Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wye? Because I Just Had To!

On Wednesday I started by running the 309 around the wye so I could access the other side of the car to sand it down for painting, and to work on various parts of the clerestory that needed new parts installed. I removed some broken panes and installed new parts as shown here, for instance.

I made a dozen shims for the seat backs from spare linoleum. This may be a design flaw: in many cases the brackets that hold up the seat backs are not quite far enough apart to clear the seat cushions, which then get ripped when the seat backs are walked back and forth. To avoid this, the CA&E made shims out of linoleum, which is an ideal material for this purpose. But the old ones have become brittle and cannot be reused, so new material works much better. Bob Kutella caught me cutting them out on the bandsaw here. (The picture may look like I'm cutting off a finger, but I was careful, as always, and can still count to ten.) And I lubricated and installed several more seat backs in the main compartment.

On Thursday I lightly sanded all surfaces and then put a new coat of varnish on the #2 end bulkhead, as shown to the right. The letters G and FV stand for governor and feed valve, parts of the air brake system that are located under the seats at these locations. The letters made it easier for repairmen to find them, since they were placed differently in different cars.

I also did some work on the 321. I brought out all of the new linoleum and unrolled it down the aisle of the car, then covered it over with carpeting to protect it until I am ready to install it permanently. Otherwise it might dry out in storage and start to crack up when it's unrolled. I also did some paint stripping as a test.

On the left is a bulkhead panel; it appears that all of this can be stripped, stained, and varnished without too much trouble. On the right is part of a side wall panel from the 318. (Both of these pictures show the wood after staining but before varnish.) This was even easier; the green paint was applied by the CA&E without primer and strips easily. I believe there may be enough good panels from the 318 available to install in the smoker of the 321. For the main compartment, I will have to fabricate new ones.

I also did some touch-up painting on the 308, and checked on parts storage in our container.

Also, today Tim Peters was working on CRT car 1268, located across the aisle from me. Here he is working on replacing rotted body posts. He hopes to restore this car for service. It is a trailer and could be trained with the 4000s. It would be great to have some of the wooden El cars in service again. But be warned: according to a book I read somewhere once, "These cars were old, slow, and uncomfortable." !!!

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