Posted by: potomacpacemaker | July 30, 2010

Rust, sweat and a lot of manpower

Our last workday on July 17, was another productive—and hot—day working in the Back Shop. Volunteers Bob Reed and Andy Ray reported a temperature inside the building of 86 degrees that morning, and despite two large fans to help circulate the air, the thermometer continued to climb, reaching 92 degrees by 2 p.m.

Despite the uncomfortable working conditions, a great deal of work was accomplished. Bob Johnson, Carly Faulkner and Everton Loney worked in the very cramped confines of the nose and cockpit to remove the throttle quadrant. A lot had already been done on the work day in June, but there were still cables to be disconnected and frozen screws, nuts and bolts to be removed. Only a few more things remain to be disconnected and the throttle quadrant will be ready for restoration bench work.

While that was going on, Paul Whitson and Andy Ray continued removing the headliner, side walls, bulkhead covering and plywood flooring. Brad Long helped with the flooring and then started removing the fuselage inspection plates. Perry Miller had worked on removing the tail wheel during the last work day, but was finally able to disconnect the entire assembly—a very heavy unit. It’s now on a work bench ready for work to restore it back to its original condition. It took a lot of liquid wrench, a bunch of mallet hits and a lot of sweat, but Perry got the job done—a  huge “Thank You” to Perry for a job well done.

Another big “Thanks” to Paul for bringing his shop broom from home and sweeping up some of the dirt, bird’s nests, and cabin insulation from around and under the fuselage.  There’s no doubt this is a dirty and messy job, but it is a labor of love.

Charlie Hall continued the bench work on the Air Stair. Here again, there are lots of frozen screws, nuts and bolts so it can be a time-consuming task. Not unlike other latching mechanisms on the airplane, the parts are rusted and will need to be thoroughly cleaned or replaced.

The project volunteers are extremely grateful to the museum for acquiring a portable building which we began using as an administrative area as well as a place to store tools and parts. Project Coordinator worked on getting the building organized and, when needed, helped others with the work they were doing.

So far, with the four Saturday work sessions completed to date, 213.65 man hours have been devoted to restoring the Potomac Pacemaker. A lot more time will be needed but progress is being made. The next work day is scheduled for August 21. If you’re interested in volunteering, email Bob Reed.

Photos of the most recent work will be posted soon—stay tuned!


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