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Old 01-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #1
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Best Way to Make Bulkhead Wall Template

What is the best way to make a bulkhead wall template? I tried using a piece of the aluminum wall molding thinking if it was bent to fit nice against the curved wall, it would work as a template. It didn't work out too good.

So how do you experts do it?

David
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...lkhead+pattern

Perry
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Thank you Perry. I knew it must be here somewhere. The story stick method will help me get the curve right.

David
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
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Matching wall curve

I spent several years building custom racing sail boats. The key is a tool called a scribe (large compass to landlubbers).
Measure height and width of panel, Rough cut 2 sides to approximate curve of wall/ceiling leaving it slightly larger than needed.
Using a scribe, to get panel to fit side, hold scribe HORIZONTAL and adjust opening of scribe to the width of the largest gap on the VERTICAL side. Starting at the bottom and being careful to hold scribe in a horizontal position, draw a vertical line on the wall edge until the pencil meets edge. Cut at line.
Measure the difference in height of rough panel to the desired height of panel.Then hold scribe in a vertical position and adjust scribe to the measured distance(gap) you need to raise panel to its final position. Again hold point of scribe on ceiling and keeping scribe in a VERTICLE position trace ceiling curve to panel until pencil comes to edge of panel. Cut.
You might have to repeat side/top cut for a good fit. Just be sure not to cut bottom or hall side of panel to maintain verticle and horizontal planes. Go slow and measure twice for each cut.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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If you need it I can take pictures of the process and post it.
Steve
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:57 PM   #6
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I've done pretty much the same with the cardboard and luan templates.
After I've used the compass and rough cut the piece I use one of those flat carpenters pencils held horizontal, and flat, against the wall to make the mark for the finish cut.
The thickness of the wood is very close to the base of the aluminum extrusion that the panel fits into. Never had any gaps using this method.
I always use the floor as a reference, being the only thing on an Airstream that is close to being flat.

Good luck,
Tom
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:30 AM   #7
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I did use my compass as a scribe to make some adjustment cuts on the bulkhead wall I cut. I did figure out that the horizontal length and vertical height of the wall were critical starting measurements. The story stick method is a little more clumsy than the scribe method.

I think the big thing is practice. Guessing at a rough cut that results in enough material for the final fit is a challenge. That's why the cardboard, or poster board template makes sense. Using the aluminum molding as a template didn't work.

I am making shower bulkhead walls to support the Fiber Reinforced Plastic coverings for a water proof "phone booth" of a shower stall.

Maybe I need a car wash mechanism so all you have to do is stand in there and hit the button. Let's see: pre-soak, wash, rinse, clear coat protectant, rinse, spot free rinse, and blow dry. Done. There ain't a lot of elbow space in my shower stall. It's a small trailer.

David
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:01 AM   #8
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Practice with cardboard.

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Old 01-12-2014, 06:08 PM   #9
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Well, I scribed and cut, scribed and cut, scribed and cut. I'm too conservative to scribe the total gap between my work piece and the Airstream wall. The scrap on the floor tells the story. I think working in the rear end cap is a bit more challenging as I'm working with a "sphere". Heights and curve change no matter how the piece is moved. And I am a BIG rookie at this bulkhead wall stuff.

I have two walls made now, and one more to go. I'll get better at it with more practice. Thanks to all for the help.

David
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:26 PM   #10
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Looks like you are getting it done.

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Old 01-17-2014, 04:49 PM   #11
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Thanks again to those that helped me. I used the story stick method today to get my rough cut a lot closer. Then I scribed the final curve for a good fit. It takes time for someone inexperienced as I am. However the first wall took an afternoon, and the last one took an hour.

David
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