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Old 07-17-2004, 05:03 PM   #71
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Today was weld/fab day. I finished fabricating the cross members, and welded everything in place. Sides and top, not the bottom yet. Got to figure out how to weld upside down now.
I reinforced the original cross member in the front of the future water tank, and tacked one of the tank supports in place. Everything looks good, came out better than I thought.
Then I ran out of welding wire, and the temps in my shop got to over 100. I'm out of here.
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:48 PM   #72
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Welding upside down is a challenge. I found that I had to turn the wire feed rate down so that the weld doesn't drop on me.I had a bit of slag in my ear that really made me dance once.Great progress on that repair you'll be ahead of me soon.
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Old 07-17-2004, 06:05 PM   #73
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I knew there was a reason I contracted out my welding - the welder I use has a pit, so they just roll the trailer over the pit and do their thing.

Speaking of welding, got 2/3 of the floor out today, found one cross member that is loose and gonna have to get it welded.

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Old 07-19-2004, 03:23 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
I knew there was a reason I contracted out my welding - the welder I use has a pit, so they just roll the trailer over the pit and do their thing.

Speaking of welding, got 2/3 of the floor out today, found one cross member that is loose and gonna have to get it welded.

Ken
Ken,
If I did not have the good fortune of generous neighbors at work, and if i wasn't completely out of my mind, I would have farmed out the welding work, too. But now i am glad i did not, and did it myself, because I made changes in teh overall design as I was going along, and ran into several snafus that would have cost me dearly, had i gone to a welding shop.
Problem 1:
The frame is not perfectly straight, nor level. I had to manipulate with jack stands and weight before re-inforcing, so as to get it close. It is still not pefect, but much closer now.
Problem 2:
The center of the axles will protrude intot he space of the crossmembers. My 3x4 section crossmember aft of the fresh water tank cavity needed modding, so it would fit over the axle.
Problem 3:
Some old crossmember appeared ok to re-use, but on closer inspection were rusted almost all the way through. Those are now stringer parts.
Problem 4:
The frame needed a very good cleaning where the welds would be. Welds don't hold well over rust.

So, some changes were made on the fly while fabricating, to resolve these issues. Looking at it now feels great, though.
Well, talk to me after I have welded upside down for a while....
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Old 07-19-2004, 04:12 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg176
I found that I had to turn the wire feed rate down so that the weld doesn't drop on me.
Turn the heat down too.

John
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:45 PM   #76
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Floor going in, finally!

So I got the 5/8 plywood ( $$ ACX fir) delivered, and cut into what will eventually become the floor of my trailer. I will use some of the Varathane leftover from the floor in my house to seal the wood, top and bottom.
I figure this way the wood gets a head start on future disastrous leaks etc. The frame is coated completely with POR15, so rust will hopefully not be an issue for the next, oh, 1000 years. Let me confirm how tought this POR stuff really is! It took 1 week for me to grow the spills off of me. MY DNA must have looked like someething from outer space.
The wheel wells are also rrepaired, new sections inserted and riveted/vulkemed in Place.And, of course, they also received a coat of the POR15. The pictures hopefully show some of my progress.
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:55 PM   #77
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Next Steps

So the basics of the frame and floor are in place. Next the shell needs to come off the ceiling and back on it's frame. My plan is to cut small strips from the belly pan material, and attach the channel with #8 panhead screws to the shell perimeter on the inside, with the strips between the shell and channel for correct spacing. Then the shell goes on the wood, in it's proper position, of course. Now I need to trace the rear of the shell perimeter on the flooring, lift up the shell in the rear and cut the plywood. Unfortunately I have no reference left for the rear curve, or where it is supposed to end. Afterwards I will mount the channel, then remove the #8 screws from the perimeter, and lift the shell back up about 6 inches, so the belly pan can be wrapped properly inside the channel. Once the outer sections belly pan are on, I will install the tanks and plumbing, then finish off the belly pan all the way. Looks like I will revisit some of the welding work to install the tank frames, and also will be doing more painting, and woodwork. I want this trailer to roll by the end of the month, if at all possible.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:23 PM   #78
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Uwe

VERY nice job! Your ahead of me now!

What/how did you repair your wheel wells?

Ken
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:11 PM   #79
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Wheel Wells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Uwe

VERY nice job! Your ahead of me now!

What/how did you repair your wheel wells?

Ken
Ken,

I bought a sheet of galvanized metal from HD, cut the pieces for the ends of the wheel welss and then used my benchtop metal brake to bend a flange on each end. The long side needed a slight curve, so I bent it over my leg until it fit very very snugly against the original wheel well end.
It took 3 tries, but then it fit quite well. The new pieces overlap the old wheel well material by 6in. or so. I cut out the rusted metal, applied vulkem to the seams and used pop rivets to join the old and new. Next came a coat of POR15 over everything, and some underbody sealer on the wheel side of the wheel wells.
It took one very hot Saturday afternoon to do both sides ( 4 ends), painting and HD shopping included.
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:02 PM   #80
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Oops!

In all the excitement over the woodwork, I almost forgot to install the small sheet of aluminum that goes over the step, but under the flooring.
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:21 PM   #81
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So the basics of the frame and floor are in place. Next the shell needs to come off the ceiling and back on it's frame. ...................... I want this trailer to roll by the end of the month, if at all possible.

Uwe,
I'm using exactly the same method. I figure I'm about 2 days ahead of you.
Here's the sequence I used:
1. I measured the radius of the corners as well as I could last fall when I took the floor off. I carefully transferred the radii to the new floor and marked the arcs. Then I lowered the shell for a visual inspection and made the first cuts.
2. Then I laid out the floor channel, aligned with the body rivet holes, marked the floor, raised the shell and cut again.
3. I lowered the shell, and boy was it a tight fit. Be very sure you mark the centerline of the shell and the center of the body as the shell can rack to one side and throw your arcs off. I trimmed the corners again with a belt sander.
4. I cut the old bellyskin into sections and tried to squeeze it between the floor and the shell. Time to lift the body again. This time I cut about 1/4" more off the arcs.

So, it took me four tries to get it right. I hope you have better luck.

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Old 08-20-2004, 11:32 AM   #82
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Don,
Thanks for the tips. I am prepared to wrestle this shell around for a few days. Did I mention that my old floor came up as toothpicks with old linoleum fragments attached?
I have absolutely no reference other than the pieces of curved channel for the rear of the trailer. Right now there is sqare plywood waiting to be trimmed.
I want to finish securing the floor with elevator bolts today, and make as many 30in pieces of channel as my old aluminum supply allows. My wife has commited us to weddings etc. for the entire weekend, which greatly interferes with Airstream time, btw.
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:30 PM   #83
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Uwe,
What are you going to use for insulation?
And on the wheel wells-Home Depot had 2' x 4' sheet of 26ga galvanized for $20. I think that is criminal!
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:20 PM   #84
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Quote:
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Uwe,
What are you going to use for insulation?
And on the wheel wells-Home Depot had 2' x 4' sheet of 26ga galvanized for $20. I think that is criminal!
Yeah, I know. I rummaged through the metal rack, and found a 2ftx4ft piece for $ 12.95. Probably mislabeled, and still overpriced. Anyways, I used about 1/3 of it, so it's going to be one of those " can't toss it because it was expensive" things on the shelf.
I am thinking of using the aluminum foil backed insulation ( the name escapes me right now), it did a wonderful job for both noise and warmth in my 1959 Mercedes roof and doors. I bought it at a nearby automotive upholstery supply warehouse.
I am leaning towards using this material in the walls, and perhaps styrofoam or completely encapsulated batt type material under the floor. I will not use insulation that will make the trailer a rolling sponge.
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