Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-08-2014, 03:55 PM   #57
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Cleaning of window frames

Now that your window frame (swinging or fixed) has the glass removed, you can clean the entire frame because you now have access to all of the frame surfaces.

Tools. The tools required for window frame cleaning are pliers, putty knives (both metal and plastic), popsicle sticks, plastic razor blades, dental picks, abrasive pads, sandpaper, rags, and mineral spirits.

Techniques. Here is a typical window frame with the glass pane removed (the glass pane is underneath the frame in this photo):

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0634.jpg
Views:	132
Size:	321.0 KB
ID:	209235

Lots of gunk has to be removed.

1. Discard gasket. Remove and discard the gasket, as it probably is old and brittle.

2. Remove screening. If you will be re-screening your windows, remove any screening on the frame. I used pliers to pull the screening off the window frame, as I intend to replace all of the screening.

3. Remove caulk. Next, attack the caulk and other gunk. First, make sure that the window frame is properly supported and anchored on your work surface. You may be able to work on the frame without supporting and anchoring, but proceed carefully so that you do not bend, stretch, or otherwise damage the frame. Some of the frames are quite large, and you will need a large work area. Here is what I used (temporarily) while working on a large number of frames (the image actually is of my removing paint from the interior window trim pieces, but the work area setup is the same as for my window frame cleaning):

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3014.jpg
Views:	174
Size:	294.3 KB
ID:	209236

Those are sheets of plywood (actually, OSB) supported by saw horses. I also used a wheeled stool, so that I could sit and work on the frames, rather than stand and bend over the work surface.

To remove the caulk, I used wood popsicle sticks, a putty knife, dental picks, and lots of rags with mineral spirits. I was amazed at the pliability of some of the decades-old Vulkem caulk:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3018.jpg
Views:	192
Size:	271.1 KB
ID:	209237

To remove the heavy accumulations of caulk, I first would use popsicle sticks. Next, I would use putty knives: a metal putty knife on the inside of the frame and a plastic putty knife on the outside of the frame. I used the dental picks to get into cracks, tight corners, etc.

After you have the heaviest accumulations of caulk removed by hand tools, change to abrasive pads (like ScotchBrite) and mineral spirits. After you have most of the accumulated gunk removed, switch to rags with mineral spirits. Take your time, and use lots of rags with mineral spirits, as this is the least damaging technique for cleaning the window frame.

I also used some sandpaper. Yes!, sandpaper, which generally is a no-no in working on aluminum. If I encountered pitting or other serious corrosion on the inside of the window frame, I would lightly sand with a high-grit-count wet/dry sandpaper. The window frames are solid aluminum (I think), but sheet aluminum is alclad with only a thin layer of aluminum on the outside, so sanding is NOT a good idea on sheet aluminum. I decided that I would use sandpaper only on the inside of frames with bad corrosion, and I did it very selectively.

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0683.jpg
Views:	130
Size:	314.8 KB
ID:	209238

By the way, cleaning aluminum involves lots of black residue, and I recommend that you wear nitrile gloves as you clean.

4. Silicone. When I encountered silicone, I first would apply a silicone "remover" to soften the silicone, and then I would use a plastic razor blade to remove the softened silicone. I often would repeat this process several times to remove all of the silicone.

The frames now are ready for polishing.
__________________

__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2014, 04:05 PM   #58
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
First-pass polishing of exterior window frames

Even though I was (and still am, at the time of this writing) nowhere near ready to start polishing the shell of 8038, I could not resist the opportunity to see if the exterior swinging window frames would polish up to a satisfactory sheen, so I set up for the first-pass polish. The task is to remove half a century of oxidation, dust, and grime. With patience and care, most alclad aluminum used on Airstreams of the vintage of 8038 will come to a high-gloss shine. Whether I can accomplish that shine remains to be seen, and a subsequent posting will have to address that. For the window frames, all I wanted to do was the first-pass polish with a rough polishing compound.

Tools. You will need a rotary polishing tool, buffing wheels, buffing rake, polishing compound, rags (lots of them), and mineral spirits. Wear appropriate clothing, as discussed below in this post.

You also will need clamps or other hold-down tools to secure the window frame to the work area. You will use a rotary power tool to polish, and that tool can grab and launch the window frame if you have some kind of "catch" (caused by the buffing wheel grabbing the frame). To avoid a launch, anchor the window frame. Here is an example of what I did:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0679.jpg
Views:	147
Size:	274.7 KB
ID:	209239

Note that I used clamps and wood blocks to hold the frame to the workbench. I used the wood blocks to distribute the pressure of the clamp to avoid denting the window frame. Note also how black the white cotton buffing wheel became.

If the frame is exterior side up, this is how I secured the frame:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0688.jpg
Views:	149
Size:	286.2 KB
ID:	209240

I used the wood boards to support the frame, and I anchored everything to the countertop. I had to move the clamps around to polish all of the surfaces. Note the gray residue on the countertop. I should have protected the countertop before I started buffing. That gray residue continually reminds me of the fun I had polishing the window frames. I probably could sand out that gray residue.

Techniques. Many choices are available as to polishing techniques and materials, and I will describe the method I have learned. I describe below only the first step of a three-step polishing process that I learned at the Vintage Trailer Academy. For a more comprehensive discussion and videos about this process, see here. I encourage you to find a technique that works for you.

You should wear (1) a face shield (or, at least, eye goggles) because you will be working with a rotary tool that will throw grime and polishing compound at you and (2) a respirator or breathing mask. Polishing is dirty business, so wear clothing that you are willing to sacrifice to your life as a polisher. I recommend that you wear long pants plus a long-sleeve shirt to protect yourself from the grime that the polisher will throw your way.

I used an electric drill for this task, as I did not then have a larger angle buffer. Subsequent to my first-pass polish of the window frames, I purchased a Makita 9227 C, which has a variable speed of 600 to 3000 rpm. Avoid high buffing speeds because speeds greater than 4000 rpm may burn/discolor the aluminum, and it is very important that you not burn the metal. If you burn the metal, the metal must be replaced (or you must learn to live with the burned metal surface).

I used the electric drill, which was variable speed through a trigger control. I was aware of the speed issue, and I tried to to keep the drill speed slow. I did not burn any of the window frames, so my advice is that you can use a drill if you are careful with your trigger finger.

I used for this task 4" buffing wheels made of cotton. An advantage of the 4" wheels (as compared to the standard 8" wheels used with a larger buffer) is that the 4" wheel is easier to control and get into smaller spaces. Even a 4" wheel is too large for some nooks, crannies, and corners, and I used an even smaller buffing wheel with the drill and a handheld rotary tool (like a Dremel):

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0689.jpg
Views:	156
Size:	348.2 KB
ID:	209241

Note the very small cotton wheel attached to the drill. I may be taking this polishing a bit too seriously!

I will post separately about general polishing technique (when I get to that task). For the 8038 window frames, I used this process:

1. Load some polishing compound onto the buffing wheel by holding the compound bar against the slowly-spinning buffing wheel.

2. Buff the aluminum surface with the buffing wheel turning at an appropriate speed.

3. Cleaning the buffed aluminum with a rag and mineral spirits.

4. Repeating steps 1 - 3 as necessary to obtain the desired finish to the aluminum.

5. Periodically cleaning the buffing wheel of accumulated buffing compound and grime by holding the slowly-turning buffing wheel against the rake.

I want to stress one thing about polishing window frames: be careful as to the orientation of the buffing wheel. There are many surfaces to a window frame, and you will be turning your polishing tool many directions to get to all of the surfaces, particularly the surfaces on the inside of the frame.

Be aware of the direction of rotation of the buffing wheel, as you want the wheel to be rotating away from an edge, rather than into an edge. Your buffing wheel may catch an edge if the direction of rotation is into the edge. A catch will transfer considerable energy to the window frame, and that could cause damage to the frame. If the direction of rotation is away from the edge, your chances of a catch are much less.

Who is this: Darth Vader?, Anthony Hopkins in a reprise of Silence of the Lambs? No, me in my polishing gear:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0684.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	273.6 KB
ID:	209242
__________________

__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2014, 02:54 PM   #59
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Removing the belly pan

The belly pan of 8038 showed its age and plenty of road scars, plus some not-so-beautiful repairs. This shot is of the curb side behind the wheel well:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0645.jpg
Views:	138
Size:	204.1 KB
ID:	209426

On the streetside, a piece of sheet metal had been scabbed onto the belly pan to cover an opening that apparently had been made through the belly pan to permit cutting through the outriggers for installation of some plumbing:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0650.jpg
Views:	139
Size:	241.2 KB
ID:	209427

Tools. For belly pan removal, I used a drill, drill bits, respirator, creeper, pliers, chisel, and hammer.

Techniques. First, I took lots of photos of the belly pan so that I could (if necessary) reconstruct it. In particular, I took photos of (1) joints/overlaps of the sheet aluminum and (2) points where the belly pan attached to the frame of the trailer (usually by rivet, but wire also was used above the axle). I will describe what I did on 8038. If there are better techniques, please let us hear from you!

Before you start drilling out belly pan rivets, cover your body and face as best you can, and wear a respirator or breathing mask. The belly pan is full of dirt, road debris, plus insect, plant, and animal life or residue. It is quite likely that your trailer had rodents in the belly pan at some time, and you do not want to ingest or breathe what remains.

You will be very dirty (disgustingly dirty) after you drill out belly pan rivets and remove the sheet aluminum.

To remove the belly, you must drill out (1) the solid-shank rivets attaching the belly pan sheet to the side walls of the coach (all the way around the trailer) and (2) the pop rivets attaching the sheet aluminum to the frame (and outriggers). To drill out solid-shank rivets, a self-centering adapter is required (see this post). I used my stool with wheels and rolled around the perimeter of the trailer drilling out the solid-shank rivets.

From the mechanic’s creeper under the trailer, and I started drilling out the various pop rivets that held the belly pan in place. Pop rivets may be drilled out without the use of a self-centering adapter on your drill. Because the pop rivet has a shank in the middle, there is a depression in the exposed rivet head into which your drill bit fits very nicely. You can get your hole started without the assistance the self-centering adapter.

Beware that the sheet aluminum may finally break free of the frame and drop after you remove enough rivets, and you do not want to be under that sheet metal when it moves.

I also took a lot of photos as the belly pan sheet aluminum was coming off. I wanted to be able to reconstruct how and where the pieces fit together and to the frame.

The outside edge of the belly pan sheet bends around the outriggers and fits inside of the exterior side wall of the coach. I already had been around the exterior perimeter of the trailer and had drilled out all the solid shank rivets passing through the side wall and the belly pan metal After drilling out the two sets of rivets, I tried to remove the belly pan pieces, but the outside edges of the metal would not slide free from the joint with the exterior side wall of the coach.

I tried several times to remove the belly pan sheet metal, but I did not want to damage the side wall metal by applying too much force to the belly pan piece. I decided to ask about this problem at the Vintage Trailer Academy that I soon would be attending. To make a long story short, I learned that, at the factory, the trailer frame was placed upside down and that the outside edges of the belly pan sheet aluminum pieces were riveted (with a few hidden solid-shank rivets) to the outriggers (this happened before the cabin structure and sidewalls were installed). These rivets do not show from the outside of the trailer after the sidewalls are installed. Because I could not see those rivets from the outside, I had not drilled them out, and that is why the belly pan side pieces would not come free.

I learned that I had to slide a putty knife with a sharp cutting edge between the belly pan sheet aluminum and the outriggers to find these rivets. To do that, however, the interior cabin walls must be removed because that is the only point of access to the joint between the belly pan sheet aluminum and the outriggers.

After I had removed the interior walls (see this post), I discovered another reason why my belly pan side pieces would not move: they had been bent over the outside leg of the c-channel. The belly pan metal had tabs that bent over the c-channel. The tab was held in place by a solid-shank rivet that passed through (1) the exterior side wall sheet, (2) the belly pan sheet as it came up from below, (3) the outside leg of the c-channel, and (4) the belly pan sheet again as it came down after being bent over the outside leg of the c-channel. All of that was covered by some kind of black sealant. Some, but not all, Airstreams of the vintage of 8038 had this bent-tab construction technique. The good news was that this construction technique made those belly pan pieces very well secured to the trailer. The bad news was that I was going to have bend and free all of the tabs. This was a hands-and-knees job all the way around the interior perimeter of the trailer, and it was another job I did not like.

Here is a photo of the tabs and the tools I used to break free the tabs from the black sealant and rivets:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN2775.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	425.0 KB
ID:	209428

All of the solid-shank rivets you see above had been drilled from the exterior of the trailer, so usually it was not difficult to get the tab to come free of the bucked end of the rivet (the near side of the rivet in the photo above). The hard part of the process was getting an end of the tab free of the rivet end and black sealant so that I could then start to bend the tab upward with the wide-blade pliers.

Some of the tabs passed behind a rib, and I had to use the cutting edge of a putty knife to cut the part of the tab that was (1) bent over the outside leg of the c-channel and (2) behind the rib. For example, I had to cut the part of the tab in this photo that was behind the rib:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN2782.jpg
Views:	167
Size:	314.0 KB
ID:	209429

Cutting a tab behind a rib places the cutting tool next to the exterior sheet metal. Be very careful when you use any kind of cutting tool next to exterior sheet aluminum. You do not want to cut, dent, or stretch the exterior aluminum. Cutting the tabs behind the ribs was awkward and uncomfortable work (on my hands and knees), and it, too, goes on my list of Airstream restoration tasks I prefer not to do again.

After working my way around the c-channel of the trailer, and with all of the tabs bent upward, I finally was able to (1) find and cut through the original hidden rivets holding the belly pan metal to the outriggers and (2) slide the belly pan metal free of the frame and remove them. Remember to wear a respirator while working with and cleaning up belly pan residue. Also, mark each belly pan piece with a Sharpie so that you can reconstruct the belly pan pieces if necessary.

I intended to remove (and probably replace) all of the belly pan metal, so I did not have to agonize over whether to salvage any of the pieces. I kept all of the pieces I removed in case I would need them for use as a template for new belly pan metal. It is particularly important to save and preserve the belly pan sheets that bend up to meet the sidewalls at the four corners of the trailer because the four corner pieces are difficult to make.

Hank
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2014, 04:55 PM   #60
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Frame grinding

Placing the trailer on jack stands.

I think it is very difficult to work under 8038. There was enough room to crawl under the trailer on my back by using a mechanic’s creeper. There was very little room to maneuver or work with my hands (which I would need to do to grind and paint the frame), so I decided to raise the trailer onto jack stands. I previously had removed the belly pan, so the main frame rails were exposed. Do not try to use jack stands if the belly pan is in place.

I purchased two pairs of jack stands, rather than just one pair, as I decided that I would feel better if I had the frame supported as follows:

1. At the front A-frame, by having the two legs of the A-frame rest on a round of a large log.

2. In front of each wheel well by a jack stand on the main frame rail.

3. Behind the wheel well by a jack stand on the main frame rail.

4. At the rear of the trailer by the adjustable stands that came with 8038 (which are not designed to carry weight, just to stabilize the trailer). The stands prevent the trailer from tipping to the rear, and I placed one stand on each of the two main frame rails that supported the bumper.

To get the trailer up on the jack stands involved using a floor jack (another Harbor Freight purchase) and in stages raising all of the contact points with the frame. I suggest that you not try to raise the trailer to its maximum height all at once, as you may seriously unbalance the trailer in doing that. You must raise the trailer by having the floor jack (and the jack stands) contact only the main frame rails. As you raise the trailer, have the floor jack contact point be as close as possible to where you want the jack stand to contact the main frame rails.

Here is 8038 up on the jack stands:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3092.jpg
Views:	158
Size:	257.9 KB
ID:	209607

I raised the jack stands with wooden platforms. I wanted more height than I could get from using only the jack stands, so I built solid wood platforms from 4” x 12” fir. I was satisfied that the base was sufficiently solid, but use your own good judgment if you use something like this.

Grinding the frame.

Grinding of the frame of 8038 was one of the dirtiest, nastiest, most anxiety creating, and generally most unpleasant of all my restoration tasks so far. I spent several of the worst days of my life grinding the frame of 8038.

Why grind the frame? Because I wanted to paint the frame with a rust-inhibiting paint and, to get good paint bonding, the loose rust and other gunk have to be removed from the frame prior to painting.

Safety. Grinding is dangerous and scary. You are holding a powerful grinder with an aggressive grinding wheel turning at very high speed. The grinder may throw debris at you (thus, the need for a full face shield and sturdy clothing), and it generally is creating clouds of dust composed of rust, dirt, animal leftovers, etc. (thus, the need for a respirator). In addition, if you are under the trailer as I was, you will be operating the grinder close to your body, and if you were to drop the grinder on your body, serious injury could result. For grinding the frame, I purchased a one-piece work suit made of heavy fabric, and I wore it when I was under the trailer:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3071.jpg
Views:	133
Size:	276.7 KB
ID:	209603

The face mask has a lovely off-white, slightly dust-colored hue to it, don’t you think? You will note that I was wearing goggles, rather than a full face shield. I had trouble with the full face shield because it would fog up when I was on my back under the trailer. Sometimes I used only the goggles, but my advice is that you wear the full face shield.

Tools. Necessary tools for grinding the frame are grinder/s, electric drill, various grinding wheels, respirator, full face shield, creeper, suitable clothing, and adequate lighting. I had two grinders, one of which had a paddle switch, and the other of which had a sliding switch. The paddle switch requires pressure against the paddle to operate the grinder. The advantage of the paddle switch is that, if you lose your grip or drop the grinder, the machine shuts off. Using a grinder under a trailer is awkward at best, and dropping the grinder is quite possible, particularly if you have a “catch” when the grinding wheel catches on something that causes the grinder to move quickly and strongly. A “catch” is a very real prospect considering the many angles, corners, and joints you will encounter in grinding a trailer frame. I dropped a grinder several times as I was working on the frame of 8038, but no injuries resulted because I kept the grinder away from my body.

The advantage of a sliding switch grinder is that you can change your hand position without turning off the grinder. I often changed hand position as I worked on the frame. Changing hand position with the paddle switch grinder was inconvenient.

I used both of my grinders at various times, and sometimes I used them more-or-less at the same time because I would have different grinding wheels on the two grinders. Please remember that grinders are dangerous and should be used with great care. Protect your body when you use the grinder. I used a variety of grinding wheels: polycarbide, wire, and knotted wire:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3088.jpg
Views:	125
Size:	315.0 KB
ID:	209604

To provide adequate light under the trailer where I was grinding, I first used drop lights, but they did not provide sufficient light, and I did not like the additional power cords, which always seemed to be getting in the way (along with the power cords for the grinders) as I was moving under the trailer on the creeper). Eventually, I bought a flood light that worked much better:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3086.jpg
Views:	137
Size:	271.0 KB
ID:	209605

Because of the greater wattage of this light, I could place it farther away and generally keep its power cord from getting caught up with me, the creeper, and the other power tools.

Technique. Do not use the grinder directly over your body because, if you were to drop the grinder, it would fall onto your body. Instead, move around (on your back or side or on a creeper) so that you can hold the grinder to the side of your body. Keeping the grinder away from your body may be difficult depending on your location under the trailer. In addition, you may find that the power cords knot together to limit movement of the grinder. Before turning on the grinder, make sure that your power cord is free to move.

1. Rivet removal. Before I started grinding the trailer frame, I got under the frame with pliers, a nail set, and a hammer. I used these tools to remove partial rivets (that I previously drilled out to remove the belly pan sheet aluminum) that still were stuck in the frame or outriggers. It is not unusual for part of the rivet to remain stuck in the hole in the frame. When I eventually rebuild the belly pan, I will need those holes to be open so that I can use them for rivets that attach the new sheet metal to the frame.

2. Grinding. I worked my way up the center section of the trailer (between the main frame rails), grinding every frame surface I could reach. Next, I moved to the outside of the main rails to grind the outside of the main rails and the outriggers.

The resulting mess was awful. Everything in the garage was dirty, covered in a red-brown dust. My advice is that, before you start grinding, you place drop cloths or plastic sheeting over anything nearby that you want to keep clean. I was so dirty after a day of grinding that I had to shampoo my hair three times!: the first rinse was gritty and dark, the second rinse was grayish, and the third was more-or-less normal.

The first image above shows the frame after I finished with the grinders.

With the grinders, I was not able to get into all of the corners, so I switched to my electric drill and smaller diameter wire wheels. In effect, I had to make another complete pass over the entire frame with the electric drill in an attempt to wire brush all of the nooks and crannies.

At last, I finished this disgusting and difficult task. I hope never again to grind the frame of a trailer!
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2014, 05:04 PM   #61
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
A-frame

I decided to completely rebuild the A-frame of 8038, so first I had to remove all that was there. I needed to remove the hydraulic brake system, the LP tanks, and the safety chains. Here is the A-frame at the time of purchase:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0176.jpg
Views:	217
Size:	418.4 KB
ID:	209610

My goals for the A-frame were to clean and grind it in preparation for painting followed by installation of (1) two new LP tanks and (2) a spare tire (if I can find enough room for it; we shall see), and possible a new (electric?) crank.

Tools. You will need various wrenches and pliers. I also used a cutoff tool.

Techniques.

1. Hydraulic brakes. 8038 came from the factory with a passive hydraulic safety brake system. When the tow vehicle brakes were engaged, the trailer would push forward towards the tow vehicle, and that would cause a piston in the trailer brake assembly to pressurize the brake system, which would cause the trailer wheel brakes to slow the trailer. You can see the piston assembly between the two LP tanks in the photo above. I intend to replace the axle with a new axle and brake system, so I removed the entire brake system. The brake system included copper tubing running back from the A-frame to the axle and wheel brakes. I had to drain the hydraulic fluid.

2. LP tanks. The A-frame of 8038 had two of the old-style LP tanks that no longer can be refilled lawfully. I removed the two tanks, the regulator mechanism (between the two tanks), and the holding rack for the tanks. It is my hope that I can rehab at least some of the holding rack. After removal of the tanks and the brake system, this is how things looked:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0412.jpg
Views:	195
Size:	293.4 KB
ID:	209609

3. Safety chains. I also removed the cross bar in front of the tanks that secured the safety chains to the trailer. Rust prevented me from loosening one of the nuts on a u-bolt holding the cross bar to the A-frame. I used lots of rust-penetrating oil over several days, but eventually I had to use a cut off wheel on a grinder to cut through the threaded shaft of the u-bolt.

4. Grinding the A-frame. After I had everything removed from the A-frame, I cleaned it more thoroughly with an electric drill and an angle grinder.
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2014, 05:08 PM   #62
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Offline

Off to Montana in the morning, so before long I can get back to work on 8038!
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 10:12 AM   #63
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Back at work on 8038

I have not posted in quite a while, but I now am set up and back to work on 8038. I first had to get set up at (and clean) our cabin, refinish the deck furniture, finish a new gardening shed. etc.

I need to catch up by posting on some work done last fall. I will start with interior paint stripping.

Stripping paint from sheet aluminum and window frames and trim is a time-consuming and messy task. 8038 was originally (at the factory) painted with Zolatone, which is a great and tough paint. The problem is that this tough paint is equally tough to remove from the metal.

You should know that you have a choice as to stripping of interior paint: (1) remove all paint down to bare metal or (2) rough up with sandpaper the surface of the painted metal and paint over the existing paint. 8038 had several layers of paint (it had paint on top of the Zolatone), and I did not like the look of the accumulated paint. I decided to strip off all the paint. By doing that, however, I did create more work for my self because I will have to apply an etching primer before I apply the Zolatone.

Before you start stripping paint, transfer any Sharpie markings (described in a post above) from the painted side of the sheet to the inside of the sheet.

Tools. You will need plastic scrapers, plastic razor blades (and holder), rags (have lots on hand), paint stripper, mineral spirits, clothing that will be given to the paint stripping process, and plastic sheets and drop cloths.

Techniques. I created a large working area with saw horses and plywood (actually, OSB). I covered the work area with plastic sheeting, and for part of the process, I had plastic sheeting on the floor to catch stripped paint droppings.

On small pieces, one work table was fine for paint stripping, but for a large piece, I had to create a large work area. Here is the large ceiling unit on the large work area:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN2993.jpg
Views:	128
Size:	195.4 KB
ID:	213770

I clamped the ceiling unit to the work surface because scraping off paint requires application of some energy to your scraping tool, and if you do not anchor the work piece, it may move.

I tried several different paint strippers, and I eventually settled on Citristrip, which smells better than some strippers, and it seems less caustic to the skin. Aircraft stripper is much talked about on the Airforums, but I did not try it. I wore nitrile gloves when I was applying or removing the paint stripper.

I started stripping with a wide-blade plastic scraper (do not use a metal blade scraper because it will scratch the metal), but the plastic scraper did not remove much paint, and I had to repeat the cycle of applying the stripper, scraping off the slurry of stripper and removed paint, and cleaning the sheet with rags and mineral spirits. I decided to research the Airforums and discovered the magic of plastic razor blades (thanks, thanks, Reinergirl, for this post). I immediately ordered a box of plastic razor blades and a holder.

This order was one of the best I have made so far in the restoration of 8038 because the plastic razor blades made a huge difference. The plastic blades removed considerably more paint than the plastic scrapers. The plastic razor blades significantly reduced the number of times I had to apply and scrape off the paint stripper.

Here is the ceiling unit showing the scrapings from the first application of the stripper:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN2999.jpg
Views:	139
Size:	282.8 KB
ID:	213771

The scrapings are very messy, and are of softened paint, so you have to be careful in collecting and disposing of the scrapings to make sure that they do not make a mess of something else (like the floor of your garage or the living area of your house). Be very careful with your shoes!

I scraped the paint scrapings into a plastic garbage can with a plastic liner. After removing the scrapings, I cleaned the surface of the aluminum with mineral spirits. I repeated the process as many times as necessary to clean the aluminum. It took quite a bit of time to finish the process.

I worked my way around the ceiling unit, but I could not reach to the center of the unit. I reconfigured the saw horses so that I could crawl under the work surface and stand in the center vent opening of the ceiling unit (I am 6’ 0” and 180 pounds, and I could get my upper body through the vent opening if I (1) first raised only one arm and shoulder through the opening and then (2) brought the second arm and shoulder through). From that standing position, I could strip the remaining area of the ceiling unit.

After several cycles of stripper, scraping, and cleaning, the surface would be clean enough. I intend to repaint the interior of the cabin with Zolatone, so I wanted the sheet aluminum walls to be free of old paint, but the sheets did not have to be perfect. Some people intend to polish the interior walls, and for them the sheets must be perfect.

I decided to strip the paint from all the rectangular interior trim pieces that surround the windows. It is my intention to repaint those trim pieces with Zolatone. The challenge of working on the window trim is that these pieces are quite flimsy, and caution is required to prevent bending or otherwise damaging these pieces. Some of these trim pieces were no longer structurally sound, such as if the piece had lost a corner rivet that kept two sides of the rectangle together. I ended up placing (as a temporary fix) a small nut and bolt into some of the pieces so that they would hold their shape and not cause bending or other damage.

I stripped the paint from the two interior endcap units while they were installed in the cabin because I did not think that, after removal from the ceiling, there would be enough support on the endcap to remove the paint.
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 10:30 AM   #64
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
More window frame cleaning

I have posted above about window frame cleaning, but I had more of that to do.

Tools. For window frame cleaning, I used mineral spirits, plastic and metal scrapers, popsicle sticks, silicone remover, sandpaper, and Scotch-Brite pads.

Techniques. To clean a window frame, I first would remove the bulk of the caulk, gasket, etc., with a popsicle stick if I could. Sometimes I would carefully use a metal scraper (if I was working on an inside surface that will not show when 8038 is back together). I would apply mineral spirits, which sometimes softened the crud, and sometimes I would apply silicone remover (which only softens, not removes, silicone and other materials).

Some of the metal had deep oxidation and corrosion. I just could not get rid of all of the corrosion. I sparingly used sandpaper on tough corrosion, and I more generally used pads like Scotch-Brite, which are not as abrasive as sandpaper. Before:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3111.jpg
Views:	137
Size:	255.7 KB
ID:	213777

After:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3114.jpg
Views:	130
Size:	249.4 KB
ID:	213778

I found that sitting on a stool really helped the condition of my back at the end of the day. My dentist brother-in-law gave me a height-adjustable stool, and I used it a lot when I was cleaning window frames:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3116.jpg
Views:	135
Size:	244.7 KB
ID:	213779

Finished cleaning:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3117.jpg
Views:	137
Size:	310.4 KB
ID:	213780
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 10:50 AM   #65
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Additional Baggage Compartment

Because I will change the interior configuration of 8038, I can add a baggage compartment door under the rear window.

I was lucky and found a complete baggage compartment assembly (the door, the frame, the piano hinge, etc.). It shows its age, and it was badly bent:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3125.jpg
Views:	156
Size:	313.8 KB
ID:	213784

I drilled out rivets and disassembled the various pieces so I could clean them:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3130.jpg
Views:	138
Size:	251.5 KB
ID:	213785

Next, I took the bent pieces to my woodworking vise and reformed the aluminum back into proper alignment. Aluminum is very soft and pliable, so by carefully applying pressure, you can reshape it. I generally used relatively soft wood to reform the aluminum by placing one piece of wood underneath the aluminum piece and placing another piece of wood above the aluminum piece. I would strike with a hammer the wood piece above the aluminum piece:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3140.jpg
Views:	149
Size:	290.9 KB
ID:	213786

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3141.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	173.7 KB
ID:	213787

Rarely, I would strike the aluminum piece directly with the plastic-covered hammer head. Even more rarely, I would strike the aluminum piece directly with the metal-covered hammer head.

I used similar techniques to flatten the sides of window frames that were wavy because the window originally was installed with a gasket between the trailer side wall and the window frame. I intend not to use that kind of gasket system in 8038, so I wanted to straighten the window frames.
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #66
New and Eager
 
1972 27' Overlander
Vintage Kin Owner
Loomis , California
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 50
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 7
Hi there! Great blog...we are starting a similar renovation. Our subfloor is mostly good, just need to replace the part under the bathroom. But we had thought to replace the whole thing anyway, just to remove any doubt, lingering odors, and to be confident that it was entirely sound, sealed, etc. Did you consider replacing the floor despite the relative good condition?

Thank you!
__________________
O Shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2014, 09:11 AM   #67
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by O Shiny View Post
Hi there! Great blog...we are starting a similar renovation. Our subfloor is mostly good, just need to replace the part under the bathroom. But we had thought to replace the whole thing anyway, just to remove any doubt, lingering odors, and to be confident that it was entirely sound, sealed, etc. Did you consider replacing the floor despite the relative good condition?

Thank you!
Sorry, but I have been AWOL working on other projects.

No, I did not think seriously about replacing the floor. I am satisfied as to its physical integrity, and the odors I sensed originally have disappeared (possibly because of removal of the old insulation and the top surface of the floor, which I sanded off).

Hank
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2014, 09:46 AM   #68
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Polishing window frames

I have removed all of the window frames from 8038, and a while back I did some polishing of the frames. The polishing went fine until a major disaster, and I have some advice to pass on about avoiding a similar disaster.

I first built a 2" x 4" wooden frame to support the window frame, and then I anchored the wooden frame to the work surface:
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3207.jpg
Views:	127
Size:	240.8 KB
ID:	215761

I used screws passing through rivet holes in the window frame to hold the window frame to the wood frame. By the way, use pan head screws to hold the window frame to the wooden frame (so you do not expand the diameter of the rivet hole). Note that the wooden frame did not go completely around the window frame, and that was the source of my disaster.

As I was polishing away, the buffer caught on the window frame, and because the window frame was not adequately supported and anchored, I ended up badly bending the frame and ripping the backing of the window frame:
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3209.jpg
Views:	148
Size:	276.5 KB
ID:	215762
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3211.jpg
Views:	132
Size:	215.4 KB
ID:	215763

After rethinking my approach to window frame polishing, I (1) decided I need to build a much more sturdy frame and (2) went to work fixing the damage I had done to the window frame.

Here is a wooden frame that fully supported the window frame. Note that I screwed together all four pieces of the wooden frame:
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3222.jpg
Views:	138
Size:	278.9 KB
ID:	215765

LESSON LEARNED: Build a full frame, use pan head screws to hold the window frame to the wooden frame, and anchor the wooden frame to the work surface.

In the next post, I will show my efforts to restore the window frame.

Hank
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2014, 09:54 AM   #69
4 Rivet Member
 
RankAm's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 309
Repairing a damaged window frame

In the post above, I explain how I damaged one of my window frames. In this post, I will explain what I did to repair the damaged frame.

I have been satisfied with my attempts to straighten aluminum by gently reforming it using soft wood (pine or fir) above and below the area I was reshaping, and I did the same with the damaged parts of my window frame:
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3213.jpg
Views:	160
Size:	256.3 KB
ID:	215766

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3214.jpg
Views:	146
Size:	218.4 KB
ID:	215767

Although the window frame does not look as good as it did before my disaster, it turned out well enough, and the rip on the back of the window frame will be out of sight, so I came out of this pretty well. The last image in the post immediately above shows the condition of the window frame after my repair efforts.

Hank
__________________
See my 1956 Flying Cloud renovation thread.
RankAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2014, 05:57 PM   #70
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
I wanted to subscribe to your thread but I can't figure out how to do it! Maybe if I post a message I will have that option. I'm a rancher and I've been backing up large and impossible things for many years. An easy way to do it is to put your hand on the bottom of the wheel and move your hand in the direction you want your trailer to go. You have figured out something already, but might help someone. Thanks for all your detail. I appreciate it. Jane in northern New Mexico
__________________

__________________
janeinthemtns is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tradewind Twin 1974 - rehab/renovation BryRedWolf 1970-79 Tradewind 10 05-11-2015 02:31 PM
total rank newbie here... katzklaw Member Introductions 10 12-18-2006 08:12 PM
amateur radio antenna for motorhome white1949 Our Community 0 01-01-2003 11:17 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.