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Old 01-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
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Frame Fabricator Needed in Alabama

Hi there fellow Airstreamers-

Not sure if this is the right area to post up this request or not? Backstory: We own a vintage 1949 18' Trailwind and I have been doing the small repairs here and there. I have been pretty careful not to get into the more complex projects so I don't booger it up. Now we've reached the point that we need to have a new ladder frame built for this little trailer and so we're looking for a knowledgeable fabricator here in Alabama or close by. I have it all designed and it follows David Winicks '48 Wee Wind restoration as the frame and design is pretty dang close to ours. Do you know anybody close by that could undertake this project with us? We are shooting to have it completed by spring 2011. I know, it's ambitious but it's time to get rolling.

Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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And by close by, I mean TN, GA, FL, or MS.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:18 PM   #3
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Here is one

I think "OLDTRUCKSRULE" has one of the nicest Airstreams going. It was done by someone pretty close to you...I have no personal reference. Take a look. I sure do like yours and I see it as being fantastic.
Home - Twisted Silver Customs

http://www.twistedsilver.net/13.html

Check with Corey on his 48.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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Yeah I was just on his site taking a gander at his latest projects. He does really good work. Perhaps something will work out.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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Melody Ranch, is Cory and "oldtrucksrule" one in the same. I poked around and it looks like oldtruckrule owns a 47 Liner and on the Twisted Silver site it reads that Nolan has the 48. I'm all confused now. I did put in an email to Jimmy and now waiting on his response.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:54 PM   #6
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Yes....one in the same. I think I have a phone number. He works for So......est Airlines. As a previous member of Am.....an Airlines...I am not allowed to have direct communications. I will sneak that number to you.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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I don't know about where you are, but I live in a town of 15000 population and I bet there are 4 or 5 metal shops, fabricators, and a small trailer manufacturer all within 10 miles of me and any of them could build your frame.

There must be several such welding shops and metal fabricating shops where you are. I would go around with copies of the plans and get quotes. With the economy the way it is there must be lots of shops looking for work.

Phone around and ask if they can build a trailer frame. It isn't very hard for someone who has the right tools.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
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Still hunting for the right match. Haven't heard back from Twisted Silver yet after emailing and leaving a voice mail. Hmmm....
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:27 AM   #9
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I had the same problem when looking for someone to fabricate my chassis. I had a couple of people who I thought were good candidates to do it who in person were all about it but then failed to get back to me.

I think they were afraid of doing something different.

I think they were afraid of doing something that they hadn't done before.
The guys that finally got the job were kinda fearless.. younger guys.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:04 AM   #10
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Well, I'm onto plan B. At my job we have 3 metal fabricators (young guys) on staff that I made contact with recently. I will source the pieces (center pole, ribs, etc) and lay it out here at home making sure all the measurements and cuts are made correctly. Then I'll have one or two of them swing over on a saturday and weld it on up. A few hundred bucks, lunch provided, cold beers, and we'll have it done in no time. I've studied these frames enough and now it's time to drop the belly pan.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:50 AM   #11
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1948 22' Liner
1955 22' Flying Cloud
1966 20' Globetrotter
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Hi, I like what David Winick did with his frame but think it may be more difficult finding a willing fabricator. The combination of steel, welding, aluminum and rivets may scare them off. You may have better luck with a completely steel frame.
Below is a picture of frame for my 48 Liner. I am not advocating its the best way to go, its just one of many.
Pat
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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1948 22' Liner
1955 22' Flying Cloud
1966 20' Globetrotter
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The belly pan on these earliar, pre A-frame AS appear to be very much more important in the overall structural integrity of the unit. On my 48 Liner the belly pan was buck riveted to the aluminum cross members about every 6'. Once the belly pan was removed the frame had very little structure.
I was assuming this was a frame-off restoration. I have a hard time imagining any other approach.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:48 PM   #13
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Totally agree. I've been emailing David about some of the specifics and I think I am prepared for the shell off but I am no fool and realize I'll face some obstacles. The part that is going to be the major challenge is getting the belly pan back together. Luckily, I've taken it off once before and managed to get it back on but it was a pain in the you know what. I am not looking forward to that. I will be buying the tubs (wheel wells) from David and the rest I think I can pull together locally. Sure do appreciate the advice from those that actually own vintage units. Sometimes I wish we had our own little forum that is dedicated to vintage era only. I get a little tired of hearing about flat screens and cable tvs not working etc. I thought camping was about getting away from all that. Okay, I'll stop now. Anyhow, thanks again for jumping in and I hope to report some progress here real soon.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:46 PM   #14
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I am a firm believer in NOT doing business with....or recommending business with...a person or Company who cannot even respond to you or stay in touch with you as a customer. Avoid 'em. Sorry you had that experience. By the way, have you looked at "capt-n-toms'" pictures here? he really has a nice 50 Airstream and is fairly close to you.
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