Although the firebox has the holes drilled for attaching canopy supports, it is doubtful that a canopy was ever fitted. This sadly neglected traction engine has now undergone a full 3-month long restoration, which has completely transformed its appearance. Pitting on the aluminium wheel castings and smokebox/chimney casting has been carefully repaired with silver-grey grade Milliput. Pipes have been re-soldered to cylinder pivot plate using a butane pencil torch and plumber's solder, following which the engine has been successfully steamed. All existing paint was stripped, and all parts carefully cleaned and either polished or re-painted as appropriate. Drive pulley was absent, but fortuitously a nicely machined one was present on my stationary engine and has been transferred across! (The builder had judiciously made one from the TE instructions to install, as the SE instructions in the book make no reference to adding a pulley to its crankshaft); a Mamod TE/SR drive band proved to be a perfect fit. Burner was also absent, so a refurbished Mamod TE/SR/SW burner for which there is just enough clearance through the firebox opening has been utilized. Painted parts are in Decostyle (Lidl) stove&BBQ satin black, with wheels in Plastikote 22112 satin 'hunt green.' Before and after photos below.
Ran efficiently and quietly on its first firing after arrival, with no leaks. Tested using a Mamod TE/SR burner, which fits comfortably in the firebox due to this engine having a wider burner opening than is usual, giving the impression of open doors, as clearly seen in the photos. Restoration is now complete. All original paint was stripped, and the 3-wick burner's fuel tank was carefully cleared of its messy solder smears and its colour changed from green to red to match the re-sprayed cast engine frame. New wicks installed . Base and firebox ends are in VHT satin black. A plug for the tank has been fashioned from 12mm dowel, centre-drilled 2mm for air venting and sealed with yacht varnish. The completed SE is mounted on a 300mm X 100mm polished oak plinth and I think looks very smart. Before and after photos below.
Lack of relevant holes in the firebox confirms that this engine was never fitted with a canopy. The absent parts here are a steam exhaust pipe , a burner and a front axle spring; some work on the unfinished cylinder and pivot plate is also needed to get this machine into a working condition. The axles are significantly too short, and the smokebox/chimney is poorly cast. Currently completely disassembled and all paintwork stripped, this engine will now form the basis of a KW-type steam roller conversion; a design for making a 2-piece wooden pattern for casting a new smokebox/chimney/front-rolls-perch unit has been drawn up. (This is based on the front end of an Armstrong-Whitworth prototype roller design). A foundry happy to forge such a casting at reasonable cost has been located just an hour's drive away - all I need now is to get the pattern together... oh, and sort out the front and back rolls...
Against some strong Ebay competition, I really had to step up to the plate to secure this little beauty, which comes complete with the Wells specified ribbed canopy on twisted columns. Only the burner is missing, which seems to be almost inevitable, and the front axle spring which is easily rectified. Currently dismantled for restoration. Paint has been stripped from the firebox, the only painted part of the engine (through the builder using re-cycled white-painted steel!). Colour scheme is yet to be finally decided,
Complete with its 3-wick burner and Wells SV. May well be restored in yellow-and-black "Wells livery" as per the photos in the book.
Appears to have professional, factory-made smokebox/chimney unit and wheels, rather than the usual amateur castings for these components, though their source is a mystery. No burner or front axle spring (due to the fixing nut prohibiting fitting) but otherwise a complete and very well-made machine which should look a treat when restored.
Built in 1978 (dated on smokebox) at Dury Falls Secondary School in Hornchurch, Essex. Canopy is smooth rather than ribbed, echoing the very early Mamod TE1 canopies; this is attached at the rear to the firebox via Wells-spec. twisted brass columns, but is also front-fixed to the chimney by a custom bow-shaped support. It carries the livery of the original Wells model as illustrated on the covers of the book, and this will be retained. A real bonus is that it still has its original Meths burner with wooden handle, the first of my six Wells mobiles not to have it missing! A great bargain buy at only fifty quid plus postage!