Friday, November 6, 2009

The Bride of Mad Max

We began in earnest the Brewster Tub Cart restoration this week. This vehicle was the whole reason for the Mad Max story. It was a photo of this carriage that took me to near death at the hands of the crazy dudes in upstate New York. Well alright I’m maybe blowing this all out of proportion just a little bit. They only looked like killers. In reality all in all good guys and I hope they don’t read my blog.

I think the design of the Tub cart is more of a European style than American. It was most often used by a Governess or Nanny to take the kids wherever the kids needed to go. Everyone piled in sitting sideways all within smacking distance of the evil Nanny. They are somewhat heavy because they carry multiple passengers and are rather difficult to balance depending on how many people are in the vehicle.

We are well into the process of taking the carriage apart. Like everything we work on it is reduced to a heap of wood and fasteners. In this pile you can see the seat backs and fenders.

The springs have been split up and Brandon began the process of blasting all the metal parts. Here he is working on spring leaves. Now that we have the new compressor we have air to spare which is a nice change of pace.

The wheels are really solid and tight which is really pretty unusual. The old channel is in excellent condition and I’m really hoping to find some rubber that will fit it nicely. I am also sourcing white rubber for these wheels. The first rubber installed on carriages was white. That was the natural color of rubber and was the most cost effective. Of course it is a pain in the rear to keep clean so it probably wasn’t long before they started manufacturing gray and black rubber as well. We may or may not be successful in that quest but I’m on the hunt.

The body has now been stripped. It cleaned up really nice and it appears that we have a variety of wood species used on this body. It will remain in natural finish so any components that we replace will need to match. The lower part of the body appears to be done in walnut. I’m not sure what the bent side panels are. It’s a really tightly grained wood with very little definition. Most of the framing components appear to be ash and hickory.

All of the spindles around the body are complete and intact. This is showing the body just after stripping. We will hand sand this entire body with 220 before we begin to stain. We are going with a light walnut color with some warm reddish hues. It will look fresh but still vintage.

Parts is parts and here we have a bunch. This is a variety of chassis components as well as spring leaves. All will be blasted clean prior to primer. Once ready for paint these parts will be base coated black and then installed on the body. The final coats of clear will be applied with many of these parts installed which gives us the best results on a natural finish carriage such as this.

While we continue work on this project Ryanne is busy doing upholstery on the Albany Cutter restoration. She has been taking pictures along the way and we will post some of those next week. If you recall the paint colors are green and maroon. It is being done in a tan mohair which really looks awesome.

Hope you all have a great weekend. It’s going to be a dandy here in the Midwest. Warm temperatures and sunny skies. Get out and enjoy it while it lasts.


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