Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Don't Fall Into This Trap

One of the trap doors on the 308 had come loose during operation a week and a half ago, so it needed to be fixed before we could run the cars in regular service again. This is not the world's greatest trap door design, but it's what we've got, so I spent most of the day fixing it - permanently, I hope. (R) First, I removed the side door. Otherwise you're working in a very tight corner.

Then (L) I drilled out all the holes where the wood screws had pulled out and filled them with short sections of 1/2" hardwood dowel. One of the hinge straps was bent, so I had to straighten it.

After the glue dried, I repositioned the hinges and checked that the trap would raise and lower correctly. (R) Then I drilled new holes and installed the trap itself.

(L) Here I am checking the hinge alignment. It's almost impossible to adjust once it's in place.

But now it closes nice and smoothly every time. (R) And then I put the side door back on. I need to do some touch-up with blue paint next time, and we'll be ready for action.


David Wilkins said...

Is that a hand bit brace I see in the background? Nothing like repairing vintage equipment with vintage hand tools. Well played!

Randall Hicks said...

There are good reasons for that. I couldn't be sure if I'd be running into metal of some sort when drilling out the holes, and using a power drill would certainly damage a good wood bit before I could stop. Doing it by hand allows you to feel your way. The bit set and its nice wooden box belonged to my grandfather, Frank Hicks.

David Wilkins said...

I have a rather nice Stanley brace, a set of Stanley wood bits, and a set of Russell Jennings wood augers myself from my grandfather. Now if I ever build that wood shop...