Saturday, December 27, 2008

a guy never forgets his first girl

I have gotten some interesting comments lately. Most of then I have not published. Seems rescuing a trailer from a destiny of becoming a hunting camp is a dishonorable action. Seems that finding said rescued trailer a new owner that wants her to be restored back to her original condition is wrong. That doing this is an act of greed on my behalf. It can only be greedy, for the new owner is a German and he is willing to spend his tainted Euros on an American trailer. So greedy and dishonorable was my actions that I will do it again. But enough about that rant and enough of the negative comments please. I am a greedy bastard and all I care about is the Euros, yes that is true, I got the point.

So, a man never forgets his first girl. I have been thinking about her so much lately. The deadline I placed for starting the front end work has passed and even with my extreme optimism I do not think I can pull off a complete front end before next years camping season. Yesterday I went over to see Anna. Boy is she beautiful and I miss seeing her every morning when I wake up and look out the window. I sure cannot wait till the greed trailer gets out in the yard this week. I want my girl back home. The main reason for going and seeing her was to double check measurements for new axles.

Interesting thing about the measurements, many years are the same. Everyone talks about how each year and model has a specific sizing. Some claim that the serial number specifies the sizing and that only they know the right size. Anyway, I have the measurements for my trailer confirmed. 57. 875" outside of frame to outside of frame, 74.375" hub face to hub face. It took serious rocket surgery to read the tape measure, that is for sure. One interesting thing I did learn; The street side hub face is 1/8" further from the frame than the curbside hub face is. Those Henschen guys need to tighten up the quality control. I wonder if I should specify that Axis Axles build my new ones off center too.

The other reason for going to Anna was to put her rubber back on her. I sometimes wake at night wondering if the cribbing might have shifted and she had tumbled to the ground. Now I have one less thing to worry about. I just cannot wait to hook her up and bring her home. Daddy is going to get her new axles, a new gaucho, convert her sheet metal astrodome to a Wally hatch, and finish the polishing that was started last year. Hopefully I get all that done by April.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sneak Preview

My first clients vanity is coming together. It all began with a little repairs followed by some veneering with a sheet of exceptional ropey cherry.

many steps of sanding, finishing, and more sanding to bring out the true depth of the grain...

and it slowly comes back together.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frank's Trailer Works Client Number #0001

I want to first apologize for the piss poor quality of the pictures in this post. My shop has florescent lighting and I have yet to figure out how to take pictures that are even close to color correct under those lights. It has been remarkably cold here and when it is cold the bulbs take a long time to come up to full brightness. So you are all going to need to use a little imagination as to the brightness of things. Sorry again.
So now on to my post. As a few of you might know, I am starting up a trailer restoration and customization company. It will be called Frank's Trailer Works. I hope to take the things I have learned as a professional woodworker and put out a product like most never seen inside a trailer. I will offer a full range of services, but hope to eventually do the complete package. Yes, I will even polish your trailer for you on an hourly rate. Frank's Trailer Works Client #0001 is now in the shop.

Client #0001 is a 1961 Ambassador. I have been given the privilege of making the bathroom cabinets look like new again. However, the factory never put out cabinets like I am going to do. We will not be changing the design or layout, but the wood species is going to be entirely different. The trailer came in oak stained a medium brown as you can see by this vanity. The client did go over it with Howard's Feed -n -wax, but the quality of these early sixties trailers was just not all too special. Very little attention to detail was given and, frankly, it shows.

This is the veneer we are using for all the doors and drawer fronts. It is called ropey cherry. This grain pattern is not uncommon, but occurs once in about 5,000 logs. Virtually all of it is cut into veneer and laid up on plywood or into sheets like this. This is actually one of the most spectacular sheets I have ever seen. This photo does very little justice to the color and complex grain pattern. With a light stain or natural finish, the grain will look a mile deep. What a pleasure to have the client pick out such a tremendous species and such a beautiful pattern to boot.

For the bases of the cabinets and wardrobes we are using this veneer. It is also cherry, but is quarter sawn. To quarter saw the log is split into quarters and then sawn parallel to the center. The yield is not large, so it is not too frequent to have the mills cut cherry this way. The veneer produced has a very straight grain and there are many ray grains through out. Once again, when sanded to 180 grit and a natural finish is applied the grain just pops out. This bathroom is going to be a pleasure to be in. My client will probably spend more time in here than he usually would just looking at how beautiful the grain is.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A bone...

It was Marcus's birthday the other day. Pearl Harbor Day... Sorry man. Anyway Marcus has been busting my balls about a post related to Anna. Hey Marcus here's a bone.... still on cribbing, no battery, no power cord, no tires, no water hoses, not even in her own yard. Like I told you before, the bitch does as I tell her. Now she does have hard measurements for new axles, she also has parts on order for the next phase, and she has me wanting her back badly. Sure hope the Sisdysix gets on the boat soon.

Next post: Frank's Trailer Works client number #0001

Sunday, December 7, 2008

She is so sweet

I had to add a few more of the sisdysix. Her she is sitting in my yard at 27 degrees after a snow shower. Clean and all ready to go bye bye.

All these pictures have been sent to RJ Dial at the Archives. hopefully someone will be able to reference them and see what was and what is on their own trailer.

ain't she sweet

Before she leaves me, I wanted to document the sisdysix. I was told that she was to be sold "as is" and that the buyer needed me to do nothing. He actually told me to do nothing more, but I feel a bit of attachment. I had to finish cleaning her up.

So yesterday I gave her a bath. This is probably the first bath in well over twenty years. I was astounded by the shine that appeared almost instantly.

I used more of the Clorox Clean up, and it completely ate away the fungus covering her. That stuff is incredible and I cannot recommend it more highly for cleaning anything that is filthy.

Here is proof of how well it works. That is no scrubbing, just sprayed it on and allowed to work for one minute.

Come on in and take a look....

Kind of hard to believe I took a pick up truck load of trash out of here...

Or filled a 12 gallon shop vac of mouse droppings and hickory nut shells...

It is going to be kind hard to see this girl leave in a few weeks. I will get some exterior pictures for everyone to see soon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Well, It looks as though the Sisdysix has a new owner. We are in the process of working out the details, but she will probably be going on a European vacation. Yes, I have actually shown myself as a hypocrite. I had railed against the number of Airstreams being shipped over to Europe. I felt that it was a form of heritage lost and was some what upset by the prospect. I guess I have had a change of heart. I was contacted by a company that imports and restores them for the European market. I turns out they had a client looking specifically for a 1966 Overlander. It turns out that mine being so original fit the bill just perfect. My main goal with this trailer was to put her back into circulation. After 28 of sitting in a yard slowly rotting away, the prospects of her hitting the road again in the near future thrills me. The proceeds from this transaction will give me the resources to continue my own project on Anna. I think in the long run, everyone has benefited from this transaction. I hope that in the future I can see another trailer get back on the road again. If anyone knows of any, let me know.