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Monday, January 12, 2009

Birney Project ~ Final Brasswork

It’s about time to get this Birney painted! So I am trying to think of any last minute brass work that needs to be finished beforehand.

In a previous post I said I was going to let the bulb lighting the destination sign also light the interior. But I have since rethought that. The idea of a bulb just dangling there doesn’t sit well with me. So I fabricated a housing for the bulb lighting the destination sign. I simply used square tube stock and filed away the front. At the same time I gave it a curve so that it conforms to the curve of the front of the car. Then I drilled a hole for a round tube to slip into. The bulb slides through the tube and into the housing.

The two tubes on the left house the marker lamp bulbs. Next to them is the new housing for the destination sign bulb. And to the right of that, coming down from the ceiling, is the tube that will house the bulb for the route number sign on the roof of the car. That's a lot of bulbs, I hope this works. Yessir! I really hope this works!

The route number sign boxes on the roof of the cars are rather prominent, so I’m going to give modeling them a shot.

I started by carefully determining and marking the location of the sign. Then I drilled out a pilot hole through the roof and the ceiling.

The pilot hole is widened to accommodate the 3/16” tube, which is soldered into place.

Taking a square file, I filed through the front and the side of the tube. The bulb will reside in the tube, shining through these openings.

A Plastruct square acrylic tube is cut to length and a test fit shows that it fits perfectly over the brass tube. This photo shows the bulb mounting tubes from outside the car: the Route sign on the roof, the new destination sign housing, and the marker lamp housings.

An anonymous tipster (using the comments feature at the bottom of each of these blog posts) pointed out that Birney’s don’t have rivets on the front ends. So I filed those off. I tried to remove the retriever so that I could move it to the other side of the headlight, but it won’t budge. I’ll live with it. I also added security bars in the windows. These I soldered in, but next time I might just glue them in place. They had quite a reaction to the heat, warping them. I think the car is looking mighty pretty, so it’s off the paint shop for a fresh coat of SDERy “Mission Yellow”. But that’s a whole ‘nother story, Yessir! A whole ‘nuther story!