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Old 08-28-2014, 10:33 PM   #43
Trottinon
 
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1962 19' Globetrotter
Maplewood , Minnesota
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Clarification on the axle mount. The flat plate on the inside of the frame rail is only there to have something to attach the belly pan to.

We treated the entire frame with POR Cleaner/Degreaser followed by Metal Prep. The A frame and bumper will be primed and then painted with POR. The rest of the frame has been primed and painted with Rustoleum. We will apply at least one more top coat. The silver top coat looks better in the hair than the battle ship gray primer. We both looked and felt like the Tin Man after painting the underneath the frame with the silver. Sorry, no photos. Would make a good Halloween costume.

We debated about flipping the frame to paint the underside. Figured it was probably easier on the paint and faster to just crawl under it.

Rain today, so no painting. Rain in the forecast for the weekend, so progress may be slow.

Nancy


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Old 08-31-2014, 10:35 AM   #44
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Wow solid work!! Painting with por 15 is a little tricky. It is moisture cured so a little humidity is good.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:25 PM   #45
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Maplewood , Minnesota
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Painting Finished

The painting is finished or so we hope. If anyone ever takes apart the trailer down to the frame, they can call in an archeologist to find all of the flora and fauna imbedded in the paint!

A few observations. The silver paint really emphasizes the flaws in the welding and the metal. 98% of the frame will not be seen, so no real concerns. The Rustoleum Silver is more metallic than the POR-15 top coat which seems somewhat dull. No complaints, just an observation. Once it is back together all you will see is the POR-15. We brushed on all of the Rustoleum - primer and top coat. We painted on the POR-15 rust preventer. We tried painting the top coat and it seemed to clump. We switched to spraying the POR-15. That worked better, but we struggled to find the right dilution. Goo Off Heavy Duty Wipes worked well at removing paint from our skin.


Other progress includes the cutting and bending of the new C channel and the attachment of the wheel wells. Mr. C made sure the wheel well seams, rivets and the space between the frame and wheel well were sealed with lots of caulk.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:22 AM   #46
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Wow, you folks have built a rugged looking frame. There is nothing like good "bones" for overall trailer "health". Keep us posted on how much assembly work you will do to the frame before you marry the shell to the frame. Sure the subfloor will go on, and probably tow vehicle wiring (lights and brakes, etc.) I figured tanks, drains, insulation, and belly pan would wait until the shell was on. Mainly because I couldn't determine the exact location of waste water drains until I had the bulkhead walls in, then fixtures mounted and plumbed. And besides, I could check for tank leaks easier.

You're racing winter's arrival like all good Minnesotans do.

David
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:12 AM   #47
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Maplewood , Minnesota
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Extras

Mr. C turned Labor Day into a play day. He worked on fabricating and welding a spare tire holder and bumper jack brackets. Once the tire holder was mounted we decided it was too tall. He can cut it down and make a new bracket on a rainy day.

We were invited to go on a boat cruise with some friends. We seized the opportunity to go on the boat and to use their tig welder. Mr. C needed to weld a cut-out on the bottom of the bumper box that goes over the rear hitch.

There are 4 sheets of MDO for the floor in the back of the truck. Rain is in the forecast for today, so not sure when we will get to that. It is feeling very fall like around here. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

It is our plan to get the floor and C channel attached, flip the frame, put in the gray tanks and associated plumbing, do some wiring, insulate under the floor, attach the belly pan, and flip again, before putting the shell back on.

Nancy
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:15 PM   #48
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Subfloor

This week we didn't get much done. Mr. C did get the tire mount shortened.

Today was a gorgeous day! To get the day started, Mr. C used auto trim on the edges of the outriggers and the holes in the cross members. Then it was onto the subfloor. We used MDO (medium density overlay) Plywood. The pieces were joined with wood biscuits and glue. We glued two sections together and pulled them tight with tie down straps. Waited about 10 minutes and added another section until all 4 sections were glued together.

It wasn't all smooth sailing. The piece around the wheel wells was putzy and took some time. The last sheet along the back didn't line up as intended. Need to do a little finessing. The glue we used set up really fast. The sheets weren't perfectly aligned. The paint on the bumper is also scratched up from sliding the MDO across it. None of these items are major issues. Just caused some frustration.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:51 AM   #49
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Did you put gravy on those biscuits? Do the biscuits come off after the sheets are together. I wonder what thickness of sub floor plywood you selected. Mine was 5/8" thick. But I only replaced the rear bath area due to classic rear floor rot. I read some folks use 3/4".

And I am interested in what you folks select to attach the floor to the frame. I don't know much about "elevator bolts". A flat head fastener is needed. And Airstream bent my bolts to keep the nuts from working loose. Poor man's Nyloc or Locktite. Your bolts might have been bent also. I'll bet there are excellent adhesives that could be used instead. Attaching the wood floor to the frame is a critical piece for Airstream longevity. Attaching the shell to the wood, and then on to the frame outriggers is also critical. Some folks talk about perimeter attachment designs, but I'm not sure what that is. It may help keep the ends of the floor dry.

I'm learning from your project. Maybe I'll rebuild my son's 69 Globetrotter some day.

David
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:04 PM   #50
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Biscuits

David,

We used plywood. No gravy on the biscuits.

Photo 1 a biscuit

Photo 2 is a slice made by the biscuit cutter. The slice is made in both pieces of plywood.

Photo 3 the biscuit is coated in with glue and slid into one of the sheets of plywood. The edges of both pieces of plywood are also coated with plywood. Once all of the biscuits are put in one sheet of plywood, the two sheets are slid together. Think of it like a leaf for a dining room table.

Nancy
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:34 PM   #51
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Attaching Subfloor

It wasn't pretty, but it is attached. We used the gantry system to lift the subfloor as one sheet. We should have used more support for the lift than we did. It worked, but not recommended.

We put epoxy on the edge of the plywood, about three inches across the top (roughly 1/2-3/4" beyond the C channel) and two inches on the bottom. We used 3/4" wide adhesive cork on top of the side rails, cross members, and outriggers. An adhesive/sealant was put down on each side of the cork. We then lowered the subfloor onto the goop. Yuck, black and sticky. A number of large clamps were used pull the subfloor to the outriggers. A few bolts were place down the center as a temporary pull down.

Once the subfloor was attached Mr. C used the router to cut out the subfloor above the battery box. A malfunction with the router caused a slip which required Mr. C to bring out the Rock Hard Water Putty to patch the gouge. Once that dried, he sanded, ran the router over it and epoxied the edges.

We also worked on getting the C channel attached. Holes were drilled, Vulkem was placed on the hole and bolts were inserted. The straight runs were easy. The curves went fairly well. We had a good rhythm going. However, it was getting late and we were tired. We'll try to finish up the C channel tomorrow. We will also put in some elevator bolts. Hopefully the adhesive/sealant will be cured and we won't be coated with black goo.

Nancy
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:22 PM   #52
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Hello Nancy and Mr. C,

I am following your project from the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire. It is beautiful here, maybe slightly better than Minnesota.
Airstreams are made for traveling.

Thanks for the show and tell on wood joining biscuits. I read where another Airstreamer was using tongue and groove plywood. In 1966 Airstream used a 4" "splice" piece of ply below the floor joints. They altered the frame cross members (5/8" lower" to accommodate. Your biscuits looks very strong. Probably not too tasty with or without gravy.

The adhesive joint you laid between frame and subfloor seems like a good idea. That, with the flat head bolts, will add strength. The black goop spots will look good with your silver paint spots.

I like the photo of Mr. C bending the C channel by hand around the corners. Urrrg!

You folks are doing great on your Airstream rebuild!

David
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:16 PM   #53
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Looks great! How are you bending the C channel?
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:03 PM   #54
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Yes, and without buckling or wrinkling it? I had a heck of a time bending 1/4 inch wide U-channels for my bulkhead walls. Likewise tucking in the rear belly pan skins around the corners.

Mr. C has a secret. Maybe he would share it with us.

David
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #55
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Just found this thread. Wonderful work. Mr. C is quite the craftsman. First time I've heard of anybody using MDO for the floor. I've used it in the past, I made some columns for my front porch and they have been holding up quite well for having been in the weather (painted) for 14 years. Since its used for exterior signage, it has to be pretty rot resistant. I do have a question though, are all the joints where he used the biscuits sitting on top of the frame? On my trailer, where the boards met and no frame underneath they used a support plate on the bottom to strengthen the joint.

And on the welder used to build the frame, is that a Lincoln Mig machine? I have one and if he used one similar, then I am impressed. Is your hubby a trained welder? Thats a skill I have only scratched the surface of and would love to get better at.

My hats off to both of you, wonderful work and a great thread. I'll be keeping an eye on it from now on.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:16 PM   #56
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Maplewood , Minnesota
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Answers

I will try to address everyone's questions. If I miss something let me know.

Bending the C channel is an ancient Chinese secret. Ok, truth be told. Mr. C used .063 aluminum that he cut into strips and bent on a brake to form the C. To make the bends on the corners he cut relieves every 2" on the bottom and inside profiles. (See photos of cuts on the table saw and being attached). This is how our C channel was done in the factory. In order to make the curves align with the plywood, we use C clamps every six inches or so. To get some of the curves tight enough, additional metal had to be shaved on some of the cut outs. This was determined by dry fitting. Some cuts on the table saw, some with a tin snips. Mr. C then drilled the holes, a squirt of Vulkem and in went the bolts. It was not difficult. Time consuming and gooey. Make sure to have lots of paper towels and/or rags handy. We had a good system where he drilled holes and filled them with Vulkem, I placed the bolts, washers and nuts and he came back and tightened.

Questions regarding the welding. Mr. C has been playing with welding since he was a teenager. I had to ask him if he has ever done welding as part of a paid profession. Some of his work involved him doing some welding, but that has never been his job. Yes, it is a little Lincoln mig. It has its limitations, but managed to get the job done. Mr. C stated the welder will go back into hiding after this project so people (family/friends) don't show up at our door with welding projects. I think I have hidden our locale from Airstreamers?

MDO plywood. We used this on our eaves many years ago. It is painted and has held up well. We explored the possibility of fiberglass/plastic flooring, but found the lead time to be too great. The price is not attractive, but if it guaranteed that no one would have to do a shell off because of a rotten floor it would be worth it. Where to draw the line? Yes, all of the floor seems aligned with a cross member. The original cross members were flush with the side rails. We did the same and do not have any wooden support strips.

Hope this helps.

Nancy
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