I am without a doubt a strange cat. I have this weird belief that once blood is spilled, what ever is being done will go well from that point forward. Well, today when I began working on Anna, I almost immediately sliced my thumb and it bleed like crazy. There was blood dripping all over the place... from that point forward, it was smooth sailing. This is not so strange, the Maya and Inca demanded blood sacrifice of their nobility daily. I am not too far out there. This is where I am as of today. I have replaced and mounted all the "C" channel. The only "C" channel still left to do is at the water heater opening. I am planning to bend some more aluminum to frame in for the water heater, so I am saving that area until my aluminum arrives from Air Parts Inc. Also coming in the shipment is my new belly pan material. I will be fabricating that in the days to come. Sure would be nice if the aluminum was to arrive before the weekend. They are also sending me a mess of clecos, so the bucking of rivets will begin soon. Here is some of the new "C" channel I made on my break. I attached it using slotted screws... slotted screws with hex heads. I also used rubber washers to keep any electrolyicis from happening. I still need to drill for some elevator bolts around the perimeter, but, first I need to go to Fastenal and buy more. There is this steel angle that bolts down through the out rigger and it also bolts down through just the floor. Later I will be riveting through everything into this angle. This is one spots where all the aspects of the monocote form join together. I had to reproduce the one on the curb side, due to sweeping it up in a fit of clean up frenzy.
What ever number you think, it is wrong and you will go get more, unless you thought you needed more and now you have way too many. I spent yesterday on my back on the frozen ground tightening bolts. I enlisted my daughter Ava to help keep the elevator bolts from spinning as I tightened. See got to sit inside with a space heater, while I absorbed the frozen ground through my coveralls. Here is the process I used: First I used a 1/16th" bit to drill up through the frame and floor. Please note that it is not possible to drill straight up due to the flange on the frame. Next I compensated for the angle of the pilot hole and used a forstner bit to countersink for the head of the elevator bolt. I then drilled a 1/4" hole to allow the shaft to pass through the floor. Inserted a bolt, a lock washer, and a nut. Then I tightened it down. Finally I bent the remaining threads so the nut could only be cut off.
And now for something totally different.... Another project involved making new "C" channel. Mine is "J" shaped, but that is not important to most folks. Anyway, I ripped some 4" x 29 1/2" pieces of Lowes aluminum ( I do not know the grade or thickness, it is just labeled aluminum sheet). I then marked it at 1 1/2" and 3" from one edge. I bent it at those marks... And made these. They are exactly the same as the original ones , only square and not full of holes, oh, and they are not covered with corrosion. I also made the inside face taller by a 1/4". Next I began cutting them into segments just like the curved ones are. I used the average of 2 1/4" between the cuts. I reached this spacing from the originals, even though it was not laid out evenly in 1962.
I am not bragging here, but the plywood went in like it was made for it... I put one side under and began persuading it into place. A little lifting with a putty knife and ... POP went the floor and POP went the shell and everything was groovy.
... No really, what is going on here? It is like suddenly the after burner has been hit. Is that the floor going in? I was able to finish the modifications to the frame so that it will carry my thirty gallon grey water tank. I painted up the remaining frame elements that needed the Eastwood Rust Encapsulator yesterday. Today I brought in the first section of floor and worked it into place. It took a bit of prying and shifting, at times a bit of firm persuading, But it went right into place just as the original one was. I picked up the elevator bolts at Fastenal this afternoon and will begin bolting it down tomorrow. Hopefully the rear section goes in with the same amount of effort.
Beth and I have been wanting to move somewhere less populated. Last year we got somewhat serious about the idea and began scouting out some possible places we would feel comfortable living in. Last summer we went to Wyoming and checked it out as a possible state to move to. Later in the fall we went to New Mexico and pretty much fell in love. We liked it so much that we decided to make a second trip to see it in the winter. We made our first stop in Madrid. We have a good friend name Tim O'Neil that lives in Madrid. The sun rise was more than spectacular at 7 degrees. Tim is a silver smith that is one of the few jewelers to have his own turquoise mine. Not only does he have his own mine, but it is Cerrillos turquoise. Turquoise from Cerrillos was worn by Montazuma in his breast plate. It is the most unique and precious of all the turquoise. We went out to The Tough Nut Mine to see if we could find some nice nuggets. Nothing stellar was found, but it was a lot of fun none the less. Next stop was Taos. If we were to move to New Mexico, Taos would be it. The place is very wonderful. There is simply no other way to describe it. If you have been there, you know, if you never have, you should go. We went up into the mountains and went sledding at 9400 feet. During the trip we saw many Airstreams. We saw the full range from a 54 Cruiser, to a 07 Safari. During the five days I would estimate we saw at least 30 units. The one consistent thing I noted was that never once did I see any red numbers. This fact bothered me tremendously. As A WDCU, WBCCI member, I am saddened to see how unpopular my club is or has become. I look at the lack of red numbers as a challenge. It is time to do something about it. I guess I am fortunate to belong to a unit that is active and growing.
I do not have any nice photos for you in this post, just a word of caution. I had eye surgery today. The reason for the eye surgery was to remove the rust ring created by a chunk on metal that tried to make my eye it's home. I am religious about wearing safety glasses. Safety glasses have kept many objects from getting into my eyes and some days they are on my face when I come in for dinner. However, safety glasses will not keep objects from bouncing into your eyes from the side. I was under Anna running the grinder the other day and as many of you know, the grinder throws stuff everywhere. A small bit of metal somehow bounced in. I thought nothing of it at first and went to bed. The next morning it was still there and I could see it. I waited all day to go seek medical attention, for I had to watch my youngest girl all day. When my wife came home I went to the hospital to take care of it. After five hours at the hospital,it was out. The problem is the rust that was left behind, it had to be removed, and that required surgery. So today, instead of working, I had some rust dug out of my eye. Lucky for me everything went well and within a few days I will be back to normal. so what I want to say with all this? Next time you use a grinder, wear safety goggles not safety glasses. And always wear hearing protection!
Last night I discovered that I had messed up with my tank restraint system (TRS).
The tank has a flange on three sides that happens to fit almost perfectly into the frame and the flanges of the cross members. Unfortunately, the elevator bolts cannot be installed to hold down the floor if the tank is in there. I cut out all the steel I had used to create the first TRS and proceeded to do it over... no really, over 1 1/2", as in I moved it over 1 1/2".
Now the edge of the tank is just shy of the cross member and the new TRS actually does a much better job restraining the tank. You might call it an improved TRS. I love saying tank restraint system if you haven't gathered.
The bars that hold the tank have washers and nuts welded to them so bolting and unbolting the tank is easy done from below. A total of five bolts hold it all in without it moving.
The tank does hang down below the belly pan, however I am not bothered by it. There will be some purists that will poo, poo, on this, but it is my trailer and it does not bother me one bit. Next step is to paint all the frame that had not been previously. There is a lot paint that burned off of the backside of the frame behind the welds. I will wire brush and hit it with more Eastwood. I also need to paint all the parts of the TRS. After I finish the frame it will be on to plumbing all the waste lines that run below the floor and installing the new floor.
well what a great few days this has been, I have bounced back from near death and jumped right on the horse and started galloping. I sanded out the runs on the tub and re sprayed with the new color. If you like it, Nyquist will be glad to send you some. It is listed as Anna Overlander aqua in their data base. My new grey tank came so off I went to the steel yard and bought some bar stock and angle to use in fabricating the tank restraint system. I welded it all in place and I am very happy with where it sits in the frame.
The tank does hang down below the belly pan, but it is difficult to see unless you are looking for it. Next will be to start running the drain lines. Tomorrow is another day.
I wasn't ill, I just have strep throat. I finally went to the Doctor and was prescribed some atomic powered antibiotics. They seem to be working fast for I was able to work all day today. I was even able to go out and show Anna some loving. I used a very cool product from Eastwood called rust converter. Through some sort of chemical reaction it turns rust into black iron oxide. The product is two parts that you mix at a 4:1 ratio and it can be wiped on, brushed on, or sprayed on, which is the route I took. I used a cheap syphon feed gun to shoot it on and a brush to push it into those hard to reach areas. It took about 30 minutes to do the frame using this method. It is kind of milky looking as it hits the metal and goes on quite thin. The rust turns black and disappears as it dries. Once it dries, it ready for the next step which is the rust encapsulator. The rust encapsulator in available red, black, and silver. I am using black on all the frame parts and silver on all the exposed area. Unlike the POR-15 it is not light sensitive. I will however, be using some type of silver automotive paint on the exposed frame and bumper parts.
And now for a serious warning... in an earlier post I used a PPG primer called K36. It is mixed with a catalyst. When you mix it together use it up. DO NOT LEAVE IT IN THE GUN AND GO EAT. CLEAN THE GUN OUT IMMEDIATELY!!! You might come back from your meal to find a solid mass in the gun. If you use your cup gun on a professional level, you might have spent around around $350 on it. After you spend 2 hours taking every part off and cleaning it, then spending another hour rebuilding it with new gasket and seals, you might find out the gun does not work properly. And when you take the gun to Jack to be serviced, he might laugh at you and point you out as he tells the other guys what a fool you are. So, clean the gun out right away so you do not have an expensive learning experience.
Five days straight in bed.... I have never been this ill in my entire life. I wish my appendix would rupture so I could feel better. I am actually going to seek medical help today. Yesterday the weather was almost like spring, it was sunny and 70 degrees. Today the forecast is for an even nicer day.
I need to apologize to those of you expecting something out of me this weekend. I got the flu on friday afternoon and have been flat on my back ever since. Hopefully I will be able to get back on the horse this week.
The week started out with a bunch of waiting on a wash water tank. I need the tank in order to alter the frame. I am afraid to do anything without having the actual tank on hand. I also have been waiting on frame paint. Instead of waiting, I chose to work on future projects. The first thing I worked on was cutting out the new sub floor. I am using a 18-mm marine plywood called aquatek. This stuff is not cheap at $125 a sheet, but the thickness is uniform, it is flat, and most of all it is light. I purchases a few sheets of birch plywood for an up coming job and was surprised at the difference in weight between the two. I joined the two original halves and traced the pattern out. Some of it was missing, but by flipping it over I was able to fill in the missing elements. I did the same with the next sheet that goes behind the wheel wells. Soon I will seal the ends to prevent moisture from being wicked up in the ends of the sheet. Because this is marine plywood, sealing the ends is an unnecessary step, but I will do it any how. Sub floor is done and ready to install.
The last day has been devoted to working on the tub. I mounted a 1/4" board to the back side of the front, just like the original, except it does not have the cut out for the register. Please note that cool aqua color of the tub, that color is a keeper. I cut two layers of chopped fiber mat to fit in the opening... Mixed up some polyester resin and filled it in. The next step was to sand out all the cracks in the original gel coat. The surface looks like a ming vase. Though these photos do not show it clearly, the color has faded quite a lot except for under the aluminum ring. I sanded for a long time, then I sanded twice as long as that. I used a high solids urethane primer made by PPG. It is a primer that gets mixed 5:1 with a cataylist. I sprayed it on with my cup gun. After an hour I filled the fine lines and pits with spot glaze. I waited for that to dry and sanded it all with 320 sand paper. I followed up with a second coat of primer. I will wait until the morning then sand it all again with 320 grit. I will then be using another PPG system for the top coat. It is a urethane paint that is mixed 4:1 with a hardner. This is the same type of paint used on auto bumpers and other plastic parts. It remains flexible after it hardens so that it will hold onto the fiberglass. I have to thank Colin Hyde for sending me in the right direction as to what materials I needed. Being nice to Joe and John at the auto body supply house helped in getting personal service and a near perfect color match even though I have nothing to do with the auto body trade. The new color is a little brighter, but is very much in keeping with the original.