Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI (Now Cub Modern)

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Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI (Now Cub Modern)

Postby Mr. Lahey » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:07 pm

Hello all,

Thought I would post a pic of the profile I've been working on. I have it to the point where I am going to start the build.

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I'm going to build it on a 5x8 TSC utility trailer I purchased.

Plans are for:

2 doors with crank out shed windows- one on each side
Roof vent, 12V and 120V wiring
3/4" plywood side walls-interior of side walls covered in padded carpet
Insulated floor and roof

I originally thought I would skin it in aluminum but am now heavily leaning toward canvas covered. I've got a cool color scheme and several design ideas for the paint work. I think the "blank canvas" should be fun to work with on the exterior.

If you saw my intro thread I posted a shot of my first crack at the profile. I've made quite a few changes to end up at this version and look forward to the build. The profile is also now screwed to the garage wall at ride height of the trailer.

Tonight I will complete my starting materials list and hope to get it all bought over my next days off.
Very excited to get started.

Questions, comments, and opinions are appreciated. I'll post as I progress. Thanks all again for all the great ideas here.
Last edited by Mr. Lahey on Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby tony.latham » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:04 pm

I like the classic shape. :thumbsup:

Make sure your door is far enough forward to miss the fender. :thinking:

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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby noseoil » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:22 pm

I like the shape as well, but I'm wondering about 2 things.

First: what about making the front sweep down & into a tighter radius at the bottom? Keep the upper part of the curve, but bring it down a bit lower & have the larger radius above & a smaller one below, sort of like you've done at the back & bottom.

Second: the door looks pretty wide at the bottom. In your avatar you don't look that broad in the beam. Can the door be a tad narrower & still leave room for the styles in the frame for strength & the windows? It just looks like a lot of wall to remove if there isn't a reason to do it.

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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby KCStudly » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:25 am

Yes the door shape is unique and catches the eye with style... :thumbsup:

...but you also have to think about sealing it up. Depending on the type of seal you intend to use you may want to consider rounding the top corners to allow a continuous seal (instead of mitered corners). If so, look closely at minimum bend radius for whatever brand seal you intend to use.

Also, consider the triangle that will be formed by the door latch and hinge(s). My thought is that the seal will try to push back evenly all around the door, so if there is any flex at all in the door, the more imbalanced the linear footage above and below the latch, the more twist this force will try to put into the door. My door is a (maybe boring) symmetrical shape and I tried to position the latch so that the triangle between it and the hinges is as close to an equal leg triangle as practical. Some people may say that the seal just compresses and this isn't an issue, yet others have complained that the seals are so springy and they didn't allow enough clearance that they can't even get their doors to close properly after installing the seal. Plenty of folks have had issues with simple plywood doors warping; yes even 3/4 ply. What I am trying to say is, you may have to stiffen the door with an inner frame to keep it from twisting, especially with an asymmetrical shape. I may be all wet on this, but it is something that I gave some thought to after reading about all of the troubles people have getting their doors to seal properly. I'm not trying to discourage you from being artistic. Plenty of people have had no problems with shaped doors; just trying to share some insight from all that I have seen documented by the many builders here.

One last thing, casement windows swing out really far; jalousie and tip up windows stick out less; sliders don't stick out at all, but only open half; and Wiley windows don't stick out, their frames always stick in. Check to see how far the windows you plan to use will open, and compare that to how the door will swing back up against the camper wall when it is open. Many folks have had problems/restrictions with windows that open out hitting the sides of the camper when the door swings open or is caught by wind.
Last edited by KCStudly on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby skinnedknuckles » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:30 pm

I would be concerned about the door sealing as well, it may flex too much with the large window opening and smaller outer "frame" . The door fender clearance should be checked with the fender of choice for clearance. On the cabinetry, are you going to have deep upper cabinets, might want to make sure that you can reach all the way to the back , or you could use some of the rear area for a small cabinet for the galley, that's what I did. Otherwise, I like the profile shape it will give you nice storage spaces , I see that you have added a headboard storage area, good idea that will come in handy.
Have fun and start making sawdust :thumbsup:
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby Mr. Lahey » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:54 pm

Thanks for the input folks.

You can't see it in the picture, but there is an arc scribed where the fender will be. The door should clear fine. Maybe. Probably. I hope. The door is sized as such for a few reasons. First off the guy in my avatar pic isn't me. He's a Canadian TV show character named Mr. Lahey. I'm a big guy and "broader in the beam" than him for sure!!

As far as tweaking the lower radius in front, I don't think so. I've spent hours with pencil and tape before I put the jigsaw to the OSB. When I stand back and look at it, I'm happy. So that's that.

I would call myself a moderately skilled wood worker. I had plans to add hardwood stiffener ribs to the doors to help keep them true. Also planned on framing the window to help stiffen doors too. The windows are a jalousie style so I can have them open in the rain. The tip about limiting door travel to keep from busting a window against the side of the body is appreciated and duly noted.

It's also starting to look like I may be better off with a double skin insulated side wall construction. The trailer I bought has about a 12" tall angle iron side rail running around the front and sides. I'm going to need to cut it flush with the top of the frame rails. That will leave several short pieces of angle welded to the frame. I can spend hours grinding to remove them or just build around them and enclose them with the double skin wall. There are also fenders welded in place that I intend to leave and radius my outer wall around to fit them in place. that will let me cover the inner face of fenders with my inner wall skin too.

Soooo....the double wall will give me thicker doors too, with more bracing, and the related extra work that follows.

So my "final" plan isn't so final already. Which is okay.
If you can't hit a curve ball thrown at you, don't play baseball right?

I don't know how much longer I can go this season. No heat in my garage. No electric either!!! The electrician is coming Monday to bring service out to the garage. Once he does I'll have to take a teardrop break and do some basic lights-outlets, etc. wiring to the garage. Then I can work out there till I freeze. I've been working out there so far with a loooongg extension cord plugged into the back porch of the house.

All good things in time.

Later
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby skinnedknuckles » Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:07 pm

Good to see that you are planning before hand instead of during construction. Good idea on the door that should work. If the profile works for you ( I like it ) run with it. Double wall sandwich and the issues with the angle iron is a decent thought. With the double wall it should stiffen up the trailer frame to prevent flexing and cracking the wood just attach it well to the angle iron.
Have fun
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby Mr. Lahey » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:56 am

Quick update:

Electricians came and I now have service to my garage. Tore my back yard up something fierce with the ditch digger. That's a new project now to smooth that out. I may just wait till spring.

I hope to test fit my profile cutout to the frame this weekend. That is kind of exciting. Going to redo my materials list today to adjust for the double wall skin build.

Will need to take some time out to wire a few outlets and a couple lights in the garage too.

Couple shots below of the trailer rail and fender situation I talked about above. You can see when I flush cut the rail supports, I will have V shaped stubs left still welded to rails.

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002a.jpg
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby KCStudly » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:49 am

Mr. Lahey wrote:You can see when I flush cut the rail supports, I will have V shaped stubs left still welded to rails.

...or you could cut those off, too, using a cutoff wheel to slice the welds(s). Sometimes once you slice one weld and score the other a big hammer is all that is needed to break the rest. A little more work with a grinding stone (or even a flap wheel) and you would have a nice smooth frame.

Might be a little dirty work, but better to make it how you want it then to have to work around obstacles.
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI (Now a Cub Modern)

Postby Mr. Lahey » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:15 pm

Hello all,

Been forever since I've had a chance to work on the planned camper. Finally making sawdust today!!!!!

Per earlier posts I had planned a Kenskill camper and had cut out an OSB profile. The profile was screwed to my garage wall so I saw it every day.
Each day I liked the Kenskill look less and less.

I was really swayed to change styles by pictures of "The Luxury Tent" in the hall of fame here. I really fell for the more aero look. So I used the profile drawings here on the forum for the Cub and re cut my template. I really really love it now.

Another major debate was if I was going to remove rails from my trailer chassis or build them into a double side wall construction. I have opted to have the rails cut from the trailer completely. I have an appointment with my welder this Monday to do just that. I will just be working with a flat chassis.

Will be building the Cub side walls from single 3/4 thick A/C grade exterior plywood. I found some excellent quality 4X10 sheets of plywood in stock at a nearby lumber yard. The box stores sell it but you have to pay to have it packed and shipped in. You don't get to see it first. So I was thrilled to be looking at a huge stack of it in stock.

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A pic of the 10' A/C grade plywood!!! Real good looking stuff! Also the large section of the Cub back half of profile template.


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As you can see I am trimming corners to sneak up on the shape of profile. I am cutting both walls at once. Does fine with the circular saw. I only have a jig saw to cut the curves. I bought a quality 10tpi Bosch brand blade. I am getting a fairly square cut. Progress is unbearably slow. It will take days at the rate of cut to do the whole curve. I realize its because I'm going through 1 1/2 inches of material all at once.

I think I may try dozens of close cuts to the line with the circular saw. Then have at the edge with my rough grit belt sander to bring it smooth to the curve line.

I doubt that going to a 6tpi jig saw blade would speed things up much. I would appreciate thoughts from others on completing this cut a better way.
Nope, I don't have a router.

Thanks all
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:18 pm

Does your saw have an orbital cutting feature that strokes the blade in a cyclic action instead of just up and down? That really makes a big difference with a wood blade, but also can cause more chip out.
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby Mr. Lahey » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:44 pm

KC--Nope, my jig saw is a low budget oldie. No orbital feature. Turns out it did not matter.

After my post at lunch time I went back out and tried the multiple cuts with the circular saw thing. It worked like a champ! Done in less than an hour with the whole curve.

I just lined up the cut guide on the saw with the outer edge of my line. I slowly followed the curve until the blade started to begin to bind or protest. I would then just carry the cut straight through to the end of material. I would then come back and start a new curved cut from the point where I had to stop the prior cut. I was amazed at how much I could cut before it would start to bind. At the tightest curves I could still get several inches. In the gentle slopes I cut quite a bit.

One pic below is the scrap from the longest gentle arc I could cut. As you can see there is almost no burning of the material. I got it cut to my line, some belt sander work will clean me up just fine. Also got a nice true 90 degree cut. Jigsaw blade can really deflect for angled cut. So I'm pretty happy. Quite pleased with the material as well. Almost zero voids in the plys.

Longest scrap cut from galley heading toward front door
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Almost no burning or voids in the plywood
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Cut to the line with a circular saw!
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:31 pm

Not for the faint of heart, but :thumbsup: on gettin' 'er done.
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby Mr. Lahey » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:14 am

The "A" side of my 3/4 plywood side wall. All edges belt sanded out and ready to go. No more design changes now.

002a.jpg
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Re: Kenskill style build in Delavan, WI

Postby Mr. Lahey » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:07 pm

Hello all

Back again after another extended project hold time. Have had very little time to work on the tear. Stolen hour here and there. However the outside of my whole house and garage are now freshly painted. So I have been far from idle. Plus I've got quite the tan from that little painting project. As bad as the house needed the paint job, I was still sad to put the camper on hold for nearly all summer.

Did manage to get my doors and window openings cut out. I just finished fitting one door to it's opening today. Got a nice more or less 1/4 inch gap on the sides of the door. For whatever reason the top and bottom came out at 5/16 inch gap. Not too worried about that as I can fix that easy enough along bottom edge of opening if needed.

I also got my front head board cabinet sides cut out too. Plus got my windows fitted into both doors. It's great to be back at work on this project!

I'm fairly excited as I have decided to take a teardrop staycation from work!! I've got the first eleven days of October off!! I hope to make some real progress. Vowed to put everything else on hold for once, and just work on the tear all day, everyday!!!! Really looking forward to it.

Staycation Goals are:

1. Get my floor platform built, insulated, and bolted down to chassis. I went overkill on it's design. When I had the side rails cut off the original trailer it got real "flexy". So I hope to put some strength back into chassis with a beefy platform. Platform will be 3/4 ply bottom layer. !" thick inner frame and foam insulation. Followed with a 1/2 ply top layer. Screwed and glued together and bolted to frame with 12ea. 5/16" bolts.

2. Get the side walls stood vertical on floor platform. Then mock up a few different ideas I have for interior cabinets and galley design.
If all goes well maybe start some of the cabinet construction too.

3. Have a rolling shell of the camper upright and mobile, with some cabinets underway (or maybe 1 complete?) by the end of the vacation time. I want to be able to roll it it to the side of garage to store it inside for the winter.

The tear will end up skinned with PMF and painted. Just bought my Harbor Freight canvas drop cloths yesterday. The cloths are a great deal for that much 10oz canvas.
I have also decided to add A/C to the camper as well. I have an idea for a slide out unit that should work well. I'll know more when I get the walls up and can mock up the rear upper cabinets.

I'll post more pic's as I make some progress.

Door side gap:

fit2.jpg
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Top door gap:

fit.jpg
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Door window:

door.jpg
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My teardrop camper build journal: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64721

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