This month we worked on the hull turret and bogie sets. The hull got its metal strips for hanging the skirts. These strips and also the other metal plates are sponsored by trading company J. Kelders BV (www.kelders-boxmeer.com). Just after the liberation in 1945 the founder of this company, Mr. J. Kelders, got a contract from the mayor. The tank wrecks that were left behind had to be removed and scrapped. No doubt he also had removed and scrapped a number of destroyed tanks of the 7th Armored Division around Overloon. Now, more than 60 years later, the sons, grandsons and granddaughter of the founder of this company are helping us by sponsoring steel and sheet metal for the construction of the tank.
The front fenders that Mike van Toer of Plaatwerken Deurne (www.plaatwerkendeurne.nl) is reproducing are almost ready. The two transition plates that are placed between fenders and the hull are already welded to the tank.
Sander from JPE (www.jpe-wijchen.nl), a company specialized in total machine maintenance, welded the 75mm reproduction gun barrel on the remaining barrel part. The remaining welding activities on the bogie sets were delayed due to technical problems (welding gear broke down). So next month the last welding will take place. The shooting range damage is largely mended. Damage ranged from minor hits and damage by projection to hits of greater caliber. On one bogie set a large part of the front is replaced. Thanks to Matt Nielen Structures BV in Boxmeer (www.mattnielen.nl) for cutting the metal parts. Most parts of the bogie sets have been assembled and we also blocked the suspension to keep the tank in a nice static position. Sander also welded the track skids. At the place where normally the bolt heads are visible, we’re going to weld loose bolt heads. The original bolts were almost all broken and in the remaining empty bolt holes the thread was so damaged that we chose this option. Assembling the bogies was a daunting task. Especially because the springs were to be pressed before the rest of the supporting arms could be installed. This is achieved by threaded rods with nuts through the spring and bottom of the wheelset to clamp and step by step to tighten the nuts. Thanks to Vos Trading Wanroij who delivered small metal plates we used for closing the holes on top of the bogie sets. Van Eeden Schadenet at Cuijk (www.schadenetvaneeden.nl) sponsored the filler we needed for plastering parts of the bogie sets and hull.
Currently we are still working on resizing the axles. Most arms where the axes must be put through have been damaged over the years (some were even completely demolished) and are curved so that it does not fit. A start has been made with the restoration of the rubber of the wheels.
Thanks to the men of the Court of Overloon (www.hofvanoverloon.nl) They have moved our assembled bogie sets and turned them over and put them on pallets with their telehandler.
In June we planned:
-replacing the turret
-further-finish bogie sets and wheels.
-applying filler to hull and turret.
-preparing the markings
-spraying of the finish layer, the correct final color.
-mounting the bogie sets after they are sprayed in the correct final color.