Vanfit B761651: Part 1

Something of a misleading title to this update, as there have been snippets on the restoration progress made on this wagon in earlier compilation postings. However, since the completion of a collection of smaller projects (cosmetically restoring vans B777654 and B764248, partially reflooring MoD open No.4730 – which is now back in traffic – and starting to strip the brake gear on van B786075), our efforts have been focused solely on this vehicle in the last few weeks, with particular credit due to Wagon Group volunteer Philip Halstead, who has undertaken most of the physical work seen so far on this van and provided the first three images in this report…

DSCF4534Above: The corrugated steel ends, generally in very good condition, have been cleaned back and patch-primed as required, with some attention also given to the headstocks.

DSCF4536Above: The ends then received a coat of topcoat to finish them off. This van requires replacement shunter’s blackboards to be made and fitted into the brackets that can be seen above the nearest buffer, which will be done as part of the overhaul. In practice, this feature seems to have been seldom used, remaining unmarked whilst vehicle destinations were simply chalked on the bodyside instead!

DSCF4544Above: A start was then made on the metalwork on the last remaining side. Some slightly soft timber has received some wood hardening treatment, which will be painted in due course to complete the bodywork renovation. The generally excellent condition of this van  has meant very rapid progress has been made with the overhaul so far.

151004 NVR 001Above: Attention then turned to the roof, the seams of the roof covering being in poor condition. A day was spend stripping the old covering, which had been adhered directly to the roof using bitumen adhesive. The life-expired covering will be replaced with a 2-layer roof felting system, that will allow the felt and the roof boards to expand and contract at different rates without breaking up, plus hopefully make it a lot easier to renew the felt in future when replacement is required!

151004 NVR 002Above: Close to the end of a long day, the old felt is completely gone (the remnants hanging down the sides were removed shortly after this photo). The van is now temporarily under cover in the shed to keep the rain off whilst the roof boards are exposed, with plans in hand to install the new covering as soon as possible.

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