Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Rub Rails

On the original, just below the windows on the inside, there was a piece of varnished timber at about elbow height. These are rub rails, designed to take a bit more punishment from the travelling public than the rest of the lining.

Some of the new rub rails in the main bedroom

All the remaining ones I have are silky oak and they range in condition from reasonable through to unusable. Many were missing when we got Clarabelle so, for continuity, I stripped the remaining few out of the main bedroom and made new ones from some timbers my dad had laying around under his house. This last trip to the carriage at the end of December I managed to fit them.

Most are white cedar (I think) but one is red cedar and two are maple. I've actually cut them deeper than the originals and spent quite a bit of time at home sanding and varnishing them to a high finish. I think they look pretty good now!

A close up, the red cedar in the middle, white cedar either side

Finding the right screws to attach them with was a minor adventure in itself. Hardware stores don't stock slot-head brass screws anymore but a hunt around on the internet and I came up with Bronze and Brass Fasteners who provided beautiful 2 1/2 inch brass slot-heads at a reasonable price and an excellent postal service.

I now have some silky oak left over from making the table which I'll save for some rub rails further along the carriage. And I should give a big thanks to my mate Andrew who carefully shaped the blanks into the finished shapes for me. Thanks mate!

The new rub rails on the other side of the carriage

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Wrong Colour!

A couple of blogs ago I commented on having found good colour matches for the original colours 1072 was painted in. This trip I finally got around to using some of those paints for the first time and, as these pictures will demonstrate, I goofed on one of them!

On the interior, I’m happy. The “King’s Gold” from the British Paints range and the “Deep Indian Red” from the Colourbond range are just about perfect matches, as you can see elsewhere in the blog. But I said that for the main colour for the exterior, originally a Tuscan Red, the best match was a colour called “Headlands” from the Colourbond range. Well, as you can see here, “Headlands” leaves the carriage a bit in the pink!

The three panels on the left are painted in the wrong colour, except for the droplights picked out in Deep Indian Red. Compared to the Heritage Red that I had previously used on the right, you can see that the new colour is just not right!

I’ve actually got a long history of trying to track down the exterior colours for 1072 which was complicated by my original lack of appreciation that the main red being different from the red on the droplights. The latter red is Deep Indian Red as used on the internal trim. This tale of two reds became apparent when I visited the Ipswich Carriage Works Museum in 2009 where 1074 is preserved in original condition and livery.

So anyway, after a period of painting a largish area of the carriage in ‘Headlands”, I was able to confirm that this is indeed the wrong colour. I picked this colour based on those little sample cards you can get in the paint shops. I pressed on for a while, painting away in what felt like the wrong colour just to confirm that opinion. As you can see, it took me a fair bit of painting before I was convinced that I was wrong!

But all was not lost! Previously in my search for the perfect red, I had purchased a litre of Colourbond “Bright Red” base, which was obviously a mistake! The toplights I painted with this looked like they belonged on a fire engine. But seeing that Headlands was not red enough and I had some bright red to play with, I combined the two and voila! Still not perfect but close enough to use as an undercoat to the eventual correct topcoat, when I figure out what that is.

The new hybrid red, a bit more like it! I've only used it around the windows here but you can see that it is see it is a better match to the Heritage Red and more like the original Tuscan Red.

So I’ve used this better hybrid colour to cover details in my latest fix-ups; in this case the last 3 drop lights to be attached to the carriage. It’s all one step back but two steps forward!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A new table

Just spent the last week of 2010 working on the carriage and have lots to show you over the next few blogs. And, to whet your appetite, here is a shot of the dining area with the new table installed.

I built the table at home based on a single slab of Silky Oak that a friend gave to me. I had it remilled and thinned to 35mm then spent quite a bit of time routing channels lengthwise on the underside and then back filling them with Maranti as well as routing channels across the grain into which strengthening battens were screwed. All that in an effort to prevent the slab curling, warping and splitting. I've edged the whole thing with Maranti and added a shim of Jarrah between the edging and the main table piece just to give a small highlight. I added another shim of Jarrah on the underside of the edging with a rounded strip of Tassie Oak fixed below to take the angle off the edge where legs and knees are most likely to come into contact with the table. All joints were made good with biscuits where possible.

The table is attached to the wall via two very heavy duty angle brackets that I recovered from under the seats that were originally in the carriage. A third bracket attached to the floor supports a central leg on the aisle end of the table.