Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Greetings from Weardale.

Well for us it was one of those overcast days that started out with drizzly rain then progressed to light rain finally settling in for a good soaking coming down by mid-afternoon. We took up where we had left off on Tuesday with a large butterfly plate with four bearings removed but the outer remains of one of left in one cavity. We had hoped that the application of blunt force trauma to the rim of the embedded bearing would result in it yielding. Absolutely no such luck, on the plus side none of us had damaged any digits in the process of trying to beat the bejesus out of the recalcitrant outer rim.

Ian decided on a water diversion project up at the portal to occupy his day. Around noon time we had a nice Japanese couple walk in to the mine. They were staying at the Packhorse Inn on the square in Stanhope and had walked over in the light rain. I gave them an extended tour of the mine since little was going on, then turned them loose on the dumps.

Around 2p.m. Jesse got the idea to head over to Frosterley to the fabrication people there. We had been told that an arc welder would loosen the bound bearing and they would just fall out. Unfortunately they were out of Argon but they did have an acetylene and the chap fabricating rabbit traps was happy to apply serious heat to the stuck bearing parts. Fall out was not quite correct, well heated it finally loosed up and then the application of blunt force, more heat, more force and viola we had bits of old bearing out.

Dave spent his day fabricating what he hoped would be a gear puller for the Eimco to expose the rest of the bearings .... if our luck runs true to form it will fail in spectacular fashion. To cover all bets we have a professional fitter with his gear coming out tomorrow morning and between him and Dave we have hope that at least we can make more progress. We left the butterfly plate with Dave this afternoon, he was hoping to heat the entire plate then apply a -40C freeze spray to the bearings with the hope that the expansion of one and the contraction of the other that the bearings would 'fall in' to place. Dave says we will be lucky to have the Eimco fully running by the back end of next week, I sure hope it is sooner.

Jesse and Ian left a bit early and I remained a while longer to lock up down below and take the Japanese couple back to Stanhope. She is a singer/songwriter and while combing the dumps she had composed a little song about the Rogereley. They sang it for me --way cute but embarrassing.

Our router arrived this afternoon from British Telecom. We have been without internet since Jesse and Ian arrived over two weeks ago. Our old AOL service just gave up the ghost and Jesse had no luck getting it to work. With some luck Jesse will get it up, running and we can do whatever it is you have to do to have internet service once again in Burnbrae. Pardon my use of overly technical terms for the rest of you Luddites out there.

Kerith has made here initial attempt at gardening and replanted two of the hanging baskets but still needs more plants for the third hanging basket. She was overjoyed to see that several of the plants she had purchased last year had survived the winter. It was a mild winter so her hope for continued success along that avenue are likely a bit premature. Tomorrow promised to be much of the same as we had today in the way of weather but if we can get the rest of the gears out and expose the last two bearings, remove all and get the new bearings in it would the equivalent of the Four of July, Guy Fawkes and Russian May Day rolled into one for us.

Cheers from the north,

Cal & Kerith, Jesse and Ian

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