Another bright morning in Wharf yard but with a brisk NE wind stirring up the dust as the team assembled to continue our rebuild of wagon no. 136, the three slat slate wagon.
Allan Black, Max Birchenough, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen lifted the cover off and turned the frame over to drill the holes for the drawbar. This was done using the in house power drill fitted with a 22 mm flat chisel bladed bit and checked for vertical alignment by two spotters. The drill handled this without a hitch and we moved on to the slats and discovered one of our holes had gone rather too far off true. Nevertheless we marked up two holes in the first slat and drilled these centrally before then marking on the frame where the exit hole should have been and discussing options for correcting the error.
It was considered a good time to break for our morning coffee and chat with Keith Theobald, Ann McCanna and Mike Green in attendance.
Back across the tracks we continued marking out holes in the long slats but discovered that the chisel bladed bit had been blunted by cutting through the hard wood. An attempt to use the big 22mm augur bit was unsuccessful as the power drill had insufficient torque to drive the augur. But there are always other jobs to be done; Charles cleaned up the three tie bars that we are going use with an angle grinder fitted with a wire brush so that they can be painted with fresh hammerite. Max took up the hole straightening task with an old fashioned remedy of a curved chisel and mallet. John used the second angle grinder and wire brush to clean another of the FR wagon axleboxes in preparation for it being painted.
The mornings activities wrapped at around 12:30pm as several members had calls on their time. John had a discussion with two members of the TR Young Members Group who are keen to support the museum in its wagon restoration and also interpreting the museum displays to our visitors; we look forward to working alongside them in the weeks to come.
Photos by John Olsen and Allan Black.