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Old 01-18-2010, 10:35 AM   #161
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Steve, I'm so sorry to hear about your misfortune. You have my prayers for a full and speedy recovery!

-Marcus
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:03 AM   #162
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Not quite back in the saddle again

I’ve finally gotten the ok from the surgeon to start putting weight on the bad ankle, and just as important, he says I can take the boot off the ankle so I can drive if I promise to put it right back on. It's been a long month and a half. I’ve really missed my Airstream. Couple of days that I had respite care for Pam my marina buddies dropped me off in the trailer with my Kindle, I flopped in the recliners, turned on the propane fireplace, and listened to the rain on the aluminum. Great therapy.

Since we’ve lived on a small sailboat with uncomfortable seating for 22 years, I really wanted two comfortable recliners in the place of the gaucho. I’m not changing much of the original cabinetry in the trailer, but I’ve been planning for this one all along. I purchased the two recliners with a center console just before I broke the ankle. The plan is to replace that center console with my own, done in birch to match the original wood, probably with laminate on top matching the galley. The console has an armrest that will transfer to the new one easily and also has brackets that hold the chairs in place so they can’t slide.

I’m still not fully back into work mode, but I got some 1x2’s this week and plugged in the hot glue gun and started making a rough mockup of the new console and the cabinet in the forward end (behind the chairs) that will hold the batteries, converter, inverter, and the circuit breaker panels. This way I can plan the wire runs to the panels and also fit everything so that we maximize storage but still allow the chairs to fully recline.

My broken ankle made me miss the first anniversary of the Island Girl project. Seems like a lot of time and not much work until I look at all the pictures from the past year and realize I really have done quite a bit. A year after getting the trailer we also now have a tow vehicle for the first time, buying a first generation Toyota Tundra this week. Sure seems big, I’m pretty sure our old Chevy Tracker will fit in the Tundra’s bed. Hopefully by anniversary two, while probably not done, we’ll be able to actually do some camping.

Worst thing about the ankle was the way it pretty well trapped Pam on the boat. Especially for the first month, she was only getting off to go up and use the marina showers when I had help. I've really been worried she'd lose mobility and get so she couldn't get on and off the boat. Since I've been able to drive again, she's gotten out most days and is now pretty well back where she was in terms of mobility. Sadly, our favorite little local hardware store (with Pam's favorite candy bar selections) is going out of business. Been going there for almost all of the years we've been on the boat. We'll have to find another candy bar source.

-steve
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:02 AM   #163
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Good to see you back on your feet again Steve. Keep up the good work. The recliners look really comfortable.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #164
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Hi Steve! Great to see you up! I really love the pic of Pam in the recliners.. it looks homey already! You'll find the Tundra is great.. but big. I bought a 2001 Sequoia, and it's SO comfortable, plus it tows our Argosy just fine.

Love the recliners!
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:33 PM   #165
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That's a sweet looking little radio there (as I write this listening to a public radio Big Band show on a 3-piece TIVOLI I got when confined to the house for several years); amazing to me -- since I can remember -- how perfect a small source of music and voice can be. Today, no advertisements versus how clever radio advertising once was:

Radio, the appetizer of the mind . . . .

Glad you are back mobile. Hope the weather smiles.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:22 PM   #166
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Thanks, guys, good to be back at it.

I really like the little radio, Rednax. It's got a Crosley label on it instead of Tivoli, but looks mighty similar. Sound just seems to curve right around the endcap.

Marc, does the Sequoia mean the van is gone?

-steve
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:58 AM   #167
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Hi Steve! Yes, the van's gone, but it's kinda still "in the family", I sold it to one of my daughter's friends family, so I see it frequently in line at school. I'm driving ALOT because of my older daughter's school and her functions... did 125 miles yesterday going back and forth to the school (and my trailer for 1 hr! Yeah!)... will drive probably another 50-60 today. I wish I could say I'm going exotic places, but it's really just back / forth down south and out to the eastside and back. At least the truck is REALLY comfortable to drive!

If you need any help with the Tundra set up, let me know. I'm not sure if you're getting the 4x4 or 2wd, but I do have some side steps on my Sequoia that make getting in/out a lot easier for this height challenged person!

Bet it feels good to be back in the trailer. Even though I had to drive an hour to get to it to spend 1 hr WITH it, it felt great to me.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:43 PM   #168
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Welcome back Steve. You've worked long and hard on your trailer and it shows in the pictures.

Barry
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:48 PM   #169
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So good to see you back at it, Steve. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to wait for the injury to heal up before moving along.

The recliners look quite comfortable, what a great place to relax while resting up for your next major task(s).

- Marcus
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:55 PM   #170
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The Beginnings of 13 Panels of Birch

There are so many great restoration threads here at airforums. Many of them I’ve read over and over and pick up new ideas each time I go through them. I do have a favorite and it’s Carlos Ferguson's http://www.airforums.com/forums/f321...ari-15592.html Scroll down to around post #42 and see what he did.

Carlos is an artist and I am a hack, so I harbor no illusions about doing anything as nice as he did, but I think I can do something that will make me happy and that’s a reasonable goal for me. I’m not doing the whole interior in birch. I love my shiny 13 panel endcap in the rear and am planning to stay shiny as far as the forward end of the galley, and then transition to birch for the interior from that point forward. Part of the reason is that my trailer has an ugly fiberglass endcap in front—it’ll get covered by 13 panels of 1/8” Baltic birch ply.

I used my rear endcap for making cardboard templates. The fit is slightly different as my sloping rear has a different shape than the vertical front. First pic is a rough first try at making them fit. First or bottom panel is the center one, so I'll start there and work down from there.

Carlos used pop rivets on his but I’m thinking of using single use clecos (Olympic rivets). I really like the way the rivets stand out in the rear endcap and it seems like the solid head on the Olympics would be closer to the look of a bucked rivet. I think it’ll hold ok, going through two pieces of birch and then the fiberglass endcap. I tried a few today and they're shown in the other pictures.

I'd be happy to hear any ideas for making this better or doing it differently.

In other news, I go back to the doctor tomorrow and he said to bring two shoes. I so want to retire the plastic boot and start limping around on my new ankle.

cheers,
steve
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:34 AM   #171
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My first concern would be that in drilling so many holes through the fiberglass endcap to install the bitch 13-panels, you might end up with a leak in the outer shell that it could now leak through the rivet holes and cause damage to your new birch inner endcap. I don't think Olympic rivets will seal well from the back side with the "wings". My experience is that all Airstreams eventually leak, but often the water stays between the skins until it hits the floor. You might be giving that water another option.

Another concern is that adding so many rivet holes to the fiberglass endcap might make the holes all weak spots for cracks to start as the trailer torques and bumps down the road. Maybe the old fiberglass is thick enough that this is not an issue, but pretty much all newer Airstream plastic(?) encaps eventually crack, so I wanted to caution you.

I don't want to discourage you from your plan, but I do want to make sure you've thought about the possible downsides before getting too far into it. Good Luck!
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:13 PM   #172
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Thanks Joe, good points.

Definitely going to finish both sides of the birch in case it does get wet down the road. Hopefully any leaks will migrate down the exterior endcap since it has those foam strips making a dead air space for the prodex insulation. Leaks aren't the most predictable thing though, are they?

I'm fairly comfortable with the holes in the fiberglass. That old endcap is really solid. Sure wouldn't try it with the plastic ones.

-steve
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:37 PM   #173
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My fiberglass dome is riddled with holes from the interior aluminum cladding that I did a year ago, and I haven't noticed any issues one year and a few hundred miles later, but you never know. Frank's is similarly riddled with holes and it's been at least two years and many thousands of miles for him, and I haven't heard him mention any issues either. Like you said, that dome is rock-solid.

And honestly, if it's leaking (and they ALL leak), I'd rather see evidence in the interior of the trailer, than have it run down the walls and rot out the floor without my knowledge...
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:00 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post
There are so many great restoration threads here at airforums. Many of them Iíve read over and over and pick up new ideas each time I go through them. I do have a favorite and itís Carlos Ferguson's http://www.airforums.com/forums/f321...ari-15592.html Scroll down to around post #42 and see what he did.

In other news, I go back to the doctor tomorrow and he said to bring two shoes. I so want to retire the plastic boot and start limping around on my new ankle.

cheers,
steve
Agreed - Carlos Ferguson's thread is a favorite. I realy like the birch, and believe you will do a fantastic job of it. Can't wait to see the panels in place.

Here's hoping you go home tomorrow with two shoes.

Carol
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:11 PM   #175
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Putting the First Panels In

The last few days Iíve been cutting panels and applying finish to them. Using Waterlox for the finish, three coats on the back and four on the front surface. First couple of coats really soak into the birch.

I had care for Pam today and had the first five panels all finished, so it was a good day to start putting them up. Decided on a three inch spacing for the Olympic rivets, figuring using the spacing for the bucked rivets would just make way too many holes and going farther apart might let gaps pop up. I've included the all important Cleco shot, but it really shows the color better than the rest. I like it, itís light, but close to the original. I want it pretty light in color after lots of years living with dark teak and small portholes in the boat. Happy with the way the rivets stand out making a nice contrast with the wood. The rivet shaver was busy.

Ended the day with 5 panels riveted in place and the next two up for a trial fitting with clecos. The next batch still needs to be cut out and finished, so itíll be next week before they go up, finishing the end cap.

It is so much more fun doing this kind of work than ripping up old floors or scraping frame rust. I know all the work Iíve done so far is really important for the trailer, but I sure like doing the pretty stuff.

cheers,
steve
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:45 PM   #176
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Nice work Steve. Looks just like Carlos' 62 safari.

Steve
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:46 PM   #177
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Pegs????

I keep meaning to ask every time I see these things. What are the metal pegs on the ceiling? I've seen them in photos of exteriors as well. I realize they are not permanent. But what is their purpose?
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:22 PM   #178
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I keep meaning to ask every time I see these things. What are the metal pegs on the ceiling? I've seen them in photos of exteriors as well. I realize they are not permanent. But what is their purpose?
They're called Clecos and they're used to hold (usually) pieces of aluminum in alignment while being riveted. You drill the hole, pop in a cleco to hold it, and then remove them one at a time and replace with rivets. Life just wouldn't be complete without clecos.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:27 PM   #179
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Nice work Steve. Looks just like Carlos' 62 safari.

Steve
Thanks, Steve. I'll never approach the quality of Carlos' work, but I'm pretty sure it'll be OK enough to make me happy. I've learned so much from what Carlos and Uwe shared in their respective threads that were going on at the same time. Really special work by both of them.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:30 AM   #180
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Thanks, Steve. I'll never approach the quality of Carlos' work, but I'm pretty sure it'll be OK enough to make me happy. I've learned so much from what Carlos and Uwe shared in their respective threads that were going on at the same time. Really special work by both of them.
Absolutely. For me, the "Trifecta of Inspiration" for my early days on the Forums was the threads by Carlos, Uwe, and JP. Their innovation and skill just blew me away, showing me all of the amazing things that could be done with a simple trailer.

And don't sell yourself short, your work on the birch panels looks outstanding. I look forward to your progress updates every time I see your thread come up on my "Followed" list.

-Marcus
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