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RAF Leyland workshop lorry

Great War truck

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On 1/11/2021 at 9:08 AM, Scrunt & Farthing said:

Looks very smart.  David must be very pleased with it.  


You're quite correct; he's pretty chuffed with the drill. 

I found this advert today.


(was landscape when I took the picture)

 If anyone knows the whereabouts of one he would be thrilled to hear about it. 

For more details, there's pictures of the Duxford workshop body earlier in this post.


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I don't know how people are feeling right now, not able to get out and about. So with time on my hands and to help keep peoples spirits up, I have decided to share some pictures of the restoration of David's workshop body.

This first batch of photographs documents the dismantling of the remains.



These first two photographs show the body arriving home July 2017. We had spent a day on site bracing the structure to make it fit for the journey. The tarpaulin was an added precaution; we didn't want to risk pieces of rotten timber being blown off, especially on the motorway.


As evidence of the fragile nature of the body, this is the near-side rear corner. The timber in the left of the picture running backwards is the top of the upper panel; the top rail of the body has almost entirely rotten away.


And here it is again, from the other direction.

Dismantling proceeded almost immediately. Ratchet straps were thin enough to be worried in behind the hinge pins. The travelling crane (the object of crane - envy amongst some regulars on this forum) was particularly useful.


Near-side top panel removed in-tact.


Off-side top panel was much more fragile and had been fitted with a window when re-purposed as a shepherd's hut.


With the top panel safely on the floor, the hole for the stove-pipe in the lower panel can be seen.


Off-side top rail has survived comparatively well - a useful pattern.


The front wall comprised a mixture of original and replacement timbers.

During the dismantling process we were at pains to record and preserve the various carpentry joints used in the original construction.


Above, the off-side rear corner joint exposed. This was strengthened with an iron brace which had fallen off. Fortunately this had been gathered up and placed inside the body.



Floor-level joints have survived comparatively in-tact, however the post tops have not fared so well.




This is a replacement post; all joint details have been destroyed.

I'll end this segment with a teaser:


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The last instalment of this tale left the workshop body reduced to floor level, surrounded by a plethora of decaying timbers. Today I'll describe the start of the reconstruction. We have tried to salvage as much of the original timber as possible. As built, the workshop body sat on two steel plate reinforced longitudinal timbers,  2½" x 6" x 12' 4" long. After a lot of ringing around we managed to find a sawmill that could supply these and our other requirements in English ash as originally used. The first job was to make these fit onto the chassis, boring clearance holes at regular intervals corresponding with the various protruding bolts and rivets.


With these in position on the chassis, the original floor was carefully lifted into place in order to mark the positions of the cross members.




With everything marked the old floor was lifted back onto the Vulcan chassis and dismantled.


Floorboards were numbered and layed out as a floor once more so we could account for all the bolt holes - evidence of machinery placement.



The steel reinforcing plates were bolted into position with a mixture of 3/8" and 1/2" coach bolts and BS190 nuts. The curatorial staff at Duxford were very accommodating in allowing us to measure and photograph these details on their workshop body so we could get everything "just so".


And now a sneaky peek at next week's topic:




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Part Three. January 2018. (34 weeks to go before Great Dorset Steam Fair).

The cross bearers were a bit rotten on top and to a greater or lesser extent on their ends but are big heavy timbers 8" x 2 ¾" so the decision was taken to repair rather than replace. There's a theme that permeates this little corner of cyberspace "old = good, new = bad" This does not apply to circular saw blades; modern blades will cut through anything! So the rusty remains of nails and screws posed no problem.




New pieces of ash were glued and screwed to the top faces.


The front bearer was the roughest by far and beyond repair, but this yielded sufficient timber to repair the others as the following photographs will demonstrate.






Small repairs were made where bolts had rusted and split out the ends of the timbers.


With all the repairs completed and a replica front bearer made it was time for a trial fitting.





This final photograph takes us to February  2nd  (30 weeks to go) and the bearers are in the paint shop. The hawk-eyed among you will have noticed that this workshop was originally blue - RAF but the base colour on the lorry chassis was olive drab. So an executive decision was taken to paint the workshop olive drab to match.


No sneaky peeks this time...



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There's snow on the ground this first weekend in February. This week in 2018 saw the floor starting to come together. The bearers had taken their turn in the paint shop and were soon reunited with the chassis. Meanwhile, replica angle iron brackets had been made based on the Duxford examples.





The tenons and mortices had been cut in the sill beams, marking the start of the structure of the body. These were trial fitted on the bearers then the bolt holes drilled in-situ and rebated out to receive these rather curious square headed bolts. A full set of 10 bolts had been made; several were rusted through and one was badly bent. Turns out the bent one was on account of the hole having been drilled too close to the floorboards - the rebate would have broken through the side of the sill beam. So this old bent bolt has been re-used. Whoever it was that succeeded in hiding their shoddy workmanship for 100 years... you've been found out!



With the sill beams defining the footprint of the body we were now able to fit the new floor. 1⅛" Douglas fir.





Once it was all assembled it was time to take it apart again and cart it, piece by piece, across to the painting shed - heated I should ad - as by now we were in the grips of "The Beast from the East" (no, not Matty Hancock). Once the paint was dry, the return journey was made across the yard and final assembly commenced.





No sneaky peek again this time; there's little else to look forward to at the moment. 



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It's that time again. This week's update is from 30th March 2018. The workshop body had been built up to floor level on the Leyland chassis but the shed in which it was being built was not tall enough to accommodate the full height of the vehicle so we had a bit of a move around. First the Leyland was towed out of the shed and steered into position under the crane - that object of envy.

Next the body was lifted up into the gods and spun through 90 degrees (so the iron brackets would clear the beam of the crane) allowing the Leyland to be towed  out and shunted out of the way. Afterwards an old seed drill transport trailer (a farm-sale purchase that looked like it would come in useful one day) was backed into place ready to receive the  workshop body. This, being much lower to the ground, was then returned to the original shed for the build to continue.

The trailer was let down onto blocks and shimmed to get the bed level so we could use a spirit level in the subsequent construction.

Photographs below should be self-explanatory.














And now a sneaky peek at next week's instalment:


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I worked with an overhead crane once to take the contraweight from an big toyota forklift. The bl.... thing almost dropped from the ceiling, maybe the lumb of cast iron was a bit to much 😀

And this was in an locomotive shed from the local coalmine.

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1 hour ago, Citroman said:

I worked with an overhead crane once to take the contraweight from an big toyota forklift. The bl.... thing almost dropped from the ceiling, maybe the lumb of cast iron was a bit to much 😀

And this was in an locomotive shed from the local coalmine.

If I recall correctly Chatham Dockyard had a travelling crane jump and skew itself across its rails (in yaw) when a sling gave way.  The recoil on the sudden loss of load caused the traveller to jump!  Foden7536 on here, may recall the circumstances better than I have relayed.  Chatham Dockyard crane drivers were not known for their speed, but it is said you could see the drivers trousers glowing with the speed with which he came down the ladder!

Edited by Scrunt & Farthing
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This weeks instalment starts  on 1st April 2018. Pinch, punch, first of the month and no returns. Now that's out of the way...

At the same time as we were rebuilding the workshop body, the house was also undergoing a thorough going-over. Our builder, Ian, has a fully equipped carpentry shop and after a full day at the house would think nothing of giving up his evening to oversee the complicated joinery required for a faithful recreation of the workshop body.

The corner posts are tenoned into the frame; these joints are reinforced with iron straps. We re-fitted the bottom side panels so as to ensure that posts were correctly aligned.





I mentioned in a previous post that the it was not possible to read the joint design on the top of the posts. Fortunately the body at Duxford has a roof plank missing, so this joint is exposed. The curatorial staff there, whose praises I will sing at every opportunity, allowed us to bring a step ladder into the museum so we could inspect, photograph and measure this joint.




April 9th and the frame was starting to take shape. It needed to as not only was the GDSF getting ever closer but Woolpit Steam was looming too. Anyone who has been involved in the organisation of an event of this type knows how all-consuming it can be.



David considers it a grave sin to have an empty paint shop so while the framing was undeway  the original timber support for the pillar drill was repaired and prepared for painting.







Sorry, no crane shots this week or indeed for the foreseeable future.





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It's now 22nd April or at least it was when this next back of pictures was taken, detailing the trial fitting of the bow ends. This really felt like progress as they gave a tangible impression of the finished form. The majority of the iron brackets are originals.




Note: the top fastenings form part of the hinges but as a temporary measure 5/8" bolts were used. The lower ends were secured with square head 3/8" coach screws. David scoured our favourite on-line auction site to find enough to complete the job. After this trial fitting, the frame was dismantled and off to the painting shop.


Only these light iron corner straps at the front as it is boarded from top to bottom. Here's the remains of the original:




And the new boards in primer. The paint shop was full; this is actually David's living room! As I mentioned in a previous post, we had the builders in...


The rear end panels are long gone - these were discarded when the body was converted into a shepherds hut, so have had to be constructed from scratch.


Basic shape of the tailboard section


New laser-cut hinge blank alongside an original from one of the lower side panels.





Old and new...


Forming the hinge.


Sorry, no crane pictures again this week. Will fire do instead? I like fire.


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Hi. I looked back over the post and realised that this is turning into one of those authentication tests "tick every box with a wheel in it"

The wheel in the background of the picture titled "old and new" is IHC 12-25 Mogul. 

But in the second of this week's pictures there is a Saunderson on the left. This is a work in progress and the project that was paused when the Leyland came along. 


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