Gladiator J6 Mud Hole Covers and Washout Plugs

Before closing up the boiler seam I worked on the washout plug holes, mud holes and the rivets/bolts on the side of the firebox – they were interesting to punch out with the boiler pre-rolled.

There are some etches that could be modified for the mud hole clamps but I didn’t use them. I had some nice castings from Ragstone for the clamps and surround in stock. They are round when they come and need to be squashed a little to become oval. I heated them to glowing with the microflame and gently squeezed them in the vice.

Next up I tackled the washout plugs/covers. Again there is an etch provided for these.

Gladiator Mud Holes covers-Washout Plugs

They are included on the chassis etch and are nickel silver. Even at half etch they are still quite thick but due to them being hand drawn the spigot that represents the stud and nut was misshapen and not quite central on some. There are six provided where only four are needed so you have a bit of choice.

I decided to use these as the covers but to modify them to have a bit more detail. I soldered them to a backing strip having marked this to ensure that they fit through the holes in the firebox. I had opened these up with a series of broaches and reamers until they were just bigger than the cover plates. I filed off the spigots and punched the centres, then I drilled them with the proxxon. Finally I soldered a short stub of wire in covered by a home made (from filed tube) nut to complete the fitting.

Modified Gladiator Mud Holes Covers-Washout plugs
Modified Gladiator Mud Holes Covers-Washout plugs

I popped them in the holes in the firebox to see how they fit.

Gladiator J6 Boiler with modified Mud hole covers-washout plugs

In this shot you can also see the Ragstone clamp castings which I have soldered in place.