Thursday, August 27, 2015


Last weekend, being a bit cold and horrible, I stayed home and began construction on the kitchen benches for the South side of the kitchen.
First the side pieces, squared off and cut to length and the first drilling for the mortise.

Carefully marked out, I start the mortises with a 2mm drill.

I widen the holes progressively going 2mm a time up to a 10mm drill bit.

Roughing out the mortise using a 10mm drill bit like a router.

Cleaning up the mortise with chisels and a file.

Marking out the overall length and the depth for the tenons on the top and bottom piece.

The top piece cut to length, marking in the complete tenons.

A tenon roughed out using a tenon saw.

The finished tenon smoothed to shape and length using a rasp and file. It's important to take this bit slowly with frequent test fits into the mortise.

The finished joint which could still do with some adjusting but is a pretty good and square fit. Now for three more!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A coat of paint

This weekend a saw a good clean up and a coat of paint applied to the kitchen.

The North Side kitchen walls painted and lined
Ditto the South Side walls
This weekend Pallave lined the windows in Deep Indian Red

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Kitchen Lining

More work sorting out the lining in the kitchen area this weekend.

Toplights with beading and undercoat and new barge board above.
First up it was a case of filling and undercoating all the beadings around the toplights that were fixed last week. Then I added new barge boards above. Originally these sat behind the luggage racks and provided some protection for the lining of the carriage from being knocked by whatever passengers put in the luggage rack. Some of the barge boards were removed when the luggage racks were salvaged after decommissioning in the early 1990s leaving a scar that is difficult (if not impossible!) to sand out. So I've chosen to replace them.

Right Hand Side
Left Hand Side

Then there was the question of finishing the droplight surrounds. I've fixed the 2/3rds of the droplights that were not on doors and this was done by creating a new surround out of Tassie Oak.The working droplights on the doors leave gaps where the shutters used to be attached so these have been filled with Tassie Oak or other suitable timber and cleaned up with builder's bog.

After painting
Once all was in place, filled and sanded, I had enough time to slap on a coat of King's Gold, the top coat for most of the interior. Chester obliged me by appearing in shot in the same place as the previous post but pulling a rather strange face!

Your own Clarabelle

Have you been following Collecting QR and my messy attempts at trying to restore this old Queen, and have you thought you'd like a crack at doing something similar? Well, now's your chance!

This is the best link I can find to a site offering a 1886 Queensland carriage for sale. Here is what the add says:

Own a piece of Australian history – Rare 1886 Queensland Passenger Carriage in exceptional condition.
Very solidly built with double roof with air gap so it is warm in winter and cool in summer. All wood construction including the chassis with gated platforms both ends - Completely rewired and fitted with early 1900’s interior wall lights. Freshly painted inside – no water leaks – LPG Bayonet fitting installed for gas heater – mostly original including ceilings, walls, floor and platform gates - exterior left as original that is how we like it but could easily be painted.
Some of the items shown in the photos will be included in the sale such as the large table, suitcase racks, shelving and other bits and pieces.
This carriage is my “Girl Shed” but very versatile as it could be a “Man Shed”, Office, Granny Flat, Accommodation etc.
This carriage was built at Ipswich Queensland in 1886 specifically for the Townsville Normanton line. However, there was no rail line linking Brisbane (Ipswich) with Townsville so the carriage was sent to Townsville by ship. It spent its entire working life around the Normanton Region as a First and Second Class Carriage from 1886 to 1963 when it was converted to a Camp Wagon so this carriage has a lot of history and it will only increase in value the older it gets. Even the railway track supplied with the carriage is stamped 1886. This information has been confirmed by the Ipswich Railway Museum in writing.
As this is such a unique historical object it is very hard to value, so we will consider offers over $50,000 and the cost of removal and delivery to a new site is the responsibility of the purchaser.
It was delivered to our property on a low loader and placed in its present position by a crane. It is approx. 13 metres in length and 2.4 wide.
The Carriage is located near Dorrigo NSW Mid North Coast.
More photos and specifications are available on request by emailing us at

If only I had the cash, I wouldn't be telling you this!