I had an exchange of emails with Polly today about the cladding. They reckon it is a tight fit but should go! I have done a bit more preparation to help things along. I have filed back the exposed bolts that hold the reverser to the frames and I have filed down the rivet heads on the sides of the firebox both of which Polly suggest in their instructions. The proof of the pudding etc.

This evening I have fitted the snifting valve – what a fiddle.

To fit the valve the smokebox has to be removed. The valve is made up of an outer case and fixing nut and finally the body of the valve. Inside the valve is a ball bearing. Unfortunately the fixing nut will not fit over the body of the valve so the body and the ball bearing have to be removed.

Once the outer case is in place, the ball bearing can be dropped in and then the valve body added. Once it is all sorted the smokebox can be fitted back in the frames.

Now onto the biggest fiddle of the build so far; plumbing the sifting valve to the pipe that connects it to the superheater. Matt warned it was a tricky job. Trying to get the pipe to come into the valve at an angle that the locating nut would grab the thread on the valve took about half an hour.

In the end I was victorious!

I have to remind myself that all this will need to be taken to pieces again for painting – oh joy!