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Jessie The Jeep

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  1. Except that Levisham station was renamed LeVisham for the event and was meant to be a French station in occupied Europe - hence the Germans. For me, the event lost its appeal a long time ago as less and less vehicls and dioramas attended each year. There use to be small dioramas scattered on just about every street corner, but they gradually faded away. I used to spend Saturday driving from one station to the next, stopping for a while, looking around and moving on. Then the stations became less friendly towards vehicle owners and I gave up on it. There are far better events around that are more welcoming to those that make the event happen.
  2. October 2nd - Fuel Tank Filter Since 2014, "Hope" has been driving around without the fuel tank filling filter. I had the main steel tube which was badly rusted, so it never got fitted. There was a filter on the firewall and modern fuel seems to be cleaner than I'm guessing wartime fuel was. The tank certainly looks clean after 5 years. A few days ago, I dug the steel tube out and placed it in an electrolysis bath to remove the crud and rust. After several hours, it came out looking pretty good. It had some surface pitting, but was still solid. However, the filter mesh on the bottom was split. An Ebay search revealed some 0.2mm hole brass mesh in an A5 sheet for a few pounds. This arrived today and a circle slightly larger than the tube was cut. The original mesh was trapped between a lip or ring of metal in the bottom of the tube. I couldn't tell for sure as it had been badly corroded. So I cut out the old mesh and filed the bottom of the tube free of the jagged remains. The outside of the tube was cleaned with a rotary wire brush and then tinned with solder. The new mesh was placed over the hole, flux added and solder applied, melting through the mesh to the tinned tube below, fixing it in place. A little dressing of the solder with a file and the job was done.
  3. The paint was left in front of a heater for a while to dry. Before fitting to the Jeep, I sprayed WD40 into the joint between the rubber seals and the frame, to try and get some behind the seals. The screen hinge was then greased and then it was slotted into place in the outer frame on the Jeep.
  4. September 29th The low spots were filled with polyester filler, sanded, primed and filled again and eventually the olive top coat was painted.
  5. After further electrolysis, the screen was removed and cleaned inside and out, showing the extent of the rot. The holes were filled with paint to try and seal the metal internally and the area was then baked in front of a heater. Originally I'd thought about using lots of small welds to fill the holes until I realised how big they were. I was also concerned about heat damage to the glass since it isn't removable. It was siliconed into the frame, probably by he French Army during its service rebuild. After getting a good look at the cleaned up holes, I opted for filling the area with a mix of epoxy resin and iron filings to reinforce the corner. This was left overnight to fully cure.
  6. After a little while in the bath, I pulled the screen out to check on the progress. A bit more wire brushing showed a very thin area which was ground out. The screen went back into the electrolysis bath again to work on this area. That's as far as I got today.
  7. September 28th - Windscreen Rust Treatment At the Beamish event, I noticed a patch of rust at the lower corner of the passenger side windscreen. The paint was blistering badly and the frame looked like it had spread apart a little, allowing the rubber seal to come loose at the corner. Other than a school visit in a few weeks time, the events are over for this year, so I have a bit of time to deal with it. At first, the inner screen wouldn't come out of the outer frame. It wouldn't lift up high enough to line up with the slot in the outer frame. I worked out that the bolts filling the holes where the original Hotchkiss screen supports were, prevented the screen opening enough. After they were removed, the screen opened fully and was removed. I used a rotary wire brush to cut through the paint and grind away the surface rust on the outside of the frame. It was then placed in an electrolysis bath to get deep into the rust, inside and outside of the frame. This is just the first step in the repair.
  8. The second box followed while the first was set aside to dry. The last stencils were on the lids and the boxes were then complete. They were left to harden overnight and the contents packed the following morning. The three finished camping crates. I've got quite a selection of boxes and crates now. In addition to the new .30 and .50 Cal crates, I have two astrograph boxes, two wooden crates made when I first got the Jeep, a .30 Cal tin and a first aid tin.
  9. With the insides sorted, it was time to make the outside look exciting! I used photos of real crates to work out a size for the text and graphics which were then redrawn and printed on normal paper. The paper was then covered in a layer of Sellotape which reinforces the paper and makes cutting delicate stencil bridges easier. They were all cut in one big session with a very sharp scalpel and then taped onto the box with masking tape. With everything taped down, I began painting using a tin of Humbrol model enamel and a cut down brush to stipple the paint through the stencils. Two coats of paint were applied which gave a reasonable but not too even a coating. The largest side of the first box was done first. After the stencils were dry enough to remove, I then touched up all the stencil bridges to fill in the gaps. This is because the original boxes were printed rather than stencilled. The end of the first box was done next.
  10. With the fixings complete, I began to paint the lids, again using a paint/PVA mix. Adding the glue not only helped with waterproofing and adhesion, but it also had the effect to filling the wood grain to some degree. One of the crates was to be left completely empty inside while the other needed some dividers. I had a trial pack to check what went where and marked up where the dividers needed to be. I still had some left over ply from the 8x4 sheet, so this was cut and glued in place to support the plates and cups, with the washing up bowl and other odds and ends.
  11. The finished effect was very pleasing and a good representation of the lid of the original crates. While the original lid had six wing nuts to fasten it down, I didn't want the effort of six nuts to open on each crate. Instead I added two dowels to one end that would slot into holes in the end of the box. The other end would use one wing nut to secure the lid. The picture below shows the inside end of the box with the holes that take the dowels from the lid. So five of the wing nuts would be doing nothing, but they needed to be there. I cut several pieces of studding, placed them in the holes and sprinkled fibreglass milled fibres down the holes. I then ran a few drops of thin cyanoacrylate down the hole with solidified thefibres around the studding, locking them in place. This allowed the five non-functioning wing nuts to be permanently screwed ont the lid.
  12. The lid was going to be the hard part of the project due to the recessed machining of the original for the fasteners. As I didn't have a suitable routing bit, I took a different approach. I used a wood bit to drill a centre hole, then a hole saw to cut half way into the depth of the wood. This was the centre of the hole where the wing nut would sit down into. A larger circle was drawn around the hole with would form the boundary of the tapered recess. To create the tapered depression, the centre part of wood was chiseled out and then the outer part was carved out with a very sharp scalpel While the pine was still quite hard to carve, the scalpel did a good job and was regularly sharpened. The hole was cleaned up with a mini drum sander before a hand sand to finish off.
  13. September 20~27th - .50 Calibre Ammunition Crates In early September, I made the first crate for camping gear. This was a single crate for when I go camping on my own. The next two crates were for when we go away as a family and so needed to carry more of everything. So the plan was to make two .50 calibre crates, but rather than buy a heavy repro, I opted for a lightweight thin ply crate. This would keep the weight down and create more internal space. A mock up was made from boards propped up to estimate the internal sizes needed for everything. I worked out that my crates could be close to the original size and so shouldn't look out of place, otherwise I would have probably marked them up as random parts crates. The originals had a machined handle in the thick end plank. Since I was using thin ply, I needed to build a wooden box to create the slot. The rest of the boxes came together fairly quickly and were given several coats of paint mixed with waterproof PVA glue to seal, colour and waterproof the wood.
  14. I was there earlier this year too, though it's a long way from home for me!
  15. Tanfield Railway 1940's Weekend - September 21/22nd All three of my vehicles attended the Tanfield show across the two days. I've added a report with some pictures in my Dodge thread, but the full set of pictures can be found on my website here- http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2019/tanfield_1940s.htm
  16. Tanfield Railway 1940's Weekend - September 21/22nd All three of my vehicles attended the Tanfield show across the two days. I've added a report with some pictures in my Dodge thread, but the full set of pictures can be found on my website here- http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2019/tanfield_1940s.htm
  17. We parked up the convoy against the trackside fence and stormed the cafe, which was taken without much resistance. It was nice to see both Jeeps out together, both looking a bit different to normal. We convoyed back to Andrews House and displayed there a while longer before packing up to head home. Driving home, two or three eyes at the front of the new canvas popped off the studs on the screen. I'm going to have to try and get the canvas pulled tighter, or see if it fits better on "Jessie". The Roof bows on "Hope" are slightly lopsided, which I discovered just recently. Where the pivot is for the front bow, the bracket had been welded onto the rear bow with about a quarter of an inch height difference compared to the other side. It must have been manufactured like this during the war as during the restoration, I only straightened the bends in the tubes. This may also be having an effect on getting the roof canvas tightened evenly. We just got onto the drive when the promised rain came, and it didn't half chuck it down! I got the Jeeps away as quickly as possible and sat down to begin processing several hundred photos! A full set of the event photos can be found here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2019/tanfield_1940s.htm
  18. Some of the vehicles left soon after lunch but six of the remaining military vehicles had a small convoy down to East Tanfield station for coffee. Colin was singing inside the station building because of the predicted showers which didn't happen. We had one idiot Audi driver ( always an Audi or BMW ) that forced his way through the convoy in a hurry to his grave. Fortunately he didn't take any of us out in his crazed overtaking. The day before, on the way home, another Audi overtook my Dodge on a blind corner. Every trip now, I encounter a selection of idiots on the road, always looking for the worst possible place to overtake!
  19. Following my social media appeal for a second hand roof canvas, Bob came along on Sunday with a spare roof in fairly good condition. A deal was done and "Hope" now has a roof too. The evacuees set off for the 1:30pm train again but this time I didn't follow them to the station. Instead I caught some photos from the bank overlooking Marley Hill signal box and spotted my daughter as she watched from the carriage window.
  20. Following a chat with the farmer, late morning three of us set off across the fields for some green laning. Actually more brown and straw coloured laning, but a good laugh until we got to a flood and a locked gate. We'd sent Derek first as he was expendable if there'd been any land mines, so he ended up turning around in the flood and we made our way back to the show field.
  21. September 22nd - Day 2 Tanfield day two started out nice and sunny again. I hoped it would stay that way, as with "Jessie" in Red Cross markings and using the olive drab roof canvas, "Hope" was roofless! A few of the larger vehicles didn't come for the second day, but there were a few different Jeeps, Chris in his Dodge and more civilian cars, all on display in the field above Andrews House station.
  22. At Andrews House, the Seatones were singing and there was a big band in the main carriage shed in Marley Hill yard. Mid afternoon, we had a mini convoy down to East Tanfield Station for coffee where Colin was performing as George Formby. The car park was virtually full, as was the main car park near Andrews House Station, so there must have been a good number of public there. At the end of the day, we took the Dodge straight back to the storage yard, as it was on the way home, and came home in "Jessie". For day two, we'd take "Jessie" and "Hope" on display. With the vehicles away, we had a quick bite to eat before returning to the evening dance held in the carriage shed.
  23. Bb's Command Car. Dodges were reasoably well represented during the weekend. Around 1pm, NCB No 49 collected another carriage from Marley Hill yard, to add to the train for the evacuees. They walked up the hill from the Home Front display in Marley Hill carriage shed and back down the bank to Andrews House station. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was there to see them onto the train, which departed Andrews House station at 1:30pm.
  24. It's been a busy season yet again, but things are winding down now. I've attended sixteen shows and had six further trips out to museums, historic sites such as airfields and photo shoots. The "Follow Me" Jeep has been to 17 events, the GPW 6 and the Dodge 5. The Tanfield Railway 1940's weekend may be my last public event for 2019, but I also have a school visit to do soon. Tanfield Railway 1940's Weekend - September 21/22nd September 21st - Day 1 It was a lovely sunny day at Tanfield Railway, for what is possibly our last show of the 2019 season. I'd decided to get all the vehicles to the show across the two days and so took "Jessie the Jeep" and "Faith the Flying Control Dodge" for day one. Lynne drove "Jessie" for the first time out in the new Red Cross markings. Without thinking, we parked with the other vehicles which meant I was photographing them into the Sun for much of the day. There was a Jeep that I hadn't seen before and the huge Scammel truck was a surprise visitor. I haven't seen that at any events locally before.
  25. On September 18th, the Jeep was rolled out onto the drive in the new markings for the first time. They were completed just in time for the Tanfield Railway 1940's event this weekend.
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