Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Weld-less Trailer?

Progress over the last couple of days:

Lisa gave herself a good bruise whacking her thumb knuckle with a hammer while chiseling up the floor tile. We got a good look at the subfloor, which was in surprisingly better shape than we'd expected but still needs to be replaced, so that came out too. Now it's completely gutted except for the frame.

Would you believe there's not a single weld on that thing? They put the whole trailer together with screws, u-clamps, bolts, and buck rivets (the old style that took two people to put in, one on each side). All the weight of the front and back ends is hanging on these sketchy joints where the steel pieces butt up against aluminum ones. It's amazing it lasted as long as it did - if it hadn't been stationary it probably wouldn't have! So the next step now is to beef up the frame with steel beams. We drew up some plans and figure it'll add a couple hundred pounds to the trailer, not a big deal considering it was only about 1,500 to start with.

The new center pipe came in Thursday - another 4-inch round like the original, only we're going to weld steel beams to it instead of screwing it onto aluminum. The guy who delivered it looked kind of puzzled. "I've been bringin' square pipe to this place for years, and they ain't never ordered nothin' like this round one!" We're planning to do the frame welding on Monday when Gary's back from his deep sea fishin' trip down in the "Gu'f."

Also on the docket for next week is to strip the old paint out of the interior. We tried some paint stripper last week that just didn't make a dent in the 50-year old paint. We picked up some more potent, industrial strength stuff and tested it on a small patch, and that worked. We'll deal with that next week too so when the frame welding is done, we can put the new subfloor in.


Jaime said...

Citrisstrip purchased at Home Depot works the BEST! I tried the aircraft stripper and that did not work as well. PLUS this stuff is less toxic.

Ben and Lisa said...

thx, will give a that stuff a try. check'd your blog and enjoyed the airstream history slide show! b

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