Originally Posted by Swimhard4
Where did you buy the aluminum? How much and what lengths did you order? I am going to start with the belly pan first�� when should I do the polishing? I really can't wait to see it shiny! I inherited this from my dad and it had been in a pasture for 20 years! Total gut!
I purchased my aluminum through Aircraft spruce I believe, or another aluminum sheet vendor. I started with 1 sheet of 4'x12' 2024T3 x .032.
I bought it by the sheet, and get it rolled. They'll roll it in a 1'x1'x4' tall box... ships easier/cheaper.
This was just to make my patches, and replace my corner panel, and fix my door. I also used whatever scraps I had over, little pieces, for practicing riveting in a vice or with a friend. That was enough to get me started on some projects until I found out how much I would really need for the belly. I found my self practicing alot more, especially when changing rivets sizes (5/32" to 1/8").
I will be doing the belly last, and I mean very last, as there are so many things that will have to happen before I go back with one, that it doesn't matter for me to even have one yet. I probably will even camp for a year or two until I do it.
As for belly, I'll probably be going with some 5052H3 x .040 or .032, or some cheaper material. 2024T3 is more expensive, and not needed for under the trailer. It's not like I'll be polishing it, so no alclad is needed.
If your replacing your floor, then you definitely want to wait until your floor is replaced before you re-install the belly. Makes things much easier
The things that I did, as well as many others here, begin here.
So I would start a thread. That allows many others to chime into your progress, as well as answer your questions, without you having to search for every little item that you need help with.
Also, start a documentation of sorts on all your measurements, equipment needs, types of materials, tools, and possibly logical steps towards your goals.
And definitely pictures, pictures, pictures. We love them, plus they help us answer your questions.
I apologize if you have already started a thread, as I've been following others, and have not had time to add to my subscriptions.
As for polishing, I started doing the top when I was working on the top.
I had scaffolding to replace my escape hatch, and while I was at it decided to get some polishing done. Mind you I have 60+ hours on the roof, and it doesn't look like much, but it's a start on the areas I won't be able to get to for a while. I just did a first cut anyways to help get it down to a better sheen.
I've heard that a lot of restorers like to polish first because it's such a mess, but most of us don't have the time, as we have more important matters to attend to.
I'll polish my lower half after I've completed most of my repairs, and/or depending on how much my wife wants it done (LOL)