Our travels found us in Pennsylvania picking up this nice little Portland Cutter for a client. He had acquired this vehicle from a prominent local estate and the sleigh had some important provenance to the area. His hope was to see it restored and sitting in his new living room by the following Christmas. Nice sleigh but kind of sad condition so in looking it over it appeared that a major rebuild was in order.
In a case like this taking out every nut, bolt, screw, nail and whatever else is holding the thing together is the first item of business. The body was removed from the runners and all ironwork removed from the frame.
The dash and the body panels were all in pretty sad condition. De-lamination and cracking was pretty much everywhere so in a case like this it is usually best to start new. The main frame of the body was in very solid condition so we had a good base to build from.
The original body parts will be used as patterns for the new body side panels. All of the surface trim and moldings were carefully removed and salvaged. They will be reused on the new body once completed.
The new body begins to take shape. Our body panels consist of two layers of 3/16” bending birch plywood laminated over the frame. This material is in keeping with materials often found on sleighs of this type and is a good material to work with. The body is being prepared for the installation of the corner trim.
The dash was cracked in several places also with a break in one of the main dash supports. After the repair of the support the new dash is being installed. Once again we are using bending birch plywood for this repair. At this point the majority of the structural repair has been completed. Everything will be headed in for primer in the next phase of this restoration.
It is Redbud Days in Columbus this weekend. Our community is known for it’s beautiful Redbud trees which are now in full bloom. If you are looking for an old fashioned small town festival come join us in Columbus on Saturday.