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Old 10-28-2011, 11:19 AM   #21
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Vinyl Ester Resin not the answer...

Update:

wasagachris stopped in as I'm three miles from the Interstate; if seeing my hillbilly chaos-theory restoration and three hours of hearing my tales of woe doesn't make him swear off Airstreams, or at least meeting & greeting wanna-be Airstreamers... Anyhow, best three hours I've spent around my trailers ever. A earnest thank you for your time, Chris!

I changed the floor paint scheme; I added an oil-based primer coat over that first heavy coat of STIX, I went to sand the sawdust nibs off and the stuff dusted like drywall spackle so I'm using it as a bonding primer, it does adhere & penetrate well (five days later still some on my fingernails) but does not leave the water-bouncing film I wanted. Chose Behr acrylic floor paint and their recommended primer... the stuff smells like fresh cooked pancakes 1st day curing, then like hot popcorn the second day curing - but makes me about cross-eyed the first few hours of drying from mineral spirits!

Fighting temperatures too - overnight frosts and days in the 50's have me running a Vornado fan/heater 24/7 in my 10x20 shelter. The Vornado injects a small amount of heat into a huge bulk of moving air, a good draft killer for the house, but is just shouting in the wind trying to keep the tarp shelter really warm if the wind is stirring as the shelter has air leaks. But since the trees are shedding their leaves once the sun hits the shelter its in the 80's in there! Ultimately its taking twice or more as long to paint as it would've a few weeks ago, but conversely maybe the paint is penetrating deeper with a slow cure - the edges are rejecting soaking in paint already so thats a good sign.

Wondering why I am fixated on sealing the wood?

I replaced the rear sheet with the $85 'marine grade' 3/4" plywood less than four years ago - I used 2/3rds of a gallon of vinyl ester fiberglass resin because it is harder than the usual polyester resin and a better moisture barrier.

I was disappointed with the pulp-wood inner layers of the marine grade plywood, some screws would bounce off and require counter sinking while the next screw would pull almost through the panel before encountering any resistance - thus the high grade sign & concrete form structural plywood this time.

I was disappointed with the VE resin, first two coats thinned for penetration and another thick two coats over that to try and make the wood 98% water-proof but the attached picture shows the wood well on its way to dry-rot in places - whether the grain of the wood relaxed from weathering and opened the pores to moisture or what I don't know but the edge shown is well on its way to delaminating. It could just be I missed spots and there was only light coats on the areas that were fading fast, but I'd bet there is more like six coats of resin on there as I doubled up with recoating with brushing out uneven places, even applied it by dumping out resin and spreading it around.

Also note that flooring has been frozen 1/3 of that time with our severe winters up here - freeze-thaw cycles might have helped open the pores of the wood. Also the worst area was.... at the bumper mount frame extension that had only minimal drip edge - caulk protection, but still I expected better from $140 and 30 hours of work!

The two example pieces are lying on top of the old floor sectioned up for the trash haulers, hated to trash that much prodex but it had to be done. The damage was on the underside of the panels, the tops still looked good.

I'm putting an Behr acrylic exterior porch paint (silver color) as top coats, then its toss them on the frame and drop the shell time! Its warmed up to 50F outside to time to get a move on... thanks for reading y'all!
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:08 PM   #22
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My dear Wabbiteer, thank you so much for this thread. I believe a nice Avion is about to fall into my clutches - along with it, a long term dirt cheap lease on a warehouse. If it needs a new floor - you've convinced me to drive to Georgia and buy a truckload of NyloBoard!

If we meet along the road sometime, remind me that I need to buy you a nice hard cider or other beverage of your choice.

Paula - Curses Foiled AGAIN!
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:03 AM   #23
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If our dear friends at Nyloboard thought a little less highly of their product money-wise I'd have it now!

I spent a bunch of hours crossing Georgia twice last August and spent some time deliberating what price point I'd need to drag six sheets home and came up with 2X wood & paint costs or $130 a sheet. Too bad they want $220-240 (last I read) per sheet plus 7% sales tax ($1412-1540 for six) and discourage factory pick-ups. I did not stop in Covington, Ga so I'll never know for sure if they didn't have a stack out front with a free sign on it but for the next 40 years I think I'm covered with the MDO.

I've finally gotten five coats of paint on the flooring sections, had to sew up the seams on the tarp shack (spiderwire fishing line) and run a heater 24/7 to get the stuff to cure correctly. The heater has run about $4 a day for electricity. Now that more leaves are down with the regular overnight frosts by midday its in the 80's in the shack from the white tarp roof admitting sunlight.

I have a case of 3M 5200 caulk on its way - I plan to dry fit the flooring with a couple of bolts in each section plus fit & drill the backing plates, then pull it apart to add the adhesive/sealant. Twelve tubes will yield 380' of 1/4" bead caulk so I'm hoping there will be enough to pad every metal-to-plywood and glue the backing plate & floor section seams. Only hitch is the POR-15 may reject the 5200 but by then it will be cured and form fitted, I will sand the POR on the outriggers to make sure it bonds where there might be water though.

I'll calculate the total metal surface area later today and post back, each tube has one square foot at 1/8" thickness. I hope I'm covered.

I've got thin silicone sheet I'll add as button or strip hold-offs to keep the fastened plywood from extruding the 5200 out, ensuring a even thermal break and cushion layer there. I'd planned on using the silicone by itself but couldn't figure a way to keep it from collecting water and/or creeping out over time or deforming when a screw spun through it.

I'm pressure washing the shell interior today and tomorrow - the oiled fiberglass residue has to come off before I can paint plus a odor issue. Once that is done I have original Vulkem I'm going to slather over the exposed inside rivet lines and seams.

I've wire wheeled the front and rear shell-to-floor channels and have zinc chromate outboard motor primer/paint waiting for a nice day to spray that (especially the area resting on the floor) and the double 'c' channel with. I've heat-gunned the old vulkem residues off and will paint them too, along with the front hold-down plate area.

I've got an insulating additive to mix with interior shell primer-sealer...
Insulating Paint Additive Makes Paint Insulate

And an insulating aluminum topcoat paint to cover everything except the rib face where the interior shell panel attaches...
Attic Radiant Barrier Paint, Wall Vapor Retarder Coating

It's a matter of degrees in conservation, if I can keep temperatures between the inner/outer shells 2, 4 or more apart in mild weather the paint is definitely worth it. Where it will pay off best is full sun on a calm day - that is before the former insulation process!!

Gee... warmed up to 38F here now.. funny how the five stages of grief apply to Minnesota weather! (Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance) I guess I am at 'Bargaining' now, wait for 50F, then 40F.. Soon it will be above freezing feels like summer.

More later!
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:07 AM   #24
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I calculated 17.75 square foot metal-to-plywood contact area in the ladder frame & spars, outriggers and A-frame brace areas - to give 1/8" 'gasket' effect with the 10-ounce 3M 5200 would take 18 tubes. The silicone sheet material I have is 1/16" inch so nine tubes will be needed, more like all twelve since I am not a machine that can apply it perfectly - looks like I will need a couple more tubes before the job is over.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:37 AM   #25
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3M 5200 arrived. March 2011 Date Code, so far so good.. Now to figure out how to lay out the silicone sheet and adhesive then drop floor straight down & bolt. Floor panel paint hardening up better everyday, the drips on the corners are no longer butter-soft or soft putty hardness - still not fully cured but I won't destroy the paint by installing floor or walking on it. Another small victory...
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #26
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Played merry hell trying to get a decent pressure washer - to get a good hot water washer from a reputable rental company would've meant an hours drive and $200-plus charges. We settled for a cold water washer w/ a supposed 5000psi ($100/day) that was too big to handle solo so rented extra hoses to reach while keeping it in the bed of the pickup, got it home and hooked up and discover the nozzles were wrong size and the quick-change adapter damaged...

A call to the rental company and it was bring it in, we'll check it out. Lets note here it was probably the last day this year in the upper-sixties and shopping rentals and getting this thing had eaten half a day already. The wooden headed manager had snapped the nozzle in as a demo, he felt how loose it was and rented the unit anyway. We returned the unit, now two more hours lost - zero apology, zero incentive offered to ever return to their business, treated condescendingly the entire time. Complacency sucks and they nested in it there like they were living on Parkplace at the Boardwalk and we'd asked them a favor!!

Exit $330 for a Generac 3000psi 2.8GPM washer. I used 1-1/2 gallons of cleaner to soak the inside of the shell. Applied cleaner and allowed to soak for 20 minutes and then applied it again for another 20-minute soak. 1-1/2 tanks of fuel later the thorough washing really brightened up the inside of the shell but did not remove the worst of the insulation spray adhesive, but did get all the over-spray, druff and oil residue from the fiberglass and all the mouse-house smell. Used a Stihl leaf blower to chase all the water out from under the ribs, wiring and hidden places, kind of like the forced air drying at the local car wash. NOTE: blot the water in the window frames out before hitting them with the leaf-blower, they were like mud puddles gray from aluminum oxide dust and what-not.

So today we start latching the floor panels down... I better start getting the tool set made up. Pictures maybe later today
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:38 PM   #27
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Prepared the silicone and laid out the method groundwork - will be caulking and potting the frame-to-floor gasket tomorrow. We did two loads of the silicone through the dishwasher with extra soaps to get all the oils and crud built up on it since it left Boeings' surplus center.

Tested the .0625" sheet pressed between an old outrigger and plywood and the drill did not catch it and spin or ball it up so I'm hoping it will be painless if/when we have to punch through the gasket with screws and bolts but will be trying to avoid that by careful placement.

Pictures.....

Doesn't look like much but thats 70~ feet of 1" and 3/4" gasket strips! The rest of it is hiding in the washer's sump where it had slithered down into... More pix to follow tomorrow.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:33 AM   #28
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Looks great! Are you planning to brush or spray your ceramic mix?
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #29
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I've resigned myself to using nine & four-inch rollers and hand brushing in the ribs. Spraying would be ideal but they call for a .021 (.019-.024) nozzle tip size and the HVLP unit I have is a 14 with no parts available.... Unless you or some other learned person knows a better way?

Finally used the spray cans I nabbed from West Marine; sprayed Zinc Chromate today on all the double-C-channel pieces and the end C-channels as well as the wheel well edges etc.. Note that is a high solids paint and really wants to clog the flipping little nozzle. I figured out a couple of hints to help people in the future with it.

1) 15 minutes of shaking and agitation. Watch the born-on dates, the longer it sits in the warehouse and on the shelves the longer you'll need to listen to the marble clapper zinging around the can. Good project to hand off to helper - spouse, especially if they are a passenger in your car running errands.

2) As it sprays the vapor change of the propellant really chills the liquid down... you may get 90 seconds spray time before the pressure drops enough for it to appear to clog up. Soak the can in a pan of hot tap water to start, and repeat to get the pressure back up when it starts wheezing. If the can bulges or splits open you used too hot of water and I'm not responsible. Hot tap water, the kind you can leave your hands in w/o scalding is all thats needed. If you live somewhere that does not have permafrost and ice forming overnight perhaps initially warming the paint is not needed but it sure helps once you've sprayed enough to chill the can down.

3) Paint has Lead Chromate in it. Wear a decent particle respirator. Once its cured its a non-issue... except for the overspray, it really leaves a green dust everywhere. Spray away from people and away from where people want to be - use drop cloths and discard them.

Anyhow... 400grit wet/dry paper texturizes the POR-15 just right for 3M 5200 to grip to, otherwise nothing bonds to POR-15. I am still counting on the 5200 product to grip to the floor to stay in place, and found a cheap office supply one-hole-punch to stitch out a line of holes down the center of the silicone strips to force a rivet effect to hold the slippery silicone in place. Mission creep is a drag sometimes, but not as bad as silicone creep!

Today is a good day to install floor panels but I have no help - have to hover floor sections into place and drop them straight down with little/no adjustment to keep from smearing the adhesives and that take two people. I'll go play with wedges and chocks to try and position with but it does not look good.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:04 AM   #30
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Quote:
found a cheap office supply one-hole-punch to stitch out a line of holes down the center of the silicone strips
I now have half a pound of quarter-inch silicone dots. This gasket is similar to what they make fork-lift truck solid tires out of, yields very slightly on compression. The 3M 5200 sealant/adhesive is what they use for boats where gnarliest bond and near zero weathering keeps people alive and boats afloat. Marry the two together between iron frame and the sealed floor panels and its a strong, quiet and insulated gasket. The holes allow the 5200 to 'sew' the silicone in place even if it can't grip the silicone itself, like a rivet every 1/2-inch.

Ended up making a near continuous gasket strip, no overly large gaps like those in the picture, used 1" wide sealant layer then gasket then another layer of sealant all tooled out level with every hole and gap filled.

I'd been waiting on warmer weather, so Friday I got my chance and the floor panel installation (outdoors) finished at 9pm, four hours after sunset with the temperature just dropping below 40F. Around 40 the 5200 turns into taffy, not that it wont cure when cold just it isn't very workable and very hard to get out of the tube. Used 6-1/2 tubes just to lay-in the gaskets and drip-proof the outer circumference edges. I'll probably used that half-tube and another one to totally fill and zip close any gap between floor and frame.

Saturday was forecast for rain but the 'nowcast' went to 2-4 inches of snow, we hustled and got forty so floor bolts in to clamp and level the flooring in place. Drilled pilot holes upwards through the spars and outriggers to ensure 100% alignment and proper positioning, Trish handled keeping a board over top the drill bores to keep the plywood from splintering while I stayed under the frame...

Around 11:30AM when I'd finished and crawled out from underneath the floor was covered with ice pellets... Trish didn't mention it or complain even with walking/standing on fresh painted plywood with ice pellets being extremely treacherous, as I discovered handling the screwgun. All forty 12-24's went in cleanly, no stripping with 5/32" pilot drill size, and driving them up/down multiple times made them seat themselves perfectly in the MDO plywood. Success!

Hitching up to the truck and backing the floor/frame under the shell lifted a huge weight off my shoulders with another huge step completed. Weather in the 50's is forecast by midweek so that is when the shell will be landed and mated to the frame. Yes, I will shovel out the snow drifts and try to keep water off the floor but its done, yippeee!!!

We were just policing up the tools when Tom dropped by to check it out, this same wild turkey visited while I was pressure washing the shell interior! Washer gas engine and sprayer noise, the drumming of 3000psi hitting aluminum didn't phase it at all. We absented ourselves & Tom snacked on some spilled birdseed and wandered off wearing a cap of snow.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:30 PM   #31
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Another milestone, the front pylon stand is gone gone gone!

Nice 50~F day today - snow and melt/mud subsiding, lots of melt water running all over the painted floor. So glad I sealed it 5-coats!

Landed the front of the shell to the floor and just engaged the first set of Double-C Channels before it got too dark to continue. The front edge of the shell was an just under an inch out of square when it came time to drop the hold-down plate through the skins and align the two big anchor bolts. Jogged back end of trailer over 6-7-inches and some muscle then used the hitch jack to insert plate. Only took three tries to get rivet holes 95% aligned.

Tomorrow will have it locked down - really will be cause for THANKSGIVING!
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:36 PM   #32
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Hey Wabbiteer....Ya' workin on a beach? What's all that white stuff?

Great progress!
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:41 PM   #33
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Congrats on the safe landing!
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:42 PM   #34
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Wow!

Hey Wabbiteer, we have been watching your thread with fascination! Looks like a very thorough job! You certainly did get serious about cleaning up that back yard!! We expect to see you and Trish out camping soon! Great progress!
Did Tom get invited to Thanksgiving dinner?? Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #35
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I'm not happy - I had to trim the flooring 'curve' for the rear segment skirts that hang below the floor channel to clear... and it looks like it might've got seated properly by removing only half of what actually was cut away, or a half-inch trim. And that was the second time I did that sheet.

If we were not racing against rain/snow I'd have tried stretching the shell to see if it would drop-hook over the floor, I swear we gained over a quarter-inch length just lifting and lowering the shell to trim the back sheet. Crimey.

That back-sheet end cap arc is so fluid from having the battery & water heater lockers interrupting the channel that its never the same twice, so the rear-most floor channel should be stretched by blocking or cables to determine only then where to stop the floor edge.

Picture taken at 10:30PM after a trip to store to get the RotoZip X-Shield2 flush cutter attachment ($28 on clearance) that worked exceedingly well at turning plywood into dust while leaving the bottom paint intact. The Entire back metal brace and floor cut edge now well slimed with 3M 5200 to deflect water intrusion.

Anyhow - the shell is down and secure, but I'm wishing I'd have been able to leave more plywood flooring beneath the back channel than what I've got.

The fresh water inlet leaks, the front dome vent leaks, the refrigerator vent leaks... otherwise its nice and dry - and stomping and dancing on the floor is as quiet and squeak free
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #36
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These projects are frustrating at times. Does your bumper just bolt onto the chassis?
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:57 AM   #37
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For the aluminum bumper - there is a twin hole to the one in above picture on the lower frame rail C flange. This trailer had four 3/4" 5/16-18 flat head screws through-bolted w/ washers & nuts to hold the bumper on.

This has been the warmest autumn ever, these last two months have been a gift for sure. Last winter we had 8~ feet of snow that stayed around 135~ days; this season we're short 6~ inches rain and now 6~ inches snow from drought, its been since August that we've gotten any rain and now were counting on snowpack keep next spring green.

Today I attempt to find a livable arrangement with the trailers, the least trouble being lower the parts trailer and scoot it five feet forward & re-block it up to give more room for parking & snow management. Double and triple throwing snow, tossing it in front of thrower to conveyor belt it to a null area really is hard on equipment & operator. Get sloppy on first snows and it turns to concrete then ya get to live with it three or four months.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #38
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Nice progress, keep going. I know how it feels at this point it is hard to see the fruit of your labor. Remember the only way around is thru! I used a biscuit joiner (as well as strips of ply glued and stapled) to seam my floors togeather. It might help to reduce some of your floor squeak. Worked pretty good for me.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:48 AM   #39
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It might help to reduce some of your floor squeak. Worked pretty good for me.
Seems like typos left the sentence mangled...

Should read "stomping and dancing on the floor is quiet and squeak free..." as in solid almost like the factory fiberglass sandwiched floors. I'll double up or more on the floor screws once the 5200 has cured.

Every edge overlapped at least one inch with 3M 5200 used as the adhesive - each floor screw traps both sheets. I need to go back and grout the 1/16" floor joint gaps w/ 5200 next time we get warmer weather.

The backer boards are 10" wide with 35 (seventeen each side!) truss head screws scabbing them to the floor. Those screws were reset after 15 minutes to account for the 5200 adhesive to creep wherever the crush pressure crept it to. Nice tiny bead appeared all along the 60" length edges.

Now onto insulating!
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:33 AM   #40
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Sorry posted from my phone
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