Author Topic: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild  (Read 11751 times)

Offline grfishmaker

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Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« on: October 01, 2009, 07:51:34 pm »
 A few weeks ago I sent The Old Trucker a few pictures of my machine that I had just started to redo the woodwork on and he quickly informed me that "I was doing it wrong, you are supposed to put it on NT for everyone to see". I know he was right, but I sure hate to agree with a Newfie.
 Anyway, I had taken a few pictures as I started, but I see I should have taken a few more. It is so easy to forget the camera and peck away at the job ahead. I have certainly enjoyed following the previous rebuilds that have been posted and found some of them to be such a great reference during my rebuild (especially the old wooden machines). It's always nice to sit back and enjoy (along with the builder) the fruits of their labour.
 Back in the latter part of the winter of 2008, I purchased a 1947 wooden narrow from KLM up in The Pas (I've meet alot of nice people on NT). It needed alot of attention, but it was the kind of machine that I had always wanted. I had never ridden in a narrow gauge but had heard alot of stories of their work in the snow (maybe some tall tales) and it only incresed my desire to own one. Originaly my intention was to start on the rebuild in the summer of 2008, but the summer slipped by too fast and before long it was fall and it was left sitting with no work being done. I have no garage to work in so it was going to have to be a fair weather project. So I told myself that this wouldn't happen next year; I would work on it as soon as spring arrived and I'd have it all finished by summer's end and save the fall for hunting. Well back in mid August I realized it was all happening again and I had better get going on it or it would be a repeat of last year. My intention was to get the woodwork done and I could do the rest in the colder weather.

Here she is on her way home from The Pas.

Taking her out on our first voyage.

 Well you can see from the pictures above that there have been some modifications to her over her 60 years. The newer style windows are a obvious adaption, she has a 292 GM automatic transmission in her, missing her front bumper, missing half of her rear metal framing beside the radiator, the windshield and all side windows are cracked (except the driver and passenger doors), has metal under the skis replacing the wooden runners and the wooden plywood has been redone a few years back.
 Who ever owned her back then, had redid her using regular plywood. Naturally that didn't go too well and she showed alot of weather damage to the wood (warpped and rotten) and had alot of spots that silicone was used to try and mend the damaged parts. But like I said before, this was the kind of machine that I would like to have and I knew going in that there would be no shortage of repairs and labour involved in her rebuild.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 08:25:41 pm by grfishmaker »

Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 08:41:25 pm »

 Well here she is in my new garage. This is where I intended to get the woodwork done and painted up before frost arrived and slowly peck away on the rest of the work before snowfall. This was "PLAN A".

Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 07:44:06 am »

  Finally got you to do it  right !!   ::)  8). I know the tips of my fingers are sore from trying to convince ya to do it. I noticed the tail lights in one of the pics & they look like an old VW light.
  Send her down my way & I'll use her for a guinea pig so when I get at mine I'll know how to fix my mistakes.  Ha Ha. Keep us posted on your progress, son.

                                                                                                 The Old Trucker
                                                                                               
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                                                                                                  Ear to ear
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Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2009, 12:33:08 pm »

  I forgot to ask, now that PLAN "A" is out the window, what's PLAN "B" ?? You do have a PLAN "B".... well don't yea......?????
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Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2009, 05:11:48 pm »
 Well Plan A started off pretty well, as I stated removing the plywood shell. On all the seams of the plywood on the roof you  could tell that water had seeped in and rotted the wood. After removing a few pieces off the roof, I discovered that not only the plywood was rotten, but also some of the oak frame boards. So this is where Plan A turned into Plan A 1/2 as I looked for some oak. Although oak grows on trees, it certainly doesn't in this neck of the woods. Luckily I was able to scrounge up enough rough oak to replace the rotten sections but this set me back a couple weeks as I located it.

Starting to shed her skin.
No need to comment on the yellow interior. I think it goes without saying. "What were you thinking?"

The last person to redo the plywood used gyprock screws to attach the wood. I had to grid off the heads of every screw. They all hung on to the bitter end. As the rusted, it was like they grew roots. After pulling the plywood free, I had to go over all the remaing screw stems and unwind them using vise grips. This was a most enjoyable pastime as I scrapped my knuckles over every second sharpened stem. After a great deal of effort and a few new #@%* words of thought to the inventor of gyprock screws, I had them all out.


Got most of the old skin off.

Rotten oak on top frame.

Some more rotten oak.

One more for good luck.
 While I was looking for some oak I figured that I could start replacing the plywood on the front end as all the oak was solid in this area.
 I should mention something about my lesson on birch plywood. You know when you plan out a project and you like to have all the materials ready to go? Well this is what I thought I had done. Away back in the fall of 2008 I was down in Grand Forks and thought that I would check out the price of birch plywood down there. Bingo, 1/4" good two sides birch was $16.98 @ sheet. I picked out 6 sheets, bought them home and all that was left was till wait till spring and everything was ready to go.
 So like I mentioned before I intended to start on the front end first.  I started tracing out some pieces on my "good deal" birch plywood and installing them on my machine. I did a few pieces on the front end until I could go no further untill the oak railing along the top was changed.

Stating to give her back her figure. (Little did I know that I was using the wrong type of birch and would be taking it all off and starting over. Thank God I found out before I went too far.)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 08:48:04 pm by grfishmaker »

Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2009, 06:08:57 pm »
 Once I prepared the bevel cuts on the oak top frame boards I knew I had to bend them so back to the computer and hit the old magic "Google" button on how to steam bend oak.
 It was while I was bouncing around a few wedsites on wood topics, I noticed one on birch. It was on one of these sites that I read that there was three types of birch plywood. What? As this was news to me, I called down to Lowes in Grand Forks and asked what the application of the type of birch that they sold was. After being handed off to the third person in the lumber department, I was informed that it stated on the information sheet that it was for "protected areas".
 This is where I started on Plan B.
 Now it was back out to the narrow and I started removing my carefully cut pieces that I had installed days earlier.
 A phone call down to Windsor Plywood in Winnipeg was made to ask if they sold 1/4" birch plywood? I was told "no", but they did stock 1/4" marine grade fir plywood. Good I thought, "how much"? $59.99 @  sheet was the answer.
 So you can see my good deal birch wasn't so good afterall. So another week rolled by until I could run down and pickup 6 sheets of the new stuff. This was my lesson on birch plywood and to beware of a good deal unless you know what you are buying.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 06:11:27 pm by grfishmaker »

Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2009, 04:34:04 am »
  Quote from the Grfishmaker :

  This is where I started on Plan B.
   Now it was back out to the narrow and I started removing my carefully cut pieces that I had installed days earlier.

 
   Ol' buddy, ol' pal, ever think of making patterns of those carefully cut pieces & offer them for sale to your good buddies ?? ::)  Of Course they would have to cover the shipping & handling costs. After all you have to recoupe some of your costs.
  I was told that a tree down here called " BLACK SPRUCE" would be a good & strong enough wood to make my framing from. Anyone of you seasoned woodsmen have any thoughts on this ??
  Like Mike Holmes says " MAKE IT RIGHT". I'm sure you will my friend.

                                                                                           OT's sitting back 'n' taking it all in !!
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Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2009, 12:02:28 pm »
 Hey there OT, here are your patterns. I will leave them under this tree here and someday when they go missing, I will know you stopped buy. ha ha
 Seriuosly, if a person was thinking he could make a complete set of templates. As you are probably going to be the first and last person in the world to attempt a rebuild starting with a simple tunnel as a staring point, the blueprint sales would be pretty low.
 I myself cannot imagine the job ahead of you, but I don't think there is anyone that is doubting the fine machine that you will have when all is said and done with your compassion and interest. It will take a few years, so just keep humming the J. Cash tune "One piece at a time". Take your time, we don't want to see you change your mind and simpley put a set of tracks on that Ford truck you bought. lol

Most of these pieces came off with the screws hanging on and me ripping off most of the straight edges.

Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2009, 12:10:48 pm »
I forgot to add that the pictures that "oldsledz" has posted were a great asset to look at and scrutinize. A great and complete set of photos showing the frame. As this machine was redone once or twice before KLM owned it, I was not sure if there were modifications to the frame or if all the shapes are original. Judging from the welded brackets there the heater was installed, it has has at least two previous mounting brackets welded to the pipe crossfame. That's one nice thing about people posting variuos pictures on this site; it gives us all a good libruary of reference material, especially ones that the owners know are original. Well done oldsledz.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 08:19:05 pm by grfishmaker »

Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2009, 07:04:38 pm »

   Just goes to show that a picture is worth a thousand words !!!
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Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 02:40:32 pm »

  Grfishmaker in reply # 4 second pic down, I noticed that you still have the old gear shift lever in place. I've seen that on a couple of others also. Do you have it hooked up to your trans for shifting ?? If you do, could you get me a pic or two of the area around the bottom of the steering column, showing how it works ?? I would like to do the same to mine.  ;) ;)

                                                                                                OT.   
   
 






 
 
 
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Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2009, 06:55:12 pm »
OT - the auto trans. is hooked up to the old gear shift lever. It is backwards from a normal shifter in that straight down is "park" and one up is "reverse" etc.. It is very hard to get used to and I will change it someday to a more user friendly shifter. Whoever installed it years back simpley hooked it up the the old arm on the bottom of the shifter.

Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2009, 03:38:55 am »

   Thanks Grfishmaker !! I appreciate that. I have an idea now on how to hook it up the right way.

                                                                                        Thanks again    OT.
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Offline grfishmaker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2009, 05:49:17 am »
One thing on mine that's pretty annoying is just how sensitive the shifter is. It is such a short throw movement from park - low on the big shift arm, and there is very little resistance when moving between gears. Throw that together with an automatic with no brakes. It can get a little touchy at times.
 You better draw out some blueprints of your idea so a flatlander that you know can look at. ha ha

Offline the old trucker

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Re: Grfishmaker's '47 rebuild
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2009, 05:54:35 am »


  I'll see what I can come up with.... "Flatlander" !! Sounds different .


                                                                                         OT.

after covering a few acres of prime real estate.