Sunday, June 29, 2008

The weekends were made for....

Here is the last of the side areas needing compounding. This area is very oxidized by salt air. It is extremely thick and feels like 100 grit sandpaper. This area will need some extra attention to bring it back.
I am going to sand it using a waterproof sandpaper made of aluminum oxide. 
320 cuts right through the granular oxide... lots of water to lubricate the paper...
600 really gets in the corners...
So here she is after sanding with 320 grit wet/ dry then 600. I was cutting corners and did not do the 400 or the 1000 grit. I went straight to the F7 after this step...

So here it is after some F7.... still needs some detailing, but close to done with the "first cut".

And now for some paying work....

John Kwasnick,  whose blog is linked on mine needs some new "J" channel. I dug down in my remnant pile of aluminum and found a sheet of 5052 Bare to use. First step was to rip some 120 mm strips,  29" long. John is some what of a smart ass, so he chose to give me millimeter measurements. No problem brother, I am up to the challenge. I threw a high angle ATB blade in the table saw and ripped it up. Next, I bent it at 46mm x 40mm x 34mm. one is 42mm in the middle measurement, deal with it....

... here you go John, five new pieces of "J" channel. 

Monday, June 23, 2008

A rally as good as the East Coast Vintage Rally deserves two postings.

I am not claiming to be a rally veteran, but this one was the best yet. We "all" had a great time, even the teenager that came with his parents was having fun. My oldest was upset that it was too short and that four nights was not enough time to have a proper rally. She is ten and does not understand how long four nights at a rally really is. I told here that maybe next year we will make it five nights. Now she has something to look forward to.
As a rally gifts we were given a framed family portrait in front of the Byamville sign. This photo will hang proudly in our home and remind us daily of the great times we had in Staunton at the first annual East Coast Vintage Rally.
     I wanted to show a few of the great vintage tow vehicle and trailer combinations that came. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of Stuart Natlof and his 1961 Bambi pulled by a 1948 Cadillac. Here are a few though that I did photograph. Sorry about not knowing exact dates and models, I am really not a gear head.

I can tell you  Steve Mc Queen would have felt very comfortable with this rig. I think that trailer s a 1963 Globetrotter and a 1968 Dodge Polara. Very cool combination to say the least.

I really liked this International Travelall. It is a 1961 and the owner was telling me all about it. The only part I remember is that it is four wheel drive and it was the top of the line model. It is in near perfect condition and the trailer was not too bad either. This rig came down from Rhode Island.

Here is Paul Waddell's International Travelall. I think it is a 1969 and the trailer is a 1966 Safari. Now don't go quoting me, I think those are the years. Very sweet combination.
      Now I too have something to look forward to, because this Rally will become an annual event for sure. Paul, I am not just taking my hat off to you, I am taking my pants off too. 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

East Coast Vintage Rally

This weekend we went to the East Coast Vintage Rally in Staunton/ Verona Virginia. It was held at a KOA and there were about 44 Rigs there. Mary Kim and Paul Waddel were the most gracious of host and hostette.  They let everyone create their own fun, and fun is all we had. On Friday night I gathered everyone for an informal potluck supper. Beth, Ava and I walked around and asked everyone to come to site 107 for an informal potluck at 6:30. I am sure everyone was asked at least 5 times. Well, everyone showed up and we had a swinging party that received two visits from the KOA owner to keep it down. I was having so much fun that I didn't even realize he had paid us a visit.  The food was very good and the company was even better. Paul Waddel and I were the last to go to bed sometime in the wee hours. It has been a long time since I have had that much fun. Thank you Paul for the company and the good times. I do not know who brought the moonshine, but man was it a fun ride, thank you for that. 
Here is most of the group that attended the Rally. I hope one of the group photos came out. This one was taken after many shots and many in the group are not even looking at the camera. 
We all took a trip over to Trailer Buff. Trailer Buff is a full restoration company that does an unbelievable job at restoring all sorts of vintage trailers. The shop is equipped to do anything required in taking a trailer and giving it a new life. The quality of the work is as fine as it gets. The shop is owned by Martha and David Makel. Everything done here is done to finest standards. If you ever get chance to see a Trailer Buff trailer, you will be blown away. 

They have a huge lot of trailers waiting for new owner...
This is Dave Makel showing  a premier project, a 1937 Clipper being restored for a museum. 

Just so everyone can have a good laugh at my expense, here I am trying to put my canopy away at the end of the rally. How do those Chinese get these things in the bag?

Actually we had a huge rain storm and so much water collected that the thing collapsed. The guy in the Thor built Citation next to me lost his Zip Dee. I actually left it as a crumpled ball of trash. I think they sell the same ones at Harbor freight for $29.97. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It happens

Well now, what would a journey be with out a little detour? The detour we are taking is to Campers World. Today we are rolling west and then south to  the Shenandoah Valley for the first East Coast Vintage Rally. It promises to be a great time with 45 registered units coming to the KOA near Staunton Virginia. Everyone is very excited to go, for all of us have made "Airstream Friends" that we have not seen in a while and it will be nice to rekindle those friendships. Old Aluminum trailers does not hurt either. So yesterday I fire up the Dometic to get it ready for all the food we will take along. She fires right up as usual. A few hours later she is nice and cold. I look under at the flame and can see that some sort of debris has fallen down and is blocking some of the burner. Oh, my, can't have that. So I get a long screw driver and gently flick the debris out of the flame. Now it is burning right again and all is good. Then I hear a "click" and the flame stops. I re light the burner by pushing in the button, then lighting the starter flame. Big "click", burner fires up, and I smile, 30 seconds pass and "click" out goes the light. I  do this for almost an hour not knowing why it keeps going out.
What I did not know was that I had damaged the thermocouple when I cleaned out the debris. The little piece of metal in my fingers sits on top of the burner and directs some of the flame back down so the eye can read it. I don't know these things, I am a freakin carpenter! So after sending emailed photos  to Rob Baker so he could show them around at the Rally and numerous calls back and forth it was determined that Yes, I had a bad thermocouple. Yes, I had broken it. And yes, I would have to change my plans slightly to go to a Campers World and get the new part. Rob was trying to send me to Mannassas where there was a Campers World. The problem with that is that it would mean getting on 95 south then 495, the dreaded Washington Beltway, and the route 66, which has nothing to do with the real 66 except the asphalt they are both made with. All three of these roads are hell anytime you drive them. Rush hour lasts all but two hours a day. But, lookie there, a Campers World is in Winchester Va. We were planning to go right through Winchester on our way. A one mile in each direction detour is all we will have. On top of that, they have an appliance service center there. Sometimes you get lucky. Well, I need to go get some ice for the coolers, had better cut this off so we can hit the road. Good luck y'all and see you down the road.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

weak week ended warrior...

Well the main weekend project for this weak warrior is the house. I realize that for most people their trailer would be the weekend project. At this stage of re siding I need the entire day to be able to remove the old clap boards, insulate, and put sheathing on. A few hours in the evening is just not enough time to make any serious headway. So before the afternoon thunderstorms, I managed to get another quarter of the front done. Hopefully by the end of the day Sunday the entire front will be sheathed. That would be a great fathers day present to myself. Beth asked me what I wanted to do for fathers day, the look was priceless when I said "work on Anna all day" 
Here is where Anna stands now. As you can see the compounding is getting close to done. Two access doors and the space in between. Easy right? Well, no. The oxide that you see is the kind that has been built up on sanding or steel wool marks. It is very thick and has that sand glued to the surface feel. This oxide just laughs at the F7 Nuvite. I will have to wet sand it first and then use the polish. I was polishing under spot light Thursday night to get to this point. I am doubtful I will get much more compounding done before the next rally, for there are a few little projects that need to be finished before we roll on thursday morning to Virginia. I did do some fun little projects already...
This is one of the evening projects I tackled this week. The porch or scare light had seen better days. The bulb was fried and so was the mounting ring. I called up Steve at Vintage Trailer Supply and along with some more Nuvite I got a new light fixture.
When I took the old one out, I quickly discovered why the bulb was toast. Some moron (sorry, I know  that two of the previous owners read this blog)  wired this light in so the ground and the lead are connected to the positive supply wire. Can you say short circuit?
So here is the new fixture, wired correctly and put back in. I just needed to clean the vulkum off after this picture was taken.
 ... next little project was replacing the old TV antenna connector. My Saint named Sam Baldwin out in Union Oregon, has sent me many bits he saved off his trailer project.  Though this connector is not perfect, it is in much better shape than the one that was there. I stiped of the wire, added new forked connectors and installed the mount.
... next little project was these Grotelite reflectors. I know they are not original, but I liked them, for they are more bling. I had sandblasted them and painted them with Eastwood silver and just got around to putting them on. As you can see to the right is the front panel and it still needs to be compounded too.

Coming attraction this week: grease the wheel bearing.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

... and six more

And six more makes one hundred and six...

I heard this if fun. Even after three rum and cokes I still do not see the pleasure of it. Guess I need to try a fourth tomorrow.

I have been asked, "Frank. what do you do  to afford this rock and roll lifestyle?" 

Well folks, here is an example of my "real job".  I build custom items for homes here in Baltimore.  These are two fireplace mantles that are exact copies of one existing in a clients home. They just put a major addition on and wanted the two new fireplaces to match the one in the original part of the house.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why airstream restorations are so slow

This is my house Lilly's Rest. The front part you are seeing was moved onto the stone portion in the rear around 1870. Over the past 10 years I have have been doing one major restoration or remodeling project after another. This year we are residing the house. This is what is keeping me from making serious progress on Anna.
I have been removing the clap boards which are just nailed to the studs. Insulating, installing sheathing, and vapor barrier. So far I have about 70 % of that done. Next step will be trim and siding. I have been only able to put in small chunks of time polishing, but here is where I stand...
You are looking at 100 hours minimum here. As you can see, I still have a ways to go on this "first cut"
The bottom of a pound. Good thing the folks at Vintage Trailer Supply treat me so good, a new pound arrived just today along with some other vintage goodies.
This area has taken a long time due to the heavy corrosion caused by someone using steel wool or a very heavy grit sandpaper. All the scratches have created thick oxidation that  feels like sand glued to the surface. The stuff is extremely stubborn and requires a lot of effort to get it off. I have been using 320, 400, 600, 1000 wet dry sandpaper followed by F7. All the detail of the door with in the door, and the door itself had also contributed to it taking so long.

Even with wet sanding and multiple passes of F7 I am left with a surface like a tangerine. I feel this is about as good as it will get. Beauty marks, age defining lines....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Every mans dream, a three some and the wife does not mind...

So this weekend, I had every man's fantasy... I had a threesome with my wife and my mistress. We ditched the kids and went on a road trip. 

The road trip was to the Crawfish Festival in upstate New Jersey. Cajun music and Cajun food were everywhere. 

     The festival was held in a truly beautiful part of the state, a far diversion from what you see along the Turnpike. Well, what a great festival it was. Next year this will be blown up into a multi unit rally that we hope will bring together many units in the region. I hope to have a host from the WDCU, the New England unit, the Wautung NJ unit, and the New york Metro unit all combine forces and have a blow out joint rally. This year there were three of us.
     I was, at first, disappointed that there were only three of us at this rally. I have to say that, I expected more WDCU members to show up. Dave Morrison brought his 1964 Tradewind and set up next to us. If you do not know Dave, well,  you should. He is a blast to be around and like me he is a VAP super fan.. Dave is a great guy and has a business taping the concerts he attends and then producing a live recording on CD for all those that might be interested. He set up and we waited on our final attendee to arrive. I am sorry I do not have a photo of Dave to post.

We was treated to the honor of hanging out with a celebrity trailer, yep, it was Vintage Thunder.

 Amanda, Donal, and Don were so much fun to be around. They are fine folks that have a deep appreciation for their trailer. I felt as though they almost feel like stewards and not so much owners. They sure love their trailer as much as I love Anna. I am sure we will be spending many years camping together.

So it was just three of us in our little Airstream court yard. A totally vintage courtyard to boot.

We had a rocking good time even during an electrifying storm...

On our return trip we wanted to do some touristy sight seeing. I looked at the map and found a road to home with some promising sights along the way. I was feeling good and Anna was pulling like a dream. We headed North for a while instead of South. We were wanting for some road side adventure.

We figured that if we were going to go and venture, well a privately owned , wood planked, toll bridge over the Delaware River was in order. The height limit was 11' and a 4 ton weight limit was well posted. We fit that bill exactly...  so we went for it. On the Pennsylvania side a $2 toll was charged by a man that looked about 100 years old.

This is Bushkill Falls. We picked up a tourist brochure in the Delaware Water Gap Visitor Center. We were told it was spectacular so we made a slight diversion to see it on our return home.  Wow is all I can say . The place cost us $9 each to enter, but the trails were very nice with many stairways and board walks through the rocks.

They lead down to the main falls and many other spectacular ones on a side creek. If you go here, come early because by the time we left it was being over run. I recommend this for anyone looking for a natural diversion. 
From Bushkill we hammered home to get the girls from the weekend sitter. Sure was nice to spend some quality time with both my wife and my mistress. All you parents out there, dump those kids off some where and go on an Airstream weekend with out them, it does a marriage good.