In June we mainly worked on the further completion of wheelsets and wheels. This did cost lots of hours.
The final welding on the six bogies was conducted by Sander van JPE (www.jpe-wijchen.nl), a company specialized in total machine maintenance. Meanwhile we resized the wheel axles and the damage to the supporting arms was fixed. The (shooting range) damage to the bogie sets is largely eliminated with putty.
In various of the twelve wheels were bulletholes and grenade damagen. This damage is also repaired.
The rubber on the wheels are restored using rubber spacer blocks (from a Sherman wheel that was shot to pieces) and sealant.
Damage to the sprocket and idler wheels is now also repaired. The outer ring at one of the sprockets is welded. We made some reproduction bolt heads, using the lathe, to make it look like the original as close as possible.
The wheels will be fitted to the bogie sets when they are sprayed in the final color. It is our intention to mount the bogies to the hull and attach the sprocket and idler sprocket in one day.
In preparation for the above, we repaired the sides of the hull where the bogie sets will be mounted with filler in order to camouflage the largest (schooting range) damage. Thanks to Van Eeden Schadenet at Cuijk (www.schadenetvaneeden.nl) who sponsored the filler we needed for plastering parts of the bogie sets and sides of the hull. Now we're waiting for the final paint finish which will be sprayed onto the tank. Then the final assembly can begin.
Thanks to trading company J. Kelders BV (www.kelders-boxmeer.com) for sponsoring the D-rings that are mounted on the front.
As mentioned in previous restoration reports we had often to change the planning. That is the consequence of the fact that this is a project run entirely by volunteers with no funding and relies on voluntary cooperation and goodwill of many parties/companies. Nevertheless we are satisfied with the process. In July the tank is exactly one year in our hands. July 2011 is a good month to finish the restoration of the tank.
In July we planned:
-mounting the bogie sets after they are sprayed in the correct final color.
-replacing the turret.
-applying filler to hull and turret.
-spraying of the finish layer, the appropriate end color.
-applying the markings.
-hanging the tracks (which is still a puzzle to be).
-start the construction of the concrete base where the tank will be placed on the square in Overloon.
Click images to enlarge.