Riveting Experience

There is something inherently Zen about anything in quantity “one thousand”.  These are “6-6 Closed End” rivets direct from jersey that should be a watertight seal when done.  i sure f’n hope so, i’ve burned throu a couple hundred now.


a Faraday cage is only as good as the smallest hole.  same thing for rodent proofing.  started with the biggest holes and working down to the smallest.


most of these where hatches for the appliances which are all gone now of course.


both sides of the door frame required complete rebuild of the footer and frame as someone apparently pried open the extra added locks.  i’ve got the original door handle working again and that’s all i’ll likely do, locks are really only for honest people.


and this was hiding under some aluminum foil.


easier to replace the footer than to try and align all those rivet holes.


so excited about things coming together i even moved my bench in !!


and now that all the walls are secured again, time to deal with all the roof issues.





finally floored.

plywood is f’n expensive these days, shylocked the last three sheets, called a sundown deadline on getting the floor in, done.


i added a stringer across the 3 foot stretch, must have been a tank here they left out any support under the shower or something.


and the drain required a notch cut in the frame.  not sure if this was a factory thing, might weld a replacement gusset, but for now at least the floor is supported.


ok, i think we’re ready to sheet.


hardest one in.  yes, it goes 1.5″ under the wall channels.  lets just say “bigger hammer” kept playing in my head.


measuring from back to front, there’s 1/64″ delta side to side.  might work.


how i got the second piece in is a trade secret.  popeye would have been proud of both my bashing and cursing.  the center piece between the wheels required all my “negotiation” skills to squish everybody in snug.


tada! aprox 24′ x 7′ of shop space now has a floor!!!  still have to drill and bolt everything down, and maybe some more negotiations here and there, but ima gonna call this project officially “over the hump”.


i was told a complete re-floor could not be done without removing the shell completely.  i’m rather pleased with how well (get it? wheel well?) this actually worked out with the shell “floating” on the front and rear end sheets and wheel wells.


found the door again.  there isn’t a snug rivet in the whole assembly.  i think my future has a lot of drilling in it and take it all the way down to the pieces.


Fixing the Bones

so looks like the rear frame had some rust and bad-installer damage.  the outrigger pieces hold the shells weight so need to be somewhat integral.  i cut out 2 damaged ones, replaced 2, and added 2 more in the back.


one of the new outriggers in the back.


this one the center stringer was “torn” loose at the top weld.  not exactly a quality job, but re-welded enough to BE STIFF.


replaced, repaired, modified, bones DONE !!!

now just need some cash for more plywood :)


End in Sight

front is floored, door frame is all drilled out,


first go at patching all the little holes, and a few not so little holes, closed-ended aluminum pop-rivets, working from the front to the back,


now it’s time to rip out the ass of this project.


previous owner covered the floor with chipboard, that did not go under the shell, not even all the way to the edge even!


the whole back end of the trailer is held together with the galvanized sheet floor cover and a few rivets in the steel side trim piece.   there is no wood connecting the shell to the frame, just this galvanized finger trim.


at least it will be easy to remove!


Halfway Floored

there’s something to be said for momentum, something like “if you keep pushing at just the right time…” at least get half the new floor installed.


nothing bolted down, still nudging and budging (technical term for “bigger hammer”) but within 1/4″ all around.


still need to deal with the wheel covers, they are galvanized steel, and completely corroded away at the sides.  another reason not to bolt down yet, i’ll slide some new steel under and then bend and rivet to the original.


second sheet in,


and third sheet (of six) in.


not sure what, if anything, i’ll cover it with, for right now it starts to feel like a workshop.  can you see it yet?



Solstice Success

on the longest day, i finally got over the halfway point with the project fondly named “Two”.  i am now officially “putting back together” more than i am “taking apart”.  There is still plenty of floor to remove in the back still, but here is the first and hardest sheet of new plywood floor installed.


but first, the torn swing out step frame had to be fixed.


one of those things easier to work with on a bench, so cut out the whole thing, along with the frame pieces it was attached (sorta) to.


i could see making this a lift-gate door now, or a drop ramp…


but no, lets go with sturdy box tube door frame that i can add a step to later.


sorry, no closeups of the flux-core 120vac welds, you can just imagine yucky gross blobs and splatter. will hit it with gas mig when i do the step.  after its rolling again.

tomorrow, weld a brace at the 2/3 seam, sheet #2 then goes in, and #4 can come out.  this project is Zen forcing my “lots of littles” discipline game.



oxide cleanup

removed all the trims, borrowed a good friend’s pressure washer, down to the bare metal is as far as it goes.  can see clearly now how previous owner took off too much of the AlClad pure Al layer with something rotary (sander?).  bozo flat headed all the backed rivets and shook half of them loose too.


the steel lights did the worst damage to the aluminum.  only way to find out if it there is enough aluminum left underneath is to remove all the oxide layers.  i’m kinda fascinated how the Fe (iron) migrated onto the aluminum, the lights might have been plated (Cr) or dipped (Zn)….


above before and below after quick hit with medium wire brush wheel.



no, actually the worst damage was the tweakers.  my lock will be easier to open than that one was…..




three sheets

finally back to work on Two.  the wet winter and missing roof vent covers means the remaining floor is coming out fairly easily.  the original plywood is in amazing strong shape where the over cover chipboard didn’t rot it away.   since i’m not taking the shell all the way off, this is as far as i can do at once, three sheets of new plywood, then do the other half once the front shell is re-attached.  THIS is my summer art project !!!


frame is in good shape.  time spent now on the frame before laying the new ply will be time well invested. some cleaning, wire brushing, sulfuric acid, primer, seal coat, yeah.  whole lot of littles ahead !!!!


and then all again on the back half…

Vintage Brakes

so these are called Warner electric brakes, designed by the guy who designed magnetic speedometers standard in pre-computer automobiles.  clever design, but i think the standard modern setup is in the plans.

here’s the hub off, friction pads inside the hub, and magnetic coil is the ring around the spindle.


closer look at the hub pads,


i assume it works like: give coil juice, it gets torqued by pulling these pads to it and then the doughnut is forced to turn a little bit.  that turn then pushes on the pad ring to engage the hub.  heres a closeup of the tab that sticks out of the coil ring where it can push on the ring on either side (forward or backward same power).


so yeah, i’m back to the wordpress blog thing, which copies automatic to fbook.