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Old 09-29-2009, 05:02 PM   #155
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I spent the entire morning talking with local aluminum suppliers about getting belly pan material. It wouldn't matter whether I was going to use 3003 or 5052, nobody had anything less than .032 thickness. I called a huge plant that usually rolls out coils of foil aluminum to see if they had any suggestions. They sent me to a company locally that carried what I needed. After calling the company, they informed me that they could get it, but didn't stock it. They said that it wouldn't be available to me until after the weekend..bummer.

The guy on the phone told me that he knew of another place in St. Louis that had aluminum sheet, and gave me their number. I felt like I was in a progressive commercial with a place telling me to go to another place so I could get what I need. You rarely see this in business these days.

The next place was even closer to my house, but the same issue was clear, no sheet thinner than .032. I was ready to give up and buy the .032 shuddering at what Marcus had told me about how much a PITA is was to work with. The guy on the phone told me that there was one other place I could try, and it was really close to where I lived.

I ended up calling this shop locally called Phoenix Metals. To my elation, they informed me they had .025 thick 5052 and 3003. I can get the 5052 in 4x8 sheets, or the 3003 in 4x10 sheets. Best of all, this place is exactly 3.0 miles from my house. I will end up paying a little less than Air Parts would cost when you include shipping.

So for everyone looking for aluminum, don't stop when you can't find anything with the big companies in your area. They can almost always provide you with another option.

Steve
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:28 PM   #156
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AT-A-Boy!

See? Stick to it and it will pay off.
Sounds like your getting the work party all set up. With all that talent with you this week end the best thing you can do is brain storm now to be sure you have absolutely everything...supplies and tools...on hand. Don't forget the beer. Work 'em till they squeal then feed 'em and keep a cool one at hand. The Cloud will be on the road quick I'm sure. Have fun you all.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:38 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by soldiermedic View Post
I spent the entire morning talking with local aluminum suppliers about getting belly pan material. It wouldn't matter whether I was going to use 3003 or 5052, nobody had anything less than .032 thickness. I called a huge plant that usually rolls out coils of foil aluminum to see if they had any suggestions. They sent me to a company locally that carried what I needed. After calling the company, they informed me that they could get it, but didn't stock it. They said that it wouldn't be available to me until after the weekend..bummer.

The guy on the phone told me that he knew of another place in St. Louis that had aluminum sheet, and gave me their number. I felt like I was in a progressive commercial with a place telling me to go to another place so I could get what I need. You rarely see this in business these days.

The next place was even closer to my house, but the same issue was clear, no sheet thinner than .032. I was ready to give up and buy the .032 shuddering at what Marcus had told me about how much a PITA is was to work with. The guy on the phone told me that there was one other place I could try, and it was really close to where I lived.

I ended up calling this shop locally called Phoenix Metals. To my elation, they informed me they had .025 thick 5052 and 3003. I can get the 5052 in 4x8 sheets, or the 3003 in 4x10 sheets. Best of all, this place is exactly 3.0 miles from my house. I will end up paying a little less than Air Parts would cost when you include shipping.

So for everyone looking for aluminum, don't stop when you can't find anything with the big companies in your area. They can almost always provide you with another option.

Steve
Try Airparts Inc. Homepage
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:12 PM   #158
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I had spoken with Air Parts about it, but wanted to go locally if possible. That and it became too late to order it in from Air Parts .

Steve
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:48 PM   #159
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Steve, What a beauty. I'll look forward to seeing your progress. I know about the bug. I sometimes just sit in mine after work with a S&S in hand and think of all the things to do. I'm 95% done on my first restore and another sitting behind the fence waiting. Retirement in three years and I can do this full time!!
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:32 AM   #160
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Yesterday I purchased the flooring and belly pan aluminum. I ended up getting 3 sheets of 5052 .025 that were 4x10. I can cover everything I need with this, and have some scrap left over. I am not sealing up the middle section all the way across so I have a spot to retrofit a small gray tank. I also decided to use Advantech Flooring. Advantech appeared to be OSB at first glance, but instead of using just glue, they use plastic waxes and resins to keep it very moisture resistant. I was skeptical, but the guy took me out back and grabbed a small chunk he had sitting in a bucket of water. It had been in there over a month submerged, and wasn't delaminating or rotting. After checking out the specs online (which show it's superior water resistance, bendability, and breakability), and finding the price was only $20 per sheet vs $40 for the untreated FIR, I had to go with it. The 50 year warranty on the Advantech didn't hurt either.

Less than 24 hours to go before the war party begins on the rebuild. We'll be up super early getting the smoker going for the pork shoulder and chicken. Pics to follow.

Steve
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:38 AM   #161
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Good luck for the weekend for you guys. Can't wait to see all the progress you'll make. You're going to be ahead of me again!

cheers,
steve
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #162
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Steve,

No guarantees we will get all that work done, but we are trying damned hard to do so. You are still ahead since I started this over a year ago, and I am only at this point.

Steve
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:22 AM   #163
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How to build a trailer in nine hours

I know it has been several months since my last post, but I have been busy. A couple of weeks ago, Amy and I hosted the 50th Anniversary rally to celebrate Cape Town to Cairo. At the rally, several forum folks were asking me when I was going to have my Flying cloud ready. My reply was, "Never at my current pace without any help!". Several of them said that they would be interested in helping me right the ship so to speak, and we set up October 3rd to meet up and do the work.

I have found that using the three steps below, you can accomplish anything.

Step 1: Recruit outstanding people to help you in your effort. Thank you so much to Mike, Tina, Alan, Rob, Jonathan, Roger, and Bob. Without your help, this project probably wouldn't have gotten to this point for another year. Other than being gracious enough to help with the rebuild, everyone showed up pretty early in the morning (for a Saturday), and some drove from an hour or over two hours away. These people are great friends to do this.

Step 2: Supply BBQ to the workers not once, but twice. I fired up the smoker at around 0700 to cook the chicken and pork shoulder. The chicken was done for lunch, and the pork made excellent dinner. Thank you Tina for bringing the apple/sweet potato dish, and the cookies.

Smoker rolling at 0730

Step 3: Have the right tools for the job. I had most all the tools for the build that were needed, but the fact that everyone brought more tools really helped out. Mike brought his sheet metal tools, and was a great knowledge source for the belly pan. A creeper would have been a great thing to have after rolling around on my back under the belly pan.

Jonathan was the first arrival short after 0800. We had a short discussion, had some breakfast strudel, and started getting things ready. Shortly after we pulled out the wheel wells, Roger, Bob, Alan, and Rob arrived minutes within one another.

We began with centering the wheel wells over the tires, and took measurements for the new Advantech flooring we would be using. Jonathan used it in his, and I read on the forums how great it was. Roger jumped right in and began cutting.



Making sure the wells fit correctly




Bob, Roger, Alan, and Jonathan survey the sheet before cutting




Roger Makes the first crosscut

As most of us were working on the floor and wheel wells, Bob took it upon himself to put in new bracing of the shell. This was a tedious task that he did alone for the most part. It was really being an unsung hero since he was off in his own little world.



Checking the old bracing




Bob decides it needs to be redone

While attaching the first sheet of flooring, Mike and Tina showed up. Mike immediately began screwing down the second sheet of flooring into the frame. At this point there was a small dilemma, and a new piece of plywood was required along with more #2 Phillips head bits, and some decking screws to assist Bob in his bracing. When I returned, the third middle floor section was cut and attached.

Before we could drop the shell, we would have to get the C channel on, and the belly pan. I bolted the channel through each outrigger with a wide head elevator bolt, and bent the end of the bolt over once the nut was fastened tightly. Between the outriggers I used hex headed zinc plated screws with neoprene washers on them. I hope the washers will prevent some of the corrosion that had occurred with the last floor bolts that were installed.



With the middle flooring and C channel installed, we turned out eyes to the belly pan. First temporarily fastened it to the C channel on one side with some Cleco fasteners. After the Clecos were in, we began to form it to the bottom of the belly pan with the help of some pulling, and 2x4's to hold it against the floor bottom. I laid under the trailer and drilled up through the belly pan and the frame to have a good spot to rivet. The frame space just rear of the axle was left open inbetween the main frame rails. This will allow me to accompdate a gray water tank in the future. We dud however wrap from the channel to the main rail.



Cleco Vision




Mike forms the rear wheel well pan




Mike measures while I drill holes, and rivet the pan into place



Mike measures for the partial belly



Roger, Mike, and Alan cutting the partial pan

We finally finished fitting the belly pan for the middle section, and it was time to buck rivet the pan to the channel. I had bought my rivet gun and bucking bar so long ago, and finally I had a chance to use it. I was unsure about the bucking process, but Mike (MASTER of all trades) was very familiar with it. He held the bucking bar and told me to just feather the trigger to mash the buck tail. A few seconds later, I felt like I had mastered the process. Bucking rivets isn't anything like I imagined. It was fast, easy, inexpensive, and very fun. Bob wanted his turn at bucking as well since he will be restoring his Around the World Ambassador. Roger, Jonathan, and myself fell into such a groove while bucking rivets down the line. Jonathan compared us to a NASCAR pit crew since we were moving so fast.



Clamp, rivet, repeat




Roger takes over as the bucker while I hammer the rivets




The pit crew in action



Bob tries his hand at bucking

The weather was starting to get cooler out, and we were losing daylight. We knew we had to get the shell moving if we were to get it done. We rolled the chassis out of the spot we were working on it, and up in front of the shell.



We hooked the chassis up to Alan's truck so when we put weight down, it wouldn't shoot the tongue up in the air. All six of us went inside the trailer and lined up three in front, and three in the back. We lifted the shell by the bracing, and walked forward. I was the first to arrive at the chassis, and had to step over the first cross members, and then onto the first section of flooring. The others followed until we were completely over the frame.






The three young guns prepping to lift


Over the frame shimmying into place

After the shimmy, we were finally in place to stop. The shell is back on, but not completely fastened yet. That will have to be done once I get the new flooring and belly pan in place. It looks a little weird without the fender covers over the wheel wells and missing half the pan, but it doesn't look that bad to me.


Shell on...for at least another 56 years

We cleaned up our giant mess, people loaded their tools into the vehicles, and we proceeded to feast on BBQ and the normal fixings. I am sore, tired, but overall extremely grateful for the friends who game me their Saturday.

Steve
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:14 AM   #164
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Congrats on the milestone Steve!! Great crew too!
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:07 AM   #165
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Great photo-documentation & narration, Steve. Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:45 AM   #166
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Thanks Bill and Scott. My thread may not be a flashy resto or anything, but the work is still there.

I was just informed that Xbob (ATW trailer), is coming over at 0900 to help me finish the belly and floor tomorrow. All I need to do is electrical and I can tow again!!!!

Steve
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:55 PM   #167
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Steve,
I really appreciate the detail and pictures. Quite motivating for those of us involved in any type of restore process. What's the old saying?--10% knowledge and 90% perseverance. In your case, however, it looks like you had a crew with 100% of each. Great job guys & gals!!! Looking forward to seeing much of “the crew” in Branson this weekend.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:52 PM   #168
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Wow! I want a crew too! Great job.. wish I were closer to help.
Marc
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