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Old 10-12-2012, 09:40 AM   #71
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How were you able to get the cuts for the patches with such a clean cut? any particular tool? We are looking into making some patch work too and wondering how to obtain a good clean cut.
Also we see that you patched the propane refrigerator roof vent, may be I missed but are you removing the vent at all or moving it to another location?
Is looking good! you have talent! keep the work
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:37 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeggieBullet
How were you able to get the cuts for the patches with such a clean cut? any particular tool? We are looking into making some patch work too and wondering how to obtain a good clean cut.
Also we see that you patched the propane refrigerator roof vent, may be I missed but are you removing the vent at all or moving it to another location?
Is looking good! you have talent! keep the work
I'm no Wabitteer nor do I have his talent but I've had excellent luck making nice clean cuts in sheet aluminum with this Grizzly electric shear. http://www.grizzly.com/products/Elec...al-Shear/H2867. I have had a hard time keeping the sheet from bending on a long cut with my hand shears, but the electric shear cuts out a thin strip of metal and leaves a nice edge that requires only a light pass with a file to be ready to go. It was well worth the $60. You can finish off the rounded corners with a hand shear and a file. The electric shear is really good at long straight cuts and even with my skills, I can make a straight cut with no more than a millimeter of variation across the length of the cut.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:06 PM   #73
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For food storage I'm going with a 24VDC /120VAC Vitrifrigo unit I got scratch'n dent salvage.

My grizzly-like pneumatic shears failed miserably on .040, had to do a rough cut and then band saw the fine cut. The shears worked decently on .025 and less so on .032" stock. A pneumatic punch nibbler works well too, especially on rounded corners, always use a guide edge. Gee, I wote about this already. Use the rotary saw to cut wherever there is backing interference from ribs and such. One trick is a table top belt sander, let the sheet ride loosely on the running belt to perfectly smooth it andget a small bevel going to keep from having raw edges catch any & everything, knuckles, elbows, tractor-trailers, roadside branches.

Rotozip with a Flush Cut Guard Attachment - diamond dust wheel or 1/16" metal cutting wheel and a aluminum barstock straight edge works well for thicker aluminum sheet. Did a 46" straight cut on trailer just fine. Fine bastard file to give a slight rounded profile and its good to go.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:47 PM   #74
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I think the thickest I've cut with my Grizzly shears is .032" so I don't know if they'd fail on anything thicker.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #75
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Insulation?

I know I can’t cover every possibility or give a thumbnail sketch of every idea I’ve had.

What’d I’d really like is a 2013 trailer and then tear it down and stuff it with Aerogel but you don’t want to hear that either.

Kinda crazy to not have six-inch walls and a 9-inch ceiling if trying to claim we’ve insulated these old Airstreams! Either hot or cold-climate mobile homes will always out perform a 1-1/2 inch shell any day of the week. But I have this this here trailer and want to insulate it….

I always planned on painting the shell interior so I might as well hedge my bets with the additives - I understand it’s playing around with the surface coating – but with 1-1/2 inches of room to play with paint film or two isn’t going to crash the party much.

Where I’ve been living sees an average of 28 nights below zero temperature, over the 40 years this trailer has existed that’s 1100+ nights or 3 years of “deep freeze” conditions. And our average annual temperature of 45.4 °F (7 °C) gives the Twin Cities area the coldest annual mean temperature of any major metropolitan area in the continental U.S. Now let’s stack on constant wind out on the Great Prairie, so everyone have some cheese and crackers with my whine.

99% of paintable insulations are meant for 200, 300, 500 degree temperature differences. Using them for ‘slight’ temperature differences under long durations is not very effective, and the non-exotic types available to consumers are mostly meant for exterior top coat for extreme sun where sun heating pushes untreated exposed material temperatures above 200°F.

So on my project I’m speculating the inverse of that is true, say -30°F overnight temperatures with a huge wind-chill boost (-50. -60)) and maintain a 70°F (or survivable) living space without needing a science fiction “Mr. Fusion unit & 1.21 gigawatts of power” to travel forward into time to the next day.

It’s kind of like fuel economy in a tow vehicle where the difference between 8 and 9 mpg doesn’t mean much until the 10th fill up ‘is free’ except every trip out to refill propane or buy diesel or generator fuel counts against energy usage totals.

Over a couple or three years I've glommed onto a mix of insulation:

Partial roll (26"~ diameter) of the 48" width Prodex.

600sqft 0.25” (3x 50' x 4') Owens Corning Foamular fanfold sheathing (R-1)

http://www.foamular.com/assets/0/144...84726ae053.pdf

300 sqft of 1" roll batt fiberglass (R2.5)

600 feet of ¾” 3M™ Paint Protection Film 8591 (8mil Polyurethane film, Acrylic Adhesive; Thermal impedance 0.5 (W/m.K) vs. 210-250 for aluminum)

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...L8591_8592.pdf

The ¾” 3M™ Paint Protection Film (8591) will be thermal break material on the ribs, bows and standoffs. This is the stuff that they put around car door locks and on the rocker panels to keep paint from getting chipped, nearly inert with a hearty & gnarly adhesive.

Okay, it’s not cork or some exotic foam but it will allow the pop-rivets to be fully drawn tight to clamp liner sheets before the rivet pops but not loosen a minute later from softer thermal break candidate materials yielding under pressure. I’m sure there are thousands of candidate materials to choose from but these were near-free with 3m adhesive attached. Yes, of course there will still be a lot of heat flow but nowhere near the direct aluminum-to-aluminum contact as AS so thoughtfully provided us with.

Advertised Prodex data I’m believing dodges accepted best information practices in their industry. They present one, and one set only, of performance results these days without requesting their written information packet. As far as I can search on their website, gone is the page that showed R-4 on the walls etc.. Prodex does excel at making heat do what it wants to - bouncing heat straight up and cold straight down and being a vapor barrier. I remember cutting away Prodex floor insulation on the old floor and finding it very damp in the ¼ to ½ inch air space I provided for, so that vapor barrier may be too much of a good thing if it is coupled too tightly to wood (even painted wood) without some venting in our non-climate controlled applications (we bring our trailers inside at night, don’t we?).

To get best performance the 2-1/2” (dead!) air space gap is required. A 1” air space comes pre-equipped with an R-Value of 1, and on a vertical plane a single layer of prodex and a 1” dead air space on each side is near R-3. That same 1” space with sheet foam is R-5 or R-6, with fiberglass R-3. Kind of a no-brainer there if I’m trying to protect against something other than just S.W. desert thermonuclear sunshine.

So, a paint-on low conduction & low emissive barrier. Some ‘real’ R-value under the floor from foam, plus a good radiant barrier and air-gap under the floor, I’m thinking is using prodex like a mitten on the spars and outriggers. I want to (but probably won’t) use fiberglass where something as likely as a grass or trash fire might turn block foam into poison so maybe the lowest 24” on the walls may have ¾” of fiberglass with a prodex backer, depend on adhesive or aluminum tape to keep water out of it.

And the bulk of the insulation will be sheet foam. If I find I can’t handle making the barrel stave shapes to properly fit 1-1/2” foam board to shell contours, I already have the ½” sheathing to make a continuous outside layer and back it up with 1” foam boards, then maybe another ¼” continuous layer. Or some hybrid version of the above.

Anyhow…

I am waiting on Henkel Alumiprep-33 and Alodine 1001 & 1201 aluminum etch & conversion coatings. I'm tempted to use the POR-15 Metal-Ready I already have but the folks in the aviation industry use the Alodine on everything they touch except burger wrappers, and the 1001 conversion preserves mirror bright finishes while the Metal-Ready leaves a dull or grey zinc film behind. So my interior painting is stalled for a week until FedEx shows up with my packages. Oh - AircraftSpruce does not put a HazMat $30 charge on Alumiprep-33 like other stores do if'n y'all wanna try some...
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinergirl
Just curious to know if you ever did any further tests with the attic radiant barrier paint?
Howdy folks, just some updates...

I have not gotten estimates on contracting spray-foam installation.

My stash of reflective paint, and the microsphere insulation additives are all stored in a cool dark place waiting for other events...

I obtained Henkel Alumiprep-33 and Alodine 1001 & 1201 aluminum etch & conversion coatings to prepare the shell interior for paint layers & probably spray foam. These chemicals are best practices for aviation, a dime in now is a dollars worth of prevention later.

The Alumiprep-33 is a phosphoric acid based cleaner, brightener and prepaint conditioner for aluminum.

The Alodine 1001 & 1201 are chromic acid based coating chemicals that will produce a chrome conversion coating on aluminum and its alloys.

The coating formed by Alodine 1201™ is gold to tan in color and it becomes a part of the aluminum surface. This will be used in hidden areas.

The coating formed by Alodine 1001 is clear in color and it becomes a part of the aluminum surface, this will be used on the window frames and exterior.

These chrome conversion coatings offers the best affordable substrate for both paint adhesion and corrosion resistance.

First good streak of warm days I'll be scotchbrite-sponging the inside of the shell with a diluted 33, hosing it off and applying the 1001 & hosing that off too. I hate to think of 100's of gallons of live water everywhere inside the trailer but its now or never.

That catch of working with these is the 'requires room temperature' to work; that was a gamble, the winter of 2011-12 was a mild one and 2012-13 has been long and cold. Later this week will be first forecast 40°F day in 120+ days.

I've gloomed onto a SMEV stainless steel 4-burner & oven range and a silstone countertop and work basin, AC-to-24VDC PS for the lighting, diesel heater & pumps, 48" 24VDC LED lamps and smaller LED utility lights, etc... The list goes on and on...
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:10 PM   #77
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I've got 120 pounds of a 600-board-feet foam kit sitting on the floor beside me as I write this, so unless I can find someone to pull the house roof and let me spray the back side of the 90-year-old uninsulated 2nd-floor plaster I am committed to foam and have been chasing details to back up this installation.

Yesterday saw the interior of the shell getting scrubbed twice to degrease and prep the surface for the alumaprep-33 acid wash. Getting water to sheet off the sheet metal instead of bead up means the next panel is ready to scrub. One secret is to water washing our old trailers is to keep the surface wet & soak & stand as long as you can suffer it, only then will a film resembling 'rubbed sunburn' be manually brushed away on the ribs & stringers, even many of the previously wired brushed areas had a film that softened with a long enough soak.

I got the front third of the trailer done w/ alumaprep33 - and it having up to 1% hydrofluoric acid before dilution has me dressed in a hillbilly moon-suit.

So far about 45 minutes of garden hose flush of the shell has happened over my plywood floor so am glad I took time prepping the new floor for just such an occasion! I expect two hours worth will have happened before I finish the chromic acid treatment. Yum!
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:17 PM   #78
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Good to hear from you Wabbitteer,

I'd love to,see some pics of that process.
Tim
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:52 AM   #79
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Look at the splatter photo if you want to see how much crud is on even freshly brushed and solvent wiped aluminum. Very few paints or adhesives will bond to that permanently, months or years maybe but not forever. The etch solution left bright spots pretty rapidly, remember the grey areas had already been spic'n span mop & brush scrubbed prior to the etch step.

Got the interior Alumaprep'd and Allodined. Probably 90 minutes of full blast water rinsing and I turned the interior surfaces slightly tan in color. If I was a perfectionist the spray foam would've been applied already, the Allodine wants to be painted or sealed as soon as thoroughly air-dried to prevent chances on fresh corrosion but that is not in the cards as too much to be done yet.

Looking where the etch chemicals leaked out and marked the exterior had me drilling all the trim off to get rid of the factory pop-rivets. I am in extreme hate with their method of random drilling, they pop-riveted into buck rivets, beside them, and in all sorts of combinations to the Z-plate stiffeners - plus missed rivet bores or skipped pre-punch bores. Heck, lawn furniture is assembled more thoughtfully. The trim stays off permanently.

We've buck rivet filled around 80 except 8 or 12 of the ones with most
interference, will be fun finishing those. There are some slack spots where shell sheets overlap that allow water to pass through that got marked too, interior caulk parging will stop the air movement if new rivets and caulk miss something on those spots.

I've patched both plumbing roof vents over and the antenna is gone & patched. And I will admit using .040" 2024 is overkill on patches, .032" would've done nicely, but they are there and seriously strong and look like they've been there forever. Also note here Methanol Chloride makes ancient clear-coat gel up in about 3 second but it will flash dry and make a new layer that is seriously hard to remove so great care to use fresh cloth is needed if you try spot cleaning to metal using paint or gasket remover etc. containing it...

More text soon...

EDIT: Zero smell in trailer, nill, nought - clean and inviting.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:12 AM   #80
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Your interior is a thing of beauty. Too bad you have to cover it up with insulation. When the insulation sticks to that, it is going to be super strong!!
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:06 AM   #81
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Quote:
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.
nice patch work!
really looking forward to do the same soon on our 73 project.
Learning a lot from your, so please keep up the good work and posting....
thanks!
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:19 AM   #82
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Ah, so... I've been tinkering with wheel well tubs.

Way back I decided against inserting the plastic flanges between floor and frame, so back some I cut the black outer plastic to butt against the main frame rails under the flooring and heat gunned the plastic to drop the fore/aft flanges to overlay the solid outrigger faces so left them about 90% fitted at that time.

I used West System G/Flex 655 Epoxy on the seven or nine splits in the polyethylene molded tubs - prior proper prep takes some practice - texturize the surface, righteously degrease, tease it with open propane flame to 'oxidize' the surface on a microscopic level, then repeat. When playing the flame over it the tell is condensation patterns outside the contact area, remember the PE sheeting is ~0.075 thin and if it softens new oils from in the plastic glaze the surface. It's all in prep to make the stuff work. I used fiberglass cloth to bridge the cracks. The epoxy itself is very stiff, does not match the plastics supple nature at all, and wants to pop free if subjected to much deformation. Anyhow, the tubs are air tight going into final fitting.

I discovered I left a bit of slack in the curbside shell with the battery locker cut-out and door opening leaving open that possibility/guesswork. Anyhow the fender skirt skin has a ripple, not stretched taut, and if the plastic tub presses against it with any force it kicks out the skirt with an 'oil can' effect. So I am softening the tub in select places to pull it back to better keep the skin from being pushed out. I am also going to try 'shrinking' the sheet metal with heating and quenching to pull it taut.

Anyhow, the plan is get the tubs in and tight then do a positive-pressure leak check -once that passes it will be shoot the spray insulation.

Also - am amazed at how my tow vehicle is dying a slow death while the trailer gets slowly improved. Even if it is built like lawn furniture the Airstream is a ROCK compared to Detroit Iron. I'll probably not repurchase a pickup truck, get something adequate for point A to B towing and not a grand tour vehicle.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #83
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I apologize up front now since there are no before and after photos.

The 'little bit' of slack in the wheel well skirt was actually huge: To grab the center of the opening and tug yielded about five or six inches of 'pleat' slack. This is a huge strike against working alone when one pair of eyes can't see everything even when leaving enough time to try and think things through.

I do know the shell was stretched from the back curved C-channel very tightly, the battery locker cut-out on this trailer seems to have been a fulcrum point when the outriggers had failed or gone missing and stretched the heck out of everything, out-of-balance wheels, road strikes, tail dragging sure became additive to un-taut sheet metal forward of the locker.

I just kept repeating the mantra "what I'm here for is... melting (block) ice!" whilst burning 1-1/2 pounds of propane, and so far have melted fifteen pounds of ice doing heating and quenching. This is not something to try try unless you're able to replace the entire sheet, and have the interior, wiring and insulation stripped out. The mid-shell aluminum on this trailer always had a puffy appearance on that side, the sheet lifting between rivets.

I started from the belt-rivet line and worked aft taking out any 'oil-can' flex to the sheet, and cascading down to the un-riveted C-channel sheet edges. As I would reach the well opening and shrink the skirt edge it was apparent there was more slack farther away, each wave of bagel or slice-of-pizza' overlapping heated area only reduced the swollen effect by mild increments, so another round of shrinking, from outside to edge would get repeated.

With iron/steel the temperature differences achievable are greater so using a soaked towel works well, with aluminum you can't let it get too much hotter than seeing an energetic boil-off to water droplets from the last quench. Having the entire target surface wetted when starting to torch an area is key to observing where the heat is flowing.

Another point to make is after finishing a two or three-hour session and walking away it takes a few hours or overnight for everything to normalize while slack in distant rivets or shell rib movements gets drawn to a new baseline location. Literally applying heat on one side and see the far flap of the wheel well flex in-and-out three inches is a little bit spooky. I probably will be drilling some rivets today, and buck in filler and replacement rivets later, to ensure everything is anchored and water tight.

I have still fifteen more pounds of ice, I'll be up to four feet fore & aft of the wheel well shrinking metal to draw it up tighter. I get some photos this morning and see if I can show the results.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:21 PM   #84
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Forty pounds of ice and I'm almost done... one more sweep should get it presentable.

Anyone in the know with metals would say I've changed the strength and temper of the sheet aluminum, made it stiffer, but I'm pretty sure its a non-issue. Refresh the rivets and put the skirt trim on.. and after the first 500 sun baked days or 500 miles on back roads that slack may all come right back.

The discoloration is just clear coat and accelerated aging. I always intended to paint the inner surface so not worried about changes on the backside.

No pictures from the first day, daylight images are the before and the flash pictures are after 'just' this days work. After this it's install the plastic well tubs...

EDIT: add a shot of ice and size of hunks used...
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