A new floor for Atchison’s Army boxcar

Astute readers will notice that there has been quite a delay in installments on the Army Boxcar project. Thankfully, the delay has only been in my writing about it, not the actual work on the car. The car has been done for several months now.
Anyway, continuing with the story of the car’s restoration, next up was the floor. The boxcar’s original floor, made of 6” wide 3” thick tongue and groove boards, ranged in condition from excellent to non-existent, depending on how long it had been exposed to the weather as the roof disintegrated. Though it had to be filled in in places, the floor retained enough structural integrity to allow a new floor to be placed over it, as budget constraints did not allow for the removal and replacement of the original floor.
After a thourough cleaning and removal of loose parts, the floor was given a liberal application of an oil based preservative/stain intended for use on outdoor decks before the new floorboards were installed. For the new floor, I chose to use pressure treated 2×6 boards, as their width would at least somewhat match that of the original floorboards. Also, since the car will only be used for pedestrian traffic and light storage, the 2×6’s should provide more than enough structural strength.
The car’s interior is 8’ 6” wide, which made using specially orders 18’ long 2×6’s the least wasteful option. I could get two floorboards from each one as well as roughly 18” long leftover. The leftover chunks proved very useful in filling in areas where the original floor had ceased to exist and I ended up using every single one of them.
With the floor completed, it was once again possible to walk , or place a step ladder anywhere inside the car and it was time to work on the roof, which proved to be the most frustrating part of this project.

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