Recently our efforts have been concentrated on removing the final planks to the bodysides of LMS CCT 37071. We had been toying with keeping the four top timber planks in situ and making them as good as we could with filler and the like, as we had previously made an attempt to remove one on an earlier work session and found it near impossible to shift. However we gave the issue more thought and decided to have another go, as we have always been uncomfortable with the idea of using filler on timber that really is too far gone with rot. The photos below track progress:
Despite losing much of the morning to ‘admin’ at the railway, by (late) lunchtime we had managed to cut out and clean up the two top planks on the north side, seen here after removal had taken place. Rot on these planks was extensive, the surface crumbling away to reveal deep craters within the plank. The very top rail is generally serviceable, and should be able to dry out better now the planks below have been removed.
The planks on the drier south side had fared much better, but were still worth removing in order to replace them with new timber to get a really good final result when all painted up and on display. Here work resumes cutting out the bolts holding the planks in place.
With all the top planks now removed and the rust and scale that was lurking behind removed, we were able to call it a day with the knowledge that the floor will be the next job to tackle. Approximately 15-20 floor boards need to be removed and replaced, due to damage caused by rot and what appears to be a small fire started at some point while the van was in open storage. It is hoped that these floorboards will be the last timbers to be removed before new paint and timber can start going on, although this depends on the condition of the roof timbers currently underneath the roofing felt… fingers crossed!