way to the mine we stopped at our favorite DIY to buy a small mirror, but no such luck. It was suggested that we go to the local Chemist and there we found a nice compact cosmetic mirror. Still, we could not find any timing marks on the gear. Since there are basically only 3 ways to bolt the thing on we decided to try. The first time the compressor wouldn't start, so we took it apart and rotated it 120 degrees. Again it wouldn't start. Third time's the charm and low and behold the compressor started. It started but ran the same way it did that prompted us to have the pump fixed in the first place. So, is the timing off or was there another problem? All of this took us about six hours so it was off to the pub for a beer and to think about what our next move should be. I think a manual would be good.
Tomorrow we are all off to play tourist, heading towards Hadrian's Wall to the north of us. Till Monday then,
Cheers, Jim, Byron and Jonina.