Febuary 2007. The Commer Superpoise. 1958.
In January 2007 I had a knock at the door of my workshop, It was a chap called Nigel who asked me if I could restore his Commer Superpoise lorry for him ?
After collecting the truck on my trailer I got it on the ramp to have a better look.
Like most restoration job's you alway's find more work than you bargined for !.......
This truck came to me in this state. I restored it for a customer.
Nigel had Imported the Commer from Malta five years ago, and has been sat on his drive all that time. The truck has had a realy hard life working in a Concreate mixing yard in Malta. The acid in the cement managed to rot most of the body. It had been well over loaded as well with a cracked chassis, looking at the state of the shackle pins that were that worn, they had gone through their bushes into the leaf spring ! Upon further inspoection the Kin Pins were also worn out ! The Brakes were eaither siezed up or worn out, the brake pipes were also rotten.
The chassis was cracked in two places and very rusty.
The Commer came from Malta, you can tell by the Livery on the door.....Can anyboady tell me what it say's ? (I was told it might be a Nick Name of the driver ?)
The floor of the cab was well rotted through.
The first job was to remove the cab with the forklift.
I upturned the cab to find even more rot !
All the brakes were eaither seized or worn out ! All the Spring hangers pins and bushes were completly worn out, they had the be specially made.
The Perkins diesel engine and gearbox was lifted out so I could get to more of the chassis.
March 2007. After welding plates on the chassis a complete de-rusting took place and two coats of red oxied under coat was applied.
The completed chassis had two coats of black gloss paint applied. plus the engine was tidyed up and also painted.
Top photo. Before.........Botom photo.....After
Fitted new copper brake pipes all round, brake cylinders and brake shoes.
After finishing the chassis, I went onto the cab, I started cutting the old rot out and welding in new steel, Then finished off by welding in a new floor pan.
After a whole month of welding, I spent another month knocking dent's out and filling until level. I spayed 3 coats of red oxied undercoat paint.
To make a better job, the cab was sprayed with 4 coats of thick high build primer then left a week to dry off before being blocked down until level.
Steve spraying the grey primer on the cab.
The cab was the hardest part to get right, it was eaither rotted or dented ! I started with the rotted cill's first, cutting them out and mig welding new metal in place. A new sheet of steel was cut to shape and mig welded in place to make up the floor pan. There was no seat in this cab when it arrived, so I made the seat frame out of sheet steel into a rectangle box. This went on for about a month. Then I started knocking all the dents out of the roof, wings and doors, that was after welding more steel into the bottom of the door skins because of the dreaded rot !
Eventually I got around to spraying the steel body with a red oxied undercoat and lfet to dry for a few days before being rubbed down and sprayed with high build primer, with several coat's applied. This was left a week to dry off then I spent another week blocking it all down untill level. 4 coat's of grey primer was also sprayed to finish the undercoating off. This was left a few day's before I blocked it down again. Nigel picked a colour he liked, he wanted a two tone effect, so Beige & Maroon was picked which is a G.W.R colour sceam. Well after all the preperation and picking a good day I sprayed 4 coats of the beige celliloss top coat , left to dry. Then masked up the beige to spray on 4 coats of Maroon celliloss top coat. I left the paint alone to harden off for a week before cutting the paintwork down to give a nice finish.
Grey undercoat inside and out.
After the cab was all sprayed up, the first thing was to fit all the glass back into the window's I had to replace some of the glass with new ones. All the lights were cleaned up and re-fitted.The seat was upholstered by Hank Redfern, Hank also made up and fitted the new wiring loom. A new battery was purchaced to power everything.
We eventualy fired up the Perkins diesel after a few repair's that needed doing.
The Commer drove very well around the yard and stopped even better with all it's new brakes fitted. Nigel aranged some Trade Plates so it could be driven back to his home to have a flat bed body fitted.
Jaunary 2008. The Commer is finished
I rebuilt and restored this C.S. Diesel Lister 6hp Engine in 2011.
This engine came to me in bit's. Over the months I managed to find most of the parts to rebuild this engine, I aso had to buy some new parts. Tha trailer was also restord at the same time.
2003. This was a working model boat lift I made for British Waterways.
In 2003 I was aproached by British Waterways to build a working model of John Woodhouse's Perpindicular Boat Lift that used to be situated at the top lock at Tardebigge on the Worcester/Birmingham Canal.
They insisted that the model should work (for some reason ?) but that was the main problem with it.....was trying to keep water in it !
With three atempts, it took me around a month to build out of welded steel, using rubber & sillicon to seal things up to stop the water leaking.
A wooden working boat was supplied to use to represent a real boat.
After it was finished I had to give a demonstration to one of the Managers from British Waterways. He was very pleased with it and said that I would have to demonstrate it in front of the T.V. Cameras ! " What Cameras" I said ? Yes, he said, this is for a T.V. Program, that will be filmed at Iron Bridge Museum next week !
So having turned up with the model Boat Lift in the car at Iron Bridge Museum, I unloaded it, only to find that there were about 12 other models of different things on show ? Little did I know that this was a Compition for the T.V. !
The program was called "The Industrial Roadshow" Presented by Adam Heart Davies.
I did find time to look around some of the other models on show. they were all working models of thing's that were invented in the 1800's.
Things were begining to happen and I got myself ready, praying that this boat lift would work okay. I was second on, within a moment I was surrounded by T.V. Camerers and Adam Hart Davies. Well I did do the demonstration with no problem.
They then carried on filming the rest of the models after me. I started packing the boat lift into the back of my car.
To my supprise I managed to WIN this Compitition ! Well I mean it was British Waterway's that won it realy. Nick Irland from B.W. recived the award.
The Boat lift went to British Waterways at Tardebigge Workshops.
Over the years that passed during Christmas time we would run the Santa Specials into Tardebigge Tunnel. I would see this Model Boat Lift slowly coming apart as it had been pulled from on end of the workshop to the other, it was obvious that it was in their
way. During the Winter of 2010 I found it in their Skip ! B. W. gave me premission to take it away, which went back to my Workshop in Lye.
Over the Winter months I gave it a total re-build, this time making a Lock Cottage that is still there to this day situated on the top lock. Down below at the lower level looked a bit empty, So one day I went over to Stourbridge to draw the Bonded Wharehouse.
I thought to myself, I would like to put this Wharehouse on the lower level to give a bit of an Industrial looking scene. By March I had it all finished and now it sits up in our
Dudley Canal Trust Pumphouse in Peartree Lane Dudley.