By late 2007 we had a rebuilt underframe on which we could start to rebuild the tram.  The corner pillars all had to be replaced so new ones were machined in ash.  Each one has over 30 other pieces of wood joined to it so a lot of hammer and chisel work was needed to cut all these out (I discovered that working with good quality ash was a lot harder than chopping mortices out of Douglas Fir).  The window pillars were checked; three of the originals were fit for reuse, the others had unfortunately been damaged by water seepage at the bottom of the windows. The pillars for each side were clamped together as a set for finishing to ensure that everything lined up.

The corner pillars are secured by a 10 inch long 1/2" bolt that goes up its centre (carefully missing all the interlocked tenons) and is secured by a captive nut (two of the originals unscrewed 110 years after being fitted). These go through the corner bracket and keep the whole corner solid. We also put the bulkheads and cantrails on using G cramps and suddenly 107 started to look like a tram again.


 As can be seen this makes

for a very solid joint.

The headstocks had been

left overlength at this stage

to protect the frame when

we were building it and turning

it over.

We decided to erect the end frames first and started with the B end.  This was nearer the door and had better light as well as having more original timber in it. We then hit a problem. There wasn't a straight line in the corner pillars that we could use to ensure that the structure was square.  We solved this by putting up the door pillars first and making the door frame. We then put a temporary frame that had been squared up into the door opening before positioning the corner pillars off the door pillars.

The platform bearers have now been installed along with the crown boards.  Also the floor boards were installed and covered with hardboard for protection.  We had managed to save 10 of the original 12 floorboards.  A quantity of new timber was bought and allowed to season for a year and all the new flooring for the saloon, platforms and upper deck will be machined from this stock. The old floorboards held an amazing amount of design information.  The photo below shows the old floor with a series of what look like back and white stripes.  These show where the original floor latts were fastened with the white areas being the base of the latts and the black areas where the floor had been painted. Measuring these stripes allowed us to calculate the dimensions of the latts and order new ones.

Also while doing a trial layout of the floor boards some stray sunlight suddenly showed us a shadow at the side of one the wheel wells.  This helped us to finalise the design of the brake hangers, whose fixing method had not been clear. Work then continued on preparing the rails that run along the sides of the tram under the windows and behind the panelling. These were machined to shape and all the joints were carefully marked and chopped out. Then the rails were offerred up and fitted. The main aim was to ensure that the rails were straight and level to make a good foundation for the panelling.

In Summer 2008, along with the work on the rails we started to look at the roof structure that had been stored since early 2006.  This was taken into one of the rooms in the house and propped up.  The first task was to remove the roof sticks and inspect them.  this left the monitors on their own and Jim Soper started to clean these up and remove all the traces of Anaglypta that had been applied in the summerhouse days.

When we examined the roof sticks it became apparent that they were too brittle to reuse so we decided to make new ones but that is a story for the next page. 

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