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Old 01-26-2015, 12:10 PM   #295
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1966 22' Safari
Santa Barbara, , California
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Bumper & Shear

Speaking of bumpers I'm looking for a 66 Safari fresh bumper. Mine's been dented and straightened a couple of times, and after tank replacement and new skins underneath, it would be great to replace it ( if I can find it)
I also was wondering if in anyone's experience cutting aluminum i.e. the belly pan, any power shear works much better than any other. I was looking at a Malco attachment to my power drill. The other was a Milwaukee power shear which doesn't look like it cut says smoothly. There are several jaw options for the Malco, and I am not sure which works best on aluminum.
For starters I am cutting the belly pan ahead of the axle, and replacing it later with fresh material. So right now it is straight cuts only, but I'm sure there will be curves before I am done. Thanks for any help fellow streamers.
Marco, I have really been enjoying watching your progress and solutions. Thanks for posting them all. I'm just up the coast a hundred miles having my own fun!
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:45 PM   #296
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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Hey Jrow! We might have to meet up if you ever make it down to LA! I'm about to do the belly pan myself...

My plan: use my old pieces as templates for the most part, and then cut them out using an angle grinder with a metal cut-out wheel on it. I've always hated sheers for some reason, but I have to admit, I may have always been using the wrong ones.

Then to reattach the skins I kinda wanted to use self tapping screws instead of rivets... Unless anyone can let me know why this is a bad idea (please hurry and tell me now!) I see a benefit to being able to easily remove these panels because I plan on taking the trailer to some rocky areas that may gouge holes in the bottom.


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Old 01-26-2015, 08:58 PM   #297
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Here is the power "nippers" I purchased that did a pretty good job. Several makes sell them. It looked to me like the head was the same, just the power drill was different, e.g. Milwaukee, DeWalt, Kawasaki, etc.

David
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:09 PM   #298
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1966 22' Safari
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Hey thanks for the input. Marco, are you talking about an abrasive the disc onto angle grinder, or a fine tooth blade?I probably wouldn't mind a fine blade if I could find carbide with a negative rake on it, so it wouldn't get go on the first cut. But something about grinding through such a soft material makes me think that it would get gummed up in give you a ragged edge, The challenge of curved cuts would be even greater.
And as far as you're tool goes, David, I think that would work fine, however I have already about 4 or 5 drill motors. I have the Malco aviation shears that look like giant scissors, and cut like butter, but your hand gets pretty tired. I saw a sheer that attaches to your drill with a strap that clamps on, and saw a YouTube that made it look easy to get into tight areas. The question I have is that I don't know which one to get. They seem to have very short tips or longer cutting blades. I can't seem to find a recommendation for thin aluminum, straight and curved shapes. I know this is common stuff to some people.
John
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:29 PM   #299
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Hey John,
Here is what I use, and you will go through a few of them depending how good you get. I have no trouble at all going around curves and have cut (really ugly) circles using these as tight as 3 inches across. As for the edge, I just grind it smooth afterward using the side of the same wheel.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:32 PM   #300
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Did this whole area this morning and officially screwed down my first floor panel and boy did it feel good! I used the self tapping screws instead of elevator bolts and those things are amazing. So easy.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:56 PM   #301
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Cutting Belly Pan

I started by cutting my belly pan with a dremel and ended up switching to an angle grinder - much faster! Looking for 5 ft width aluminum sheet now to fil the hole when I am done.
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Old 01-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #302
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Harbor Freight sells an air shear that I used to cut my whole belly pan and wraps. Cost about fourteen bucks, worked like a champ, if you've got a big old air compressor to run it.

Not sure where y'all are buying your aluminum, but I bought mine at ABC Supply (in Gainesville Fl) for about forty bucks per 4x10 sheet. Don't remember all the specifics on it. It was .032 thickness IIRC... a bit thicker than the original, but it formed up very nice for the wraps.

-Red, big head, short memory...
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:04 PM   #303
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yeah guys! go for it!

I think you have succeeded in replacing the shower pan.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:08 PM   #304
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Another vote for the pneumatic nippers, they are like a jig saw for aluminum. Super easy to make tught curves.

I also used the HF shears, they are great for straight cuts but I found to hard to control on any curve.

The combination of pneumatic shears and nippers worked great on my new belly pan.


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Old 01-28-2015, 01:31 PM   #305
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If you are gonna put these jacks in, make sure you do it before you put everything back together and get a good game plan for the order you do things with the belly pan install. I half planned it and got super lucky, I ended up having to weld a bracket to the frame for it to screw into, which could have been a nightmare.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:16 PM   #306
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I cut this beauty with the angle grinder:
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:21 PM   #307
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Nice!!!

-Red, jealous of the mad side grinder skills...


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Old 01-28-2015, 04:12 PM   #308
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Nothing feels better under your feet than a new subfloor! Congrats in the milestone
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