Torpedo - build complete

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Torpedo - build complete

Postby Irmo Atomics » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:20 pm

Here goes my high speed build journal.
My goal is to build a teardrop version of the Airstream Torpedo.
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I started with the idea and then bought a pop-up to base it on.
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I cut off the bumper and used it as center bracing. I added a curve to the front - it shortened the tongue, but it should make it stronger.
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I made my deck out of half inch plywood and cut the scraps into 1 ½” wide strips to use as spacers. I added ½” iso foam insulation and covered the bottom in a product called Thermo Ply; then taped the seams with rubber flashing tape.
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I re-built the suspension and welded new axle perches so that I could flip the axle. Got new tires and hubs - ready to go.
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Last edited by Irmo Atomics on Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:44 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/19/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:25 pm

So the foundation is done, next order of business… framing. Here’s the profile that I SWAG’ed up.
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I wanted to make it one sheet of plywood sized. I made 1x2 framing and half lapped, glued and screwed all the joints.
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After building the frames on my profile template, I marked and cut the ¾” insulation and covered the interior walls with luan plywood. I got a gallon of (returned)Valspar primer/paint for $5 and painted everything. I’m going to do this to the whole project.
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I put 1x2 roof spars vertically between the walls and framed the front curve.
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This is where I made my first change. Since I’m figuring this thing out as I go along, I framed in for two front windows before I decided that it didn’t look right. It was a fairly easy thing to fix at this stage, so now I have one window centered and a little higher up.
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/19/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Time for the hatch. I ripped 1x4s down into ¼” strips and ran them through the planer to smooth them up. Then I bought an 8 foot 2x8 and made my hatch spar jig. I used my profile template and traced out the spar jig and cut out a chunk of 2x8. Since my spars are 1 ¾” thick, I traced a line 1 ¾” onto the cut-out piece and re-cut it. Here’s a picture of the set-up.
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Here’s a shot of the hatch from the inside
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And one from the outside
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I got some black 2” living hinge from Monroe PMP last week. I’ll use that to attach my hatch.
I have my roof framed and insulated. It’s a sandwich of 1x2 verticals between the walls, a layer of luan on top of the walls, 1x2’s on the flat glued and screwed through the luan into the 1x2 verticals, insulation, and eighth inch structural sheeting glued and stapled on top of that. I’ll cover all that with aluminum, later.
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I’m working on the galley and interior cabinets now. It’s another exercise in figuring out how I want it to end up as I go along… planning on the fly. I’m trying to do it as light weight as possible by using 1x2 framing and eighth inch plywood. Everything is glued, stapled and/or screwed, so I’m hoping that it will be built like a tank yet light like a spruce goose.
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/19/12

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:33 pm

All I can say is ..... wow.
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/19/12

Postby jbyrd » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:56 am

That is a really neat profile. Your skills are pretty impressive also. Looking good :thumbsup:
Til later, See ya
Jeremy

My build journal #1 "SOLD" : viewtopic.php?t=45945
my build journal #2 "SOLD": viewtopic.php?f=50&t=59216
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/19/12

Postby bonnie » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:33 am

I'll second the WOW. Very nice looking. Where'd you get your round window, if I may ask?
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/19/12

Postby droid_ca » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:07 am

your doing a really good job on this trailer the torpedo is a neat design
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Re: Torpedo Build 8/22/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:50 am

Thank you all for your encouragement. The round windows came off the doors to an old trailer that was heading to the scrap yard. I have the trim rings and glass and will have to figure out how to secure them later.
I've been piecing the galley together, lately. I had thought about using the slides off of the old popup to mount the galley on, but that didn't work - too much binding. I started by guessing about how much foot room I'd need under the galley. Then I built a raised section in the middle rear to hang an air conditioner out of. Next, I needed a place to mount a dorm fridge. The shelf height was determined by the size of the wicker baskets that I got at Lowe's 2 days ago (another clearance item picked up for cheap). I'm using baskets instead of drawer or cabinets. So the whole thing is coming together out of what I can fit in the space that's left. The offset in the middle between the upper cabinets is for a TV shelf in the cabin area.
I'm building it with 1x1, 1x2 and eighth inch luan plywood and trying to keep it as light as possible. It'll get painted too because nothing that I'm using is stain grade. Back to work...
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Re: Torpedo Build 9/8/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:54 am

I finally got my galley/cabin cabinets done. I built both at the same time because they’re the same single layer of 1x2 framing and 1/8th inch luan plywood. The back side of the galley is the front side of the cabin, a recess in one is a protrusion in the other – kind of like a reversible jacket.
Now, I’m installing a simple 120 volt AC setup with 2 circuits feeding 2 GFCI outlets; one 6 outlet powerstrip in the galley on one GFCI, and one powerstrip in the cabin on the other GFCI circuit.
I painted the plywood countertop areas and shelves with gloss alkyd paint that took about a day and a half to dry, but it's hard as a rock now. I'll be putting a single faucet on the sink later this weekend. The counters flip up to access the spaces underneath them.

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Re: Torpedo Build 9/8/12

Postby Junkboy999 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:44 am

Nice. love the simplistic look of the cabinets and galley.

What is the Bed size going to be. Is it just going in between the wheel wells.
I often wondered what people did with the wheel wells.
Do they get in the way? Do you hit your knees on them?


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Re: Torpedo Build 9/8/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:43 am

I was able to squeeze 80" of length into the cabin, but only 45" between the wheel wells. The cabin width overall is 75", so I have a 15 inch "foyer" at each door. The wheel wells aren't in the way at all, and the cabin cabinets get higher and recess further back as you go from outside to center. It gives me more open space in the middle rear to access the air conditioner and to make the bed. That's the theory at least. We'll see how it works in the real world, later.
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Re: Torpedo Build 9/8/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:43 pm

wall_buildup.JPG
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Here’s a fix to a problem that I caused myself. When I built my hatch, I used the side wall profile template as my guide, and the hatch turned out great… until I added the roof. When I put 7/8th inch of roof on my walls, I needed to raise the hatch up 7/8th inch at the top to meet flush with the roofline. That left me with a gap between the side walls and the hatch that tapered from 7/8th inch to nothing along a four foot curve. Sweet.
wall_buildup3.JPG
wall_buildup3.JPG (158.22 KiB) Viewed 3092 times

So, I layered 1/4th inch strips that I glued and stapled along the galley side walls. After the glue dried, I traced my new profile, pulled the staples that were in the way, and jigsawed out the waste. A little belt sander action and my walls fit my hatch now. I’m glad that’s done, now I can get back to finishing instead of fixing.
wall_buildup4.JPG
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Re: Torpedo Build 9/8/12

Postby KCStudly » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:10 pm

Nice save! :thumbsup:
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Re: Torpedo Build 10/5/12

Postby Irmo Atomics » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:04 pm

I took a break from spending money on the Torpedo, but I'm back at it again. I got two small windows and a door handle off of Ebay, and I got my aluminum skins from SAF. I got (1) 4x10' and (6) 4x8' sheets for under $300 shipped free to the trucking terminal in town. All I had to do was drive 18 miles to pick it up. I'm attaching the side walls by bending 1" tabs over the top and using SS nails to hold it. The trim will keep it around the door frame and a trim strip will secure it at the bottom. It's good to be making progress again.

TorpedoSkin1.JPG
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Here's a shot of the side wall bent over the roof. I'll bend the roof aluminum over the side wall and put some putty tape and trim over the joint.
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Last edited by Irmo Atomics on Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Torpedo Build 10/5/12

Postby logman7777 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:59 pm

Now thats one SEXY teardrop! :D
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