What does it involve in restoring the carousel?
Restoring the carousel involves everything it needs to be done.
Take the machine apart, clean and check all mechanical parts for
wear. Any badly worn or broken parts will be replaced with new ones.
Strip the paint down to the original layer and examine the design,
and repaint. This will also be done to the colorful carved animals
pieces. The carousel is then reassembled, run the machine and check
for proper operation, and put it back into service.
All this work is to restore the beauty and integrity of this wonderful old carousel. With proper care, this carousel will be around for generations to come.
Most of these parts we have worked on were cranks and bearings for the jumping horses. These bearings are mounted on the cranks and the poles are attached to them. Few of these bearings were badly worn and could not be used. We were very fortunate to find a couple of these bearings showed very little wear. Instead of putting them back on the carousel. They will be sent to a foundry, where new ones will be casted from them. These original bearings were made of cast iron and wear much better than other metals.
The next part of the carousel were telescopes for the jumping horses. These are steel rods inserted inside the bottom end of the poles, the other end is attached to the floor mounting plate. When we removed the telescopes from the inside of the poles. They were loaded with old, stiff dried up grease. This puts an extra load on the machine and increase wear. This may also have caused a few cranks to break.
Any parts of the machine that are worn or broken usually requires replacement. Some of the parts are easily replaced with parts readily available. While most of these parts are no longer available.
In order to get new parts for this old machine. We make several
contacts with metal working companies, and foundries who are willing
to make the parts for us. If certain companies does not have the
capabilities to do such a work, they often recommend us to another
company that will do the job.
These good parts are often sent to these companies as samples. These parts are measured and put into drawings. New parts can be made from these drawings. Using today's technologies, new parts can be made with great accuracy.
The next thing is the paint on the carousel. We remove background panels, sweep frames and carved animals from the carousel, and have the paint taken off layer by layer. This is time consuming and involves many hours of work. Once the original layer is exposed. Pictures will be taken and documented. We will know how the carousel looked when it was first installed.
The next step is to create new background scenes. Mark Chester is selecting backgrounds based on designs from 1900 to 1920's. However we will not disclose the design until the project is completed.
When we completed the mechanical phase of the carousel in late July 2000. It ran a lot smoother and quieter than it did before.