Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Twinkle in his eye...

...of course by "twinkle" I mean a steel sliver.  

This evening we got an early start at the warehouse with (high) hopes to finish the belly pan.   We were there for about an hour and had been drilling holes and using pop rivets to fasten the belly.  Brian crawled out from under the trailer and when he did a small piece of steel fell from his hair into his EYE.  I tried to remove the bit but was unsuccessful.  It was stuck.

The ER doctor said his eye will be good as new.  He does have to rest his eye for a couple of days.  The nurse said "no computer, no TV, no video games."   What's a computer programmer to do?  
(I wasn't in the room but I bet she didn't say "no riveting.") 

In the mean time, Brian digs the pirate look:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No Braggin'... We're Draggin'...

I haven't posted for over a week.  There's a reason for that.  We haven't made much progress.  Instead, we enjoyed our last weekend get-away before our maiden voyage.

We got together with some friends at a cabin in Lake Lure, NC.
(Not too far from Asheville.)

Friday we hiked to High Falls at Dupont State Forest.

On the way home we saw an Airstream just off of the road.  We stopped to take a picture.  It's shiny!  I wonder if they want to come finish my polishing for me?!

Speaking of polish, I did do a little polishing this week. 

Brian's been working hard on the belly pan corners.  Don't let the smile fool you.  I'm pretty sure he's cursing through his teeth.

The front streetside corner of the belly pan is finally installed.  One down.  Three more curves to go.  The kids are enjoying the belly-pan work because they like taking turns with the pneumatic pop riveter.

 We have about three weeks to get our trailer ready to tow out of the warehouse.
From here on out it's "noses to the (aluminum) grindstone."  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Belly Aching, Beauty Marks and a Little Rouge...

We finished up a few things this week to make belly-pan installation possible. Samuel helped Brian with the ABS pipe for the plumbing under the trailer.

Brian's truck loaded up with the new belly pan aluminum (5052-H32.)  We were supposed to get the belly pan aluminum in last week but our supplier fell through.  We were glad to find another local supplier and have already put in a second order with them.

We drug out the old belly pan to use it for a pattern.  
Brian doesn't remember the belly pan looking or smelling this clean.  
(I guess it had a chance to air out after sitting on our patio for a couple months.)

Trace and cut....just follow the pattern, right?

Time to install the first belly pan panel.
Drill. (Pop) Rivet. Repeat.

...cutting the belly pan to make it fit the curve.
Something isn't right.
This isn't exactly going according to plan.
This is harder than it looks.
Plan B?
Cut another section and try again later.

 Mother's Day Decorations.  It's a Peony from our yard.

Brian fabricating the cover for the gray water tank.

"Please!  Please!  Please can I polish?!"
(Too bad the enthusiasm didn't last very long!)

Here's the beauty marks (scrapes).... 
Lower rear curbside panel "before" with a small amount of polishing.
(Definition of polishing= Moving the aluminum oxidation from the trailer to your skin.)

jewelers rouge we're using for polishing

Rear curbside panel "after." 
It's my reflection.
(Shiny enough to see that my face is covered in polish.)

Do you think I have too much rouge?

A Mother's Day to remember!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Creeping along...

...UNDER the trailer!

Brian is almost finished installing the waste water plumbing under the trailer. This fun task involved drilling holes through the frame members. (Caution: falling metal shavings are hot!) Could someone please pass ANOTHER drill bit?  He also installed the new vent pipe for the gray water tank.

I insulated the bottom of the trailer. I think the R-13 vapor barrier (read=covered in plastic/not itchy for me) insulation has been my favorite to work with. It has gone in the fastest, of the three insulations, by far. Maybe it has something to do with the staple gun attachment for the air compressor...too bad the staple gun wasn't an option for the anti-gravity insulation on the inside of the trailer.

Brian bravely and courageous took apart our infamous Bargman L-77 door handle. (Briefly, for the non-vintage-Airstreamers, this handle was only used for a couple of years. They have a tendency to break off. Currently, there are no replacements. If you're lucky, you can find a new/old stock handle. Those usually run in the neighborhood of $400-$500. Gulp!) We purchased a new lock cylinder for our handle. It will still be broken off but since Brian cleaned it the lock functions wonderfully. (Now we have a key for it too, hooray!)

 We are prepping the trailer for installing the belly pan. The aluminum is supposed to come in some time this week.  To this end, we put in the remaining elevator bolts in the front of the trailer and (almost)  finished the C-channel.   Brian replaced the 12 gauge steel panel at the front of of the trailer that connects the skin to the frame. (It may sound like a small task, but it wasn't. Bending the steel was an ADVENTURE.)
Off and on this week, I worked on polishing the trailer. I'm supposed to be polishing around the windows so that we can re-install them. Somehow, I've managed to stall-out on the front panel instead. I'm pretty sure this panel is going to be the hardest to polish. Corrosion, probably from a leaky battery, has messed it up pretty bad. We were considering replacement for the whole panel.  Now, we are going to try to save it.  A good portion of the panel will be covered with a new battery box so the polish doesn't have to be perfect.  The corrosion is coming off...slowly.

 Check out these dedicated hands!  (Two fingers are taped up, his pinkie is bruised under the nail, and he has a cut on his right hand.)  We made a record 3 trips to the home store on Saturday.  While we we there, we picked up two pairs of nice working gloves  (Fit to size.)  Our hands are thanking us.

It's warming up in Georgia. 
We couldn't agree on a caption for this photo so I'm providing two.
Me: It's our redneck air conditioner.
Brian: At least it's not as ugly as a MaxxAir fan.

(insert your own caption here)