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Old 07-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #101
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Sandy just be glad you wern't ordering cable or telephone service. They will be out sometime between 8:00AM and 5:00PM.
My mother has the same problem with contractors in her town. Most don't even answer their phone and the rest don't show up when they say they will. If they do come they either want way to much money to do the job or don't want to do it at all.
She lives in an area experiencing a boom in construction so the contractors aren't hungry. My area is economically depressed so it's very easy to get tradesmen, plus they are always interested in getting a commercial contract due to the volume of work. I just called my plumbing contractor at noon at they were here and had the job done by 3:00PM.
Your husband shouldn't have a problem doing the frame as he has a template to go by.
Just copy what is there. My guy built the new one on top of the old one. He built the new one upside down on top of the old one. He built the main rails and crossmembers, then we flipped it over and put spacers between so he could attach the axle plates and the rear kickdown plates. The tank brackets and all the outriggers were done at that time. Remember tack everything in first, check for square and level before the final welds. He also told me that stitch welds are actually stronger that one long continous weld and the steel is less prone to warping from too much heat.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:03 PM   #102
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Sandy just be glad you wern't ordering cable or telephone service. They will be out sometime between 8:00AM and 5:00PM.
My mother has the same problem with contractors in her town. Most don't even answer their phone and the rest don't show up when they say they will. If they do come they either want way to much money to do the job or don't want to do it at all.
She lives in an area experiencing a boom in construction so the contractors aren't hungry. My area is economically depressed so it's very easy to get tradesmen, plus they are always interested in getting a commercial contract due to the volume of work. I just called my plumbing contractor at noon at they were here and had the job done by 3:00PM.
Your husband shouldn't have a problem doing the frame as he has a template to go by.
Just copy what is there. My guy built the new one on top of the old one. He built the new one upside down on top of the old one. He built the main rails and crossmembers, then we flipped it over and put spacers between so he could attach the axle plates and the rear kickdown plates. The tank brackets and all the outriggers were done at that time. Remember tack everything in first, check for square and level before the final welds. He also told me that stitch welds are actually stronger that one long continous weld and the steel is less prone to warping from too much heat.
Ah, therein lies the problem. Dearest better half is super particular about anything he builds and there are no shortcuts or "good enoughs" where he lives. He wants to make sure he gets everything just so and absolutely correct. I think he could do it but he wants a master welder to help on this big of a project especially since he hasn't welded anything beyond what they did in class. I don't have a problem with that but there are so many people trying to hire people with a pulse that the rest are in the not pulse state I think.

Don't even want to say anything more about contractors at this point. I may have to start saying I am a commercial account (big white lie....) and hope no one finds out . I did get a phone call about 10 AM (two hours late for his appointed time) and a nice email when I came in to the house about 6 PM. He said he is going to be here tomorrow but we are not crazy about having anyone here when we are not here. Dear husband has quite a lot invested in tools and we don't want anything to disappear and not notice it for a few months. Can you tell I have strong feelings about this?

I already gave the young man a third of his quote on Friday (he did come on time to pick up his money I noticed) and he doesn't show up to work day one. This doesn't look good but I am going to hope tomorrow is better. If not, I do know the number for contractor complaints in ND so all is well. Not really though because I don't like being jerked around. I have too many things going on and don't have time to hang out waiting on people who say they are going to be here at a certain time.

Frustrating....but tomorrow is another day. Maybe I can order some steel and feel a lot better. Thanks for listening to my latest rant.
Sandy
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:43 PM   #103
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Next day: " I am going to get a lot done tomorrow." turns into what I could have done in three hours was done today. If I weren't so ^&%$$)&$@ I would be civil enough to call him. Next installment of tape/texture tomorrow. Stay tuned.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:56 PM   #104
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Sandy I'm guessing that the term "a lot done" is a relative term. Maybe he considers what he did as a lot.
Somewhat like how long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you are standing at. LOL.
Sorry but I thought you might like a little levity and from the sounds of it you need a good laugh.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:24 PM   #105
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Sandy I'm guessing that the term "a lot done" is a relative term. Maybe he considers what he did as a lot.
Somewhat like how long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you are standing at. LOL.
Sorry but I thought you might like a little levity and from the sounds of it you need a good laugh.
I do, I really do.

I expect people to do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it, and to the levels they said they would do. Is that so much to ask? I understand toothaches, car accidents, tornadoes, child gets sick, but really no call for two hours and then a promise to get "a lot done" the next day??? Seems like I want to take that same approach to payment #2 and #3. I don't expect that will be so well taken either.

Okay, so I will pay you tomorrow if I feel well enough to do it and if it fits in my schedule. Oh wait, I was busy so I didn't pay you. Maybe tomorrow if I get around to it. If I feel like it. Who runs like that?


I will feel better tomorrow after a rest tonight. Maybe......I will overcome and continue on. Stay calm and continue on is my motto....most days! I try to remember there are lots of people in our community without a home due to flooding so I am really lucky to be only concerned about people not showing up to do what I paid them to do. There are better days ahead. Now on to that Airstream frame...the really important stuff.

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Old 07-12-2011, 05:33 PM   #106
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I analyzed myself . . . and I came to the conclusion that if I worked on my trailer 1/4 of the time I spend on this forum, I'd have it finished, have the next one finished, and be half done on the third one.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #107
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I analyzed myself . . . and I came to the conclusion that if I worked on my trailer 1/4 of the time I spend on this forum, I'd have it finished, have the next one finished, and be half done on the third one.
Good Lord, I think you might be right. Part of it is understanding if I am on the right path, part is knowing if I have the right tools, part is rechecking to see if I am understanding the job, part is having people that have done it before me and knowing they survived, and part is just having people who care enough to listen. Thank you all especially WS Chris who never fails to point out the positive. Where would I be without all of my support on the AS Forums? Thank you, thank you...
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #108
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Sandy you are so welcome.
I've been told before that I am a failure and I tell them that is not true.
I am a success at finding what doesn't work. LOL.
I have also learned a tremendous amount from these forums and have found a lot of really good friends even though I have never met them yet.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #109
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Sandy you are so welcome.
I've been told before that I am a failure and I tell them that is not true.
I am a success at finding what doesn't work. LOL.
I have also learned a tremendous amount from these forums and have found a lot of really good friends even though I have never met them yet.
I think it was Thomas Edison when questioned about why it took 10,000 attempts to create the electric light bulb, responded by saying it wasn't 10,000 mistakes but 9,999 steps to the solution. I can't agree more. I might be on step 4,879 right now. Or so it seems some days...it might also be that I am Norwegian and a little slow sometimes.

I keep pressing forward realizing that this is only another step towards finding the solution I am looking for and I remain ever hopeful to keep going on. Minor details right? Thanks for being there WS Chris and to all those that bother to add a helpful note to my odd posts and questions and rants. I appreciate all of the responses.

And to think we haven't even started in on the frame yet.... Double uffda I say.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:05 PM   #110
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I think we might be moving to where you live pretty darn soon. My husband did take the course, bought the welder, and has the Rookery in place for the rebuild. He thinks he should have an experienced welder to help him so it gets done right. I think that is wise but the guy who said he would help didn't seem to remember who I was when I called and he was asking about the aluminum frame.....what aluminum frame? And he was the guy who volunteered for the job. We are going to be paying him if he decides he wants the job but let's get with it already.

He is supposed to call us this week and come out to take a look at it. If that doesn't pan out, we will call my husband's welding instructor and then...hopefully we can order our steel and get moving. If that can really happen in our land. I am going to be optimistic and forward thinking anyway. Axles should be here by the end of the month and we want to get our steel ordered pretty soon.

The guy who was going to come out to do the tape and texture in the upper loft of the Rookery didn't show up today either. That is not such a big deal; it is the Albatross that we really want to get going. The rest can wait and who cares anyway other than I stayed home today from work to make sure I was here. Grrr...I am beginning to wonder if this project is cursed. Can't be, can it? I have lots of good ideas for what I am going to do with it plus I can only think of lots and lots of camping to come.

March on I say. There are many more adventures and long explores in our future.
Sandy
Skip the contractors, go straight to the instructor, get the instructor out there to "supervise" your husband's fit up and tacking and WPS and inspect for porosity and inclusions and undercut; then have him help you order the steel. OOPs, other way around, steel first. The instructor should appreciate the moral boost and real world practice (Unless he's out doing mag particle and penetrant inspection on some drill pipe)
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:31 PM   #111
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In English please

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Skip the contractors, go straight to the instructor, get the instructor out there to "supervise" your husband's fit up and tacking and WPS and inspect for porosity and inclusions and undercut; then have him help you order the steel. OOPs, other way around, steel first. The instructor should appreciate the moral boost and real world practice (Unless he's out doing mag particle and penetrant inspection on some drill pipe)
I think the instructor would be really a good choice but this other guy (auto collision instructor that builds car and truck frames) asked to get the job when his summer school contract didn't happen. We said if we needed help, we'd call. And call we did and didn't get much besides "Who?" and "What is this?" and so on. I think I might be in some other altered universe sometimes or perhaps it is all a cosmic joke. Seriously, can it be this hard to get a frame built?

The mag particle and penetrant inspection, occulsions, WPS, undercut, and porosity didn't ring a bell with me so I was wondering if that is all in English? Dearest husband probably knows that kind of vocabulary but you are talking to a lifelong educator/counselor here. When he awakes tomorrow am, I will clue him in. I will be busy kicking some &^%(*& on the tape and texture guy who didn't do much at all today after a lot of promises yesterday.

I might have to try another approach on the frame and park it in the neighbor's yard and tell them the only way it moves is with a new frame. They can keep the tongue and the bumper as starting points. That might get some movement on the whole project. I wonder if there are any sort of legal consequences to that?? Could really add to my record anyway... and keep the local lore up about the crazy people with the Airstream. We are becoming a legend around here by no real concious intent. Maybe I will put some fresh krumkake on the bumper so they don't get too mad about the rusting heap of metal in their yard.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:43 AM   #112
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Oh my word Sandy,
It is a bit humorous sometimes to hear of other people's mis-fortunes with contractors because most of us have had the same problems! I had the same kinds of experiences with welders and plumbers too. Don't worry, It'll get done. It just might take a bit of extra effort. Krumkake can't hurt either!
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:03 PM   #113
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Oh my word Sandy,
It is a bit humorous sometimes to hear of other people's mis-fortunes with contractors because most of us have had the same problems! I had the same kinds of experiences with welders and plumbers too. Don't worry, It'll get done. It just might take a bit of extra effort. Krumkake can't hurt either!
Stayed up all night making Norwegian treats for the neighbors. I told my dearest the plan on the frame when he got up to go to work and he said "No way are we doing that to them." So here I sit with a kitchen full of tasty treats.

Went to plan B at that point. Headed out to the shop and started to work on a 75 year old oak teacher's desk I got over the weekend. I found some interesting anatomical drawings of the human species on one of the drawer bottoms and some not so nice messages for Barbara Smith. Also found a book report form and suspected the following conversation "Jason? Did you get that book report done?" said teacher. "Yes ma'am. I did " replied Jason. Teacher states "Then where is it? I don't have it on my desk." Turns out I have Jason's book report form and I hope she didn't do anything too drastic to him. Jason has probably been in therapy for years over that missing book report.

Got the desk all stripped down and set up for stain. Dearest came home for lunch and told me I could start on the Albatross windows while I wait. He knows I don't do sitting around very well.

By that time my tape/texture guy shows up and tells me all he is going to get a lot done. He worked about 3 hours and left. Haven't seen him since. He got about as much done as I could do in about an hour. Maybe I am too harsh but doesn't seem like he is going to get this done any time soon. I did tell him I need to have that room ready by the end of July-son is moving back home for about a year. He said "No problem." When I told him I needed to be able to paint this weekend he said, "No problem."

So please don't say "No problem" to me at this point. I just don't get the whole thought process of saying one thing and doing another. I have decided whatever he gets done, that is going to go towards what I have already paid him. Of course, my dearest is laughing his head off because he didn't want to hire anyone in the first place. I knew there was a reason I married him...he's way smarter than I am.

These people are giving contractors a bad name. We had another guy out on Monday evening to grind some tree stumps down and he, number one- came when he said he would. Gave me the quote. Told me he could do it later that day. Came out when he said he would. Did the work. Charged what he said he would. Did a great job. So I know these people exist.

I always tell people "Don't tell me. Show me." I think I should take that one step further and apply it to contractors. Don't spend a lot of time blowing smoke and making promises. Just do what you are saying you will do and I will pay you and all is well.

I have two weeks until my son moves back home, neice from Denver arrives, daughter and friend from St. Paul arrive, and last but certainly not least, two granddaughters from Minneapolis arrive for a week at our house. They are 4 and 6 and haven't met the words slow down yet. I also have to finish up the work for eight graduate credits during that time. Should prove to be an interesting week or two.

Who wants to bet I won't be parking that frame next door about midnight tonight? The treats are still fresh and by the time their two dogs get done, they will be so busy trying to figure out why their dogs are full, that they won't bother with that rusty heap for a day or two. Just hoping my dearest doesn't get too upset when the neighbors drop by. I've done worse....I bought an AS (the Albatross) over Ebay as my first Ebay purchase ever and then told my husband "Guess what? We are going to MN to pick up an Airstream this weekend." Amazingly, we are still married. At least to this point.
Sandy
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #114
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We called the guy who volunteered to build the frame today after waiting all week for a call from him. He promised us the last of May he would build it, we hadn't heard back from him other than when we call him. He tells us every week "I'll call you next week". Are we slow or what? Now he says again "I will call you next week." I told my better half that we wait one week and then move on. My patience is gone at this point.

Husband measured the old frame today to get some thoughts on how much steel to order. Any movement forward feels like a ton of progress since we haven't seen much so far.

On another note, picked up a used cutting torch from a guy headed back to Phoenix. He said he's been here four years and can't take the winters. Can't say I blame the guy but those summers there might be a lot more than I could take. Nice guy and hopefully the cutting torch works well for our purposes. More tools that will come in handy if we ever get the frame redone.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:29 PM   #115
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That's too bad that the guy doesn't call back. To me, it means he doesn't want your business and money. That is sad. I hope it works out for you. As many people as I've met needing frames for Airstreams in the last nine months, you'd think someone like Dexter would be building new frames for a reasonable price. Maybe I need to get into that market! Plans, fabricators, trucking/shipping....
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:30 PM   #116
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That's too bad that the guy doesn't call back. To me, it means he doesn't want your business and money. That is sad. I hope it works out for you. As many people as I've met needing frames for Airstreams in the last nine months, you'd think someone like Dexter would be building new frames for a reasonable price. Maybe I need to get into that market! Plans, fabricators, trucking/shipping....
I have it all figured out, Top. You load up your family, tools, and all other necessities and travel the US making new frames for AS. That way you can use your expertise and see the country all while earning a living. If you decide to do that, put us first on your list and we will have the krumkake waiting.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #117
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Hi Sandy
here is a better shot of my trunk. Expanded metal is the grate like section in the pic.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:18 PM   #118
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Hi Sandy
here is a better shot of my trunk. Expanded metal is the grate like section in the pic.
So if I am getting this right, you made a new box in the area of the bumper and put a grate in it so it drains? Did you enlarge the whole area or just redo the design? I think ours must be different from yours. We are able to salvage the bumper but not much else off of it regarding the frame. Still waiting on getting the frame started...at least we can watch other people's progress and that is the next best to making progress ourselves. Our goal is to be out camping summer of 2012...or else....
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:24 PM   #119
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So if I am getting this right, you made a new box in the area of the bumper and put a grate in it so it drains? Did you enlarge the whole area or just redo the design? I think ours must be different from yours. We are able to salvage the bumper but not much else off of it regarding the frame. Still waiting on getting the frame started...at least we can watch other people's progress and that is the next best to making progress ourselves. Our goal is to be out camping summer of 2012...or else....
Sandy
I did rebuild the trunk as mine was non existent. The only part that is original was the bumper. I took the opportunity to enlarge the area and make the trunk section removable to do repairs or better access to the rear of the trailer if needed
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:21 AM   #120
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Wonder if that would work on a 76?

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I did rebuild the trunk as mine was non existent. The only part that is original was the bumper. I took the opportunity to enlarge the area and make the trunk section removable to do repairs or better access to the rear of the trailer if needed
I am curious if that would work on our 76 Sovereign? Might be worth exploring anyway. Thanks for that info and hopefully we will get moving on our frame before winter. Good news is my husband went over to look at steel this morning for the frame and our axles are on the way.
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