Saturday, September 28, 2013

Roof Work

Today we'll focus on roof work, in particular on wood and canvas roofs.  These are real-life examples of the lessons summarized in our FAQ on Canvas Roofs.  

 I guess we'll start with things to avoid.  You will notice that the running boards on the 319 were made in rather short sections, some shorter than 3', and that they don't even line up.  But I guess that was considered good enough.  Also, the roof cables are held in place by bungee cords.  No, this wasn't photoshopped, I'm not that good!

It will be convenient to leave the poles and bases in place as long as I can, enabling the car to move itself, so I started by removing the running boards in the middle of the roof.  And it was observed with relief that the underlying wood structure seems to be sound.  On the 321, the roof is noticeably flattened where both bases had been, but that's not the case here.  This took a while to accomplish.  The replacement boards were attached with Phillips screws, and I didn't have a large Phillips screwdriver, since I never needed one before.  It's annoying because they strip easily, but sooner or later the Cleveland running boards can be removed.  They make a satisfying thud hitting the ground.
While doing this I have the DC locked out, of course.  And in nature notes, you will notice that the end of the trolley wire is decorated with a wasp's nest.  You could get stung in more ways than one!

And I worked on other parts of the roof, as well.  One interesting thing is this thin metal plate, which I decided to remove, although it must have been installed at Wheaton.  The 308 and 309 have this feature too: at one time there must have been a pipe leading up through the toilet compartment to the upper roof.  I'm not sure what it was; it may have been the air intake for the compressor. 

In this picture you should be able to see the hole in the lower roof also.  It won't be hard to patch this up.

A couple of years ago I started making new tack molding for the 319, but since then it's been gathering dust.  Eric Lorenz and Lorne Green helped by moving ceiling panels for the Cleveland car out of the way so my wood could be brought out. The lower tack molding is complete and just needs to be painted; some more work needs to be done on the upper tack molding.  The lower canvas should be installed first, so that will work out fine.  Also, we located the new canvas for the car, which we ordered from Chicago Canvas back in 2010.

Meanwhile in Barn 4 the guys are hard at work stretching the canvas on the Michigan car.  As this is an arched roof, it's somewhat simpler.  Various clamps and tie-downs are used to apply tension to the canvas.  (L to R) Jeff Brady, Norm Krentel, Ray Schmid.  Tim Peters is helping as a consultant, since he's done a couple of these most recently.

We use #8 duck, which comes in a width of 6' maximum.  So for these roofs, a sewn seam is necessary.  Our supplier does a good job on this project.  I can't even imagine how I'd try to go about sewing two 60' long pieces of canvas together.

So far it's only been stretched end to end, but the side to side will come next.  And then we can start tacking.

And as usual, lots of other projects were going on, and visitors were visiting, and new volunteers were volunteering.  You could be one of them.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't the hole have been for a stack vent or other type of vent for the toilet?


Randall Hicks said...

The vent itself is much bigger, and just to the right of where these pictures were taken.