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Old 11-28-2010, 07:06 AM   #43
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When welding on the frame, it's reel important to choose the right rod, and make sure you hook the gounding line to a good sinker location.
If it isn't on a solid perch on bass metal, you'll have a crappie weld.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:14 AM   #44
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I wouldn't have believed that this thread cod get batter, but it has!
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:32 AM   #45
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This thread is floundering.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:54 AM   #46
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Salmon should tell you all to get back on track!

Sorry!
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:09 PM   #47
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Hi Sandy

I thought about the topic of welding and I wondered if the set up was all done with parts cut, connecting points ground and clean, plates and gussets pre-made with some extra material on the job, why the actual welding would even take half a day. When I set up a job, I tack it as I go, then when everything's as I need it, I come back and make my welds.

If I have to section a frame, I'd template it, and weld it up in a jig. There'll never be a better time to replace the axles and maybe install new tanks than now. With the axles off, tanks off, and frame down on a flat slab, the set up and jigging will be simpler. Now if I have a tractor and loader or a forklift, I can stand the frame to make my back welds:-)

If you can't buy the steel, do the cutting, make the setups, fix the jigging, and grind everything, then it's probably not a do it yourself job because you'll never get to welding without all the pre-work. I have the best metal working shop in the world one mile from my home. If I had to rebuild a frame, I'd just take it to them with a blueprint and sit at home in my chair. It might take guys like that three months to get around to my job because they're busy. That still wouldn't be a problem for me.

Years ago I had a friend in West Fargo with a manufacturing plant that made farm equipment. There were shops all around him at West Fargo. I've visited Bismarck but I didn't visit any plants while I was there. There must be shops there. It seems rather foolish to learn and equip a whole trade just for one trailer frame repair unless the fun factor is there big time.

In perspective . . . taking the body off a pretty big Airstream trailer is a big project . . . and you've that done. (I hope you plan on making floor templates before removing the old wood floor.)

I wonder if a blueprint of your frame is available from Airstream. I just fear those frames were jig welded to fit up pre-made stamped steel parts. It's gonna seem pretty important for those outriggers to line up perfectly with your body ribs.

Gary
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:27 PM   #48
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Lining up the outriggers is vital to the correct loading of the frame and shell. Working from a template (the old frame) is good, but it's always wise to have a backup.

I would choose a starting point, line the rear end of each frame rail, and measure each outrigger and crossmember (left and right) on the left rail, then each crossmember and outrigger on the right rail, as a distance from the back edge. Then, I'd measure the A frame angles, and measure the outrigger/crossmembers from them. From this, I could reconstruct the frame if a calamity befell the original. It's also important to locate the axle mount points correctly. This is a most critical measurement as it strongly affects ease and stability of alignment when you add your axles.

One of my most valuable assets when I owned my workshop back in the 90s was a completely flat and level floor - truly flat concrete floors are surprisingly hard to find - I had to have this one skimmed with a very runny self-levelling mix to get it right.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:10 PM   #49
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Glory, Glory Be!!
I think the skies have parted and the sun has started to shine on the Tross. Or at least on me! The husband of the friend of my daughter's showed up at the appointed time and took a couple of hours looking over and discussing the situation with the man in charge. Jake works at a welding shop in town and has agreed to do the deed!! He will work on his own on the weekends and we are so happy

I told my husband that if he showed up, he should block the driveway and flatten his tires if he tries to get away. Luckily Jake wasn't deterred; he actually thought it would be fun (?)!! He is a youngster and so probably doesn't really know how deep he is into it. He told us that his shop would consider our project "small potatoes" and wouldn't do it. Now to actually get the project underway......I am happy, happy, happy. This seems like such an accomplishment to have found someone to fix our frame! To think that finding a welder would bring me to tears!!

Now the next challenge is to decide on the new axles. Husband says the new frame is going to be "beefed up" and so needs suggestions on what type to order. Anyone with ideas on a steroid based AS frame for a 31' 1976 AS Sovereign rear bath, feel free to chime in. The more info, the better!

Hopefully all goes well and Jake can do the work without too much trouble. The big deal is to make it just as it needs to be with all the proper angles and such. He seems to know what he is doing and I hope this just isn't too good to be true. We have some time over winter before we will be putting the shell back down on the frame. Speed isn't as important as accuracy! Time will tell but so far, I am happy, happy, and more happy.
Sandy
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:28 PM   #50
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Sandy I so happy for you. BTW thanks for the thanks.
Are you going with a whole new frame.
If yourè going to beef it up use thicker steel with larger flanges for more strength and wider attachment area for the floor and belly pan. You could also box in the frame for more strength.
Consider the 4500 lb axles due to more frame weight and any interior added weight from renos. Your trailer is now about 5800 lbs add the weight for the frame and interior and that should leave you plenty of room for cargo and water weight.
My freind built my frame right on top of the old one using it as a template. He built main rails and crossmembers plus axle plates upside down and once it was ready we flipped it over to weld on outriggers. That way main rails lay flat on the old ones and the axle plate was not in the way during initial set up.
Can you put up a temporary structure around the frame to shelter it from wind and snow during the build. Wind really messes up mig welding and so does moisture from rain and snow.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:44 PM   #51
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More glory to add....

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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Sandy I so happy for you. BTW thanks for the thanks.
Are you going with a whole new frame.
If yourè going to beef it up use thicker steel with larger flanges for more strength and wider attachment area for the floor and belly pan. You could also box in the frame for more strength.
Consider the 4500 lb axles due to more frame weight and any interior added weight from renos. Your trailer is now about 5800 lbs add the weight for the frame and interior and that should leave you plenty of room for cargo and water weight.
My freind built my frame right on top of the old one using it as a template. He built main rails and crossmembers plus axle plates upside down and once it was ready we flipped it over to weld on outriggers. That way main rails lay flat on the old ones and the axle plate was not in the way during initial set up.

Can you put up a temporary structure around the frame to shelter it from wind and snow during the build. Wind really messes up mig welding and so does moisture from rain and snow.
Thanks for your continued info and support!
Jake says he is going to basically have to build it from the ground up due to the level of decomp on the frame. I am not sure decomp is the right term but that is what it looks like to me. Something died....anywho, if he puts all new metal in we can be sure it will be good for a long time to come.

He works in a shop in town so he thinks once he clears it with the boss, he can work on it during the weekends and get it done indoors. That makes the prairie winds not such a problem. I am guessing with the walls on his shop, the MPH wind in ND should be about 35 as he welds.

The Albatross has a rookery going up but our trusses were three weeks late and winter has arrived here on the plains. Husband is working as frantically as he can to get everything done as quickly as possible. Once the roof is on the building and the frame is repaired, it is game on. I can hardly wait. I have the interior paint, the curtain and upholstery fabric all ready to go; Yippee!! It feels like we won the lottery when we found a welder!!
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #52
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Thanks Gary

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Hi Sandy

I thought about the topic of welding and I wondered if the set up was all done with parts cut, connecting points ground and clean, plates and gussets pre-made with some extra material on the job, why the actual welding would even take half a day. When I set up a job, I tack it as I go, then when everything's as I need it, I come back and make my welds.

If I have to section a frame, I'd template it, and weld it up in a jig. There'll never be a better time to replace the axles and maybe install new tanks than now. With the axles off, tanks off, and frame down on a flat slab, the set up and jigging will be simpler. Now if I have a tractor and loader or a forklift, I can stand the frame to make my back welds:-)

If you can't buy the steel, do the cutting, make the setups, fix the jigging, and grind everything, then it's probably not a do it yourself job because you'll never get to welding without all the pre-work. I have the best metal working shop in the world one mile from my home. If I had to rebuild a frame, I'd just take it to them with a blueprint and sit at home in my chair. It might take guys like that three months to get around to my job because they're busy. That still wouldn't be a problem for me.

Years ago I had a friend in West Fargo with a manufacturing plant that made farm equipment. There were shops all around him at West Fargo. I've visited Bismarck but I didn't visit any plants while I was there. There must be shops there. It seems rather foolish to learn and equip a whole trade just for one trailer frame repair unless the fun factor is there big time.

In perspective . . . taking the body off a pretty big Airstream trailer is a big project . . . and you've that done. (I hope you plan on making floor templates before removing the old wood floor.)

I wonder if a blueprint of your frame is available from Airstream. I just fear those frames were jig welded to fit up pre-made stamped steel parts. It's gonna seem pretty important for those outriggers to line up perfectly with your body ribs.

Gary
Not only did we find a welder (after three months of looking) but we hope to have it done before spring!! I hope he doesn't change his mind on the project once he gets home and thinks it over His wife was happy for him to take the project on as they are young and as most young couples, in need of additional sources of income.

The man in charge has the manuals for the AS and has tried to calculate out all the different angles on how to do things as efficiently and effectively as possible. Blame that on the engineer in him! He also is stressing to Jake how important it is to have things not only accurate but completely accurate. I would hate to think of us traveling along and seeing the AS tumble off the road. Someone would have to hold me back from climbing into the ravine after it!! Good thing ND has so few ravines

Husband is still going to take the welding class come January anyway. Welding seems like such a useful skill that we both want to take the class. I can't take another class on top of my other classes so he wins this time. The instructor is a long time vo tech instructor that has a good reputation. I can't wait to see what he learns and we can learn for that "fun" factor. Others may have a hard time understanding why this stuff is "fun" but I love it.

I fear I may already have the AS fever and have no viable cure in sight. I see a number of people with three and four AS to their credit on the AS Forums and we have a little over 3 acres out here. How many can we legally put out here before the neighbors start to complain?
Sandy
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #53
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I fear I may already have the AS fever and have no viable cure in sight. I see a number of people with three and four AS to their credit on the AS Forums and we have a little over 3 acres out here. How many can we legally put out here before the neighbors start to complain?
Sandy
Hi Sandy

My son asked me yesterday if I'd have the energy left to take any trips by the time I get my trailer completed. Energy won't be the issue . . . I'll be broke!

Gary
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:26 PM   #54
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We can identify....

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Hi Sandy

My son asked me yesterday if I'd have the energy left to take any trips by the time I get my trailer completed. Energy won't be the issue . . . I'll be broke!

Gary
We can already identify!! Once we got into the entire project and realized we paid way, way too much for the AS to begin with, it was too late. The guy who sold it to us wasn't necessarily at fault; I think until you start looking around and peeling things back, you don't know. So I won't blame him. Shoot, now if we were to look at one, we would be a lot wiser than we were a few months ago.

We have been waiting for our youngest to finish college (he's on year 5 now....) in order to have the man in charge be able to retire. Now we say "When we get the Albatross completely renovated and the kid out of college..." Looks like I could be working for another twenty years Greet the man in charge when you see him traveling the byways while I am still working the salt mines
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:29 PM   #55
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He was smart to marry a younger woman:-)
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:41 PM   #56
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Little did I know he had a plan a long time ago

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He was smart to marry a younger woman:-)

Here I thought it was because of my winning personality; now I find out because he figured with the age difference between us, I could work another ten years and support his construction habits. Sly devil
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