Thursday, September 7, 2017

Variety Show

We have quite a bit of variety to report today, although Thursday is typically not very busy, with few people on the property.

My first project was to repaint the steel plates on the side doors of the 36.  We noticed a couple of them had already started to rust, and they all could use a better paint job.  Two of the doors were sanded down and given a good coat of brown primer.  I hope to be able to put two finish coats on these before Members' Day.

The other two were in better shape, and were sanded down and given another coat of blue.

While over at Barn 4, here's what the riveting project on the 28 looks like so far.  Several flat head rivets have been installed and ground smooth.  It looks very professional.

For Members' Day Weekend, both the 16th and 17th, the Electroliner will be open for visitors so you can see the progress.  And they will have things on sale.  Both A units should be open; the one Ed and John are working on is on track 41, and I believe the other A unit is on track 71.  You will not want to miss this.

 Then I started working on windows for the Cleveland center-door car, 18.  Or 1218.  Here's what the two windows I removed last time looked like before work started.  I picked these out because they were missing the brass castings for the lifts.  

 However, chemical stripper didn't do much for the yellow paint on the outside.  I finally decided it would be best to disassemble the windows and use a heat stripper on the wooden parts, and wire-wheel the metal channels on the stiles.  But that's not easy to do; many of the screws turn in the holes and cannot be removed.

But one of the two windows was finally disassembled.  

There are no mortises or tenons in this construction; small wood screws through holes in the channels hold the whole thing together.   I later decided that these two windows must have come from some other car.  Maybe it's best to make all new wood pieces here.  It won't be that difficult.  The hard part is that the metal channels as well as the wood are painted with a faux-wood grain pattern that I do not yet know how to reproduce.  So this project is turning out to be more difficult than anticipated.

Let's take a break and go look at the M-37, our TM container car.  This is a unique example of the earliest form of containerization.  Gerry was inspecting and lubricating the car, and needed a hammer to get one of the journal box covers open.  The car was recently repainted by the Wednesday guys, and it looks great.

We opened the end doors and looked at the one surviving container.

Under the floor is the winch motor for moving containers in and out of the car.

It's controlled by a pushbutton just inside the end door.

They plan to have this car on display and in motion for the Milwaukee Transport Day, Oct. 7th.  So that's another good reason to mark your calendar for that day.

Here Dave and Gerry are looking over the ramp which is being constructed on the west side of the Schroeder Store, for handicapped access.

Maintenance of this huge facility is a never-ending job, and work is constantly going on all over the property.  Here the 50th Avenue station is being scraped down for repainting.

Finally, I went over to the 18 and looked around some more.  All of the original windows have the same sort of faux paint scheme on the interior.

And this week we have cat news.   For a long time, Mr. Socks, seen here, has been the official shop cat in the Electric Car Department, although not everyone is a cat enthusiast, to put it mildly.

However, a new cat has recently appeared and started hanging around the general area.  It's black and white, and not very big.  I saw it briefly today, but it ran away too quickly for me to get a picture.  Anyway, Socks would not tolerate having another cat around, and so Gerry has issued a writ of attainder against the new cat, forbidding anyone to provide aid or comfort, or let the new cat into the shop.  Socks was last seen prowling around the shop building, protecting his territory.  Unless the new cat can get some pro bono legal aid, he'll probably just have to pack up and go elsewhere.  Good riddance.


Steve Loitsch said...

Thanks for the heads up about touring the 'Liner on Members Weekend, looking forward to visiting & seeing all the progress I have read about here. This will be my son's first visit and my second visit to the museum (briefly visited in 1991 while attending Navy Fire Controlman A school in Great Lakes). Will be a few of us Branford guys around...

Joel Ahrendt said...

Randy, It's been years, but I did do some faux wood graining in my theatre days. I could look at it and see if I can replicate it.

Vacuum Tubes said...

Randy and Frank, it's been a while..... my father was an experienced faux finisher, had all the special combs brushes and tools used to do it...... sadly dementia has a firm grasp on him these days..... he was schooled through the painters union..... try contacting Painters District Council 30 in Aurora..... I may also be able to put you in contact with a family friend who went through faux finishing school with Dad...... guys like them can take one glance and say " I know how to do that".... thanks for the regular blog updates, life's responsibilities keep me from participating in museum activities..... it's great to have this blog as a window to watch through.....your old friend, Ben Rohling......

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, guys, that is very encouraging. And it's good to hear from you, Ben.

On almost all of the 1218 windows, the interior paint on the top rail and the metal channels over the stiles is still in good condition, so we have lots of examples to work from. But on most of the bottom rails the finish has been ruined. For some reason the windows were made with the molding strips attached to the inside, so when the seals fail on the bottom rail, the water runs down the glass and underneath, dripping down the inside surface. Great. But that's something that doesn't have to be fixed immediately, I would say.