Bodywork Job!

After a good start over two weekends in April, it might seem a bit strange that this next set of pictures comes from about 8 weeks later! However in that time we had taken buses to four vehicle events, had added another double-decker bus to our 'collection' at Methil, had started work on that immediately, and suffered some bad weather for good measure, so maybe the progress shown here isn't that bad!

This modest set of pictures therefore dates from 21st June 2009, and shows the next stage in putting the bodywork of FRF63 back into good order!

1. First, inevitably, we have what a movie director might called the 'estabishing shot' of FRF63 from the front. From this angle it doesn't look like we have done anything at all in the last 8 weeks...


2. ...but a look down the offside reveals that (for financial reasons) we have managed to fashion new aluminium lower panels from spare second-hand aluminium sheets, although one of them didn't work out quite as flat as we expected!


3. A closer view of the replacment lower panels. The rippling effect in the unpainted one was in fact due to the difficulty of bending a right-angle in a thicker than usual piece for the underside fold! (In hindsight the thicker metal meant we probably need not have bothered with the fold, but we set out to duplicate the unusable steel 'original' and we did!) We could have bought a new aluminium sheet of course, but aluminium can be expensive and we therefore use the 'make do & mend' approach wherever possible since we get more preservation done for our money that way!


4. Of course we had done more than just make and fit two replacement panels, and this picture proves it! In fact, the main reason I was taking these pictures was that we had just finished fastening the aluminium trim that hides the panel edges onto the nearside of FRF63.


5. A slightly closer view of the new trim shows that some of it is painted in a strange mixture of colours, and some is shiny new metal. In fact, we had (with permission) done a bit of 'skip diving' on a visit to Bridgeton Bus Garage a couple of years before (see 'Return To Bridgeton' in the FPE88 Galleries) and had retrieved some perfectly usable trim that someone had decided to replace in their restoration! Waste not, want not! However we needed a different size for the vertical trim and we didn't have any - until I found some about the right size on sale at a large chain DIY store. (At a price, alas!)


6. I could easily show several more fairly identical pictures of the trim on the nearside but that would be daft so I will settle for just one more showing the pattern of trim at the back of the bus, since that is a bit distant in the last couple of pictures. There isn't a lot else to comment on, except to say that the hatch cover for the engine emergency stop button wasn't really missing, but simply hadn't been put back on yet!


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