Monday, June 14, 2010

A Big Sigh of Relief...

I wasn't really sure how much we had accomplished this week until I went back and looked at the pictures of the trailer at the beginning of the week.
Nice and airy.
No windows.  No drip caps.  No bumper.  No taillights.  

Tasks we finished this week:
  • cleaned up the windows (8 windows)
  • repaired corner welds on a few window frames
  • installed new window glass and seals (three per window)
  • cleaned up & polished the drip caps
  • attached the windows and drip caps to the trailer (except the one over the door)
  • attached the bumper
  • restored two Airstream badges
  • made trailer lights ready for towing
  • finished installing the access panels on the belly pan
  • sealed the seams (to keep out water)
  • made the trailer water tight
As I look at this list I notice "cleaned up the windows" sitting innocently at the top of the list.  This task leered at us from the top of our "To Do" list for quite some time.  Cleaning up the windows was a huge job. We used an abrasive wheel attachment for the drill and worked on the windows in spare 1 to 2 hour periods of time over the last couple of months.  
We couldn't have been happier to be finish with this tedious task.

Annabelle wore the tool belt and handed rivets to Daddy when we installed the drip caps. 

Samuel has been waiting (at times not so) patiently for his first chance to use the soldering iron.  He finally had the opportunity this week.  He and Brian are looking forward to more wiring work soon.

We have really been spoiled with our rented warehouse space but now it's time for us to move out.

 Our last evening in the warehouse was an almost-all-night-er.  Brian and I finally crashed on the floor with the kids for a few hours.   Sunday morning we packed the trailer with tools and headed out.

We had lots of tools and supplies to move... 
(Not to mention: an old axle & wheels, the fridge, lots of scrap aluminum and two ornery endcaps)

 Home again home again jiggity jig.
Windows. Drip Caps. Bumper.  Taillights.  License Plate.

It was important for us to make the trailer water tight before we brought it home.  For a couple of the vents "water tight" involved putting a plastic bag over the vent temporarily.
Sunday evening brought a summer shower and we had the chance to check our work.

All I can say is that it's amazing how much water can come in through a rivet hole.  The front window has a rock guard.  It still needs a few repairs before we can attach it to the trailer.  It's not critical that the rock guard be in place for us to use the trailer so we forgot to consider that not attaching it would leave a seam of open holes on the side of the trailer.
(Golly.  What were we thinking?  I think we were sleep deprived.)
Now it's waterproofed with duct tape.

After putting forth our best effort we finally decided "Someday" will not be making the maiden voyage in June.  Instead of being disappointed we're hugely relieved.   We're still making the trip but we'll be bringing out tent.  I have had my heart set on an Airstream for 7-10 years...waiting a few more weeks before we take our first trip really isn't a big deal.

Friday, June 4, 2010

We're Tired.

Pun intended.
We've been putting in some long hours this week.  Sometimes when we're so close to finishing something it's just hard to go home.  Here's a couple of projects we finished this week:

We installed the axle and wheels.
Ready to roll?  Not quite... but getting closer.

 One of the hardest thing about installing the axle (besides having the proper hardware) was making the U-bolts squeeze tight enough to fit into the tie plate.  Tools required:  Lots of patience and a C-clamp (preferably one without a pivoting clamp face.)

Speaking of the tie plate, we're so grateful that SAM was willing to weld our shock mounts to the tie plate.
Thanks again, SAM.

Axle is installed!

Thursday night we finished riveting in the belly pan.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Belly Dance!

 We're so excited to be wrapping up the belly pan! The corners are finished!  The edges are finished!  The middle section is finished!  Our seams and pop rivets are silicone sealed!  Hooray!  (We only lack the screws for the removable cover/access panel for the gray and black water tanks.)

During the past week Brian worked diligently on the belly pan corners while I moved on to the less frustrating but equally tedious job of polishing.  

Before installing the belly edge pieces we used this ABS pipe to curve the aluminum.  The 3'' pipe seemed to be the perfect size for the curve we needed.

The pneumatic pop riveter (Swoosh!) was our favorite belly tool.  Well, maybe the creeper.  They're both really fun toys...errr... I mean TOOLS.

Annabelle was excited about having a turn to polish but did have a few reservations about how dirty her face might be when she was finished.  (I wonder why?!?)

At least she could tell if her face was getting too dirty!

Ewww! I knew polishing was going to be dirty but I really think there's no way to prepare for making a bathtub this dirty EVERY night.  It's necessary to scrub with heavy duty soap with pumice on every square inch of exposed skin.  (Think: eyelids)  Did I mention shampoo?  It takes 4 washes before the suds turn white.