The Barrel March 04

With the top section in place we now set to work on putting the split welding to rights. As the barrel was sat on its front we made a start on the the Back-Bottom hatch frames first. It seemed like a daunting task at first but once we set to with the, yes you guessed it, the grinders, grinding out the old weld, without doing to much damage was fairly easy. It was at this time I was starting to worry about finding a welder who could weld them back together for us. Then out of the blue I received an email from Tim Croot an old mate from my army days who had seen my article in the REME magazine. Just by chance he had been posted back to Larkhill and when I asked him if he could help with the welding he jumped at the chance to help.
         
   
The barrel on its front from the bottom   The back-bottom frames welded back in   The REME arrive to help turn it over
Click on photos for a better view
With Tim on board things started to move a pace, and we soon had the back-bottom hatch frames sorted and ready to move on. While we had been working on the barrel another friend of ours a William Miller who is a Blacksmith among other things had one of the top hatch frames and was giving it a good sort out. This arrived back just at the right time but Tim felt that we need to flip the barrel over to make the welding easier. So again I had to call in the REME to help flip on to its proper position. The Foden Recovery vehicle made light work of it and we soon where at it again with the welder. This time welding in the top-left hatch frames this was the moment of true for us as we had never really been sure that after we had taken them off we could get them back on. But to my relief they went back on with out a hitch and to prove it I just had to put in the hatch to see if it would fit and it did.
         
   
The Barrel suspended as its lowed down   The Barrel the right way up ready   Preparing the barrel for welding
 
   
Tim hard at the welding   The top left hatch frame welded in place   To prove it works the hatch in place