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Old 11-17-2007, 10:03 PM   #1
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Utica , New York
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1965/2007 12' Viewpod

Project: Transform a 1965 Safari into a tiny "Viewpod" trailer.

I found the raw material on Craig's list, Plattsburgh, NY. The trailer had already been gutted, saving me some work...

I spoke with Colin, the owner of the lot where the trailer was parked and told him of my plan. He invited me inside his shop to show me his own similar project, half finished. It was quite nice to be able to stand inside a space I had been imagining for the last few months. He generously shared his ideas and techniques with me.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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Window removal

Since the trailer was almost completely gutted, I started by removing the windows - hoping to sell them and make back some of the initial cost of the trailer. I am planning a rear door, with windows on each side. There are two identical windows that will work for this purpose - they are bit larger than I might have liked, but will make for a nice light filled space - and as good screens for rear-projecting video and images from the interior.

Removing the windows is just a process of carefully drilling out rivets with a 5/32" drill bit. Start the bit as close to the center of the rivet as possible, then continually lean the bit towards the center. The soft aluminum drills easily. Eventually the head falls off and the rivet punches through to the other side.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:19 PM   #3
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Skin removal

The interior skins came out the same way, drilling out rivets. Then the exterior skins. I lifted the endcaps off and set them aside.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:23 PM   #4
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Leftover bits

Aluminum is 55 cents a pound, so I am carefully sorting all the leftover metal for recycling.

I had intended to use the old frame - cut off the last few feet and reposition the axle. The 65, however, has a much deeper and heavier frame than my 62, so I just cut it up with a torch for recycling. Instead, I'll fabricate a new frame from scratch.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:26 PM   #5
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Frame

I am using 3"x2" stock for the frame, it's probably much heavier than necessary, I'll make the next one lighter...

The coupler was still in good shape, so I cleaned it and the jack up to use on the new trailer.

I clamped things together with c-clamps, and went to Tigging.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:31 PM   #6
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Frame

I tacked things together first, to make sure the fit was good. The crosspieces are cut from 14 gauge stock, cut out with a plasma cutter.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:34 PM   #7
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Outriggers

The outriggers were cut on a bandsaw, then shaped on a sander.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:36 PM   #8
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Floor pattern

The c channel will be re-used as well, and here it is used as a pattern for the curves. The floor material is 1/2" douglas fir ply.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:44 PM   #9
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Welding

The frame members are cut with a horizontal bandsaw, the edges cleaned with an angle grinder, pieces clamped together, then tacked.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:56 PM   #10
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Carlos,

Another project for us all to look forward to. New screen name as well?

Steve
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:54 PM   #11
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Outrigging

The outriggers are welded on in the same fashion as the crosspieces, clamped, tacked, and welded. The frame was laid out on a piece of plywood to estimate where some extra support outriggers would fit in the front of the trailer. One piece of 3x2" stock was cut in half on the bandsaw to fit in the sloped area at the front of the belly pan. I used a piece of angle iron to find the current balancing point to estimate where the axle should go.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:50 PM   #12
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The frame was sandblasted and washed, then painted with por15. I used lap joints on the floorboards made with a router. The elevator bolts that hold down the floor were countersunk with a forstner bit, then the original C channel was installed on the corners. Some new C channel spans the sides.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:53 PM   #13
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Cones

The two end cones were attached to the frame with clecos.
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:14 PM   #14
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Wow

I thought this was a photoshop trick, until I read thru the post. I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions on this making conversion, but either way....it's a lot of work and looks like you're doing it well, and seeing your other work, I am looking forward to the interior.
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