Sunday, 31 January 2010

Glass Out

A flurry of activity today. Alan and I discussed progress and decided we needed to improve our paint stripping performance. It is jolly hard, and is an awful lot of effort for slow progress. I am keen to remove all glass (small and large) as it will make scraping much easier. Alan suggested we try cordless drills with wire brushes. Today we removed all the large panes in the west facing side, and looked at what we could do with the smaller panes. The problem with the smaller panes is that generally, they still have the original glass in them. This is brittle and will break easily (as we accidentally found out when trying to remove one of the few plastic panes).

We think we have virtually zero chance of removing any small panes without breaking them, so we will look at what we can do with them in place. The overall quality of the job would be better if we could remove them, but the budget doesn't allow for an extra 48 panes of glass. We shall try and fully clean up a pane, using a stanley knife to remove the red paint from where it has been previously painted and see how good it looks once cleaned up.

Did a lot more paint removing today. The wire brushes on the drills works a treat and I think we should be in a position to red oxide the west facing side next weekend.

The attached picture shows the progress made on stripping paint. Alan is crouched down having just broken one of the small panes. The glass shatters and ends up everywhere and stuck in the frame. What you can't see from the picture is that I've started stripping the paint from the crown.

I'm quite confident now that we'll get this finished by mid May.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Progress report

Although nothing directly has happened on the kiosk, stuff has been going on behind the scenes.

Over the past couple of days, Alan has cut all the long lengths and short lengths for the glazing frames. The holes have now been drilled. All that is required now, is the welding of each set together to make the complete glazing frame.

I have delivered a pane of glass to Allsigns for them to add the notice film. While there, we modified the font the text would be written in. To keep the costs down, Allsigns had initially chosen a block style font. The Roman font that the 'Telephone' sign is written in is awkward due to the thinness of the typeface. We settled on an alternative font (I can't remember the name right now), which is very similar, and I suspect no one would notice anyway. In all likelihood, the only people who would notice are the readers of this blog, all three of you!

Ordered some parts and the red 539 paint from Unicorn Kiosk Restorations on Monday. Today I popped down to pick the order up as they're only in Reigate and it's cheaper than delivery. I'd ordered another leather door strap, four small glazing frames, three new door hinges and hinge fixing kit. Tony offered to give us four original used small cast glazing frames to ensure we follow the correct style and keep everything uniform within the box. This is an extremely kind gesture, will enhance the kiosk and allow us to keep as close to the original specification as possible. We thank Unicorn for their enormous support - I'm sure our kiosk will be brilliantly finished in part due to their knowledge and generosity.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Today we started looking at the railings which protect two sides of the kiosk. As usual when metal is neglected over several decades, stuff rusts away. Our railings are no exception. The nuts and bolts were solid and needed severe persuasion to move. In fact three were cut off, and one had rusted through to the point where we were able to knock the bolt out with a hammer. Alan has taken the set of railings out and we'll refurbish them.

As can be seen from the attached picture, the posts have rotted through and they present a different problem. They are concreted in and we don't want to remove them. We are going to look to plating them to provide some additional strength prior to putting the railings back.

Having the railings out makes it easier to strip the paint from the kiosk, so if the weather is with us, we'll strip the paint this week on the west facing side.

Allsigns Woking of Brookwood have provided us with a poster to put in the kiosk. Allsigns have agreed to sponsor the maintenance of the kiosk as well as providing us with the film to place over one of the panes explaining where the nearest working BT phone is. The text that has been agreed is: "This kiosk is preserved for the village. A working pay phone is located up by the station".
Finally, the sponsor a pane initiative has proved popular with some residents of Brookwood. Of the 24 large panes, nine are now being sponsored by people with a connection to the village. This is fantastic news as the extra money in the kitty will allow us to do a more thorough job on the restoration.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Prototype Steel Glazing Frame & Brookwood Social Club

Today Alan finished making the jigs required for us to make the steel glazing frames. There are two jigs, one to enable the holes to be drilled in the correct positions, and one to enable all four sides to be held together prior to welding. These pictures show Alan finishing off the welding jig. The red frame in the picture is the frame we purchased from Unicorn. This will give us the ability to make all our own frames with the holes in the correct places.
Finally, we popped along to the kiosk to test the prototype frame in situ with glass. At this point we discovered that the original casting process is not quite precision engineering, so the frame fitted perfectly in some panes, but was a little tight or loose in others. Not that this causes us a problem, as silicone will be used to create a watertight seal.

With the laminated glass and our glazing frame in place, the brass glazing pins matched up perfectly and will hold the panes of glass in fine. This is how they were originally designed, so it is nice to put a little bit of British engineering back in place, rather than continuing down the cheap and quick methodology that seems prevalent these days.

Other updates, a little more paint was removed today. I'm not going to blog this everyday as it is a slow and boring process.

Brookwood Social Club has very generously agreed to donate £40 towards the restoration and then put a poster in the kiosk for the next five years which will help towards maintenance. We are hugely appreciative of this initiative. Brookwood Social Club is directly opposite the kiosk. We hope to finish the phone box in time for the annual Brookwood Social Club bash which is held in May.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Paint Stripping

Started stripping paint today. We are using Nitromors Paint Remover which is pretty vicious stuff. It's still hard work though! Spent an hour on the kiosk and managed to get down to bare metal on the frames. I expect it to take at least ten hours per side to get back to bare metal. It's a tad awkward as the railings get in the way. We'll also need to dig out some of the dirt that is piled up at the bottom of the kiosk.

With luck the weather will be kind for the next few days and we can try to complete stripping this side.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Sponsor a pane and signage developments

The cost of the laminate glass from Glassmaster in Brookwood, the steel frames and the glazing pins to hold them in comes out at £8.50 per pane. If you would like to sponsor a pane or two, then please contact me via this blog. The intention is to stick a list of personal sponsor names in the kiosk once we have finished the restoration (you could remain anonymous if you so choose).

I've also been talking to Allsigns Woking in Brookwood about providing a film to place over one of the panes explaining that the 'phone box has been restored and that a working BT phone is up the top of the incline by Brookwood Railway Station. This is a better solution to the brass plaque I was intending on putting in. This will look really cool, with the wording done in a red tone as close to the red 539 paint required for the kiosk. Just need to determine the wording now.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow work progressing on the box

As the picture shows, Brookwood is covered in snow. Nothing doing on the 'phone box directly, but Alan has acquired the steel we need to make the glazing frames for the large panes of glass.

We could buy the 24 frames pre-made, for around £5 each. As we are putting laminated glass in, the pre-drilled holes for the glazing pins are not quite in the right place so we decided to make our own. The cost for the steel is an unbelievable £8. Alan will make the required jig and we'll crack on with the frames over a period of time.

Our plan is to try and get the west facing side (the right hand panel in the picture), restored by the end of March.

There are two poles missing from the black metal railings, and we'll replace those at some point.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

BT Handover Poster

As a condition of adopting a kiosk, BT require adopted kiosks to have a sign stating who the current owner of the kiosk is and the contact details. In this case it is Woking Borough Council, so I have laminated the BT provided poster with WBC contact details and stuck the poster to the black board inside the kiosk.

I've also taken a picture showing the current state of the kiosk.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Progress report

A visit to Unicorn Kiosk Restorations during the Christmas holidays provided some useful information and bits and bobs.

We purchased a new leather door restraining strap, a large steel glazing frame and a glazing pin set.

On New Year's Eve, we fitted the strap, changed the light bulb as it had blown and removed a couple of existing broken plastic moulded large panes. We removed the putty and checked our frame would fit with the laminate glass we intend on fitting. We discovered we have one large original cast iron glazing frame and nearly all the small glazing frames are original.

During the restoration, the small panes will be left as they are if they are not broken, whereas all the large panes will be replaced as they are the moulded plastic type and look awful.

Things to do:

We are going to remove as much of the paint as possible using paint remover - we don't have the luxury of sand blasting as the kiosk is concreted into the ground. We will choose a side at a time, and remove the paint, red oxide prime it and then paint it before reglazing that side of the kiosk.

Alan is going to make all the large glazing frames and the glass will be supplied by Glassmaster, a local glazing business in Brookwood.

The back board in the kiosk is original and we are going to sell some advertising to add some funds to the ongoing preservation. Letters will be sent out to local businesses and organisations.

A locking mechanism will be fitted to prevent the door being opened and the inside continuing to be used as a litter bin / toilet.