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Old 12-05-2007, 02:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
so I'm sure I could do it. But, I wouldn't want my "first project" to be our Airstream baby
Why not?

Even though I work with Welders (people) everyday, the last time I welded anything was 20+ years ago. If you clean-up the material real well (especially the rusty stuff) and read the directions it goes pretty easily. It's best to practice for an afternoon on scrap pieces before you do the actual stuff.

One other thing you might try is to hang around a local metal fabrication shop around quitting time to see if you could find someone who wants some spare cash.

Look for the guys that look as though they've been in a dirty sweat box all day.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:49 PM   #22
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Tried that...and beer!

Shari
Shari,

Try going to your local trade school or junior college and ask the welding instructor who his best student is. Chances are the student will have their own portable setup or one they can borrow and will be able to do a fine job for you. I've had a local school do some machine shop work for me in the past - the school usually looks for a small donation in return for having the students look at a real world project and experience. Just a thought.
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:08 PM   #23
Restorations done right
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buy a welder... then you can say you did it.

Aluminati... what conclusions have you come to about the floor?
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
buy a welder... then you can say you did it.
Oh, trust me on this one, I am certainly able to say "I did it!". Don't need a welder to prove that! I actually cut off the old cross member & prep'd the frame for the mobile welder that never showed up, Mr.InsideOut's back was out of whack and "the welder is coming, so it's gotta be ready to go..."

This restoration is not just a spectator sport for me!

Shari

P.S. Sorry, Aluminati...I didn't meant to hijack this thread...just note that things don't always go as planned...
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:17 PM   #25
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nice looking concrete
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:21 PM   #26
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Thx Kip!
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
...Rusty frame is repaired, replaced, restored and painted, including rear hold down plate......
...
New floor is cut using "pieces" of old floor for template (1/4" luan pattern)...
...
Black tank support box is rebuilt and all associated plumbing repaired....
Ron,

Hmmm, "rear hold down plate." Guess I better pay some attention here. Ihave no clue what that is. I think I did discover a "front hold down plate" on my Caravel.

I do like the 1/4" luan for pattern-making. Hadn't thought of that.

You imply a couple of times that the tank supports are going to need work. Is that everyone's experience?

I guess the Safari (despite all my other work, this will be the first floor replacement for me) is going to be interesting.

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Old 12-05-2007, 05:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
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This restoration is not just a spectator sport for me!
oh shari, we know how it works. it's like extreme home makeover when they make it look like the stars are actually doing the work, they show a shot of the star with a tool in their hand. i bet that's the same in your case, hubby plugs everything in, gets it ready and you step in and he take's the picture, right ?
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:01 PM   #29
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Shari,

For less than $150, you could have a cheap (110v) wire feed welder which would be sufficient for any welding on an Airstream (not very heavy gauge steel). Anyone can weld with one, it is really that simple. Once you've used it, like the angle grinder and reciprocating saw, you'll wonder why you waited so long to purchase one. I have an old Lincoln stick welder (220v, 235 amp) that I picked up for $65 from a pawn shop. It has more than paid for itself.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:20 PM   #30
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Oh yeah David! I really look like "a star" in those shots!!!! Why I oughttta!!!!!

We may just do that Ron...still looking for a pro, structure is not something we really want to compromise on though. Where the work is required, will not be easily accessible to "re-do" later if it fails. But we are still pondering...thanks for the encouragment!

Shari
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:42 AM   #31
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Shari,

I'm probably right behind you buying a welder. Can I come up and get some lessons?

the bad thing is, I probably need a "cutter," too. Does acetylene come in small bottles?

Hey, learning to weld is just another in a long line of vintage Airstream opportunities to sit and ponder "what the h... am I doing?"

Zep
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:42 AM   #32
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The bad thing is, I probably need a "cutter," too. Does acetylene come in small bottles?
Zep,

I would suggest using a Sawzall. Considering the rather thin material found in an Airstream frame there is no need to use a cutting torch... besides it can be messy with molten steel flying around.

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Old 12-06-2007, 07:46 AM   #33
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Durn, I've even got one of those! Never thought of using it on metal.... duh.

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Old 12-06-2007, 08:52 AM   #34
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I used our Sawzall, grinder and a small pneumatic cut-off "thingie". Sorry, no excuses for new tools Zep!

Shari
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:57 AM   #35
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i think i'm behind shari and zep too with the welder. i need some cross members welded and a couple of outriggers. i'm going to get the metal, get everything cut and see how much work is involved. it may just be a few hours of a welders time once i have everything cut.

zep, i used my angle grinder to cut out the crossmembers, pretty much cuts like hard butter, sawzall works great too, make sure you get a metal blade.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:08 AM   #36
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WooHoo! A friend of ours (75 miles away) is going to come over & take care of us this Saturday! Better make a margarita run! Hopefully, our saga will soon be over ~

Shari
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:18 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
The biggest hiccup we've run into is getting people to show up to do the things we can't! We have had a heck of a time finding a mobile welder that will come by and do a couple of things:
  • Add an outrigger (we already have it)
  • Replace the rear cross member (have this too)
  • Reattach step (it's sitting there ready to go)
  • Add strapping for gray/black tank supports (got it, just need to attach it)
All these are ready to go - just need someone to show up and do the actual attaching. We have called no less than 12 supposed mobile welders from both the yellow pages & referal. Nobody returns calls and the one that did (referal) stood us up twice. We are not cheaping out, we are willing to pay to have this done...on their timing - weekend/weekday, either on or off the books, cash or ???. Three weeks and counting...the clock is ticking. There is absolutely nothing else we can do until the welding is done.

You'd think someone would want a little extra spending money! Argh!!!

So, can it be done quickly - over a looong weekend? Maybe. If you hold your tongue just so, find no unexpected repairs you can't do yourself, wear your lucky socks and underwear, have everything you need and a few things you might need lined up just in case AND the stars align perfectly ~ maybe, then just maybe, you could get 'er done! But I wouldn't hold my count on it...you will only be disappointed.

Shari
I know what you mean...I taught myself to weld. I have been mig welding for a year now. I even went out and brought a new one...Hobart! so I can mig weld steel, stainless and aluminum.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:22 AM   #38
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P.S. Sorry, Aluminati...I didn't meant to hijack this thread...just note that things don't always go as planned...[/quote]

NP that is why we are all here...to learn.

I have to fix my leaks first...then do the floor.
If you need to know how to weld...buy one...I did.

My only issue now the people who live around me...as soon as someone you live by knows you know how to weld...Oh Boy...
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:10 PM   #39
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Let me change the question slightly .Does owning a vintage airstraem mean that you need a new frame .My 66G/Tstarted in Michigan and is now in NY In other words it has not spent its life in the SW.I have removed all the original floor tiles and there is a small amount of rot near the door and some near the battery ,which is under the street side gaucho . I found some damage to the frame under the toilet that appears to be repairable without dropping the belly.I'll drop the belly and lift the body if that is the standard procedure for all old AS .By the way I have decided to replace the axle just for gp's ,tom .
the reason I ask is its gettin damn cold outside
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #40
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no, you don't need a new frame unless it's rusted through or, for the long guys, has severe butt droop. Scrape off the rust and POR-15 it and it'll be almost as good as new.

Zep
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