Red phone box – paintwork

Another slideshow for fellow phone box geeks! Carl at is now putting on the paint;

“I’ve degreased the whole of your K6 shell & applied etch primer to the bare ironwork & filler. Once it had flashed off I applied 2 direct coats of Post Office Red to the notorious & fiddly glazing bars & other intricate places I cannot get with a brush!”

Here’s a full slideshow of the current phase of Carl’s hard work.

More phone box restoration

Carl at is back on the case with my K6 (for those of you catching up on this extraordinarily geeky story, select the Red Telephone Box category, or go back to the original post for the history). Here’s a slideshow of the latest pics. Carl’s commentary is;

“I’ve sanded back the inner floor/sill & outer roof dome, de-greased & applied two coats of acid etch primer to the transport primer & cast iron with paint brush & mini roller. After a duration I carefully applied two generous coats of BS538 Post Office Red to both of these surfaces.”

Slideshow link

Tears on my pillar

Carl writes…

Fortunately the broken section of transom rail was with the kiosk when ‘Kelly the Crane’ brought it over [from Derbyshire] to Norfolk. It was the missing piece of the jigsaw & fit perfectly; however it had to be thoroughly stripped of paint & rust before I could could ‘operate’!
After buzzing a ’36’ pad over the broken section & grinding a ‘V’ in both this & the structural transom rail I was ready to re-align. In order to aid perfect alignment of the section when welding, I drilled a hole through the broken section & the corner pillar. The broken section’s hole was enlarged & countersunk. The hole in the corner pillar’s top was threaded with a 5/16 Whitworth ‘taper tap’. A countersunk steel screw was nipped tight between the sections prior to welding. This screw will remain in situ & be coated with body filler creating the correct aesthetics.
After welding, the ’36’ pad was used to ‘dress’ the weld; this ensures the weld trail is flush to the surrounding surfaces.

Can you fill me in?

For those following the studio blog, it will be back soon. There’s a community project coming up in mid-Sept relating to the Widcombe song, and Howard is soon going to be back to fit my wall plates in the next week or so (the only current sound leakage from the live room is from the cable hole in the wall!). For now, here are some more visual treats for phone box restoration fans!

Kerris fills the casting imperfections around the 'Telephone' sign frame area.
Kerris fills the casting imperfections around the 'Telephone' sign frame area.

Kerris (one of Carl’s phone box restoration team at Remember When UK) has been back filling all of the casting imperfections. She has also begun ‘prepping’ the roof for paintwork pre-installation (you may recall the roof is actually a replacement one – see previous post). Carl has now loaded the K6 back on to the GPO trailer (an authentic 1930s antique itself) getting it ready for welding. It’s easier welding a horizontal surface, he tells me.

I’m now getting to the stage when I need to decide what to do with this thing when it’s finished. People use them as garden ornaments, but I’m really really tempted to put a proper phone in it – just seems kinda the right thing to do. In an age of mobiles and Wi-Fi, having a landline in the garden seems wonderfully obtuse. But on the other hand I’m not sure I’d want people leaping my garden fence in the middle of the night to make phone calls – although a lock on the door also seems against the philosophy of the thing. Am I being paranoid? Has telecommunications become such a cheap commodity that phone phreaks no longer exist?

The damage done

The original K6 on arrival at 'kiosk hospital' - note the damaged roof.
The original K6 on arrival at 'kiosk hospital' - note the damaged roof.

You’ll recall that the roof was damaged. Carl has found a replacement unit – here’s an excerpt from his latest email;

…with the old damaged roof free from the K6 it was an ideal time to ensure the replacement was exact. This replacement salvaged roof was from an old K6 that was originally located at a local racecourse (Fakenham).
The last picture shows both ‘lids’ being compared.
Here’s a photo walkthrough of the removal of the roof, followed by a picture of Carl comparing the old and replacement domes. Note the cable run in the casting – I’m hoping my K6 will light up the word ‘Telephone’ in all its 1930s glory!

Hello dolly

Carl writes…

With the hole now drilled in the roof it was necessary to remove the 2 ton clasp on the block & tackle to expose the chain link. This granted additional height to remove the domed roof. The chain was then bolted to the roof. Making sure the old bolts securing the dome were free, I carefully positioned the kiosk directly under the gantry, thanks to my ‘dolly skids’. These ‘skids’ allow me to move a K6, weighing 750 kgs, with ease on flat smooth ground. With a few grasps at the load chain the damaged roof was lifted clear of the transom rails, to which the roof section was pulled clear of the K6 on the gantry. The K6 was then pushed clear of the beamed gantry.

On the roof it’s peaceful as can be

Superman costume just out of shot...
Superman costume just out of shot...

Back to the phone box story. Carl at Remember When UK has started work again on my K6 (for the full story click the ‘Red Telephone Box‘ category on the right, or go back to the first post. Helpfully, Carl’s emails are practically a blog entry in themselves, so I’m going to paste some of his commentary in here.

[Carl wrote] The roof section is heavy & awkward & as the old GPO papers stipulate, two to three persons, tressles & scaffolding are required for fitting or removal of the dome panel. Fortunately the aid of the kiosk gantry eliminated [the need for] all but one person (me!) and no scaffolding in sight – by boring an 8 mm hole in the centre of the damaged roof.