Happy New Year to all followers of this website! 2014 promises to be an interesting year for the Wagon Group, which should see completion of LMS CCT 37071 at some point in the first half of the year, followed by some much quicker and easier wagon overhauls/restoration for the running rake thereafter.
A working session over the Christmas period allowed us to begin work on the side doors for 37071.
Measuring up the aperture and the previous doors meant we could build the frames in the luxurious space, light, and relative warmth of the carriage shed. This pair of doors will be the only openable doors on the vehicle, which means they need to be robustly constructed. Rather than going for full mortice and tenon joints we decided to drill and use glued dowels for the joints, due to time and effort required. Once braced up and fitted, these doors should be strong enough to withstand the expected levels of wear and tear.
We were able to use many of the offcuts from planking the van sides to begin infilling the panel. As can be seen, a few more planks are required to the bottom half before adding diagonal bracing to the rear of the doors, screwing through, and hanging them on the strap hinges that are still attached to the van. However we anticipate this will be an easier job than building the door frames seen above, which involved quite a lot of chisel work to provide the various recesses required. The doors on the other side (and the ends) will be dummies, constructed much more simply and built up in-situ on the van.