Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Vedette » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:15 am

Going back a step to the junk yard........CRV wheels are probably a metric bolt pattern????
So before you worry about "matching 17" wheels, you had better make sure the bolt pattern on your bolt together trailer chassis' axle are the same??
My guess is that they are 5 on 4 1/2".........unless they are really cheesy and are 4 bolt. :roll:
Glad to see you are making steady progress on your trailer, and learning new things along the way! :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:45 am

Very clever of you, Ned, to raise a mechanically inclined child! I imagine your hitch install will go much better--after all, many of our frustrations were self inflicted, and anyone with a little more automotive expertise--and possibly more generously endowed in the common sense department--will probably find this no big deal.

Hey Vedette--you're right that the bolt pattern is listed in mm for Hondas (5x114.3mm, in this case), but when I converted it to inches, it matched my trailer's bolt pattern exactly (5 x 4.5). Score! On the other hand, we didn't find any actual wheels that would work, so... not score. It was far from being an urgent purchase, though, and we had a fun little field trip, so it's all good.

But rather than continuing to pursue this nice-to-have right now, I'm going to be turning my attention to the big wooden box. Next up: two walls and a floor.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Vedette » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:34 am

plectrudis wrote:But rather than continuing to pursue this nice-to-have right now, I'm going to be turning my attention to the big wooden box. Next up: two walls and a floor.

Good for You!
It is like the old question of "How do you eat an elephant?".......one bite at a time.
It is just so easy to get distracted buy going out and buying things you think you may need in the future, whenever progress is slowing down or you are feeling a little overwhelmed.
Stay the Coarse! :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: MUCH PROGRESS

Postby plectrudis » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:25 pm

Maiden Voyage
Last weekend we got the trailer frame registered and lighted up (sort of), the car's electrical done (by pros--I'm willing to futz with the electricity in a funny little homemade rolling box of my own devising, but when it comes to cutting wires in my car--someone else can do that, thanks) and took it on its maiden drive. My wee little Insight pulled the (mostly empty) trailer like a champ.

Trailer Lights - WTH?
Today we devoted to chasing down the trailer light problem. The problem was: the tail lights didn't work, and when I used the brake lights, the radio display in my car went dark.

We undid and redid all the wires including the ground, switched which wires connected to which, but couldn't figure it out. Finally, we decided that the light kit that came with the trailer must have been defective (um... sure--that's the ticket) and bought a new LED light kit and started over. That one gave us trouble too (how is this possible??? It's 4 stinking wires, for crying out loud, and they're color coded! A chimpanzee could figure this out), so we finally decided that instead of connecting the light fixture grounds to the mounting bolts as per the instructions, we would drill an extra little hole into the trailer and screw the ground in there.

God knows why, but this worked. Huzzah! Plus, the new lights are sexier than the old lights, and they're submersible. You know--for if we decide to make the Little Ferdie into the world's first amphibious teardrop houseboat.

I still don't get why this was hard, let alone why it was hard twice, but everything works beautifully now, so I'm focusing on that.

Gratefully, I turned my attention away from the mysteries of electricity and back to wood for the rest of the day.

2 Walls & a Template
I used a top-bearing trim bit on my router to copy my first wall onto the new plywood, and the lovely bit ate plywood like Pacman eats those little white pellets. Actually, faster. It's a half-inch bit, which I thought was too big but was all my small-town hardware store had. But it worked a treat. Rough cutting with a jigsaw was a misery (OMG, my jigsaw is slow! Are they all like this?) but the router was like a racehorse--a real pleasure.

Then I plopped the masonite on top of the whole thing and used a bottom-bearing trim bit to create the template, which I'll use when I need to cut out interior walls and the hatch.

Interestingly, I had a smaller ~3/8" bottom-bearing bit, so I used it instead of the a bigger size since...I don't know...why not? But it kept trying to invent fire. The wood didn't feel particularly hot, but the bit was smoking (a lot) and had char marks on it. I also have a 1/2" bottom-bearing bit, so I swapped them out and again, the router went to town. No smoke, no charring, just zipping cleanly along a beautiful curve.

The moral of the story--use a big honking flush trim bit if you can. I'm not sure what the little ones are for, but they have pyromaniac tendencies.

Polished everything up with my good old orbital sander, so I now have 2 exterior walls and a template. W00t! We're getting closer to an actual box!

Next week = the floor. I'll be taking my newly even-more-legal trailer into Austin to visit the specialty lumber places for supplies. My wallet winces in anticipation.

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:49 pm

Woot woot, huzah!!!

The train she is a rollin'. :applause: :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby RunnerDuck » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:42 am

You're coming along nicely. At the moment you're just a little behind be but gaining fast. Mine is a 10' X 5' basic Grumman design that I modified a little.

I can't wait to see them both done and on the road. :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:51 pm

Thanks, KC! I'm feeling pretty jazzed myself!

Kenny, I doubt I'll catch up with you--you're on a roll. But that's okay--it's always helpful to have footsteps to follow in--especially from a fellow Grummanizer.

BTW, I really admire your super-snazzy lock splice (http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64385&hilit=sort+of&start=75#p1165687). If (heaven forbid) I ever make a Son of Ferdie, I would be strongly tempted to give that a try. My entry-level lap joint will get the job done (I think), but your join is way more elegant and polished looking, and the "lock" piece seems more secure and foolproof.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby aggie79 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:46 pm

RunnerDuck wrote:You're coming along nicely. At the moment you're just a little behind be but gaining fast. Mine is a 10' X 5' basic Grumman design that I modified a little.

I can't wait to see them both done and on the road. :thumbsup:


Me too! :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: CHILL OUT, DANCING BANANA

Postby Talia62 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:41 pm

plectrudis wrote: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.)



Just get a bolt leader. Better than string, and cheap.

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Nobes » Mon May 09, 2016 12:37 am

Hey are you still working? How's it going?
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:57 pm

Thanks for asking, Nobes! I've had some family stuff going on that took me away from the project for a few weeks, but last weekend I was able to start back up again. I spent most of last Saturday routing out the 3.5" lips on the plywood for the bottom of my floor--the subfloor, I guess.

I'm doing an insulated floor with 3/4" plywood on the bottom, and it has to be 5' x 10.5', which means that I had to join three pieces of plywood. This was a real pain, and I now fully appreciate why some people opt for a 4'-wide teardrop. I still think that would be too cramped for my comfort, but I completely grasp the appeal now.

It surprised me how long this took, but the router and I had some little failures to communicate. It got hot, and the bits kept slipping up into the body or slipping out, with hideous results (to the wood, not to my person). At other times, the bit would be so tightly wedged into the collet that I had a b$tch of a time getting out--in fact, I had to tap assertively it with a hammer and screwdriver and use pliers.

I think the main issues were:
(1) I didn't give it enough down time. After every 2-1/2 feet, I need to stop, check the depth of the bit, and check how warm the body is.
(2) I was making my initial pass in the middle of the wood (using my router's edge guide), rather than starting from the outside edge in, which meant the bit had less air flow to cool itself off.
(3) I was using 1/4" bit to clear a 3-1/2" swathe of wood on each section--I probably should have used a larger bit.
(4) The router is old and a little crotchety.

After a frustrating afternoon, my favorite bit broke, and I called it a night.
:disappointed:

There wasn't actually that much wood left to clear after that, and I went after it--gently--this morning, with a 1/2" bit and lots of pauses to check the bit depth. No major problems, and I got the joins glued and nailed with a minimum of drama. Sometimes the lumber gods are with you, and sometimes they're not.
:phew:

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Join curing per Tony's excellent advice: (http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=63635#p1134192)

I don't know how in the heck it can take a day and a half to assemble the bottom piece of a floor, but evidently this is my pace. Since I don't have a deadline, I guess I'll just embrace it. Mr P--either out of husbandly supportiveness or else because his initial expectations were just that low--keeps telling me that he's amazed at how fast I'm moving. Which is consoling.

Next steps: I have a few remaining crevasses to fill with wood filler on the subfloor (I ran out of Titebond3--need to buy the mongo-size jug next time). Then, once the joins are set, I'll lay the subfloor on top of the trailer tap it with a mallet to mark each trailer bolt, then use a spade bit to gouge out a little cavity in the subfloor for each bolt. Got the idea from this guy (http://www.instructables.com/id/Teardrop-Trailer/step7/Day-7-February-15th-2012/).

Then on to the Henry's (HD only had the 201, so I'll be using that rather than the 107), and then I'll assemble the floor frame and insulation.

Ta-da. It's... a large piece of plywood. A little anti-climactic. But it appears to be more or less rectangular and more or less flat, so I'm going to call this one a win.

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Nobes » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:30 pm

Ha! Good work, congrats on the large rectangular piece of wood! The funny thing is that is most of woodworking, making rectangular pieces of wood. Then of course, joining them in creative clever and attractive ways with OTHER rectangular pieces of wood. I've learned LOTS of new things on this build, mostly how not to do things.

Keep the ball rolling uphill, and soon enough it will start to roll downhill.

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: FIXING GOOFS, PLUS MATH

Postby plectrudis » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:22 pm

I spent all of Sat and half of Sun in the garage, which, in our current heat index, verges on the heroic. If sweating purges the body of toxins, mine is now a temple of purity.

:?

Annoyingly, though, most of that time was spent fixing goof-ups. My beautifully stretched plywood subfloor? 6-1/5" inches too short! How can this be? I measured THRICE before cutting once!

But all the careful measuring in the world won't help if the underlying math is wrong. I forgot to account for the overlap at the joint when calculating how much length I needed. Oh, OUCH.

For a minute, I considered shaving off the extra length on the profile and just resigning myself to a shorter teardrop, but I eventually talked myself round to the path of righteousness. I spliced on a little extension to the deck, and, annoying as this whole exercise was, I will say that my joint are getting better--these were the tidiest I've accomplished so far. Look how crisp!

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I applied some filler to any seams that weren't nicely flush and sanded anything rough or uneven, then a repaired a shelf that I hadn't installed correctly on my workbench (arg!), and that was about all I had time for.

Soon I'll be ready to attach to the frame, but I'm being extra-careful about my math, which has taken most of the evening.

The tricky bit is that the box will be 22" longer than the metal trailer frame. Where do I put the overhang? All off the back end? All on the tongue? Split the difference half and half? Other?

So I fiddled with Andrew's trailer balancing spreadsheet to test different options.

It looks like half and half (11" hanging off the front and 11" hanging off of the back) will do me fine, assuming I did everything correctly.

If anyone has the time to take a glance at my numbers and see if everything looks legitimate, though, I'd be grateful.

Summary: I'm estimating about 1000-1100lb overall weight. I'll be adding an AC (63lb) in a box (40lb) on the tongue plus two batteries (60lb ea) and an ice chest (~90lb full) in the back. With a wheel center 52" from the back edge of the cabin, the spreadsheet estimates a tongue weight that is 12% of total weight, or 164 lbs.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby ELM » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:21 am

Your moving right along. I think in building our teardrops we do have set backs or screw ups and have to figure out how to fix then or change our plans a little or just figure out a way to work around them. Keep plugging along :)
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman - TARRING THE DECK

Postby plectrudis » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:38 pm

Thanks, ELM! You're totally right. Plus, we learn more from our mistakes than from getting things right. So there's that.

This weekend, I applied the roofing tar. There wasn't much to it--I sanded down the wood filler that I had used on any gaps in the seams. Then Mr P & I flipped it over and nudged the floor into its final location--11" sticking over the front, and 11" sticking over the back. (The little piece that I had to add on due to mathematical failure is over the tongue, so if it needs extra support I can always brace it on the tongue.) Then I used a hammer and a spare block of wood as a cushion to bang on the subfloor where it rested on the bolt heads sticking out of the trailer.

This worked well-ish, but this plywood (from Brazos Forest Products--shout-out to them) is quite hard, so not all of the banging produced very clear indentations. Fortunately, I also used a Sharpie to make a little line on the outside edge where the bolt head met the wood--this made the fainter indentations easier to spot.

Then I used a 1" spade bit to carve out some little bubbles for the bolt heads to fit in so the plywood will sit snugly on the trailer frame. This was the only surprising part of the day--I hadn't realized how deep the spiky part of the spade bit is. In order to make the bubbles deep enough, The spiky part ended up stabbing all the way through to the other side, making a little hole. I stoppered the holes with my homemade wood filler (sawdust + TB3), so I think it should be fine, but I would have rathered left the subfloor unpierced.

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Finally, I smeared on the Henry's 201, using the cheapest brush I could fine at Home Depot. Someone here on the forum said that you won't be using the brush again, and they were right. I also bought some (again, super-cheap) skinny round brushes for mudging the Henry's into the little bolt head bubbles. Glad I did, as the big brush would have filled them with big puddles of solid tar, when all I wanted was a thin veneer. Because the Henry's is so thick, and because it's so important to get every spot covered, I ended up kind of mushing and massaging it with the brushes to make sure it went absolutely everywhere.

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As many have noted, Henry's does stick to everything it touches. It's highly commitment prone. But I was forewarned, so I worked outside, wore rubber gloves and a grody old shirt, and I didn't have any problems. I also used a piece of scrap plywood as the stirring stick--again, thanks to the forum: one poster noted that standard paint stirring sticks just snap in the viscous glop that is Henry's.

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It's now hardened and ready to be flipped, and then I can cut and fastened the floor frame.

After that, I'll apply The Mix to the interior of the floor, then the insulation, then bolt the floor to the trailer frame, and finally glue & nail the 1/4" plywood surface of the floor. I can't wait--I've been boring friends and family with tales of my Herculean efforts, but I don't have a lot to show for it. But a floor--that clearly shows progress. If you can make a floor, you can make walls. If you can make walls, you can make a roof. And next thing you know, you're camping. That's how it works, right? :D
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