The tank has been sandblasted! Finally no more rust. Before the sandblasting could take place a removal of material at the restoration location took place. Otherwise the trucks from the sandblasting company would get stuck. Company J. Arts from Sint Anthonis did the removal operation.
Early in the morning the men from sandblasting company Cuijpers at Weert (www.cuijpers.nl) arrived at the restoration location. They came with two trucks, one for catching the dust and a truck with a giant compressor and sandblast equipment. They used sand from the River Maas and used about 1.75 cubic meters of sand. Both the inside and outside of hull and turret were sandblasted. After sandblasting and removing the sand from the hull and turret we immediately applied epoxy primer to avoid rust. The inside of the hull and turret was painted white. The sandblasting is also made possible by Drs C. Somers of T.K.C - Training (www.tkc-opleidingen.nl)
Sander from JPE (www.jpe-wijchen.nl), a company specialized in total machine maintenance, welded the last bullet holes etc. in the evening hours. Due to planning difficulties and unforseen circumstances it was not possible to finish all the welding before the sandblasting. Because we are working with armored steel it's necessary to work with specialized welding equipment and mixed (welding) gas. The welding that’s done by Sander with this special welding material (sponsored by Berkvens Metaalwerken b.v. at Asten (www.berkvens-metaal.nl)) has survived the sandblasting unlike the spots we welded with basic welding material. Now Sander has restored them. The newly welded spots were cleaned and put in the epoxy primer again.
Also we applied some steel plates to close several gaps in the hull and made a new metal strip for closing the door of the engine compartment.
The sandblasted bogie sets, sandblasted by Renovation Technique Vloet (www.renovatietechniek.nl), are handpainted with epoxy primer. When the hull is finished we will start with the restoration and assembling of the bogie sets.
Mike van Toer of Plaatwerken Deurne (www.plaatwerkendeurne.nl) is reproducing the front fenders and they will be finished soon.
For the second half of May 2011 we plan:
-further restoration of the bogies.
-welding the 75 mm gun barrel.
Click images to enlarge.