Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sorry for the delay....

One of the unfortunate problems with blogs - is that you are expected to keep them updated. I offer both the blog readers and RTW335's owners sincere apologies for the failing to do this over the summer & autumn months. I am sure many will be well aware that the BusWorks was affected by the effects of both the recession beginning to bite - and staff shortages resulting from previous recruits returning to Optare.

Anyway, back to RTW335. Following the resumption of work early in October, we are focussing on the reassembly of the upper deck interior. The restored aluminium window cappings are now being refitted and the new ceiling panels are back in - following a coat of Chiswick Cream - and likewise the aluminium cove panels with light fittings. Readers will recall that this follows the complete renewal of the roof timbers and aluminium panelling. The slatted timbers for the centre gangway are prepared, but await fitting - and the cork flooring for the areas underneath the seat frames are on hand.

Are biggest head scratching for the exterior - which impacts on the top deck - is the rubber gasket required for the new RT window pans. This is ongoing because neither the traditional RT rubber appears not to fit. We need to resolve this before finalising the fabrication of the non-standard front & rear window pans. Watch this space!

Finally, several specialist panels - carefully rescued when the bus was stripped down to its main frame - have been dipped to remove paint and will soon go away for respraying in two-pack London red prior to refitting.

Picture: Dave our coachpainter prepares the front interior roof dome for painting after returning from being dipped to remove previous layers of paint.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Please state your destination!

We've had a good month on RTW335 during May, with many tasks that have been in preparation suddenly coming together and resulting in some good visual progress. For starters, the new roof panels are now refitted and the repaired rear roof dome, looking as good as new. The new stair treads are now in place on the rear platform after a complete rebuild. Visually though, the face of RTW335 looks a bit more complete by the refitting of the destination panel - restoring a part of the characteristic RTW frontal appearance. Next job - the cab framing!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Platform comes together

Firstly, apologies to readers for the lack of posts. This is partly because your writer has been splinning too many plates - and partly going through a phase of laborious but not very interesting work on RTW335. Anyway, this week some of those efforts have resulted in something worth photographing!

After rebuilding all the platform steelwork - that was heavily corroded - and the platform riser, a newly fabricated platform bulkhead has been fitted (no small job in itself) and work is now progressing on reboarding the platform. This view captures coachbuilder Jim Howard finishing off the perimeter timberwork around the platform framing.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Window pans arrive

The arrival of the first batch of specially fabricated steel window pans has allowed a big step forward in the restoration project. Four new units have been fitted to the lower deck, thanks to Rob Duker who had the units commissioned.

Other progress on the specialist timberwork continues, with the offside headlamp surround (illustrated) being one example of the joiner's work. Further joinery work has been completed at the rear end and both the rear wheelarches.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Emergency Exit rebuild

The emergency exit timbers have been rebuilt this week, which means the rear roof dome and new aluminium roof panelling can be fitted. Other work has involved rebuilding the rear platform bulkhead and fitting all seat fixings and brackets on the lower deck. Good news also that some RT window pans are ready and we hope to collect these next week - then we really will start seeing some progress!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Panelling progresses

Whilst work progresses on the lower deck, fitting new seat brackets and the rear emergency exit timberwork is rebuilt, further between deck panelling is in hand. Once the emergency exit timbers are replaced (which is quite complex), the rear roof dome can be refitted and the roof panelling completed. Still waiting for some window pans which would really transform RTW335!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Back with the dome

RTW335's rear dome has arrived back after a few weeks of TLC having the dents knocked out of it and now looks as good as new. It has been prepared by a company that was formed by a small group of staff that were formerly employed in the TVR Cars panel shop at Bispham in Blackpool. The specialist shaped timberwork around the dome and emergency exit is being rebuilt (more rot having been found), but the roof panelling is now ready for refitting.

Also returned recently has been the window parts sent away for re-chroming - again all looking as good as new. All we need now are some window pans - these are being fabricated under the car of Routemaster owner Rob Duker.