Saturday, November 29, 2008

Needs cleaning and bad

So many products to choose and I hit gold on the first try. I read some threads on the Airforums as to all the products people use, asked some friends what they use, but ultimately it came down to einy meanie moe.

I went with the Clorox Clean-up Cleaner with bleach. Kind of a redundant name, but very effective. I sprayed it on and waited about fifteen seconds. I then used Mr Clean Magic Eraser upon Rob Bakers recommendation to scrub the mildew off. It was very effortless. Next I used a wet rags followed by a dry rag.

Some areas were just filthy beyond belief. I thought there was very little hope going in.

Talk about transformation.

Take two

Something came in the mail yesterday. I will not be trying this one out in water.

I am open

Anyone have a good suggestion of how to deal with this stuff?

The walls are this vinyl clad material. Everywhere through out the trailer it looks like this door. Not sure what the mildew feeds on, but it likes the clad walls. It does not grow anywhere but there. In the bathroom the cabinets are some kind of slick white lacquer and it has not grown there at all.

This is the worst looking of all the areas. I do not want to test out a bunch of products, I want to go right to "the stuff" and make these walls new again. I know bleach will kill it, but I want it totally clean too. I will be glad to entertain any suggestions short of fire.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On the road again....

As Colin Hyde said on The Vintage Airstream PodCast episode 83... "Now you officially have Aluminitis Frank." It is true, I am deeply afflicted. I brought home a second Airstream today.

Here is serial number J126 60 48. So that makes her a 1966 Overlander international twin. The forty eighth one off the line. This girl is the exact same age as me.

This trailer has been off the road for the past four years. It was towed four hours from Western Maryland to just North of Baltimore.It has just been sitting in the owner's son's yard collecting mold, mildew, vermin, and water ever since. Previously is just sat at the previous owners yard without moving for twenty four years.

At some point a caravan was probably taken for the WBCCI numbers 12380 are still on it though they are now just ghost letters. Unfortunately the back hatch is missing. These hatches are notorious for blowing off on the highway. Good thing none of the Corning windows blew off, they are all original glass.

A fairly good exterior with just one major scratch. A few small ones here and there, but fortunately no dents to the skin. The belly has a few dents in it, but they all look as if the could be pushed out.

Mahogany interior all 100% original and unmolested. A major cleaning of the entire trailer is coming. Many of the previous owners possessions are still in the cupboards. I will have a good time sorting through all of that.

A very neat thing I did find was the shower door that folds up and tucks into the wall. A very cool advancement after mine was built. The entire thing is just filthy as can be.

So by now you might be asking, why? Why do you need another trailer? The answer is I don't. I only bought this one so it could get back on the road. My intentions are to clean this one up, make it road worthy and then sell it. Someone out there is looking for this girl and when they find her, they will fall instantly in love. It is not every day that one this complete comes along. From a restoration stand point, this is an excellent canidate. It will need frame work and flooring replaced as they all do. Things need to be updated, but she is a sweet girl just waiting for someone to love her.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

and now I have become a pimp

I am buying another Airtstream. This is her, a 1966 International Overlander. By the time most of you read this, she will be sitting in Anna's usual parking spot within the fence. I found this trailer through a Craig's List ad that Steve Klohn (Byamcaravanner) forwarded me. He and a number of my friends are constantly scanning the classifieds for good deal on vintage trailers. I mostly don't even take a glance and delete them. This time, I actually called. One thing lead to another and I will be picking up my second Airstream today. More details will be posted soon on the Sisdysix. In order to bring her home, I had to make Anna put out. I had to make her work it a bit.

Anna had to give up her parking spot, her tires and her tag in order to allow me to bring another girl home. She now sits on cribbing in my friend Michael's yard. I tucked he in next to his studio and left her there on the cribbing, axles dangling in the air.

I feel so bad about treating her this way, sure hope she understands my motivation. Mike suggested I take this opportunity to polish the belly pan. I will take this opportunity to measure up for the axles I need to get. Stay tuned for recovery pictures later today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My very good friend Marcus whose blog is linked here on mine just pointed out to me an error in my blog. Here is the conversation between Marcus Moyer, Rob Baker and myself:
Marcus Moyer
5:57 PM
January 3rd, 2008: "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."
5:57 PM
Rob Baker
5:58 PM
say one thing, do another - Frank's way
Marcus Moyer
5:58 PM
Golderned lying hippie bastage!

So to set the record straight I want to say that I DID NOT use the epoxy. I went on to other things and it did not happen. Marine grade plywood is put together with waterproof glue and it is not really necessary. Sorry if any one was confused, I did not mean to mislead anyone. I am human and I too err.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bling Bling

Even against the wishes of some of my most respected friends, I made "a change". I consulted many friends about this "change" and they all said DON'T. They told the law will not like it and hassle me constantly. They feel I do not need any extra hassles from the law. They say it is tacky like fuzzy dice and bobble head poodles, a fad that ran it's course and needs not be revived. But I just did not listen and went ahead and did it anyhow. I THINK BLUE DOT TAIL LIGHTS ARE FUCKING COOL!!!

It all began with drilling a 15/16" hole in the lens. Now this is an act of faith because these Bargramm 99's are not cheap and that is a big hole. I installed them right into the hole as the instructions said. I went the extra step and used a small bead of clear epoxy to bond it in. One evening soon I will hook up and get the full night time effect. I am sure the truckers and Rob will be mesmerized next time we caravan in the early morning hours, unable to take his eyes off the glow that seemed powered by some unnatural force.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More wood Mom....

So quick distraction update: I have been working diligently and methodically at completing the porch on my house. Lots more of that repetition I mentioned in an earlier post. Yesterday, I primed everything in my shop where the wood stove can keep me nice and comfortable. At Toms suggestion I was anal about making sure all cut were primed.

Today is was a nice brisk windy day and I put it all together. Here I am working on the last side.

I am very happy with the way this came out. I still have to do the tops of the columns. About three more hours and I am done with all the fabrication.Another challenge is going to be finding a painter.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More wood.

More wood for me. The front porch stands between me and my Airstream renovation. Last year it was a pile of mulch. Now, it is a porch project that has gone on for six years. I am making porch columns to surround the porch posts.

I made this jig to hold the board so I can create a tapered column. I am tapering from 9 1/4" to 7" over 84". The jig follows the fence and the board is held at the right angle to the blade.

I simply cut the taper off of each board.

I then used a lost miter set up to cut a miter on the taper.

Finished columns. Now they just need the top moldings. getting closer folks... Anna, daddy's coming.....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I was told they enjoyed.

I was told by some readers that they enjoyed seeing some of my wood working jobs. I thought I would put up some photos of my latest project since nothing is happening to Anna yet. This is actually one of the more complicated jobs I have worked on. I am very proud of how it turned out and thought I would share it with you.

My customer has lived in their 1951 modern house for the past forty years. Their neighborhood is all 1870's Victorians and Edwardian houses. This house was built as an in fill project in 1951 and looks very out of place in a sea of big old houses. The bench was built in 1979 and is the focal point the clients outdoor area. They like to have 1950's style cocktail parties and during the nicer months they do it here on the patio.

The bench not only adds a great deal of seating, but it also serves to keep people from rolling or falling down the hill. The thing that made this job so challenging is that it is curved. Wood wants to be straight not curved. The client has believed that the bench was made out of redwood like the rest of their house, but the contractor in 1979 used western red cedar and told them it was redwood. When I brought in my new "B or better" Western Red cedar they were flipping out over the quality of the new red wood. I broke it to them gently.

Here is the old bench gone and the new horizontal supports are being fitted into place. This is very tricky for the curve of the wall is not consistent. The vertical timber have shifted ever so slightly and I have to compensate for those variations. So not only did I have to set all of these level and plumb, but they had to be shifted in and out to keep the curve consistent. The eye can really see any deviation from a true curve. The eye can see it if you allow it to be there.

The lamination of wood can be seen here. It took four days to clamp up all the various layers. Polyurethane glue or Gorilla glue was used between each layer. The glue uses moisture to react and create the bond. Western red cedar has a very high water content, so this glue is ideal. It foams up and expands as it reacts. Once it dries, the glue is very hard and it is impossible to separate two pieces that are glued together.

Nice new bench all ready for the next cocktail party. I do not know why but an Old Fashion sounds good right now. A whiskey sour maybe...

A sweeping view straight on. This shot shows the curved wood bench seat and back very clearly. This is actually my favorite picture of the bench.

Here is the back side now with the bench all sanded and ready for whatever finish they choose to apply.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Someone might find this interesting

No Airstreaming in this one. Tune out now if that is all you are interested in. I have stated before that until I finish the house, no work on Anna. I promised Beth, and I am an honorable man. I will get the house done and then my time is mine. My porch design is based on a house I saw in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. I saw the house about seven years ago and the design of the porch has been in my head waiting to be put on my own house. Yesterday I began making it a reality.

The pickets are made of flat 3 1/2"x 24" spanish cedar boards. It will take 85 to make the entire run around three sides of the porch, I made 90 incase some were not up to par. So for the entire day yesterday I milled out 3/4" boards. Nine solid hours of running the jointer, then the rip saw, then the chop saw, then the jointer, to the planner, back to the jointer, a final cutting to length, a final rip to width, all to give me a 3/4"x 3 1/2"x 24 " blank. Each step repeated 90 times on each piece, 10 passes of each piece through the planner to get to 3/4". Repetition, repetition, repetition. Those are some of the blanks stacked up in the fore ground of the photo.

Today I made this jig. A jig is a set up tool to aid in repetition done by a tool. It keeps everything the same every time. This one has a place to drop the blank into and the holes are to guide the bottom bearing bit in my router.

Here is one cut out, still in the jig. So 90 times clamping it in, routing out the half circles, de-clamping, then cutting a bevel on the bottom. More repetition.....

This is what the pickets look like when put in order. A hand rail goes at the top and a bottom rail below.