CoachBuilt Prams




This is the damaged footboard on the LBC  which has just been replaced.    I have also had a new hardwood handle made for it and hardwood spacers, which go  between the body and the leather straps, but not a lot more has been done as yet (July 23rd, 2007).   I will add photographs as things get done.




The new footboard almost finished.



The  new   half  inch  beading  in place  on  each  side of the   foot  board.

Rubbing  down  the  edge  of the  new  footboard  and  you  can   see  the      nice  wide  moulding  on the side panel.

You  can see   various   blemishes   and  splits  on  the old  paint  finish.   In the end  I decided  to strip off  all of the old  paint because  it w as  very   flaky  and the  damp   had  affected it      quite  badly.  Before  I  did   that  though  I     recorded  the  coachlines   both with  the  camera  and    by  taking  a  tracing  using   greasproof   paper

Stripping    the  pram  down

I  wanted  to  remove  the       body  support  bars  next  but   they   just  wouldn't   come  out  and  so  I had  to start  to strip  out  the  lining  before  I  could  do  anything  else.

I  took  the  following  photographs  to   remind  me  of  how  the     finished  pram     should  look,  with the     neatening   tapes    in  place over the  top of the   raw  edges of the    fabric  and  hiding the   stpales  which  actually  held  the  lining  into  place.   The tapes are  held in  place  with  upholstery  nails  which have  been covered in the same   leathercloth  as the   lining.

Removing  the staples  underneath the  finishing  tape.

Taking  up  the  first  layer  of the lining  after  I have   removed    the     staples.   This is hte   footboard of the pram.

The piece of  plywood   at  the  back of  the   footboard  panel  was    tacked into  place, it had   to be    levered  off  before  I  could  remove  the  whole of the   foot  board  lining.   In  this  case,  the  head  and  foot board   were   completely upholstered  separately  and    fixed  into  place  after the  sides of the pram had  been  upholstered    and  so were  the  first   to be  removed.  

The  tacks  holding   the  panel in place.   Goodness  knows  how  on earth  they  hammered  those  in  underneath  all of the  upholstery!

Pushing  the  panel   forward  towards  the body of the pram   you  can   see  the    back of the  footboard.

So the  whole panel   can be simply  lifted  out of the pram,  this  should  make    the  final  upholstery   easier  at the  ends,  much  easier  than the Wedgwood  was,  but then  again  that   was my first  one! Mind you  I have   got  to  work  out  a way of  fixing that  panel into  place when   it  is finished. 

So the  footboard  has   gone  and  this is the    end  section of the   left  hand  side of the pram  and  as  you can  see  a  lovely  date  stamp   on  the   wood of the   footboard.    I am  surprised it  doesn't say  1st  April,  because  it   definately  wasn't   1989  when this pram  was  made!    It may have  been  1969   but  not     1989.   They must have  been   bored that  day    I think.  

It's  definately  an  '8'  isn't it?

How  the ends  of the  side  upholstery  is  fixed  to the   foot  end of the pram

Beginning  to  remove  the staples   securing the   side  upholstery  from the    foot   end  of the pram

I  forgot  to  say that  I  had already  removed   all of the  upholstery  tacks  from the  inside  and  outer   edge    neatening  tapes.  The  tapes on  this inside   edge  seem  to have  only  been put there    in order to     anchor  the     side  upholstery  and  I presume  it  keeps  the    packing under the  top  rail in place.


Next  I  wanted  to  remove the  side  upholstery    so  all    staples  had  to be removed  once  the  inside  edge   tapes  had  been removed.

Final   staples   being  removed  from
the  foot  end of the pram

All  fixings  now  removed  from the  left hand side of the  pram  body  and the  complete   side lining  falls  into the  body.

With  the  side upholstery  lying there you can see   how the   bottom  edge of the   upholstery  is  fixed into  place using  a   wooden  baton.

Once  I  removed the   baton   I  could  take  out  the  upholstery  and  repeated  the  same   thing  on the upholstery on the  opposite   side.  The  Picture  above   shows   the wooden  base of the pram  after  all  upholstery  had  been removed.   The  opening that  you  can  see is the  footwell  with the  fixed  boards,  one at  each end of the  pram.  On the LBC  the   boards are   covered  with the    cotton  backed  leatherette,  not  just painted  as  they are   with  other  prams,  even  the Marmet  Lady and the  Wedgwood  had  painted  bases.

Now    I  wanted  to  remove   the  body  support  bars   so that   it   would make  preparation   of the    body of the pram  easier  but  I   found that  they  were   stuck    fast.   When  I looked  at  them  underneath  the  head  and  footboards  on  the  pram,  I   could   see - and feel -  that  they   had  a  fair   amount  of  rust on them  - not  surprising  when you consider  the   fact that  it  had  been left  outside in the  rain  in it's  time!    In order  to get  at   these  support  bars   to try  to  release  them,  I  found it necessary  to  remove the   floor/bed of the pram.

Once I had  removed the leatherette  covering (it  was  glued onto  the  plywood  and  came off  very  easily),   I  could   see  no   fixings   that  I  could remove   easily   and  so  I had  to   resort  to  brute  force  to   remove  the  first panel.   The   material    used  in  these   two  base  boards   was  a  surprisingly  flimsy  piece of   plywood  that  splintered  as  I   tried  to pull it  out,  as  you can see  above.   



It's  difficult  to  see  what   this  picture  shows   really.     Here  I have  prised  out  the   base  board that  you  could  see  splintered  in  the previous photograph  and  it  came  out leaving the      wooden  frame  which  supported  it  still in place  and   still   supporting  the   other  board at the opposite   end of the    body.  (The  fluffy  stuff  in   the  front of  the    picture  is  the   top   edge of the  side  rail,  showing the   cotton   type  stuffing  which  had  been   fixed there.)

Once  I had  uncovered    this   frame,  I  was  able  to  lift the  whole  thing  up and  remove it  including  the    board at the opposite  end of the  pram,   almost in one  piece.

Now   I had  to    try  to  take out the  support  bars without  damaging   anything.    I    had  to  use  a  wire  brush  and then   a  sanding  block to  take off  the rust  all  along the     bar   so that    it  would  push  out  through  the    body  wall

The  next thing  that  I had  to get  ready  for   was  preparing the  outside  of the pram  for a new  paint  finish  and  I  decided that  the  first thing    I  should  do  was  to   take  some  greaseproof  paper   and  trace  the  moulding  and    coachlines on the  side panel,  so that  I   would remember  what  I  needed  to replace.

I  don't   always  remember  to   save myself    some time,  but  for  once  I  did   on  this  day.


So now  I had  to have  a  look at the paint  finish  and  see   what  it  needed.   I  started  with a  sanding  block  and  some wet  and dry  paper  in a  pretty  coarse  grade,   but  I  used it  dry  because I  didn't  want  the  wood   to  get  wet  which  would  raise the  grain  on it.

I   soon  found that  the  paint  was   dry  and  lifting  off  in  sections.   I  thought  it  was   just  here  and  there  and that  I  would be able  to   get  it  back  to  a  stable  surface,  but   the more I  did the more  sure 

I was  that  I had  to  remove   the   paint  completely if  I  was  going to  do  any  justice to  this  pram   and  I  got out the paint remover.   I  can assure  you that I didn't   take  this step  lightly.  I  am no  expert  I am  feeling my  way  around   really  and  I have  never   stripped   a pram  completely  before,  so my  heart  was in my  mouth,  but  I  was  certain that  I  couldn't  leave that old paint  on  it   and  so  I went  ahead.

Once  again   being   worried  about  the     grain  being raised  if  I    washed  off the   pram   with  water,  I  did  as the instructions  told me  and  used   a   rather  large     container  of White  spirit   to   wash it  all off  with.    I  actually  used  a  scrubbing   brush  in  the little   nooks  and  crannies  to   lift out the paint,  don't  suppose that  is   all  that often   used in a  paint  shop?     all  those  lovely  coachlines   gone  for ever!  thank God  I  took   photographs of them and  also  traced  them!

Next    while  waiting for the     body  to  dry off  and  be  fit  to  put  back in the pram,  I  decided  to  have  a  look at the  chassis and  maybe  start   rubbing  that  down.
As you can  see,  the  chassis  is   also  nicely  coachlined.  How  am  I   going  to   put  that  back?


I took these  photographs   to  remind myself  later  of   how  the    chassis  was    coachlined,  on  both  surfaces.   The lines   are  very  fine,  no    wider  than   1mm  I  wouldn't  think.

And that  is  where  I  have  got  to  up  to now, on  the  22nd of October  2009,  I  wonder  how   long  it  will take me  to  being  able to  continue  with  this lovely pram?   I  also  have the  Millson  Portman  stripped  down  but  I have  promised myself that   it  will be  the LBC  which is  done  first,  I  have  been  passing  it  over  for  other prams  for   far  too long.   Last my  back  decided  to  through  a real   wobbly on me  and  I have  been unable  to   do much   for  quite  a few  days  now, it is never  very  good  but  it  is  a lot  worse  at the moment.    I am hoping that  it  gives  me  some   breathing  space   pretty  soon,  I  am  getting  fid  up of  being  tied  to the house, I  can't  even  drive at the moment.



OK  then,    my   promises  to  sort out the LBC  have  taken  a long  time  to  come to  anything but I have promised myself that it  w-ill be  sorted out  this  year -  finally.

I have  started  by  stripping  down  the  LBC's  body,  I stripped it     right  down to the  wood   because   it s till had  some damp  affected    paint  on it   plus of  course  the new    foot    panel  that  had been replaced.

At  the  same time  as  starting  to   strip  down  the LBC  I  also  started to     do the  Milson   twin,  I thought  you may  like  to see the  difference in  size  between the  two   prams.

The  LBC is  a  full sized   40 inch pram (must  measure it  now  to make sure!)   and  yet it  looks like  a  dolls pram   against  the Millson Portman in the photograph  above,  doesn't it?


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