Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Progress is intoxicating"

Well, thanks to all who are following this blog and have been patient with my postings or lack thereof.  I walked out today, pushed the trailer into the daylight, raised the hatch which now has hydraulic lift assists, took a deep breath and started cutting the siding. GULP!

After several hours of "measuring twice and cutting once" and even measuring thrice and cutting twice, I am pretty pleased with how the exterior turned out.  The exterior light by the door can be turned on from the inside or the outside but the inside is the master switch. The window looks better with the interior bezel in place and from this angle one can see the two speakers in the galley door. I have yet to install the light in the overhead. Here you can see the 60 lb. lift assist shocks. Next step is the other side and varnishing.

 Above is the same shot as the last but with the door closed .  

 Since is was getting dark as I finished for the afternoon I took a couple of shots with the lights "on".  Enjoy...
I have purchased the aluminum trim so my next post should have some shots that will start to look almost finished (from some angles) Lots of sanding to do!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Figuring it out as I go...

 So after a brief hiatus for surgery,  I'm back and making some progress on a few light-weight jobs. This picture shows  the doors set in place with the hinges I found on line at a sight for truck "refer" hardware. Because the plywood is relatively soft not to mention the redwood lining the inside and outside, I decided not to trust screws to hold the weight of the doors.

 This is a shot of the hinge from obviously the outside before the siding is applied. They look like screws but they are actually flat-head bolts attached to T-nuts set into the plywood from the inside ( shown below).

 You can see in the shot above, the T-nuts imbedded in the plywood. If you've never seen a T-nut, here's one (below) that shows the teeth that hold it in the wood and keep it from turning freely. Now that they are set I can cover them up with the interior paneling. The flat head bolts will be replaced with stainless steel security screws that can't be removed without a special tool.
A T-nut at the end of a bolt.

 Here is a shot of the interior paneling and the window temporarily set for a fitting.
So far, so good! Almost time to start sanding and varnishing.

As evening approached, I was able to get the other interior side paneled and with only a little light left sneak a shot of the right side from the paneled left side.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Its the little things that count"

  Soooo, I think the galley is just about done even though I have to pull the sucker out in order to do some wiring.  That kind of extra work comes from attempting something for the first time, right, we've all done it. But I'm pleased with the outcome, nonetheless.

The following pictures have obviously been staged, yet I still felt like presenting a myriad of possibilities to ponder.

This is a view through the left side door opening that shows not only some of the cabinetry but also a shelf  that as you will see serves a multitude of uses. Barely visible just below her clavicle and next to his kneecap is the slightest hint of a......You 're probably wondering WTH I'm writing about....but I got your attention!!!!  My goodness this cabernet is good...... I probably shouldn't drink and blog.... Is there a  law, Jessica?
Really, there is a shelf just below the stereo, see it?

There it is, It pulls out 16 inches and can be used.....

...to serve a lovely camp dinner of frozen burrito and very light (almost invisible) glass of wine... (what the heck would the spoon be for with the burrito, or the knife for that matter) or ....

Watch  your wallpaper on your computer, ( How exciting is that!!!) or...

play a game of solitaire because the person you were traveling with got tired of looking at computer wallpaper and left so you're stuck with a deck of cards, or.....

WHAT THE HELL, a Polynesian Fertility god!  Where'd that come from?................
.......Well, enjoy the pix until next post, I'm going back to my wine. Later!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trailer Construction

 This story begins with the return of Eddie and Devon from New Zealand and the subsequent announcement of their engagement. The stories they told made evident their love of camping as well as their dislike of doing so from the back of a Mazda wagon.
The project begins with my not knowing what to do with this old boat trailer for which there was no boat.  The ANSWER...
...kill two birds with one stone.
What to do with the trailer.....build a teardrop!
What to get Eddie and Devon for a wedding gift... build a teardrop!
They loved the idea of a teardrop trailer, even one that Mom and Dad can borrow when they are not using it!

After saving only the 3500 lb. axle and recycling the rest, I went shopping for steel, a trailer box, and some accessories. The fenders were from the old trailer.
This gave me, I felt, a suitable foundation for a 5'x10' teardrop trailer.

The base is a sandwich of 1/4" mahogany plywood for the bottom, a 1x4 maple frame with cross members every 2 feet using lap joints for strength. Also visible is the insulating styrofoam sheets between the maple cross pieces. The sandwich is topped with a 1/2" plywood layer of Baltic Birch.

 This is a shot of the neat little fold-down legs I bought from a local RV store which happens to be owned by an ex-student of mine, small world isn't it!
They pivot down and work like a high-lift truck jack, very cool.
You can also see the tabs Eddie welded onto the frame for the 5/16 stainless bolts that connect to T-nuts imbedded in the maple frame.

This is a closer view of the T-nut in the frame before the top plywood is glued in place.

Next, I designed a pattern for the body shape that Eddie, Devon and I all liked.
I put it up on the trailer to see how it looked.

Here is another view of the same process.

After deciding on a shape, I placed two pieces of 3/4x4x8 Mahogany plywood together and cut the sides out at the same time so they would be identical.

Next I added 2 feet to each side. I used wafers to add strength, then cut the shape out afterward to insure a good match.

Afterwards, I'm left with this, I love it!!!!!

After a few dry assemblies, the interior panels were glued and screwed in place. Later shots will show the screws and their spacing more clearly.

This shot shows some of the interior cabinetry being fitted early. Bottom right space is for a cooler, the middle bottom space is for the sink and the left bottom is storage and a drawer for the butane stove. The upper cabinets you see will be facing inward to the sleeper.

This is a shot of the interior storage. The middle black is a stereo console and the two black side inserts are speakers. They will be able to integrate their computer or Ipods to the stereo.
Below the cabinets will be two pull-out shelves for either eating or placing a computer to watch a movie or "Skype"-ing  if they can find wi-fi.

A view of the galley shell coated with oil-based paint before the finished cabinets are installed.

The galley is close to being done. The sink will drain to a bib on the side where they can attach a hose to divert the gray water. I ended up with 3 inches over the cooler so I added a utensil drawer (still to be stained and varnished). The board that reads "Teardrop Bed and Breakfast" lifts up exposing a five gallon dispenser that has a brass spigot on it (visible above the sink). All  the pull-outs are on fully extending drawer glides for easy access.

...with the stove extended. It is sitting on a cutting board and stores in the drawer on which it is sitting. The cutting board just lifts off and can be used anywhere, as too the stove for that matter.
This is a good view of the formica that Devon and Eddie picked. This is also a good view of the tambour doors. This design makes it easy to open if the counters are full of stuff.
Note also the 110V plugs up top in case they have hook-ups available.

...and here's Mom helping me with laying the counter-top laminate.

Once the cabinets were in place, I started setting in the cross ribs so I could sheet the interior and begin wiring. You can see the fuse panel from the outside which will house master switches and aircraft style lights inside for reading, see below.

The lights and switches are mounted on a panel door that unscrews and folds down exposing a fuse panel for the 12 volt wiring. Pillows were for a beer break with music .

another shot of the interior...
...and yet another.

Here's a dry fit of the oak trim that will surround the redwood siding once everything inside is done. Note the screws on the side I mentioned earlier above.

I have completed skinning the inside of the trailer shell so now I can start wiring.
The battery will be placed in a vented case in the locking box on the tongue. Larger gauge wires will fun through the shell up to the fuse box which is being held in place with vise grips in the picture above. Also visible in this shot is the skylight/whole house type fan
 (variable speed, reversing) on the top.

 I laid on my back inside the trailer to get this shot of the fan with its trim in place.
From this gopher-eyed view also visible is the stereo, upper cabinet doors and one of the 110 volt service outlet locations inside the sleeper.

This is a view of the fuse box from inside. Below the two aircraft style lights are a series of master switches for all the circuits so everything can be controlled from just above the head from a reclining position or when  the master switches are turned on the lights, stereo, exterior lights can be controlled at their located placement. Just above the lights is a small black dot which is the head of a screw, which controls this....

The lid to the fuse box folds down exposing the fuses and a wiring schematic explaining all the circuits.

I finished milling all the siding for the trailer sides which will be framed by red oak "woody style" trim pictured four shots above. I placed a few pieces against the shell to see if I liked how it looked. Whadayathink?  By the way, the wood is vertical grain clear heart redwood, my mouth waters just typing that!!  The pieces are not 2 inch slats, see below....

The pieces are 1/2" thick by 4 3/4" wide with a lap joint on the edges and 1/4" round over grooves to make it look like 2" slats, it milled like butter!!! I think it will look gorgeous with several clear coats of varnish.