If you've wondering where we've got to, please do take a look at our Instagram site, where photographs of our behind the scenes work can now be found.
Don't forget, you can also follow us on Facebook
or take a look at our web site.
Thursday, 14 June 2018
The annual pilgrimage to the Epsom Derby by a number of our vehicles recently allowed some workshop space to be used to set out the new timber top rail for the near-side of 1828. The top rail is the point where the body side ends and the curve of the roof begins, hence top rail (top of the body side). Running the full length of the vehicle and therefore coming in at almost 30 feet in length, the rail has to be spliced together from a number of different pieces. Ash is used due to its flexibility, durability, cost and weight. Needles to say, it's not cheap! Here we see the wood set out in one of the bus bays.
The timber has been carefully measured and is here being cut to length. Next comes the complicated part: setting out the curve of the body shape to exactly fit the vehicle. This has proved extremely time consuming as almost 50% of the original rail is missing, having rotted away after years of abandonment. Imagine too, the tops of the body pillars have to fit precisely in to this rail, as do the hoops which hold up the roof. The next picture was taken to show the extent of the curve built in to this massive piece of wood. Don't forget, the other side will have to be attended to later.
Saturday, 31 March 2018
In January we showed you work which had taken place inside the vehicle, with particular emphasis on the new floor. This task has since been completed, including the onerous work around the wheel arches. The final result is particularly pleasing.
Meanwhile, the rear end of the vehicle is coming together nicely; the boot doors look particularly fine.
Finally, the panels fitted to the off-side of the vehicle have been stripped as a prelude to the windows being removed over the coming months. The glass will be cleaned, window frames refurbished and new rubbers made.
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
One job which has been ongoing for some considerable time, but is now happily moving forward nicely, is the refurbishment of the drive mechanism for the 'sunshine roof' - a part of the roof which can be slid open via a chain driven mechanism and electric motor.
Just about everything that you can see in this picture was falling or had fallen to bits. The drive shaft coming in from above, rotates on a small bearing through a 90 degree knuckle. The bearing had collapsed and an enormous amount of time was spent identifying and replacing it. The drive chain going off to the left was barely recognisable. However, enough remained to inform us that it was effectively obsolete. After much searching, one of our team discovered a gentleman with some old stock which he was willing to let us purchase. The whole contraption was reassembled and the result most gratifying.
Recently, the replacement plywood floor has been filled and machine sanded and new sheets of green 'Treadamaster' (a rubberised composite flooring) laid. These two shots were taken during this process.
Next steps include fitting of the repaired saloon heating ducts.
Saturday, 6 January 2018
Winter has reminded us of how chilly the days can be and although we do not run at this time of year, the buses need to have working heaters for those odd occasions during the summer months when the days are cool and damp. The heaters in 972 are generally in reasonable shape, although one was missing altogether! We've raided our spares and started the process of stripping down the heater boxes - there are four, two in each saloon. The photographs here show some of the various parts being taken back to bare metal.
Meanwhile, we've set about servicing a set of CAV wiper motors ready for eventual fitting. They are left and right handed and are identified by coloured tape (white or green) as Southdown used to do. This pair have just been put back together and await a coat of paint before receiving their colour coding.