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Old 03-31-2013, 08:45 PM   #1
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Aluminum Interior End Cap segmented

I posted a picture of the finished front end cap on the "what did you get for your trailer today" thread. I received a few inquires on how to complete this, so thought I would start a thread.

I got this idea from a post from Zeppelinium, that he posted a while back. Zeppelinium was nice enough to send me his templates but I had already came up with my own by the time I got his. I guess I am impatient! I can not take credit for coming up with this on my own because without Zeppelinium post I probably would of never tackled this.

While the end result is similar we used a different approach.

Material used .032 5052

(10) 11.5" X 51"
(1) 11" X 51" center piece

The first step is to remove the front plastic end cap. Remove all the insulation and seal all the lights, AIRSTEAM letters, rocksheild rivets.... from the inside. The pinkish purple blocks shown in the picture is 1.75" styrofoam insulation board that is cut into small blocks and glued to the outer skin with construction adhesive. This is put in place so you keep the same spacing between the wall and have something to push the aluminum segments against.

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The next step is to reinsulate between the styrofoam blocks.

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now you are ready to hang the first piece of aluminum and then start working your way towards the center.

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No complex curves were cut, the aluminum was hung per the sizes listed above. The aluminum was overlapped and it creates the desired curves.

Cleco's rivet tools is a must and I used Olyimpia shaveable rivets to give it the buck rivet look.


Here is a picture of the front completed without the curtain and valance.
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Hope this helps, I am going to start on the rear tomorrow since I get Easter Monday off work. Didn't take many pictures in the front because really was not planning on posting this. I will post pictures of the rear showing the progress tomorrow.

Wish me Luck!

Larry
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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Nice work Larry.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:28 PM   #3
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Really nice! Much prettier than the plastic endcaps!
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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Love it! Katie
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Great post thanks for showing this. Brian
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:01 PM   #6
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Very nice
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:58 AM   #7
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Larry,

Very nice. Your technique is much simpler and probably much faster. How long did it take?

I'm sitting here thinking about how each panel lays onto the styrofoam blocks--it must be a single-curve (not compound) twist (questions follow).

1. Did you put each panel up as an 1.5 x 51 rectangle (not tapered)?
2. Once you had the row of rivet holes from the following panel, did you take the previous panel down and trim it to a tapered shape?
3. Since you didn't flange the edges, was there a small open "V" between the two panels along the rivet line? When I made my large tool so I could use solid rivets, I found a fairly big gap developed between the panels at the rivet hole, even though the edge of the inside panel was flush with the previous panel.

AEROWOOD would like to see this, as he is contemplating using my tool to make his dome, once he gets a round toit.

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Old 04-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #8
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Zep, Thanks again for your help with this here are answers to your quesitons.

I did not keep track of the hours on the front, I started making templates out of old belly pan material that I had laying around. This is how I came to the conclusion to use rectangle pieces. I have several weekends and week day nights working on the front.


1. Did you put each panel up as an 11.5 x 51 rectangle (not tapered)? yes retangle no tapered cuts.
2. Once you had the row of rivet holes from the following panel, did you take the previous panel down and trim it to a tapered shape? No Once I put the aluminum up and drilled the holes I never took it back down to cut away the access.
3. Since you didn't flange the edges, was there a small open "V" between the two panels along the rivet line? When I made my large tool so I could use solid rivets, I found a fairly big gap developed between the panels at the rivet hole, even though the edge of the inside panel was flush with the previous panel. no large gaps the only time I have gaps is when there are aluminim shavings between the panels from drilling the holes. After learning this I made sure to remove all shavings and the results are much better.

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I worked on the rear end cap today started at 9:00 AM and got the majority of it done. It is so much easier the second time around.

9:00 AM
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9:00 PM
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Thanks again, Larry
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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Awsome! Looks far better than the plastic. Now you will have to create a template to reproduce the end cabinets! Thanks again
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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The Clecos probably cost more than th aluminum! But the Clecos can be reused!
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:19 AM   #11
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Larry,
Just wondering if you are going to place an overhead in the end caps or leave without. We removed our end caps and went with all interior aluminum.

Thanks,
Janet
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
...2. Once you had the row of rivet holes from the following panel, did you take the previous panel down and trim it to a tapered shape? No Once I put the aluminum up and drilled the holes I never took it back down to cut away the access.
Hearty congratulations on developing a very quick and effective method. My method was obviously over-thought. I'm going to give your method a try on the back end of my Overlander.

The only refinement I'm going to try is that once all the clecos are in, I'll take the whole thing down and use solid rivets. I know from my previous dome that you can assemble the whole thing and still get it back in.

Zep
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:58 AM   #13
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this looks incredible. How did you ensure both sides were symmetrical and even? ie, first outer panel on left and right the side width, the second one in the same on left and right side, etc?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjgraham View Post
Larry,
Just wondering if you are going to place an overhead in the end caps or leave without. We removed our end caps and went with all interior aluminum.

Thanks,
Janet
Janet,
I like the look and shape of the end cap too much to cover it up with the overhead cabinets. I am also going to modify the curtain rail in the back so the rear window curtain will be shorter like the front. This way more of the end cap will show instead of the curtain rail and curtains covering up the majority of it.

Larry
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJtoNC View Post
this looks incredible. How did you ensure both sides were symmetrical and even? ie, first outer panel on left and right the side width, the second one in the same on left and right side, etc?
NJtoNC,
Measure,measure,measure, still not perfect, the rear is better than the front because of experience. But overall its measuring and checking again after a few holes are drilled. If not right remove the clecos and realign and drill new holes.

Larry
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
Hearty congratulations on developing a very quick and effective method. My method was obviously over-thought. I'm going to give your method a try on the back end of my Overlander.

The only refinement I'm going to try is that once all the clecos are in, I'll take the whole thing down and use solid rivets. I know from my previous dome that you can assemble the whole thing and still get it back in.

Zep
Zep,
Very interesting, never thought of this. Not sure what buck rivets cost but my wallet is much lighter after going thru roughly 600 shavable rivets . I can see removing and reinstalling very challenging to handle hope you have a helping hand or hands. Removing half and then buck riveting and reinstalling would be much easier. You would still have to use blind rivets for the center piece though. Please post pictures when you are doing this I am very interested in this refinement. I have never done any metal work like this so very interested in learning different methods for next go around. God willing!

Larry
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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That is really nice work Larry. Thanks for sharing your work and process!
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:38 PM   #18
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Larry - beautiful work!

How did you figure out where the panels after the first one started and ended? Did you have a template, or know the final measurements?
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
now you are ready to hang the first piece of aluminum and then start working your way towards the center.
I am still amazed by your work. I don't think anyone else has started at the edges. This makes me more willing to do the other end of the Safari!

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Old 08-18-2014, 07:40 PM   #20
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Beautiful!
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