The six cannons displayed at the Tower of London required conservation work before the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on the 18th June 2015.
As agreed with the Royal Armouries, the work was undertaken in two stages to ensure that the area outside the Waterloo Barracks was not left empty. Due to the carriages’ age, an intensive wood conservation treatment was needed. The barrels, however, were in good condition and had developed a stable patina.
To give the carriages the best protection in the long term, the decision was made to remove the modern paint and replace it with a traditional linseed oil paint; the linseed oil acts as a preservative for the wood and is easy to maintain.
After removing the old paint, the carriages could be fully evaluated. It was revealed that several of the trails required new seasoned oak. This was sourced and cut to the correct profile before splicing it into the carriage.
The barrels were cleaned using water and pH neutral detergent before gently heating the barrel for waxing.
New axles and trail stands were fabricated as part of this project in addition to new tompions which were made with the Royal Armouries logo.
With thanks to the Royal Armouries.