Friday, 30 April 2010

Red Oxide Outside and In

Been way too busy recently, but over the course of the week, Alan and I managed to complete scraping the inside. What you can see in the attached photo is a little bit of the original undercoat and the first ever coat of paint. We're not taking it right back, as we don't need to, although prior to red oxiding it, we will go over it with a final dose of paint stripper and a wire brush to get the last of the loose stuff off.
Today the bulk of the kiosk was painted with red oxide. The whole of the outside has been done, and all the inside frames where the glass will be fitted. What remains we hope to do over the weekend if the weather allows us. Our plan is to do the first coat of red and white on Monday, so ideally we need a break over the weekend to finish red oxiding. The second coat we are planning to apply Thursday evening, or maybe Friday to give us some flexibility regarding weather.

The glass is now ready and I shall pick that up tomorrow. We reckon we will fit the panes next weekend.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday Progress

Anzac Day today and a good afternoon in Woking with the Scouts celebrating St. Georges Day which meant we didn't get quite as far as originally planned. We are now slightly behind according to our plan, but I'm sure we'll pull it round in time. We scraped off almost the remainder of the paint on the inside early this morning, so I hope we didn't disturb anyone. There is a small amount left which will probably take a couple of hours or so to complete. We also had a tidy up and removed the litter which had built up inside.

The small panes of glass which remain in the kiosk were cleaned up properly today, and with few exceptions look brilliant. This is a relief as the new panes will be crystal clear and we didn't want obvious differences between new and old.

I have confirmed with Tony at Unicorn exactly how the inside paint should be done. The white paint should come down to the top of the bar, immediately below the TELEPHONE sign. Apparently, the white was often painted below as it was subsequently covered with red to make a good join line. Makes perfect sense.

A major milestone was reached during the week when Alan finished making up the large glazing frames. These now need priming prior to being fitted next weekend.

There is an outside chance that the refurbishment of the railings will be complete in time for them to be reinstalled ready for 16 May.

I have also confirmed with Roy at Allsigns that the gilding of the crowns will take place when convenient for Allsigns, week commencing 10 May. This means we have to have the final red coat of paint on several days before that to give the paint time to go off. We are a little short of funds to complete this, so if you would like to gift some money for the gold leaf, please get in contact with me.

Assuming the weather is with us this coming week, we should be in good shape with an almost completed kiosk by Monday evening next weekend.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Outside scraping complete!

First bit of news is that we finally finished scraping the outside. Although it looks from the picture that there is still a lot of paint at the bottom, it is clear enough for us to red oxide it. The third side is complete, and the dome has now been finished. We completed this during the week when we popped down a couple of evenings for an hour or so.

We have taken stock of where we are, and with the expertise of Tony at Unicorn have worked out a plan from here. We had decided there just wasn't the time to complete the inside ahead of May 16. With the good weather we've been having, and the weather forecast over the next few days, we have decided to try and scrape the majority of the paint from the inside. We're not going to remove the back board, as it just isn't necessary to repaint that side.

Today we started on the inside of the dome, which wasn't particularly pleasant as it was very warm up there, and there were shed loads of cobwebs.

The picture here raises an interesting question which I need to have with Unicorn. You can see a great deal of the top coat has been removed in this picture (it just falls off), and underneath is an original white coat which does scrape off fairly easily, but is also good enough to form a base. As I've blogged before, the kiosk has been painted incorrectly over the years, and we intend on rectifying that. However, how I've been told it should be done, and how the kiosk was originally painted are slightly different. Kiosks that I've seen restored have the white paint come down to the bottom of the TELEPHONE sign, above the bar that runs round the kiosk which has been painted red. It is clear from this picture, that there is original white paint on the bar and immediately underneath it. Where the bar is at right angles with the vertical side, it goes back to red paint. I'm going to gather more detailed pictures as we go along here, as I want the kiosk to be as original as possible.

So, the current plan is to scrape the inside during the week and red oxide next weekend.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Unicorn Kiosk Restorations and insurance

Today I collected the new door handle from Unicorn Kiosk Restorations. I was extremely surprised and grateful when Unicorn donated the door handle to us in recognition of our restoration efforts. I said in one of the early posts that our kiosk will be brilliantly finished due to the advice and assistance from Tony at Unicorn, and I only hope he is impressed with the job we have done as amateurs.

Great news from Cllr Glynis, the kiosk has been added in its own right to the general Woking Borough Council insurance policy. The kiosk is only insured against total loss, i.e. theft or accidental damage. It is not insured for minor damage like broken panes of glass. I don't know the cost, but my understanding is that the  kiosk has probably been explicitly insured for no additional cost to the Council Tax payer. I will endeavour to find out so that if there has been a cost, then it is factored into our figures for future budgeting purposes.

More Brookwood based businesses have come to me offering sponsorship in return for advertising spots in the kiosk. We'll see what can be arranged on this.

More paint was scraped off last night, and we will finish scraping the paint from the outside this week.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Dome

Work has finally started on the dome! As suspected, the paint falls off, there are about four layers, and once the top coat has been scratched off, the rest scrape off with a little elbow grease.

The two pictures here show the dome when we started, and the dome after Alan and I had spent about half an hour on it. Another half an hour and that will be done.

Scraping wise, we are almost there. I know I've been saying this for two weeks now, but really, we are. There is a little paint left on the fourth side, right at the bottom and to the right. It is so difficult, ideally we could do with the services of a contortionist to finish that off, along with the third side which also has a small amount of paint at the bottom.

I think we are planning to do an hour or so tomorrow evening which will hopefully see the external scraping complete.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Getting there...

As can be seen from the two pictures, we are almost there with the scraping. A bit on the back to go which I could have finished this morning if I wasn't so knackered and covered in specks of paint. Interestingly, at the very bottom of the kiosk where the dirt has been piled up for donkey's years, there is virtually no paint left. It will be a case of a thick covering of Nitromors, leave it for half an hour and then wire brush it off, which is good news as the knees can't take prolonged periods bending down.

The roof still needs doing, but I'll need to get a higher set of ladders to reach the top, however what I can see looks to be very flaky, and probably only one coat, so I expect it to be complete fairly quickly.

Most of the third side has been completely stripped.

I think we are on to red oxide the whole of the outside on Sunday.

We have accepted that we are not going to complete the inside by the middle of May, although we intend on getting as far as we can, and certainly by May 16 it will look good inside. It is just unlikely that at this stage we will remove all the paint from the interior. The interior paint has been removed from around the windows which means the finish will be good and the kiosk well protected, but to take the black back board off and scrape the paint off just isn't necessary at the moment.

Ordered the door handle from Unicorn and I'll nip down and pick that up on Wednesday next week.

I'm thinking that I might be able to get the Labour Party to sponsor the kiosk. If we agree to paint it red, they might give us some cash...

Sunday, 4 April 2010

A corner turned

Excellent progress today, it feels like we have turned a corner and are on the home straight. The railings were our number one priority as they really get in the way when trying to scrape the paint off the fourth side. The picture to the right shows Alan using his acetylene torch to cut through the bolts. Unfortunately we ran out of gas, and needed to hack saw the remainder off.

Once these were sawn through, we went to remove the railings and discovered what we think is the electricity cable naked in the dirt running through the railings rather than under them. This is GPO/BT bodging in the extreme and to me highly dangerous. Luckily my brother is an electrician, so he will advise us on how best to protect and route this in the safest way possible. The picture here shows the problem. We eventually removed the railings by hammering out the top bar and then feeding the railings around the cable. In the same picture you can see how the uprights have rusted through and snapped off.

Once the railings were out, we bolted in two bars that Alan had made up which will provide sufficient stability to ensure the posts are still in place when we finish refurbishing the railings later on in the summer.
As can be seen from the picture, we have dug out a load more dirt, and the back is sufficiently exposed now to make scraping the remaining paint off the fourth side easier. We scraped a fair amount off that side and the remainder I expect to complete with a couple of hours work. When digging out the dirt we found part of an original large cast iron glazing frame.

Another turning point today was removing the unit from within the kiosk that the 'phone and money box would have been bolted to. This had also proved to be difficult as one of the bolts was seized solid. The picture here shows Alan drilling the bolt out. This is quite a heavy bit of kit, and will be kept but will not be bolted back on the board.

The only other thing we did today was to scrape a fair bit of paint off the third side. The crown is almost fully exposed, and I expect to finish that this coming week.

Finally, with the wall unit out, I rearranged the posters in the kiosk. The two spaces are for the poster from Glassmaster, and the centre poster will consist of the names of all the donors to the project.

As I said at the start of this post, we feel like we are on the home straight, all the structual stuff is completed, which means we can finish scraping the paint this coming week (including the domed roof). So next weekend, we intend on preparing the whole kiosk for a complete priming with red oxide which we'll do either next weekend if we get time, or will be done the following weekend. The weekend April 24/25 we will paint the kiosk with the correct red 539 paint if the weather allows us. With the glass arriving on the 30 April, we will fit the glass that bank holiday weekend.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Progress Report

Surprise, Surprise, it's going to rain over this long weekend. Aware of this, it doesn't look like much is going to happen directly on the kiosk, although I have done an hour scraping paint from the third side this morning, and it looks like Sunday morning might be okay for some work. We'll see. There is plenty to do behind the scenes getting glazing frames prepared etc. The photo above shows the current state of the third side. I have scraped a fair bit more down the lower half, but can't get a decent photo. To get to the crown, it looks like we'll have to wedge a ladder down the side and then climb in and stay there. Alternatively, if someone around eight foot lives in the village who could help, that would be cool. We still need to scrape the paint off the roof. A brief look at that shows that the paint is quite flaky so I suspect that won't take too long.

This past week, I've been working primarily on the back of the kiosk. This is easy and at the same time slow going. We're about half way down now, and the technique we're using is to chip away at the paint using the pointy end of the scraper, and then scraping the paint away, it works very well. I'm beginning to wonder if we have actually made the job harder than necessary by using paint stripper. We really need to remove those railings though, as I keep stabbing myself on the pointy bits.

I ordered the glass yesterday from Glassmaster. Delivery is planned for 30 April 2010, and we plan to fit it that long weekend.

Dropped the Fulk Bros. advertising poster in the kiosk this morning. I took the photo a couple of days ago. The picture shows Tony pretending to be busy, while the other chap has just managed to scoot out of the way to save himself embarrassment.

That leaves one final poster to go in, and that is from Glassmaster. Yesterday I told Brian from Glassmaster that I need his artwork by the 30 April. Brian isn't very good with computers, and especially with this Interweb thingy which is why I can mention this, knowing he'll never read it!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Personal Service Marketing Cards

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with someone from Woking's brothel. Actually, I wasn't even aware Woking had a brothel, but apparently it is on Goldsworth Road somewhere. Anyway, the request was for some cards to be displayed in the kiosk.

Now, in London and other big cities, 'ladies of the night' leaving cards in telephone kiosks is quite common place, albeit illegal:

I did say that we were only allowing A4 sized posters in the kiosk, however when the amount of money on offer was mentioned, I decided to sound out Alan's opinion. We agreed that displaying small business sized cards down the right hand side of the advertising board would be possible as there is a limited amount of space there. The money offered would pay for the dedicated kiosk insurance which will cost around £250 per annum. This also means we don't have to add the kiosk to Woking Borough Council's general insurance policy which will save Council Tax payers forking out for preserving our red telephone box.

Morally, it doesn't sit too well, but the ultimate aim of this project is to preserve our heritage. It is well documented that telephone boxes have been used for this type of marketing over the years and still are in places. So we agreed to do a trial run. The attached picture shows half a dozen cards in the kiosk. I can't vouch for the quality of service provided as there isn't enough money in the budget, however if anyone samples these services and is able to report back it will help us decide whether to carry on with this initiative.