Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Have a Seat

How far are you willing to go to get a good seat? We were willing to go 200 miles, and it was worth every penny, I think. As mentioned before, Rod and Nick had rented a truck to move several other things as well, so we got good use out of it.

Here we are in the barn at North Freedom. Nick looks over the seats as we decide how to load the next one. To the right is Richard Dipping, an MCRM member who was a great help with the previous North Shore seats and again on Tuesday.

Once the truck was loaded, it looked like this. At the lower left you can see the top of a railroad ceiling light fixture, one of the items Nick bought at auction. In the back at right is the big bead blaster, which is now in Barn 3. And under the blankets lie further stories for some other time.

The seats from CA&E #300 had been installed in this combine, EJ&S #2. Now that it's been cleaned out, the interior looks like this. Obviously restoration will be a huge challenge, but the guys at Mid-Continent are experts.

The car was originally built in 1867, and it appears that it had a deck roof. (At least that's what we electric car guys would call it.)

We got back to Union about 5pm on Tuesday, and Rod, Nick, and I unloaded the truck. The seats were placed on the floor in the front of Barn 8. After unloading everything else, we then went for beans after a long but productive day.

On Wednesday morning, I got some of the regulars to help me lift all the seats up into the 150. Pete Galayda, John Nelligan, and Henry Vincent worked hard and the job was done quickly and efficiently. Thanks, guys! The front part of the car now looks like this. I also moved all the seat cushions to the container. And did I mention that we also got two more North Shore seat backs and two cushions that they found? Those I took over to Barn 11 for storage in the 253.

Then I started disassembling the seats in earnest. I decided it was best to remove the backs, arm rests, and pedestals at a minimum, since for use in the 309 I'll generally want to reuse the originals. The first frame I worked on turned out to have a cracked rail I hadn't noticed: (R)

I suppose it can be welded back together, or I may just continue disassembling it for parts. I checked the others and there are no other obvious cracks like this. These things are heavy and awkward, and there are a few frozen screws and bolts, but it's going along pretty well. Thanks again to the donors whose contributions made this possible.

Here are two bare frames, ready for installation.

And here's a selection of pedestals, which I don't expect to need. (They're sitting on a bookcase which came from one of the cars at Lake Shafer.)

But let's see what other people are doing.

First of all, Rich Witt (center) is back at work, and he is continuing to sand down and repaint windows for the 36. He's doing a very careful and thorough job. You'll notice that when the camera comes out, people appear from nowhere. It looks like Rich is over-supervised! I don't know who the other two guys are, I didn't stick around long enough to get their names.

The Schroeder Store is getting new windows installed in the front, and I think you will agree it's really going to look impressive!

And Max Tyms was installing a new switch box for the 600V supply to Barn 8, replacing the old box that was destroyed by a lightning strike.

Of course many other people were hard at work on various projects: sanding, painting, mowing the grass (hey, somebody's got to do it!) and much else. If you're not a volunteer, you're missing out on a lot!


Anonymous said...

That shop picture is very typical. I wonder who those two unsavory characters are? Do not be fooled, Rich Witt is doing the 'heavy lifting', all the work. And we thank him for the willingness to proceed on a fairly unglamorous and dusty task.

Bob Kutella

David Wilkins said...

Other acceptable titles for this post would have been "No Time to Sit Still," and "Shut the Door and Have a Seat."

Joel Ahrendt said...

I think you were good to get out of there before meeting those other two.

Anonymous said...

do you have a specific Interurban that neeeds these seats/

or are they just spares for the future?

Ted Miles

David Wilkins said...


In previous posts regarding these seats, Randy mentioned that the 309 has a couple of broken seats, so a few of these will be used in that car, and the rest will be held if and when a future need arises.