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Old 04-11-2010, 06:50 AM   #101
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Almost Din(n)er Time

I managed to crank out the rest of the front dinette yesterday. All I need now is a table. Well, I guess cushions would also be nice.

I feel strongly that I squarely hit my target of light, and strong. I recycled most of the aluminum gaucho parts, and relied heavily on what I have always referred to as 'shear' strength. The tops are only 3/8" ply.

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I only put in 1 fixed support under each hinged top, to make storage of longer items like fly rods easier. The additional supports go up with the top-

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I have a surprise in store for the corner spaces-

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Oh yeah, and how a hasty repaint turns out. One more thing that looks good from afar, but far from good.

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Old 04-22-2010, 07:04 AM   #102
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A Little of This.....

Things are winding down on the dinette. I got all of the foam cut, the upholstery ordered, and the whole mess is off to get put together.

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The last thing to do here is decide on a stain and build the table. The stain presents an interesting problem since I picked a poor wood (Hemlock) species. We don't have many choices here in Montucky, but I liked the grain of it. Trouble is, it is way harder than I thought, and really doesn't accept much stain. So it is going to look like crap next to the walnut. I might leave it natural.

I have also been having major fits over table legs. Those pedestal things are total garbage (in my opinion), and really don't work very well at all. And with kids putting most of their weight on the table, we wind up with lots of messes. But I found something different from the marine side of things that might just do the trick. It should be here tomorrow, so I will let you know how it goes.

I also finished the cabinet that goes between the fridge and the dinette. Its purpose is drink holder, and to house movies and games. It has slide out drawers, and should do nicely. I salvaged the door for it from the old credenza.

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Be back later with another very little project.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:18 AM   #103
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And Even Less of That

As actual camping season is drawing ever nearer, I thought it was time to finally test the fridge on LP. Up until now, I have been unable to get it lit. This was primarily due to the hoky flint igniter. Now I have to admit that it is rather ingenius, and kind of cool. But hey, it ain't 1970 anymore. So now it is kind of dumb. Despite all my best efforts to clean, tweak, and talk nice to it, it really only sparked 1 out of 3 or 4 turns; which is why I couldn't get the dang thing to light. So to go with its updated aluminum looks, I put in one of those electric sparker things. It works like an absolute champ. It runs off of one AA battery. It didn't come with an electrode, but I had a spare for the fridge off the old SOB.

Enjoy

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Yuck. Looks like the underside could use some paint.

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Old 04-24-2010, 05:32 AM   #104
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Table Legs - The Cat's Azz

It is only because I have found traditional table legs so frustrating that I bother with this post; in the hopes that I can save others the same grief. My beef with standard pedestal legs is that due to their design, they are never very stable. Our table usually resembles a teeder todder with each kid's elbows on the table at opposite ends. I even went as far as to carry a rubber mallet to try and force the leg farther into the bases. Of course any stability I gained with this brutish technique was quickly outweighed at night when I tried to convert it into a bed. So I started sniffing around the marine industry and found this-Pontoon Tables, Pontoon Gear, Pontoon Accessories, Restore Pontoon Boat - RestorePontoon.com

I received it in the mail yesterday, and it is the answer to my problems. Although it looks the same, the concept is totally different. The leg actual twists and locks into the base. Oh, and I bet it weighs far less than a standard one as well. I am so confident in this thing, I am only planning on using one for the table. Granted, the table won't be that big. If I do wind up using 2, it will be because someone in the party decided to take up table dancing.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:42 AM   #105
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Very intriguing!!! please post photos of the the install!!!!
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:27 AM   #106
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Dumpster - Did you cut your own foam or have someone else do it? I have two large slabs of foam in the house and I'm not sure what the best tool is to get a clean edge or a smoothly curved end for our future dinette. Your foam look really nice (and the woodwork does too)!
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:30 AM   #107
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Carving the Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by webspinner View Post
Dumpster - Did you cut your own foam or have someone else do it? I have two large slabs of foam in the house and I'm not sure what the best tool is to get a clean edge or a smoothly curved end for our future dinette. Your foam look really nice (and the woodwork does too)!
This is one more thing that is good from afar, but far from good. Actually, I think that is going to be Dumpster's subtitle. But seriously, I used what I think most other people used - an electric carving knife. What you could see in the pictures were the outside edges, which were all factory cut. My handywork is up against the outside wall. They are not perfect. However, I don't think perfection with that tool is possible, nor do I think it is necessary. Judging on how tight most upholstery cushions are, I don't think the imperfections will be noticed once stuffed in the fabric.

Couple of tips-

I found the best technique is to be behind the blade, with your work just below eye level. That best insures your cuts being perpendicular. For straight cuts, I marked the top and bottom. I then lined the bottom marks up with the cutting surface(plywood on saw horses), and then laid a fairly heavy item on the top markings (I have a very heavy, old level that I use for a straight-edge) to create a sandwich, of sorts. This produced the straightest cut possible. However, it still looks like amateur hour. But don't sweat it. Again, with nice, tight fabric, as I believe it should be, you won't notice a thing when it is all said and done.

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:12 AM   #108
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Chicken Legs

Ok, I think I over-hyped this table leg a little bit. Donít get me wrong, I still think the design concept is eons past the old standby. However, my table wound up being bigger than expected, and just one of these will likely turn out to be insufficient to do the job.

What I like about it is that the leg literally locks into the base. Then there is a screw-down sleeve that beefs things up even more. About the only flaw is that the diameter of the base is just a little too small. That appears to be where the Ďgiveí is taking place. Perhaps my testing on it has been a little too harsh, and I need a more scientific approach. Maybe I will schedule the next family dinner out there, and see how things go.

Dumpster wants me to beg your pardon for the sorry state he is in for these pictures.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #109
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and I want to die in my sleep, not being crushed under a large, heavy object.

Like that great bumper sticker:

When I go I want it to be like Grandpa, in my sleep . . . not screaming like his passengers.

That old wall oven is cool. Real cool. So's the dinette. Aaaand, you rounded up a floor jack for the axles . . and a special metal cutting tool . . and . . . .
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:47 AM   #110
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Friday's Off-Topic Nugget

I am starting realize something-

The more I polish my trailer, the uglier I get...............
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:48 AM   #111
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that is funny right there my friend... I have small patches of mine with the initial cut done, and I walk past those and frighten myself...
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #112
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Things Are Finally....

Falling into place. All I need to do here is backsplash and blind.

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Old 05-04-2010, 07:29 AM   #113
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Looks great!!!!!
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:48 AM   #114
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Digging a Second Grave, or Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiiii

The plan when I woke up this morning was to drink coffee until the temp got above freezing, then finish the PEX. All I had left was to get to the toilet. Well, I couldn't figure out how to get the dang thing out. One thing led to another, and...............

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Old 05-09-2010, 07:24 AM   #115
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Technical Advice, or, My Invitation to MENSA

I will get to my question in a moment. But first, I have to admit that I am stupid. Yep. Box of rocks, sack of hammers, beer short of a six pack, you name it. When I was coming to grips with buying a trailer with no grey tank, I thought that meant the grey water went into the black tank. So instead of reading my owner's manual from cover to cover, I had to completely rip my bathroom apart to discover the truth. I guess finding this out now, versus up in the mountains on our first camping trip is rather fortuitous. So putting off grey tank installation until next season is suddenly out of the question.
The topic of the day is floor rot-
As I was tearing out my bathroom, I was fully expecting to find the entire back portion of the bathroom to be rotted out like 6 month old sour cream. However, that is not the case. In some ways, I wish it were, as that would make the choice easy. The wood is only rotted directly under the c-channel, directly over the frame. It runs about 6 inches on either side of the frame over both. I also have about 1/2" of sag back there. So the question is - how much floor do I replace? Even though we have clearly shown I am stupid, logic says the 'right' way to do it is replace the wood from the very back to the first cross-member going forward. But I have read and heard about people doing less than that, and using a cleat, since there is no cross member anywhere closer to the very back. I can see how this would make for a solid floor, but I wonder about it taking care of the sag appropriately.
I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
Thanks
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:36 AM   #116
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I can tell you that there probably isn't any space to put a second layer of plywood under the floor back there, as it is where the tank sits. Mine is right up against the underside of my plywood.
Also, what do you mean when you say "sag"? Is this how much the rear end drops as it goes back from the axles, or is it something else?
My first inclination would be to replace it from the last crossmember to the back, in one piece. It would allow you to use a better material for that critical back piece, like marine ply, and you would be able to repair the other, unseen issues that are still waiting to show themselves. Really, to do a repair that you can trust you should remove the inner walls around the back and at least inspect the bolts that hold the rear end to the frame and floor. If you replace plywood back there, a little or a lot, You should have the walls opened up so you can run the bolts or screws through the C-channel into the new piece/ pieces of plywood. If you opt to replace the whole piece of plywood at the rear you will, no doubt, find more that could/ should be done to the frame and floor connection and you may want to de-rust the frame and paint it.
If you keep repairing it like this you may eventually find that you have to choose a new name for it, like "MONEY PIT"

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Old 05-09-2010, 03:00 PM   #117
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good ol' floor replacement...how fun. here is an issue with the way I could see this going. I would replace the piece up to the nearest cross-member. But you may have to put it in in two pieces. the reason I say this Is that I don't believe the you will be able to separate the shell an the frame far enough apart because of the short distance that you are working with. I have see it done in multiple pieces though, and I dont think you will hurt the strength much at all. especially if you do the rear end separation fix while your at it. The skin hangs down over the outside of the plywood, so you will have to do this from the inside. (and yes, you will have to remove the lower section of inside skin to be able to bolt it all back together properly. you can do it, and you will be really happy you did... keep up the good work.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:38 PM   #118
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Oiy!

Thanks for the tips, all. I knew I had to pull the belly, and take the interior skins off. But I had fleeting thoughts of cheating a little, and not going all the way back to the first stringer. Then I woke up this morning and decided- DO IT PROPERLY. So I am one pesky screw from cutting up the floor to the first stringer. All of the elevator bolts are out (thank inovation for the Sawz-All). I do think I can do it from the outside, as the starbord side appears to have plenty of clearance from the skin. The port side; not so much. Everything looks pretty good under there, aside from the PO trying to move a boulder with the fore black tank support. Easy angle iron fix. My wish list now includes meeting the aft engineer in a dark alley somewhere, where no one can hear him scream. Nice design, chowder-head. While you are at it, why don't you create rain gutters that channel additional water down 'there'? In fact, why not include puddles from the factory at no extra charge?

This bitter A$$ is going to bed. Happy Mother's Day to all the tolerant Mums out there!
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:32 PM   #119
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I know how you feel. I had mine almost all the way apart before I realized that it was completely separated at the back, and then when I looked at all of the fasteners that were originally used to hold the rear together there were 2(two? two!) 1/4" bolts through the flat piece of steel that's welded between the frame rails, under the back wall, and there were about 8 woodscrews going down through the C-channel and into the plywood floor. Measuring along the bottom of the wall, this is about 11' or 12' of wall to floor joint, held together with only the fasteners mentioned. And this is the worst possible place to make it weak. The bathroom is back there, along with the black tank, porcelain commode, battery, water pump, etc.
Airstream should have extended the rear outriggers to the wall so you could bolt them to the shell, like the rest of them, and the front ones too, for that matter. With a simple 4' long piece of curved "L" profile I was able to strengthen the rear corners greatly. Basically all you need is something under the wall that you can attach solidly to, besides just the plywood floor. I added an angle-iron piece under the floor that was bent into a curve to follow the shape of the wall from the last full length outrigger to the frame rails at the back. The rear is now bolted through the C-channel, the plywood floor, and the 1/4" top flange of the angle-iron pieces. I also added fender washers in the C-channel to distribute the stress over a larger area so the bolt heads won't wear through the aluminum C-channel. The angle-iron pieces could be welded to the outrigger and the frame rails if you wanted to make it even stronger. I didn't even bother doing that when I saw how much I had already improved it's strength.

Best to you,

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Old 05-10-2010, 05:47 AM   #120
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Nothing educates a classic Airstream owner better than a floor replacement and then rehabing all the systems that live under and over the floor. Hope you get it far enough along this season to take it to the woods. Heck, buy a $50 portapotty and take it to the woods anyway.
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