Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finishing the East End

One last crack at the east end and it's done! I started late on Saturday and stayed over night so got back into it on Sunday.

Sunday Morning: the previous day I had some paint but still a way to go
I have modified the livery a little, adding a black line under the gutter where there is an open cavity between the exterior roof and interior ceiling. This helps keep the carriage cool but looked untidy when I painted it red. The black hides most of that untidyness!

Midday Sunday: windows lined out, red all over
I've also painted the gutters red for the first time and again, I think it looks a lot tidier for that effort as well.

Oblique view, north-east corner
I had intended to keep going and do the whole side but the wind got up a bit and I was uncomfortable being on the high scaffold so finished up here and went around the other side to work in the lee of the wind.

Same view circa 2004: She's come a long way!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rebuilding Windows

Picking up where I left off last week, it was time to rebuild the windows under the end toplights

Work begins - a light sanding
First up was a light sanding and an investigation looking for any rot or bad joints. Once identified, the bad timber was chiselled away or scrubbed out with a wire brush. Once again, the damage was not as bad as I was expecting.

Top corner - bad timber chiselled out along the grain of the wood
Bottom corner - more sanding and attacking with a wire brush
The other bottom corner needed a similar treatment
The bottom margin of the windows require special attention because the timber here tends to be in bad shape due to water running down the window. Three of the four windows worked on this weekend required the old margin chiselled out (very carefully!) and a new margin added using 6mm quadrant. These were embedded into a deep layer of acrylic filler which was also squirted into the two upright margins of each window to reseal them.

A new bottom margin of the window added from 6mm quad
Then out with the Builders Bog, slapped onto the holes and exposed timber and sanded back into shape.

One window, filled and sanded, ready for painting.
This end of the carriage had simply been painted over after the graffiti attack last year. In this area the vandals had used a particularly nasty silver paint and the overlaying red had not adhered to it very well so, when I started sanding back, the red came off in sheets. So I had to sand right back to wood in most places and start the painting process all over.

At the conclusion of the weekend's work, the end of the carriage was painted with 3-in-1 Primer, Sealer and Undercoat

Monday, September 16, 2013

Last of the Top Lights

Now that the weather is clearing up and it's more pleasant to work outside, it's time to sort out some jobs that have been waiting for all Winter.

Top of the list was installing the last four toplights. I have covered these before so I won't go into the whole process again except to say that the rot was not as bad as I had feared and only one of the four needed major surgery.

The last four toplights installed.
Hopefully the weather will continue to improve and I can work my way around the carriage patching up some minor problems on the sides and sorting out both ends. I also need to get another coat on the roof. Anyone out there want to lend me a hand?

The whole carriage showing the eastern end that has not been touched since I got her in 2005.

Monday, September 9, 2013


A few pictures taken by my mate Tony from the South Australian Finescale Modellers this week including an outside shot of Clarabelle revealing that I really need to get Chester busy with a brush and knock out all those cobwebs! The western end also needs a new coat of paint, it's looking very tatty. The observant among you may also notice that this view shows off the blinds that have been installed in the main bedroom.

Time to knock off the cobwebs and get a coat of paint on!
Tony is a blind maker by profession and works for South Australian Blind Supplies. He arranged to make up the blinds for the carriage at a very good price.

Four windows in the southern wall of the bedroom, blinds open
Since the main bedroom has been mostly finished, and particularly since we have finished the bed and have slept there a few times, it became blatantly obvious that some privacy was required!

Same view, blinds closed
And I think these blinds are just the thing we need. The colour was the best match I could find in the swatches Tony had and the action of all blinds is smooth and easy.

General view of the main bedroom with blinds closed
The blinds should also help to keep the heat out in summer. And the rate the weather is changing at this time of year, it won't be long before we find out!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dunny Door

I feel that I've had to leap ahead in the logical order of doing things in the bathroom. I need to get all the wiring in place prior to lining the whole area and that means constructing part of the wall that separates the bathroom from the aisle. But I can't complete this wall until I've got the toilet in because it won't fit through the door. And the toilet needs to be installed after the tiling has been done, which needs to happen after the waterproof membrane has been applied which has to happen after the lining is completed! So I've opted to hanging the bathroom door and building the frame for it so that I can get the wiring done before moving back to finishing the lining.

I managed to get two toilet doors from an old QR carriage now on display at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton. When there several years ago I noticed that the doors had been removed from the carriage and were surplus to their requirements so I negotiated the purchase of them. Getting them to Sydney was an interesting challenge (they are particularly heavy) and involved a mate of mine who is conducting palaeontological field work in the area. He and his students got them to Brisbane for me then we freighted them to Sydney from there.

The newly-hung door in the open position
Building the frame was relatively straight forward but proceeded slowly and with caution. The most difficult part of actually hanging the doors was setting the hinges. These are the original and are spring loaded so I had to get creative to find a way to hold them open while holding the door in place to screw them in position.

Come on in!
Although they had been unattached from the doors, the previous owners kindly included all the fittings and screws so I was able to put these back on, giving that authentic look.

"I'm in here!"
The other door is destined to become a bedroom door in the aisle in front of the bathroom. I'll probably restore that one but I think this one has loads of character in the battered varnish and timber work and the odd bit of graffiti scratched into it - so I'm going to leave it alone.

The frame work is a simple composite structure built up from 42x19 and 68x19 Maranti from Bunnings. All glued and screwed
The aisle side of the frame work will be varnished so all screw heads have been lost and dowels inserted over them. That and a good dose of filler on the joins and I'll leave the whole lot to set for a week or two before cleaning off the protruding dowels, sanding and revealing the finished look. Stay tuned!

The framework looking the other way showing an abundance of filler and protruding dowels