Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boxcar completed

Volunteers lead by Rich W. have completed a modest effort to rehabilitate a 1932-built Northern Pacific Railway boxcar. Working inside the Conservation and Restoration Center over a three month period, the car is presented as it appeared in July 1953 after being shopped in Duluth, MN. (Click here to view an earlier post described the importance of boxcars.)

Work performed this year focused on preservation (stopping deterioration) and rehabilitation (reversing damage). At the beginning of the process, workers searched the carbody for evidence of lettering both for font style and location. Traces of nearly all lettering from the last shopping were found. Also noteworthy were the wide variety of mineral red samples found on the car.

Now damaged wood has been stabilized with epoxy, the entire wood carbody has been primed with an epoxy primer, the nailer/fascia board has been replaced, minor tears in the sheet metal roof have been patched, the hand brake has been repaired, the air valves have been serviced, all other surfaces have been cleaned and repaired as needed, and the car has been lettered using a paint mask. Color coats were applied with conventional alkyd enamels and are expected to fade on exposure to sunlight just as the original railway-applied mineral red did. Total cost of materials was nearly $2,000; over 400 hours were donated to the effort.

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