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Weekend Report: TH&B Caboose Restoration

Click on each image for a closer look!
James Rasor, who is leading the project to restore the TH&B caboose provides us here with an update on the work done last Saturday as well as the outstanding work to be done:

"We shored the copula roof this week which means we are ready to go full speed on the caboose interior. Our annual Toronto Doors Open 2011 weekend event is May 28th & 29th which means we have about 16 weekends to meet this deadline. As such, we will need three teams starting next week as follows to help over the next few months:

  • Team One: Millwork restoration - raised seating, cupboards and doors: The left copula seating will be pulled out of it place first thing next week and I need at least two people to start refinishing, re-assembling, and repairing it including: cleaning the surfaces to be repainted; cleaning the hardware (much has already been done) and reinstalling the hardware including the grab bars, toe plates, lock wings; getting the back rest re-upholstered etc, then reinstalling back into place when we start the right side;
  • Team Two: Window restoration - 80% of all the windows can be reinstalled, including the door windows and door screen: All the windows and doors need to be re-glazed; 70% of the actual window sashes and jambs still need to be remade, most of the originals have complete wood rot on the lower sash and lower jambs; the doors need reglazing and new 1/4 round window stops added (no putty was found on any) and the weather stripping needs to be repaired or new installed; the exterior storm widows need to be completed, including glazing.
  • Team Three: Re-build the copula structure - I will need two people to help me with the removal of the Tongue & Groove and to do the wood working to splice and restore the main caboose top beam and columns, restore the floor sill, etc..

Other upcoming tasks are:

  • Desk restoration and magazine box restoration
  • Painting: The second coat of exterior red paint will need to be applied in the last two weeks of April along with other touch ups, allowing it to dry in time for the re-lettering.
  • Re-lettering: We will need the lettering and TH&B logos to be ready May 1st for application once the paint has dried sufficiently.
  • Brake pressure gauges: The gauges will need to be reinstalled and glazing repaired on the upper copula gauge.
  • Lighting: An electrician is needed to run the new outlets, interior lights, switches, and to the markers on the outside
  • Re-roofing: Once the copula is done, we will re-roof the roof and build the walking boards. The sketches and measures are done but we will need sizable lumber for this which needs to be ordered ahead of time. Lots of work required here.

The TH&B caboose #70 is looking great but we need a lot of help to get it ready. If you are not currently a volunteer but are interested in any of these items please let us know through our contact page by clicking here and arrange with us to come out and help.

Our only requirement is that we ask all members on the Van Restoration team to make sure you have:

  1. Safety glasses (they are easy and inexpensive to buy at Home Hardware or Rona or wherever and they make you look cool!) and;
  2. Wear steel toed shoes preferably with steel shanks"
As you can see from the above message from James to our volunteers, the process of restoring our equipment is a complex labour intensive task. A tremendous amount of effort has been put into our restoration efforts and our progress to date is a great tribute to their enthusiastic contribution to the evolution of our museum.
Posting by Russ Milland; Images by James Rasor

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