Monday, June 26, 2017

Close to the finish line

Frank writes...

Significant restoration work on the 319 is getting towards the finish line. At this point it mostly consists of paint: interior paint, which is my father's department, and underbody paint, which is more my cup of tea. So to keep the ball rolling on this I brought the 319 over to the inspection pit lead on Sunday to do some more needle-chipping in preparation for converting more of the underbody from alligatored paint and rust into nice shiny black.

First, I had a moment to grab a nice portrait on the ladder track.
Three out of the car's four step wells had already been needle-chipped and repainted but one, at the #1R corner, still remained. So I spent the afternoon cleaning that up with the needle-chipper. Above is a work-in-progress shot of one of the step risers. It's not as obvious in the photo as it was in real life, but under the black paint (which likely dates back to Wheaton) was quite a bit of the light blue/grey used on the top half of the car sides. We already knew that during the 1950s the edges of the steps were painted with this blue/grey color, and my guess is that the steps themselves - which consist of a grating of sheet metal strips - were sprayed with this color and then the risers were brushed black. It's an interesting tidbit; during the 1940s, in the "Early American" color scheme, the steps and step edges were painted silver rather than grey.
I also chipped the alligatored paint off of the bottom of the trap. The Jewetts were the only CA&E wood cars to have these modern sprung traps; the older cars just have wooden trap doors on barn hinges. The Jewetts are also the only wood cars, I believe, to have had "Watch Your Step" painted on the trap undersides at some point. I think this had been painted over by the end of service but photos of the cars with the traps up are not terribly common.
And I ended up running out of time but I did get a chance to wire-wheel and prime the outside of the step well. Hopefully my father can paint this black during the week; the rest of the equipment under the end of the car (pilot, braces, the other step well) is nice shiny black so this will make the car more photogenic at least. At the moment the 319 is scheduled to run solo as the 50th Avenue-Jefferson Street shuttle car on July 2nd so people won't be seeing the step well "interior" anyway.
And here's some interesting news: new wheels for Sand Springs 68 have come back from the wheel shop. The rebuilt wheel-and-axle sets are shown here with the truck frame and journal boxes in the background.

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