Over the Christmas period we had a reshuffle in the main workshop and moved the 4.5" carriage under cover.  After an initial hosing down with the pressure washer to remove all of the flaky paint and 'crud', the carriage was moved inside to be rubbed down and repainted.  Despite languishing outside the carriage is in remarkably good condition.  The picture below shows the removal of the counter balance that was fixed to the cradle when the gun was used to test fire different barrels.

4.5 restoration

The next issue with the carriage was to free all the relevant levers and latches:

4.5 restoration1

This is very much an on going process.  Below you can see the locking mechanism for the 'spades' that help stop the gun recoil when fired.  

4.5 restoration5

As we cleaned sections of the gun we painted them with a red oxide rust paint.  The effect of painting the gun as you progress is two fold: Primarily it protecs the metal but it also gives you a psychological lift as the gun gradually changes colour.  Below is an area we did not paint as we discovered  a white marking in the form of a circle. Any ideas to what this might signify would be gratefully received.

4.5 restoration4

Although we have been busy with the gun carriage we have still been working on the Staghound.  Below is a photo of the recently paint flutes for the fire extinguishing system.  Although we are a long way from fitting the flutes they will be stashed away with the rest of the system till the time it is ready to be fitted.

stag flutes

As well as the flute we have been cutting down the bolts that hold on the front axle.  To date the front axle has been fitted about three time only to find the heads on the new bolts were too big; then the bolts didn't have enough thread and finally they were far too long.  All in all it has been a little frustrating but now the axle is in place albeit missing a few pins!

stag pins1

stag frt axle2

Almost on its wheels for the first time in 15 years....

stag frt axle3

One thing is for sure, there is never a straight forward job on a Staghound!