Sunday, November 10, 2013

Up In the Attic

After the big party (see below), it's time to get back to work on the 319.  Installing the curved tack molding around the ends of the car is a challenge.  The curvature itself is a problem, and most of the screws have to go through a metal plate.  The first piece of molding I had taken home for some modifications, and then reattached it.  The outer end fit OK, but the center curvature is a smaller radius, so more work is needed.

It isn't clear from outside just how thick is the wood to which the molding is being attached, so I decided it was necessary to get up into the "attic" (the enclosed space above each vestibule).  The only way to get into the attics is to drop the dome light.  Here we're looking up, before work starts.

Four molding strips had to be removed, and at least two were already in bad shape.  So I later took them over to the wood shop to be replicated.  My buddy Rich Witt was telling me last night that they're looking for work over the winter, and this should be a good short-term project.  (I might point out that the moldings at the other end are completely different, and they're both different from the 321's.  Typical, just bloody typical.)  Anyway, when the dome light is unfastened, it can be dropped down and perched on the door.  Of course, the wiring is still attached.

Now you can stick your head up into the attic and look around.  I hadn't been up inside the 319 before.  This attic is quite clean and organized compared the the 309's attics, for instance.  They're still full of wood shavings from the car's construction.  Here we're looking slightly down towards the back of the piece to which the curved tack molding is attached.  The cable running to the bus jumper is attached with leather straps.  According to my calculations, the backing piece is about 3" thick, but it appears to be pine, so sometimes the wood screws strip their threads.

And here's what the 600V wiring generally looks like up there.  At the top left is the conduit from one end of the car to the other, carrying wires for the headlight and lighting circuits.  To the right is the roof cable, carrying power to the #2 electrical cabinet - the pump and lights.  And various wires for the lights, buzzer, and so on, which can be traced out if necessary.  I generally prefer not to think about it.

Of course, I don't want to have the dome light assembly hanging from the wires, so here it's attached to the door closer mechanism with a couple of pieces of baling wire, which I always have on hand.  If wood screws aren't going to hold, the tack molding can be bent and held in place with nuts and bolts, or rather flat head machine screws.

But the first piece is nearly aligned, and I planed off the upper edge, followed by rasping and sanding.  That doesn't seem like a lot of progress for a day's work, but there's always a learning (or relearning) curve, so the next three should go faster.

1 comment:

Bruce Duensing said...

Every time I read these posts alongside the images, it brings to mind how much "the devil is in the details" Screws that won't turn, mysterious short circuits that elude a simple answer that do turn out to be simple if certainly elusive.
I never fail to be impressed by the tenacity this takes as a subject in of itself.
These projects make the restoration of an old house look like a walk in the park.
Part forensic detective work, part busted knuckles, part elbow grease..all of this is, yes, part of the game but from the outside looking in, it makes for quite story..and a fascinating one.