Great progress was made at the beginning of the month on the port carriage! The wrought iron side plate AND the wood inboard part were removed from the gun support.
Here are some photos…
The side plate being pushed by two hydraulic jacks.
It worked but the plate was still tight at the bottom (see the gap on the left side).
So back to more “jack power”…
It eventually came apart! (it almost looks easy when summarized with 4 pictures)
Now the removal of the wooden part… Seven bolts were still in the wood (but their heads had been removed).
Wood shims were inserted between the wood and the main frame of the carriage.
The carriage went back in water a few times with the shims in place. We hoped they would swell and push the wood out, at least a little. But no luck. It took two full work days, and by steadily adding more shims we eventually created a 2inch gap between the wood and the frame. You can see the gap in the following pictures.
Eventually the wood came OUT (see the trophy picture below)!!!
The wrought iron side plate and the wood element are now in appropriate storage solutions. There is still a lot to do on these pieces before we can consider drying them (like try to remove long iron support bolts that pass through the wood pieces, remove copper alloy elements out of the iron plate, and also months of treatment in appropriate solutions for each piece), but these next treatment stages needed the pieces to be out of the carriage frame before we could proceed. So…we are getting there!!
Not sure yet when we will be able to “attack” the outboard part of the carriage but we’ll keep you posted with any progress.
Have a wonderful weekend.