Our White Patriotic Jumper had repairs to be made on the tail,
the tail-to-leg connection, all four legs, and his belly.
When these repairs were completed, we could treat surface repairs and finish.
The White Patriotic Jumper is a sample treatment,
so our client, Restore Oregon, can see the process from start to finish!
Please excuse the grainy grey images in the woodworking rooms;
the yellowed lighting creates an odd discoloration.
Note that a lot of explanations are under the images themselves!
The tail was originally secured
to the rump and the romance ankle using screws which penetrated the tail tenon in the rump and the tail tip to romance ankle at the tail’s bottom. The rump to ankle connection ensures the stability of the long tail. The inclusion of steel pins (16 penny nails which had been cut to an advantageous length, shown above), enabled the joiner the ability to flex the two parts of the tail in order to line up to their liking then amend the tail appropriately if there were discrepancies. Once line-up occurred, the carver could amend whatever voids might exist between the two pieces, glue the additional piece into place, then carve the amendment to match surrounding area.
Examination of the American Patriotic Jumper’s tail prior to excavation shows
anomalies around this joinery surface which are aesthetically consistent with multiple poor repairs and subsequent losses to the carved substrates. Proper reparation of this point in the tail allows us to reestablish those historic carving elevations which will,
in the end, look as they did when Parker originally carved the tails.
MPFC did not anticipate dry rot in the tail to knee connection!
Apparently water collected in the crevice of the tail to ankle connection, causing the rot.
Possibly early on they hosed down the horses to clean, or
perhaps they were outside for a portion of their life.
The tail-to-ankle restoration project became exponentially larger in scope.
Both the tail tip and the ankle exhibited losses.
The ankle from rot and losses and improper screws and putties:
severe rot in the tail tip, both in breadth and depth, especially within the tail tip.
This meant a great deal of desiccated and splintering historic wood substrate had to be strategically removed from the surface and core of the tail and ankle without disturbing the essential function and aesthetics of the tail and it’s connecting parts.
During the excavation process MPFC was able to discover that the tail was originally screwed to the ankle. Iron oxide tracings wicked deeply into the ankle, tell its story.
Losses are found in the upper tail joins due to wear and multiple damaging repairs. Shifts in the tail tenon and rump mortise trajectory and shifted angles caused the repaired tail to be a bit shorter than was needed. In order to mitigate this shortage we created a spline from tulip poplar and secured it within the tail tip join which then allowed the tail to extend completely to the ankle as was originally intended.
This addition join and tip were carved so that,
once painted, it will not be noticeable.
ALL TAIL PARTS TOGETHER
We did not apply the tail until after the first coats of paint were applied,
which is why you won’t see the tail back onto the horse until the finish stages.
Repairs all took different times and we moved on in finish work so that the inside
of the back legs could be easily painted without a tail inserted.
The tail is a monumental repair in that it was a hard repair.
No right angles make it difficult to secure and work on parts. Most of all,
the missing parts did not allow a template for how the tail would go back together. Meticulous work on Mitchell’s part, and fittings
testing back and forth on Patriotic Jumper ensured that the tail fit!
The tail attached, then loosened so that minor shims were
added for a close fit against the body proper.
Screws with their plugs ensure that the next time the tail must be repaired,
the plugs can be removed, the screws unscrewed,
and whatever repair might be necessary performed properly.
There will be no further need for poor repairs —
no more 3-penny nails sunk into the tail at cross purposes, or gunky putties!
The completed tail is ready
for the final coats of paint!
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The Jantzen Beach Stable is Full!
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Written by Kate Powell ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.