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Restoration progress: Restoring the TH&B van roof

Click on each image for a closer look!

The roof of the TH&B Van#70 cupola is beginning its restoration. The restoration is an interesting study in the construction and materials used over the years to waterproof the Van. All the metal corners for the cupola which sit on the outside of the metal skin have been removed. They were prevented from sitting tight against the metal skin due to the round heads of the skin screw fasteners thus the inside of the metal corners are covered in rust as shown in the photo. This will have to be cleaned and remediated before they can be placed back.

The roofing material at the top of the cupola has been removed and the grab rails are being removed for cleaning. The photos for the fasteners for the grab rails show the construction and waterproofing method used:
  • Canvas fabric was fitted with a hole and placed over the threaded rod from below
  • Mastic/tar was placed over the canvas around the threaded rod
  • Next a large red rubber escutcheon ring was tightly fitted over the threaded rod into the waterproofing
  • Then the grab rail stand was placed over the rod and bolted into place
  • Once in place the entire assembly at the base of the grab rail stand was covered in more mastic/tar
  • Finally, the grab rails were painted black.
Posting & pictures by James Rasor

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