The volunteer group, the SPCRR / SIA did not purchase the material or
chose the supplier. It was purchased by by CSRM and the CSRM
Foundation. As noted the wood was not kiln dried (not always the best
choice, and not used on large timbers like car sills) but was supposed
to be cut from a standing dead, fire killed tree. The tree was
supposed to have been dead and the log seasoned for 2 years prior to
cutting. Some of the lumber used, including the deck was cut after
the start of Railfair and only delivered 5 days into the 9 day event.
By the way, in the 19th century, some car builders advocated using
green wood, believing by fixing it as part of a car body you prevented
it from warping. I believe we now have empirical evidence on this car
that the concept doesn't work. This is one of the things we learn as
we practice "experimental archeology" by rebuilding cars following
19th century practice as we understand it. Each car we rebuild
extends our understanding.
Currently our group is dealing with issues related to double board
boxcar roofs. We now understand they never worked well, and always
leaked, and rotted in as little as three years, but that is a
By the way, there are many rumors and other miss-information about the
project circulating both during and after Railfair, some included in
this groups archives, including statements that it was a Carter Bros
narrow gauge car.
PS, I need to apologize to Denny. Several years before Railfair, at
one of the CSRM hosted Railroad Preservation Symposiums I used him
badly. As part of a presentation on interpretation in a small
railroad museum, he was called to the front of the auditorium. We
were making the point that you can involve the visitor in the
interpretive process rather than just telling them about process.
Denny was set on a chair with a piece of lumber, and a very, very dull
hand saw (not intentional). While going on to the next point he was
abandoned to try to cut a marked tenon. He kept trying to make the
cut, without success, not due lack of effort, but due to lack of teeth
on the saw in question.
Tony Thompson wrote:
Garth, what I was told was that somebody in that volunteer group
decided to save a few bucks and not use kiln-dried wood. Maybe Denny
Anspach can tell us more on that topic.