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Monday, 19 October 2015

Ponfa pram restoration - part 3

See Ponfa Pram restoration - Part 1 and Ponfa pram restoration - Part 2.

I took the Ponfa pram parts in a box to Dawn L's Midsummer Sasha celebration in June, Rosie S had brought her pram, which also needed some restoration, for us to compare.  Rosie's pram is a Doucet of the different body shape (there are Doucet and Red prams with the identical body shape and chassis to my Ponfa pram) and it was interesting to compare them.  Her pram hood was in much better condition than mine but the body was in need of restoration.  Theresa had also brought her restored Red pram (same body shape as my Ponfa) and of course we had Dawn's wonderful collection to admire (she has at least 15 miniature prams one of which she was in the middle of restoring).

After this for a while pram restoration had to stop as we had family events and the garden to concentrate on so it wasn't until later in August that I was able to devote any useful time to the pram again.

I took the plunge and removed the hood fabric from the frame.  I had noticed that the frame was a bit rusty and when I was still debating whether to replace the fabric or not, the rust at the joint made the choice easier - I did not want it to get worse and I knew how to treat it.  I am glad I made this decision as removing the fabric proved that it was beyond repair because of extensive rust staining on the inside of the fabric.  This would have been impossible to clean off satisfactorily.  I will keep the original hood fabric as it belongs to the pram.

I photographed the fabric removal in stages for reference during the remaking of the hood.  The lining, edging strip around the inside top of the hood and outer fabric were stitched onto the frame using a thread which went through all three layers, in other words all three pieces were stitched on at once.

removing the stitches to remove the lining and hood fabric from the frame
The hood frame wires were stitched to the inside of the hood at seam points, to keep them in place
The lining and edging tape (badly stained) partly unstitched
The lining and edging tape completely removed showing the rust staining on the inside of the hood fabric
Close up of the rusted frame and stained hood fabric
The hood frame without its fabric, showing how the hood wires were squashed to one side, the top front curve of the frame was also a bit distorted.
Side view of the hood frame and the rust on the main framework
Before reshaping the frame I sanded it down with the fine grade silicone carbide paper to remove any loose rust.  The surface was not heavily pitted so I could tell that the rust period was only from one short time in the history of this pram, which was a relief.  A heavily pitted surface would have resulted in the frame being much less robust and possibly unable to withstand reshaping.

To correct the frame distortion I made a cardboard template of the correct shape of the curve so that the two sides of the curved frame section would match. One side was more or less okay, so I traced this onto card and cut it out.  This gave my husband the curve to work to when reshaping the frame.
Making the template for the hood frame curve
The cardboard template sitting in the curve
The neatly re-curved hood frame with the wires reshaped too
The hood wires reshaped
Side view of the reshaped hood frame
Once all the hood frame parts were reshaped (he used pliers, a bench vice and bare hands) I painted Kurust onto the main frame where the rust had been. This special rust treatment turns the old rust patches black and prevents any further rusting, as it provides a fine protective coat on the metal.  It had to dry then be rubbed over with paper towel to ensure there was no residue remaining which might have stained any future fabric.  I then painted the joint areas with silver paint where the two sections of the frame are joined together with nuts and bolts, as these would be the only areas of the frame which would show once the fabric was stitched in place.

The reshaped frame after the Kurust was applied
Kurust made the previously rusted parts of the frame go black
The frame was bolted back together ready for the new fabric.

For the other parts in this restoration process see
Ponfa pram restoration - Part 1
Ponfa pram restoration - Part 2
Ponfa pram restoration - Part 4
Ponfa pram restoration - Part 5

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Dee said...

Wonderful documentation of the restoration, it will be so helpful for anyone who wants to
restore a pram in the future.
Also fascination to see the details.

miniaturista said...

Buena restauración.
Un abrazo

Ginger said...

I love reading your Ponfa repair and restoration journey. Part 4 will be super exciting I am sure! Thank you Doll Mum for these posts! :) xxx

Kendal said...

What you and your husband are doing to restore this wonderful little doll's pram is nothing short of amazing....(not to mention a great help to others to others wanting to tackle a similar project.)
I can't help but admire such skills and wish you the very best of luck with the rest of the restoration.
PS. Have you decided on a colour for the hood and apron yet?