Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby greygoos » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:40 pm

Hello Melanie. I was very disappointed to read another members comments suggesting you cut your losses and stop your build. I have built numerous trailers and food carts but have come here looking for help with my newest interest, building a camper. There are very knowledgeable people on here who are always very helpful. Not all of us were born with the knowledge to build and my hat is off to those that were. Keep building and be happy with what you accomplish. It is fortunate for all of us that we learn a bit from all the builds on here. Good luck.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:23 pm

I can't deny the fact that Vedette is probably right about the size of the challenge posed by my lack of experience or skill, and the resulting risks--especially in terms of reining in what KC calls "feature creep."

That said, I'm going to keep doing it.

For one thing, the possibility of failure isn't necessarily a reason not to try something. I mean, failing at something is a downer, but it also means that you're pushing your limits, and it's good to do that every now and then. Plus, the financial risk is spread over the 2-3 (or more?) years I'm expecting this project to take.

Also, even if the Little Ferdie turns out to be a hot mess, we won't lose as much on the project as it might seem: Mr P has been wanting a flatbead trailer for years. We'll just cut the walls off and re-name it "The Mulch Mover."

But mostly, I'm going to keep doing it because I'm enjoying it. It's a pain in the ass, but it's interesting, it's creative, and every stage on my embryonic little journey has involved learning new things. And I've really enjoyed the interest and advice and helpfulness of the folks on this forum, who have patiently answered questions that must at times seem ludicrously naive. It has felt like a very welcoming place, as greygoos says, for builders of all skill levels.

So I'll push on. Best case? We end up with an adorable and weather-tight campmobile. Worst case? At least I've learned which end is up on a router.

Wish me luck!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby roamer » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:45 pm

I have spent all of my adult life working on cars and there are a lot of similarities to working on trailers.
I see both sides of this discussion. I have seen people spend and personally spent way more money on something than it was worth.
That being said, I have also learned a lot by the experience. If you are going into it eyes wide open, I say go for it!
A lot of the build process is fun and each step a new challenge, which can be enjoyable and rewarding. If you are trying to have the least amount expended, both financially and effort, than a build is not always the answer. Either way, there is a wealth of knowledge and encouragement available here.
Dave

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Vedette » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:10 pm

Well, now you have been exposed to both sides of what may lie ahead..........and have made your choice. :thinking:
I would like to wish you all the best with your build! :thumbsup:
Go Girl! :applause: And enjoy all of the things you are about to learn. ;)
We are all here for you! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Good Roads
Brian & Sandi
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Wish we were going to meet you sooner than 2 or 3 years.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:24 pm

Good attitude! As requested, good luck!

You hit the nail on the head with that explanation. Now we know that you are serious and you "get it". You're in the club now! :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby noseoil » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:41 pm

Personally, I look on each & every build as a voyage of self-discovery. Perhaps there is more to learn about our own nature than there is to learn about how to build things. It sounds like you may just be capable enough (& perhaps stubborn enough as well?) to have examined the two sides of this coin & decided that the voyage of discovery is worth the price of the admission ticket.

I commend your decision & applaud it! Any and all help is here for the asking, you have only to ask & there are plenty of positive people who will be willing to offer solutions to the problems you may encounter. I think giving yourself a couple of years and a $ budget which isn't constrained by unrealistic time deadlines is a very good approach. Best, tim
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:11 pm

Melanie & Mr P. Welcome to the forums, there are tons of folks who'll cheer you on & offer advice. Love your literary mien , (or is that botanical?) subscription clicked to join the legion of fans & well wishers! You can do it, just don't hurry!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby aggie79 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:55 pm

Welcome! We're just up the road from you near Fort Worth.

PlanoVet built a very nice Grumman. I believe it is 11' long by 5' tall by 5' wide. Here is a link to his website: http://www.littleswissteardrop.com/home.html. Under the "Build" tab PlanoVet has documented the construction of his teardrop.

If you haven't already, check out the South Central section. There is a big gathering at Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma in April. We tent camped several years while building our teardrop. I think there are still campsites available. If none are available in the loop that is reserved, there are many others camping loops/sites in the state park. Even if you can't camp, please visit to see all the wonderful home-builts and join us for a pot luck dinner on Saturday evening.

Take care,
Tom
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Talia62 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:56 pm

tony.latham wrote:
Talia62 wrote:Have you considered doing a spline joint instead of a lap joint? If I recall correctly, they're stronger and it's a lot less stock removal with the router.


I really like spline joints in 3/4" plywood when I'm using the stuff for the skeleton in sandwiched walls. Quick and easy. They're strong with the interior/exterior layers of plywood (that act like a gusset) cover the joint. Without that, in compression-tension, they snap.

I would do the lap joint for solid wood walls. Much stronger for a stand-alone joint.

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Tony


Great information, good to know. Thanks!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:50 pm

Thanks so much for the encouragement, guys! It's true--teardroppers are the nicest people. I don't know if you were all born nice or if years of inhaling sawdust somehow turned you sweeter, but either way, y'all are great and I really appreciate the it.

Thank you for the compliment, Ned. Also: "mein" and "legion" in a single post--rocking vocabulary!

"Stubborn" is one of the nicer words for it, Noseoil :lol:

I don't think we can make the gathering this year, Tom, but we'll try next year--I'd love to meet you guys. Thanks for the link to PlanoVet--what a stylish job he did.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: FIRST PROFILE

Postby plectrudis » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:26 pm

I cut out the first profile today, which was exciting.

I traced the pattern on using a sharpie, and then cut along the line with a scroll saw. I was about 20" into my practice cut when the original Craftsman blade that came with the machine snapped. I replaced it with a Bosch blade, which worked much better and got me through the entire cutout plus the door. The dude at the hardware store advised me to take it nice and slow, which I think helped.

Afterwards, I used an orbital sander with a 60-grit plate to smooth out any wobbles, which worked pretty well.

It's not impeccable, but I think it will get the job done. (Unless anyone sees any red flags?)

I also cut the door out, and I'm kind of wishing I had waited on that. My next steps (after cutting out profile #2) will be to construct the trailer frame and build the floor--it will be a little while before I need the walls. And now that the door is cut out of the profile, it feels awfully fragile along the bottom. I'm thinking of tacking a scrap piece of plywood along the bottom to give it a little extra strength until it's time to install the exterior walls.

The door, as a side note, was a fiddly pain. I think it will be fine, but it was much wobblier than the edge of the profile. I cleaned it up a bit with the sander again, but that didn't work as well on the tight curve of the door. Again, I think it will work what with the trim and gaskets and hinge--the wobbles were small--but poetry in plywood it ain't. Credit to Mr P for getting the door started, BTW--he worked some freestyle magic with a circular saw to open up a path for my scroll saw.

Here's the documentation. BTW, my phone's camera makes the perspective all screwy--it looks like the door is smack in the middle of the profile, but it's actually about 3' from the front and 5' from the back--right where the plans say it should be, leaving plenty of room for the fender and interior shelf. (I panicked when I saw the pic and re-measured everything.)

The Edge (minus Bono, haha):

Image

The whole thing, sans door. Remember, the camera has jacked with the perspective!

Image

Lastly, in the category of "Why Don't I Do What People Tell Me?" I got some advice to make a masonite or similar template instead of cutting directly into the final product, but I wasn't convinced that it would be worth the extra $$$ and time. I'm realizing now, though, that I'm going to have to cut out the interior walls soonish--before I install the exterior walls--since I'll be using the profile as a template. Which means I'll have the interior walls just hanging around the garage, warping, long before I actually need them. To other newbs--it's not a big deal, but I kinda wish I'd gone with a masonite template. Just FYI.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:51 pm

Looks great from up here in NY! If you're concerned about the door cut out, I'd say a scrap piece support would be a great idea!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby pchast » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:17 pm

Yes it does.... Let me just say that you still can cut a template from your first
piece... cut the door too, But do it like a stencil. Leave tabs to keep the
pieces together.
:thumbsup:

Remember time spent studying the job before jumping in to it is work too. It may
help to avoid an Oops later.

Keep pluggin' You can do it.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:12 pm

Thanks, Ned! I think I will try the tacking.

And Pete--what a clever suggestion re: leaving the door attached like a stencil--I'll do that on the passenger-side wall. It's always good to be reminded to go slow and think things through :-)

--Cheers
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby aggie79 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:54 am

Great progress! :thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup:

plectrudis wrote:And Pete--what a clever suggestion re: leaving the door attached like a stencil--I'll do that on the passenger-side wall. It's always good to be reminded to go slow and think things through :-)

--Cheers


That method worked for me. I used a router to cut the door opening (with a template). Although it looks like the door was completely cut out, I only routed partial depth at the red marks.

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