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Old 03-17-2008, 09:40 AM   #181
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Having done both ways, and given my circumstances, I definitely prefer the shell off method. Especially if the frame needs to be worked on. I found that a high level of quality work is easier with the frame accessible from all sides. I found it easier to level a sagging frame, also. Plus, I can turn the frame upside down and weld the bottom seams without all the meteorites flying in my face.
I was still able to do a very good job on the frame, with all welds solid and the paint nicely covered, but it was easier with the shell out of the way.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #182
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Our frame was in excellent shape except for the back crossmember that we replaced - essentially NO rust (one of the benefits of a Colorado trailer!). The portion that needed to be replaced was accessible on all sides by dropping the belly in the back portion.

We don't have the space to store the shell & frame separately > no room. I know it's taken a bit more time & creativity to work it out this way, but for us- it was the right decision. You are very fortunate to have the facilities to do so ~ a lot of decisions are made by the circumstances at hand.

Shari
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:03 AM   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Our frame was in excellent shape except for the back crossmember that we replaced - essentially NO rust (one of the benefits of a Colorado trailer!). The portion that needed to be replaced was accessible on all sides by dropping the belly in the back portion.

We don't have the space to store the shell & frame separately > no room. I know it's taken a bit more time & creativity to work it out this way, but for us- it was the right decision. You are very fortunate to have the facilities to do so ~ a lot of decisions are made by the circumstances at hand.

Shari
Yes, I know about the room issue. I suspend the shell from the shop ceiling, and then store the frame underneath it at night.
At the end, it doesn't matter all that much, as long as the flooring doesn't need to be cut in half to fit.
Some trailers have the belly pan wrapped over in the floor channel. Those trailers are very difficult to do with the shell on. The trailers that have the belly sides simply slipped in between teh outer skin and the c-channel are much easier to deal with. My 63 Overlander was wrapped - all the way around.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:08 AM   #184
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Our '56 belly does not wrap over the top of the c-channel - I think that's a 60's thing - it's just sandwiched between the skin & c-channel. We only intend to have seams at the panel joints - 5 panels = 4 seams (all over crossmembers of the frame). The curves were the biggest concern, now that they are done the rest will be easy ~ the sides are plenty flexible. I agree, the fewer seams the more structural integrity is maintained ~

Shari
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:32 AM   #185
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I just left the very front and the aft portion of the shell attached and let the sides float. The sides flexed out enough to install the middle sheets complete. I too wish I had enough room to do a shell off, and indoors would be a super plus.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:02 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Having done both ways, and given my circumstances, I definitely prefer the shell off method. Especially if the frame needs to be worked on. I found that a high level of quality work is easier with the frame accessible from all sides. I found it easier to level a sagging frame, also. Plus, I can turn the frame upside down and weld the bottom seams without all the meteorites flying in my face.
I was still able to do a very good job on the frame, with all welds solid and the paint nicely covered, but it was easier with the shell out of the way.
What kind of welding technique and welding equipment is recommended for frame repairs?
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:33 PM   #187
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Yea - in my case the frame was in excellant shape too...
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:37 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebfa
What kind of welding technique and welding equipment is recommended for frame repairs?
For us...a generous friend that knew what they were doing!

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Old 03-17-2008, 01:49 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebfa
What kind of welding technique and welding equipment is recommended for frame repairs?
I use a mig welder, a Millermatic 35. It has a good enough duty cycle to weld just about continously. Smaller welders have very short duty cycles, like a few seconds on, and then they need to be off for a minute or so. I don't know the exact durations. So, it's best to rent a decent welder, or call in a welding service, or tow the trailer to a welding shop for extensive modifications.

Most frames I have worked on were pretty decent. Little welding was required to actually do repairs. Most of the welding work I have done became necessary because of tank or axle conversions.

Mig welding is relatively easy to learn, and there isn't a special technique that I am aware of, other than "pushing the puddle". That measn the you kind of push the hot metal puddle left to right slightly while moving the welding tip forward. This makes a weld that looks like you're staggering dimes on top of each other.
Our welder is a 220V model, but there are welders available for 120V also. Those are fine for occasional use, and if time is not an issue. I am not certain of the strength of such a weld, but it should be ok, many home owners and farmers use those.

For welding just frame sections, you can use an inexpensive stick welder. That is what was used to build your frame in the first place, most likely. With all welding equipment, the welding current needs to be adjusted, so that you don't immediately burn through the thin metal of an Airstream frame.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:31 PM   #190
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Little things that make me smile!

WoooHoo! We got the chrome handles and bezels back from the plater today...they look awesome!!!

Enlarged photos: 'Before' & 'After'

Also, 'after' shown below...'before' in post #171

Shari
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:54 PM   #191
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You go girl! Great progress in a week-plus Shari. You'd have to slow down to give Birdy any chance of missing International.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:57 PM   #192
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You'd have to slow down to give Birdy any chance of missing International.
Oh she's going...not sure what shape she'll be in, but she's going - even if it's as a hard tent! Otherwise it'll be the two of us PLUS my parents in the GlobeTrotter for 10 days!!!!

Not a pretty picture...it's rather scary!

Shari
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:32 PM   #193
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Good incentive to getting the '56 finished, inviting the parents along. We all find our little motivators unintentionally sometimes, but it just seems to happen. For us it was the fact that I'd sold the Boler we were using and had already booked our trips for the following summer with friends and they'd of been very disappointed if we backed out. So we just went at it nights and weekends pretty steady for 5 months and then finished it up the following winter.

You guys are doing an outstanding job on your trailer. I'm hoping our two buddies who have both acquired early Flying Clouds are paying attention to what you guys are doing (You hear that Greg and Lee?) so they get rolling on theirs this summer/fall, but aren't worried about using them in progress.

Happy Easter.

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Old 03-24-2008, 03:29 PM   #194
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From the "you learn something new everyday" file...

I just learned what Safari means in Swahili and Arabic!

From Wikipedia:
"Entering the English language in the late 19th century, the word safari means "journey" in Swahili. Originally from the Arabic سفر (safara) meaning travel [1] The verb for "to travel" in Swahili is "safiri", the noun for the journey is "safari"."
Pretty cool! Very appropriate I would say...

Shari
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:19 PM   #195
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InsideOut said "I am proud to announce we have adopted a 1956 Safari double w/bunk today!!!! She weighs in at a whooping 2730 lbs and is 22' long. The interior is "all there" and the outside, while never polished is very straight and has no major damage - just some black rub-marks. We adopted her from the grand-daughter of the original owner. We have named her "Lily Bird" after grandma but she will go by "Birdie". She does need some TLC...but I'm ready to take on another project ~ and as Fred said, she's "...just waiting to be released from the white paint jail". We'll do our best to bring her back to her original glory"

This is PRECISELY (I know - sp?) why I added the 2nd shed are on my horse barn - I hope that someday this trailer (or her sister) will find it's way to a new and loving (if poor) home with me. Bee-uti-ful find.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:11 PM   #196
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...
I am a lover / Of the other / Side of the hill.
A Chris Ledoux fan? Or just a fan of cowboys driving Cadillacs?
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:58 PM   #197
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We got home from work tonight and had time to put in another sheet of the floor!!!! It went in soooo easy...I hope that it's a sign of things to come!

Shari
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:03 PM   #198
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Quote:
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We used elevator bolts to attach the plywood to the frame where we could access it and get to the back side and self-drilling floor repair screws where we couldn't.
Here are the pictures of the elevator bolts & the self-drilling repair screws installed.

Shari
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:05 PM   #199
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Is that stud finder pointing to Mr. InsideOut
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:07 PM   #200
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Uhhhh...yeah, that's the ticket!
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