Helping father & son steam ahead
28 November 2017
Father and son team Dave and his son Paul Harrower began restoring the Aveling & Porter ‘C’ Type Steam Roller in 1984 which went on to have its first steaming in 2015.
The Aveling & Porter ‘C’ Type Steam Roller was new to Frank Harris Brothers of Guildford. Built in 1923 this 8-ton beauty with Works No; 10677 Registration NO: PD 6410 was put into service. After some 30 plus years it was then in 1958 saved for preservation. Derek Petty of Berkhamsted purchased it many years later and continued to rally it until 1974.
In 1975 it was then acquired by Dave Harrower, who had previously restored a 1908 William Foster Steam Engine that had belonged to his father who owned a petrol garage. The garage had struggled to sell petrol at the time until Dave’s father placed the Steam engine on the forecourt and sure enough customers pulled in to see it. Many years later when the garage closed Dave asked his father if he could have the engine and was told ‘if you can move it you can have it’ and to this day Dave still has the engine that is now a 2018 project for refurb.
The Aveling & Porter was in a poor state due to heavy rust and corrosion to each tender side and boiler tank and many other parts. It was stripped down completely for restoration to begin.
It was 1984 when restoration began, and this was carried out by Dave and his son Paul Harrower (who was raised on such projects from a young age) many years on the restoration ensued on the project. This was no mean feat as they literally built an entire workshop to house the project. This itself was not without its problems as in the roof of the workshop was blown away into a neighbouring field during the severe storm of 1987. Dave and Paul were not deterred, and they pushed on and scoured the country for various old lathes and milling machines suitable for the project.
They had to make many of the BSW bolts themselves as these bolts simply are no longer available. They made bearings and bought a huge squeeze riveting machine to set the required hot rivets. Many engineering practices from the past were bought back into use as this was the only way to authentically complete such a restoration. Then in September 2015 the restored Aveling & Porter had its first steaming.
Chicago Pneumatic became aware of this amazing father and son restoration project by a chance meeting with Paul Harrower and immediately wanted to help them in some way and donated several Ex Demo tools to for ongoing maintenance and indeed for the 2018 future restoration of the William Foster Steam Engine, and a 1957 Fordson Major tractor project. Paul has already started using the tools like the CP7125 Needle scaler to clean the firebox in preparation for the PD6410 going into winter hibernation under lock and key before 2018 Steam Rally’s begin.
The CP9120CR Grinder proved useful on the early stages of work on a boiler plate whilst the CP9790 Drill was used to put two pilot holes in each side on the engine mounting plate for low loader and then the CP7748 ½” Impact Wrench proved ideal for bolts on the mounting plate. The CP7732 Ultra Compact ½” Impact Wrench has also been used to remove the chassis bolts on the Fordson Major.