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Point Richmond - Electrical Components  
Point Richmond Wigwags 2018 Restoration -
Electrical Components
Interior and Door Restoration

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 A Page from the Southern Pacific wigwag maintenance manual
detailing key electrical parts to a wigwag, including the movable finger contact,
stationary contact, movable finger diamond, terminal board, and ribbon cable.

On 9/29, me and Don showed up at the site to remove the "guts" to both wigwags. Guts - being all electrical and brake components. I also swapped out the bell cover, side doors and roof castings with my own so that I could work on restoring all of these parts off-site. I was able to locate some replacement parts that are either missing or too worn out, such as the brake arms (missing on both wigwags), a new finger contact and one stationary contact for the south wigwag, a door lock latch, and a lens hood. Thanks to Dave Newell and Matt Lasayko for making these parts available. Below are some photos of the parts being removed and restored...

10/7/10 - Electrical components
Main terminal board on the south wigwag on its way out. Upper terminal blocks that were attached to the armature have already been removed.
All electrical components except for the magnet wires and power leads are out. This will need to be thoroughly cleaned and repainted in aluminum paint. Magnets will be painted black.
Another view of gutted wigwag. Magnet wires will need a little work too.
After starting on the north wigwag we decided to take a break to allow BNSF to do their switching move across Richmond Ave.
Disconnecting wires to free up the main terminal block for removal.
North wigwag with electrical parts removed.
Terminal blocks, rectifier and movable finger contact before restoration. This is from the south wigwag.
I was able to locate a replacement movable finger contact for the south wigwag. The contact on the left is what was there at the time it was retired. You can see how much wear it has compared to its replacement on the right.
Every single nut, bolt and washer was cleaned and polished using lacquer thinner and a wire wheel.
Main terminal block slowly being disassembled and cleaned. Each component is cleaned, as described above. The stationary contacts can be seen on top of the board. One of the contacts was badly worn and will be replaced with a new reproduction that I made.
Movable finger contact (above), ready to go. Main terminal board is half finished. You can see the reproduction contact is in place.
Restored components of the south wigwag. I also made exact reproduction ribbon cables that will be used in both wigwags.
These are the brake arms that I was also able to locate. Both wigwags were missing these. They attach to the top of the armature. These keep the wigwag banner from swaying in the wind, which could result in failure. This would only matter if they were still being used to protect the crossing. A second reason... to discourage people from trying to swing the banners. This prevents them from swinging (very much)  when not in use.

10/14/18 - Interior and doors
At home I worked on the door gaskets and felts. The doors on the north wigwag have rubber gaskets (something I've only seen on Santa Fe wigwags) while the south wigwag uses the more common felt strips for weather-stripping. Here I am removing the silver paint from the rubber. The gasket was scrubbed afterwards.
One of the doors on the south wigwag has a bad door latch. The old one (or what was left of it) is seen to the right. I riveted in a replacement using the rivets that are shown.
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I later discovered that the long latch is damaged beyond repair. I was able to locate a replacement, and is in the mail as I'm writing this. There is a crack in the metal on the left side - hard to see in the photo.
One of the south wigwag doors being stripped to bare metal. There were many layers of paint that had built up over the decades.
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I decided to fill a few areas after pounding out as many dents as possible.
I am using a self etching primer on the metal parts, as seen here with one of the doors from the north wigwag.
Interior side of the bottom casting being cleaned up with the wire wheel. I chose not to strip the inside panels to bare metal, as I normally would when restoring wigwags. This would be very difficult since I do not have the option to completely disassemble the motor boxes on this job.
Here the inside is cleaned up about as good as can be expected. Bare metal parts were treated with Rust-Mort to convert the rust into a paintable surface.

10/21/18 - Interior work continued
On 10/21 work continues on the interior of the wigwags, as well as the rear casting where the bell mechanism goes. Here is the south wigwag with a coat of primer. I have already repainted the magnets with black paint.

Don Woodrow works on the rear casting to ready them for paint. Here he is scraping the built up grease and cleaning with lacquer thinner.
Don follows up with the wire wheel to get as much rust off as possible. After cleaning, they received a coat of Rust-Mort to treat the remaining rust (although very little was left).
This is the back side of the south wigwag. Ready for Rust-Mort, then paint. The restored bell striker mechanism will be installed after painting.
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The north wigwag still has its builder's plate. This is being restored as well. First I removed the corrosion that had accumulated over the years. The last patent for the Magnetic Flagman was in 1926. This unit is serial number 11890. It was built in Minneapolis (instead of Los Angeles) making it a late production wigwag. These run off of 8-10VDC.
I then applied a coat of black paint. I'll come back later and carefully sand the high points of the plate so that the letters show through. This is how they originally appeared.
Quickly losing light, I applied the first coating of aluminum paint. This will be followed by one more coat next week. Then the electrical components and brake mechanism can then be reinstalled.

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