Re: Digest Number 2918

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Garth Groff writes-

You are probably right about not treating the decks on flat cars in the
past, but a preserved car today is a somewhat different matter. Back in
1999 a volunteer group restored Oakland & Antioch flat car 2002 for the
CSRM during Railfair '99. Apparently untreated lumber was used for the
deck. Within a few years the deck had warped so badly that the car had
to be withdrawn from display.
With permission, this car was used by a group independent of the CSRM as a wood car-building demonstration, not as an official restoration effort during the Railfair . The original car had long rotted away, and only the hardware was available for any resurrection.

The hardworking East Bay group that undertook the reconstruction unknowingly purchased green lumber on the cheap- the basis for the eventual astounding warpage (the deck more obvious, but the end sills only slightly less so). Unless the wood had been treated under pressure (which in the process essentially forces the wood to cure- usually incompatible with paint), this warpage would have occurred treatment or no.

An embarrassing incident where that car was by accident actually put on museum display was chronicled by Tony Thompson some time ago. Although its load at that time was an absolutely gorgeous new restoration of a ATSF 1888 boxcar, one's attention was instead almost completely diverted to the terrible woodwork of the underlying flat car.


Denny S. Anspach, MD

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