Thursday, 16 September 2010

The end is in sight!

Some photos of progress this week on Vanfit B759852. The remaining 'normal' planks were inserted and bolted in place, while a decent start was made on the lowest 'thin' plank with its special profile. For the latter I thank John, one of the full-time carriage restorers, who took time out from carriage work to help me for a while. This piece is not quite finished, but the hardest part (i.e. shaping the correct profile from a length of plain timber) has been completed, and it only requires a little more fettling to get it in its final position.

As left at the end of the last session.

Both planks inserted and fixed in place.

A general view of the van side, timber replacement just about completed, apart from the thin strip (bottom right).

The thin strip is loosely put in place but requires further work to make it fit properly.

Once the thin strip is fixed in place, the bare wood can be protected with white wood primer as per the top half of the van. Depending on the weather and my availability, undercoat and topcoat can then follow - at last!

Before going home I had a look at the other three static vans and tried to choose the next candidate to receive some TLC (this is an old photo, taken before work started on B759852, second from left). I concluded that they're all pretty much as bad as each other!

I could do with a bit of variety having worked on this van for several weeks (months?), but these vans are perfectly located for wagon work as they are adjacent to the workshop whereas finding a practical space to restore other wagons is proving tricky at the moment. Also, replacing planks is not quite as weather dependent as painting jobs, especially now that we are fast approaching the winter months. We'll have to see I guess!

I will be away again for the next few days, and am unsure when I will next be able to get up to Wansford - but I will post an update as soon as possible.