You are hereRestoring mahogany doors on railroad cars in Knoxville Tn.

Restoring mahogany doors on railroad cars in Knoxville Tn.

Ride the Rambler Train!Ride the Rambler Train!

I recently restored two doors on an old passenger car, that's used as part of a steam train excursion on the Knoxville waterfront. The job called for painting the doors, but upon closer inspection, I thought they might be made of Honduras Mahogany. I'm not sure what previous painters were thinking, something like, "Hey let's just keep painting over all these cracks in the paint." Below is how they looked when I started working on them.
I used premium stripper on these doors, it took numerous applications. Then I sanded the wood. Finally, I put down a layer of clear shellac, to bring out the color, followed by three coats of varnish; all applied with an "Ox hair" brush, and wet sanded between coats.
First coat of clearFirst coat of clear
When sanding, I had to decide whether to try and sand out all the dings, scrapes, and stains. That would have removed a lot of wood; and I realized something. Every one of these dings has a story. This car was originally an urban transit sort of car. It had electric motors on the axles, and was self propelled. It looks as though the electric pickup/contact mountings were on the roof.
Anyway, think about who rode this car. The mom with full shopping bags, maybe some young children. The old folks with their umbrellas on a rainy day. A group of kids rough-housing after a Saturday matinee. And of course, the working men with their lunch boxes and work boots. They were all there, every one of these little dents in the wood has a story.
For an unforgettable memory, let your story and the Rambler story cross paths today.
Finished and installedFinished and installed