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 Vedette » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:26 am

Oh......and I don't work for Dexter! :thinking:
But, I easily could.....because it is so easy to sell a product you truly believe in! :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:51 am

Thanks for all the info, Brian! I think I just did a quick search on Google Shopping--maybe it was pulling up fancier models than I need. It's good to hear that you've had such a long and satisfactory history with this product.

We got the remaining trailer pieces bolted together tonight, with the exception of the electricity. It's level, Pete, to the best of my ability to gauge! (Thank goodness!) The jack is attached too, and Mr P & I sat on the main crosspiece and pretended we were camping.

Speaking of electricty, I just read KC's post on the Bear's Lair build log (http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=65505), which was certainly timely. I hadn't realized how shoddy trailer wiring is, though when I think back to all the cursing and tooth-gnashing that trailer lights have caused my husband and my dad over the years, I should have known.

So I'll use the rinky-dink stuff that came with the trailer for now while I'm using it to haul sheets of plywood, and replace it with something better when I do the rest of the Little Ferdie's electricity.

Next steps: wire the lights, finish the passenger-side profile, get a hitch on my car, and use the trailer to pick up the plywood for the floor. Have to shop around for the least exorbitant marine-grade plywood in town...
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: TRAILER FRAME ASSEMBLED

Postby aggie79 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:31 am

Congrats on the progress! Y'all are really "making hay" with your build. :thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup:

I saw that you mentioned "marine" plywood for the floor. That really is not necessary. Any good grade of exterior plywood will be sufficient. I actually used plywood that was not rated for exterior use for the bottom of the floor and sealed it.

plectrudis wrote: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?


I'm very happy with the electrical service running underneath the teardrop and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I'm moderately happy with the A/C return air running underneath the teardrop. The "flow-through" aspect of the A/C is great with the supply at the headboard and the return at the bulkhead. And with the A/C unit installed separate from the main teardrop shell, the only noise you hear is from the blower fan. The only downsize is that the length of the return air has reduced the air volume. I plan to replace the return air duct with a larger cross-section duct to see if that will help to increase the air volume.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:39 pm

Thanks, Tom! Good to know about the return air. I've just come across CapnTelescope's AC setup--maybe I'll borrow/adapt his approach for this: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=58223&start=405#p1087172.

Here's the promised pic of the assembled trailer, with wiring laid out for installation with Mr P's assistance. Doesn't it look handsome and sturdy?

Image

I'm looking forward to saying goodbye to that maddening and inscrutable Ironton instruction manual, and getting back to the cutting things out of wood. Also looking forward to posting pictures of something other than metal rectangles, however handsome.

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

Postby plectrudis » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:19 pm

Well, I had hoped to get more accomplished this weekend, but the irredeemably shiteful plywood from Lowe's thwarted me. I was going to stretch the plywood for the other exterior wall, but only 1 of our 2 remaining pieces of plywood proved usable. I don't know how we missed it when we bought them, but the top layer of the other sheet seems to have come up in places, slipped about a 1/2 inch, and then been glued down all caddywumpus, leaving hideous gouges all over the length of the thing. I'm an accommodating kind of girl, but I cannot make that work.

:fb

So I routed the space for the lap joint on my remaining (marginally) acceptable piece of plywood, hooked up the trailer lights and called it a day.

I suppose I'll have to get the replacement plywood from Lowes as well, since I need it to match what I already have, but all the remaining plywood for this project is going to have to come from someplace else.

As the Notorious BIG says, "Mo' money, mo' plywood." I'm pretty sure that's how the song goes, anyway.

I probably won't be able to make much more progress still my title/paperwork comes in from Ironton, allowing me to register the trailer. Ah, well. More time to read up on build logs and plan my next steps.

So progress has been glacial, but, I remind myself, glacial progress is what carved out the Great Lakes and the upper part of the Mississippi River. Don't knock it.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:02 am

Still good to get something done. The trick is to stick with it. Do something toward making progress each and every day that you can and soon you will be hitting milestone after milestone.

That's one thing that I have noticed on my build. You put your nose to the grindstone and work and work on some aspect of your build without seeing much progress; then poof, suddenly you turn a corner and the day you've been working toward comes, and you have reached that milestone.

It's not that big work day that makes the milestone happen. It's all of those little days working toward it that really make it happen.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:53 pm

Good advice, KC!

I'm planning to visit some junkyards this weekend to see if I can find some bigger wheels for the trailer. I've never been to a junkyard before, so this will be an adventure. Fortunately, Mr P is coming with me to help with--well, anything, really, from fending off angry dogs to wrestling stubborn lugnuts, as required. Should be both fun and educational :-)

Hopefully, little mini-projects like this will keep the momentum going.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby TheOtherSean » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:28 pm

Nice build you've got going. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:41 pm

Thanks, Sean! Lord knows I'm trying :R

We visited three salvage yards today, but couldn't find any suitable wheels. I wanted some to match a CRV (planned tow vehicle), but wheels evidently go fast in the salvage lot world, and they were few and far between, and none in the size I wanted, let alone in matched pairs (17"--this way my tow vehicle's spare can also be used on the trailer).

The salvage yards were kind of fun, though--especially in the windy, cloudless, brilliant blue weather we had today--the biggest one was like some sort of post-apocalyptic hellscape, and as we went kind of early. and not all of the customers were entirely awake, it looked like a zombie apocalyptic hellscape, which is surely the most fun kind. I expected to see some tumbleweed roll by, and maybe a seedy character in a battered trenchcoat offering to sell black-market water, gasoline, or medical supplies.

The guy at the last yard told us to try Craigslist, so that will be my next angle of attack. (I think I had underestimated how much shopping this project involves--not so much the actual purchasing, as the amount of trekking around trying to find the right supplies.)

Since the wheel search isn't really mission critical at this point--it was just something to do while I get the trailer registered and our tow vehicle set up--I'm going to put that project on the back burner and switch to the exterior walls and floor. My Manufacturer's Certificate of Whatsit just came in, so if I can ever catch my local DMV during operating hours (because they close at 4:30 AND--as I now know to my sorrow--stop accepting title work at 4:00--because OF COURSE THEY DO), I should be able to get Little Ferdie's skeleton road legal and ready to haul wood in the quite soonish timeframe.

IN SUMMARY:
Actual, photographable progress: nil
Enriching personal life experience: +1
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Nobes » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:04 pm

Ha! Love your style. I have had tumbleweeds blow through my yard, and wondered if the trench-coated assassins were far behind. Keep on plugging!
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Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:26 am

"Milady, methinks thou hath undervalued the knowledge thou hast gained... +1?
" Consults his DM screen a moment... Rolls dice a couple of times, scribbles on paper ... "Nay Milady +100 if a point 'twas earned. Huzzah, well played"

Keep on keepin' on! Thanks for sharing !
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:15 pm

Thanks, Nobes! It's sure as heck been the right weather for tumbleweeds--I don't know how things are out your way, but we've been having a Mistral out here for the past three days.

Hah! Ned, I like your point system. You might be grading on a curve, but I'm not going to argue with you :eyebrows:

On a completely unrelated note, my trailer hitch and receiver came in this weekend--I'll be using my little Insight as a temporary towing vehicle for plywood purchases and the like. Anyway, I bought a Curt and OH. EM. GEE. It is a whole nother universe from the Ironton instructions. There are COLOR photographs of every step in the process, taken on my exact make and model! The instructions are clear, detailed, and in English! Also, I think the quality of the product itself looks solid, but I'm so bedazzled by the awesomeness of the instruction manual that the actual receiver is kind of an afterthought for me.

And they have posted tons of how-to videos on youtube. I love these guys!

Admittedly, I haven't actually installed the thing yet, so all of this may be premature, but at the moment, Curt, you get a shiny red foil heart sticker from me!

:banana:

(But I couldn't find a shiny red heart smiley, so you're getting a dancing banana instead. Close enough, right?)
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:48 am

it's all about keeping the ambiance correct. Besides , you got a kick out of it.

Any pics of the new hardware? I'm in the market for a hitch for my car soon... I've got a foamie build on the near horizon.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: CHILL OUT, DANCING BANANA

Postby plectrudis » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:34 pm

Finally! Some progress!

Mr P & I have been struggling all week with the trailer hitch receiver, and I've been a little too despondent to want to post about it. But we persevered, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a eureka moment, and today we finally got the thing installed.

The issues were two-fold:

(1) While the photo showed two holes in the frame, my car had three, and we were trying to use the wrong ones.

(2) My car's frame is actually divided horizontally into an upper and a lower chamber (why? Seriously, Honda: why??) and threading the bolt and washer through to the correct chamber was... difficult. Especially since we didn't know the upper chamber existed for quite a while.

In the course of these problems, I managed to get my bolt and washer stuck inside the frame, and later, so did Mr P. Fishing them out again is possible, but it is by no means fun. Probably 1/3 of our install time was spent trying to extract bolts and washers from inside the frame.

So, Ned, to answer your question, Yes I would do it again. In fact, Mr P is planning to buy and install a Curt hitch on his new vehicle--now that we know how to do it. I'm happy with the quality of the item, and I'm happy we didn't pay someone else $100+ to install it, but I do not feel that this level of effort warrants a dancing banana. Consider the banana revoked.

TIPS:
One thing I will do without fail in future is tie a piece of stout thread each around the bolt and the washer and tie the other ends off so the pieces can always be fished back out. This is especially handy when you're trying to lift the very heavy bar up into position, which is when Mr P accidentally popped his bolt up into the frame. (At this point, he ventured an unfavorable opinion or two on the sexual habits of the bolt and its mother.)

Working in your favor is the fact that the bolt and washer are magnetic, so have a strong magnet handy. Needlenose pliers are also helpful, and are not listed in the instruction manual.

Give yourself plenty of time--on the first night we were racing the sunset, which is what made me impatient and caused the first fugitive bolt event.

Anyway, we kept at it, and we now have a cute little 2-in "Euro-ball" hitch on my car. Huzzah!

Image

This extremely productive afternoon I also temporarily bolted the manky, hideous plywood to the trailer frame to use for hauling; painted the fenders; and installed a much-needed shelf support on my workbench. Now I just need to get a license plate for my trailer and I'll be able to buy that last piece of plywood to complete the passenger side wall! So close I can taste it!

Closeup of the reject plywood--the fault runs almost the entire length of the sheet:

Image

Shame on you, Lowes! (And, also, shame on us for not catching this at the store--how the heck did we miss it?? Note to self: DO NOT DO THAT AGAIN.)
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Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:11 am

:applause: huzzah! I predict I'll have it much easier when the time comes to mount my hitch... I'll share the joy with my son, who is going to college to get his bachelors in automotive shop management. Cheating I know, but so effective!

I ordered a sheet of A/C grade plywood today... Only a few more bucks than big box prices, and I expect it will be a lot nicer to deal with. I could have gone marine grade, but since I'll be putting the mix on it will be fine.
Last edited by Ned B on Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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