The weather was cool and dry this morning in Wharf yard as Charles Benedetto, David Broadbent, Andy Sheffield, Allan Black and John Olsen assembled for the working party. Top of the agenda was to drill out the holes in the wooden slats for wagon no. 136, followed by painting of the long bolts and bobbins with black Hammerite.
David set up his ‘paintshop’ out of harms way, as everyone else deployed the many clamps needed to both keep the three slats being drilled, in vertical alignment, and a second set of clamps to hold the slats beneath the wagon frame. By arranging the slats in this manner the frame and the already drilled slat would act as guides for the augur to drill the two remaining slats with all the holes in alignment. John had sourced four alignment ‘dowels’ made from a length of scrap steel tubing, that was almost 22mm in diameter, which were used to get the existing holes in register and hold the slats as each of the holes were drilled out.
Having gotten the alignment of the first three slats correctly set up, coffee time was declared and we repaired to the platform to join Keith Theobald and Malcolm Phillips for coffee biscuits and chat.
Refreshed, we returned to our tasks and proceeded to drill the first set of four holes. With this done the second set of three long slats was treated in the same manner, clamping three together vertically and then clamping these beneath the frame using the alignment dowels to get the existing holes in register. The two sets of three short cross slats were treated in the same manner, but with the drill jig being called into play to correct the slight off plumb central holes in the frame; by the close of play all the slats were drilled ready for a test assembly next week. David had progressed the painting of the long bolts and cross tie bars and also about half of the bobbins.
Photos by John Olsen and Allan Black