Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:27 pm

The Ironton 5 x 8 arrived today!

Image

It's a little scuffed and dinged, so I think I'll paint it after assembly. BobHenry, in an older thread (http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=62659&hilit=should+you+paint+your+trailer), recommended Van Sickle tractor paint as an economical and effective option, so I think I'll give that a go. I was going to be stingy and just spray on a single coat, but there's probably not much point painting at all if you don't give it 2 good coats, so I'll be thorough.

Am I right in thinking that painting is a nice extra, rather than a necessity? I'm planning to do it, but more from a due diligence perspective than because the already-painted trailer seems like it really needs it. Per the thread above, I'll sand with ~320-grit sandpaper and wipe down with alcohol for prep. (Does it have to be denatured? Regular old isopropyl won't do the trick?)

It's a bit late to get much accomplished tonight, but hopefully I can make some progress Friday evening.

Tips from the internet that I want to remember:

(1) Don't tighten the nuts all the way until the whole thing is assembled, that way you can adjust it if it's not perfectly square
(2) Confirm squareness in one or more ways:
(a) Use a T- square or L-square on every corner
(b) Measure diagonally from each corner to the opposite corner--the measurements should be equal
(c) Measure from the tongue to the center of each wheel--the measurements should be equal
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:51 pm

I'm thinking denatured is less expensive in bulk than iso.

Thoughts on painting a commercially made trailer frame: There are probably areas that the OEM didn't do a great job prepping for paint; areas that may have been oily or had mill scale where the paint didn't lay down well. If you are going to be meticulous and build a real looker, or want to be obsessive about rust prevention, then going over the whole thing and stripping those suspicious areas back, scuffing and repainting is probably right for you.

If, on the other hand, you want to get camping and can live with a little cosmetic blemish, and rust that won't do any structural harm for years and years, then maybe just touch up the areas that might show after you build, or do nothing at all.

It really comes down to what is important to you. There are no wrong answers.
KC
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:40 pm

Perfect! That was exactly the kind of explanation I was hoping for, KC.

I'd say at present my mood is about half-obsessive, so I'll probably steer for a middle path between inaction and perfection.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: TRAILER FRAME ASSEMBLED

Postby plectrudis » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:57 pm

(Mostly, anyway.)

Image

And, best of all, it is square!

Image.

It took roughly 2-3/4 hours, with Mr P lending a hand part of the time. It did help that he has an inexplicably extensive--not to say redundant--collection of socket sets.

Tomorrow I'll give it a light sanding and a couple coats of tractor paint and, hopefully, add the remaining parts--the axle, wheels, hitch receiver, and jack.

Side note: Ironton, your instruction manual is not satisfactory! The main pic is weency, with microscopic screws illustrated going into nearly invisible holes. You told me to assemble the long pieces with their 3 small holes to the front of the trailer, but neglected to mention that the 4 square holes needed to be face up, and you never told me where to put the washers--on the same side as the nut or on the same side as the bolt. If I were an auto mechanic, I'm sure I'd have known all of this by instinct, but then if I were an auto mechanic, I wouldn't need the instructional manual in the first place.

Belated note--Tom, thanks for the nice pic of the stencil approach to doors--I like your half-cut method. On an unrelated note, I've been meaning to ask you: I like the way you routed your AC duct and electrical under the body of your trailer--looks comparatively easy to install and maintain. Are you still happy with this approach? Would you do it that way again?

Cheers
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:16 am

An auto mechanic would tell you that, all other things being equal, the washer goes under the nut... and you should hold the bolt and turn the nut to secure.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:44 am

<headsmack>

Given that I'm planning to have a welder reinforce the corners, will it matter? Do I need to redo it?
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:09 am

Probably not. It is a good idea to double check all fasteners after they have been put into service for a short period, but I (and I assume most people) seldom do.

If I were to reason out why these are the standard practices, I would think that you use the washer under the nut and turn it, so that the relative motion occurs on the less expensive nut and replaceable washer, as apposed to the more expensive bolt and potentially irreplaceable object being bolted. That way any galling occurs on cheaply replaceable parts. So it is good/best practice, but not some unbreakable law.
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Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:21 am

Awesome! That totally makes sense.

That being the case, I'm going to go paint a trailer :)
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Vedette » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:54 am

Kits of any kind usually have bad instructions and short change you on the fasteners required for the job.
When bolting two finished painted pieces together (that you don't plan on painting over after assembled) you need 5 fasteners per hole.
In this order: Bolt, flat washer, material, material, flat washer, lock washer, nut. Hold bolt....tighten nut.
Most cheap do-it-yourself kits use Nylock nuts to eliminate the lock washer. Remember nylock nuts are meant to go on one time only.
Nuts and washers also have "sides" if you look at them. :thinking:
Washer have a have a round or smooth side and a sharp side from being punched. The round side should always be out, with the sharp side biting into the material you are bolting together.
Nuts have a flat side also, sometimes denoted by small lines or indents, with the outside of the nut having slightly rounded shoulders. Again flat side goes toward the flat washer or lock washer.
Hope this helps with your future assembly. ;)
I do not want to even start on paint. :roll: As there is so much more to it than most people can even imagine.
We paint every day, and use a wide rage of products.....all of which are specific to what we are painting. :thinking:
Looks like you are having fun with it so far???
Good roads
Brian & Sandi
Good Roads
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:58 pm

I believe Vedette is referring to a semi-finished nut, rather than the more common (fully) finished nut which is chamfered on both sides. The condition of the stamped washer being sharp on one face and rounded on the other is sometimes referred to as "coining".
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:12 pm

I had noticed that about washers, Vedette--and I always wondered if the scratchy side was just an artifact of manufacturing or if it was intentional.

Thanks for the detailed breakdown on bolts & parts--would that the manufacturer had been so precise!

To answer your question, yup, it's still fun so far. A literal pain in my backside, as this weekend has entailed a lot of bending, squatting, and lifting heavy pieces of metal, but fun all the same. Wednesday, I had no trailer; Thursday, I had a collection of parts; now I have almost all of a trailer assembled and painted. Pretty cool.

Today's progress:

I ran into some problems tracking down the materials I wanted, which took a stupidly long time, but I eventually got the bottom of the trailer painted and one coat on the top, so that's close to being done.

And while I waited for the paint to dry, I taped the outline of my cabin interior, which was gratifying. I couldn't help but think of the Silver Beatle thread and Tom's love of blue tape...

One more coat of paint, and then I'll put the trailer together the rest of the way and start on the floor.

Still on the fence about whether to replace the leaf axle with a torsion axle per my Dad's advice. For now, will assemble as is and upgrade wheels (definitely) and axle (maybe) later.

Modest cabin shelving plan: a bin along the front for storage and also to hold AC ductwork, and a pretty basic shelf at the foot of the bed to hold luggage. The fanciest part is the padded headboard I'm planning to make, per the fabulous but intimidating example at Crowswing http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=47781. I'm hoping the simplicity of the interior will keep the weight down and compensate for the effort that will be required to include air conditioning (this is Texas--A/C is non-negotiable).

Image

Trailer pix to be added later.

Cheers!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby pchast » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:35 pm

I'd like to suggest that you check the trailer for how flat and straight
it is with a taught string. Before you see a welder as you said.
:thinking:
Even square these kits may need adjustment, shimming, to produce
a flat base.
:thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Vedette » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:00 pm

Listen to your Dad! :thinking: Order your new Dexter axle tomorrow! :thumbsup: If you don't do it now.....you never will, and you will regret it from the first time you take your new trailer out on the road. :roll:
Just do all of the math and order the right one....if you are worried about the math, just phone them and let their people do the work for you. It is just too easy! And well worth the money (these are cheap at 1/2 the price).
Glad you are making progress and paying your dues......you will have something to brag about when you are finished.
You will have to tow it on up to our Farm Gathering. We have a "Show 'n' Brag" on Saturday morning of our Gathering! ;)
Good Roads
Brian & Sandi
PS
With your new Dexter you won't feel a bump from Texas to B.C. :beer:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:55 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, Pete-- I'll take a look once it's dry. At the same time--dangit! A whole other dimension to think about just when I thought I'd nailed it (goof-up with the washers notwithstanding). Constant vigilance! as Mad-Eye Moody says.

Raced the sun back from Houston this evening and got home just in time to put on the last coat of paint. Remaining trailer assembly tasks will have to wait till later this week or next weekend.

Re: the axle, have I got the pros & cons right?

TORSION:
Pro: Smoother ride means easier, more stable towing
Con: Harder to fix/replace if axle breaks while in the hinterland (ex: Big Bend)

LEAF:
Pro: Easy to find replacement parts
Con: Weenier; less stable ride

Other pros/cons?

Also, is the Dexter really that much better than other brands? Northern Tool has an "Ultra Tow" torsion axle that's $100+ cheaper than the cheapest Dexter.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200649000_2649000.

Still weighing this one. Just bought a trailer--Mr P not terribly enthusiastic at prospect of me dropping another $300+ so soon. He is also heavily swayed by the hinterland/Big Bend issue.

One freshly painted trailer frame:
Image
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Vedette » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:24 am

Love to reply to the Dexter question. :roll:
They must be giving that other axle away if it is $100.00 less than the Dexter????
As both my Dexter axles were just over $200.00 Can. direct from Dexter (built to my "exact" specs.) and I am in Canada.
We are paying almost 40 cents more on the dollar to purchase that axle.
So who is trying to gouge you?
Good Roads
Brian
Oh
PS
My "dump trailer" has a spring axle in it. I hit a pot hole one day as I cut a corner (forgot I was towing) As I looked in the rear view mirror, I could see at least two feet of daylight under the tire. Thought the whole trailer was going to flip over.
But, I have passed at over 100 MPH with my teardrop without a concern.
Just saying from experience! :thinking:
Good Roads
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