Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:52 am

One step right after the other. That's how it works. :thumbsup:

Isn't it amazing how many people "in the real world" don't get it? To most "guy on the street" types, they just don't understand what a herculean task it is to design and build your own camper.

We get it. It's a big deal! :applause: :applause: :applause:

Keep going. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:44 am

Wow, great strides! Way to go!!!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Thanks, KC & Ned!

I got a little more done tonight--cut out the pieces for the deck's frame.

They're not screwed together yet, and, obviously, I need to turn the subfloor over so the tar faces the road, but I laid the pieces out temporarily just to make sure they fit. And check it out: they're. SO. RECTANGULAR!

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I wish I could just do more of this tomorrow, but, sadly, I have to go to stoopid work. So unfair.

Till this weekend...
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:19 pm

KCStudly wrote:One step right after the other. That's how it works. :thumbsup:

Isn't it amazing how many people "in the real world" don't get it? To most "guy on the street" types, they just don't understand what a herculean task it is to design and build your own camper.

We get it. It's a big deal! :applause: :applause: :applause:

Keep going. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Funny thing, I mentioned in passing to a driver work that I was planning on building a teardrop. He says it's a lot of work you can do that? I told him I have a full workshop and he seemed impressed that I would be playing such an undertaking. I told him he could do it if you wanted to, he said not really I don't have time to put into anything. That's probably true given that it works his full 70 hours maximum every week.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Nobes » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:35 am

My 2 cents:

As you put your frame pieces on the base, think ahead to where your TD structure is going to be. I wish I had done that. I used a single bulkhead separating the cabin from the galley, which is a structural pieces as it gives strong support to the walls. It serves as an anchor for my upper cabinets in the cabin and the galley cabinets as well. I wish I had planned ahead to have a 1x4 under that bulkhead so I would know it was securely fastened to the deck. Instead, I just had to screw it into 3/8 OSB which of course is not the strongest stuff.

Since your overall width is over 4' you will have a joint in the floor ply. I would put that joint running down the middle and have a 1x4 under it. I think a butt joint is fine for this piece of ply, but that's up to you. Since I would be using 1/4 ply, and it's really hard to make a splice joint in 1/4 as you have done so well in the 3/4 base, I would do a butt joint.

I don't know what you plan to use for your floor, but in my opinion all you need is 1/4 ply. You're not standing on it, you have rigid insulation in there so it is fully supported, you'll save weight and money and it's easier to cut and move around.

You're doing great, keep making progress!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:08 pm

Zoiks, Ned--if I worked 70 hrs per week, I couldn't do anything. No because my job is so hard, but because 70 hours of anything would wear me down to a bloody pulp. On the other hand, if I worked that many hours, I would hope to be making $$$$, in which case I'd probably just buy a trailer. Or, better still, a villa in Tuscany.

Thanks for the suggestions, Nobes! Your idea about the bulkhead makes sense--I'll give that a go. And I was torn about how to join the floor pieces--I'm planning to do 1/4" birch, and as you said, it would be fiddly to do a lap joint that thin, but I was thinking that a butt joint wouldn't be as smooth. Unless it was nailed to a 2x4! So I think I'll take your advice on that one, too. Thanks for letting me off the hook--frankly, I'm getting a little tired of routing lap joints ;)
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: FRAME ASSEMBLED

Postby plectrudis » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:50 pm

Deck frame assembled without incident!

Well, I spilled my iced tea on the deck, but other than that--smooth sailing.

I did a dry fit of the frame, unwillingly, but with the dutiful sense that it was the right thing to do. Which it was--allowed me to see that slight warping meant that some crosspieces weren't perfectly flush where they met the outside pieces. So when I did the permanent gluing + screwing (which sounds dirty, but also like a bad idea), I was able to more or less fix those alignment issues and make everything nice and flat.

There are a couple of extra pieces in there based on Nobes's recommendation that I provide support where bulkheads will attach. The main pieces are spaced to lie under where the seams in the floor will meet.

I used nearly all of a regular bottle of Titebond III tonight. HD didn't have any gallon jugs, regrettably. Clearly I need to find a better supplier for my glue habit.

It's also past time to buy more clamps. Our modest supply is just not up to the demands of the teardrop construction.

Next task is coating the inside of the the deck with The Mix.

I think I read somewhere that a single coat is sufficient--is that right?

Also, I'm planning to countersink the bolts and screw them into the frame, and then top with floor. That way, no bolts visible from interior. It also means, though, that once the floor is installed, the bolts will be completely inaccessible.

Is this a bad idea? In the long run, the bolts would be covered by the walls either way, so I'm thinking it doesn't matter, but entombing them within the deck does make me a little nervous.

Am wiped out--was 97F and 70+% humidity, and I was out there for 3 hours. Am now just a dessicated prune of a human. Blergh.

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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby Ned B » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:36 pm

Stay hydrated! Nice progress, huzzah!

Ps love the 'blergh'
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:57 pm

LOL! Good advice, Ned!

I'm on a roll, so I applied The Mix tonight--a fairly generous coating of 2/3 polyurethane to 1/3 mineral spirits.

Tomorrow I'll try sprinkling some water on the deck to see if it beads up or sinks in. If the latter, more Mix. If the former, time for insulation!

Is PL Premium the recommended method for affixing sheets of insulation to the deck?

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I've begun to fantasize in earnest about the post-floor phase of this project, when I'll need to start blocking for fixtures and cutting holes for windows and fans. So I'm about to start accumulating all those parts, starting with a fan and some light fixtures. So far, I've been buying as I go--these will be my first big purchases for much later on in the project, which is exciting, but nervous-making.

Around the same time, I need to make a decision about whether to attempt solar panels or not. On the one hand, they would extend the range destinations for the trailer; on the other hand, we need to keep the electrical as simple as possible as this is not an area of expertise for me or Mr P; on the other (third) hand, how often are we going to find and use primitive campsites that also allow you to drive up with your trailer on roads usable by a CRV? Still, both the tree-hugger and the latent survivalist in me say "go for it!"

More research is required on this one.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:58 pm

On gluing foam to wood, I did a bit of testing on this... deja vu I may have even mentioned it to you before... and even when using the PL300 intended for foam, it isn't that simple.

The air and moisture cure adhesives have some trouble because the foam doesn't let air or humidity in on larger surface areas. The PL300 is really meant to be used to hang wall board. IIRC the instructions say to run 1/4 inch vertical beads about 12 inches apart. The thick bead usually results in an air gap because it doesn't squish down completely and then there is a chimney effect that lets air and moisture in. However, when using a notch trowel and trying to get more surface area adhered for a structural bond, it doesn't want to cure because it seals out the air and moisture.

This was not such a problem on the heavily arched sections that had kerfs to let the air in, so I solved the problem on the flatter sections by adding shallow kerfs just to let the air in.

If I had it to do over I would probably just use epoxy which has a chemical cure and does not rely on air or moisture.

You can use TB2 if you get the glue spread thin enough, but any drips, streaks or blobs will be too much for the wood to absorb the moisture before skinning over and leaving excess moisture trapped against the foam. It is tricky to get just the right amount. It's hard to do on larger sections because the thinness of the glue can tack too soon and the foam doesn't stick as well. It's like Goldie Locks. It needs to be just right.
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:46 pm

You make a depressingly convincing case, KC.

I've never epoxied anything on this scale before - is there a particular brand/kind that is recommended for this sort of application?

As ever, thanks so much for sharing your experience!
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:25 pm

I like the West System because they provide a ton of use information on their website, and I believe that I should reward them with my business for that (rather than stealing their info and using a cheaper brand).

However, there is nothing wrong with using the PL300, just plan on making a bunch of shallow kerf cuts and leaving these open while the big stuff cures. From there you can plug or seal the ends of the kerfs and move on.

Finally, my experience isn't the last word on this. Others have used varying methods and materials successfully. Your climate may give you different results. Just remember, when testing this kind of thing you need to do a large enough test piece to be representative of the actual conditions; small scale tests might work fine because there was good proximity to air and/or moisture.
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman: FLOOR ASSEMBLED!

Postby plectrudis » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:38 pm

We insulated and topped with 1/4" plywood, and now: we have a floor!

For the insulation step, I used some epoxy from Home Depot to stick the foam to the floor--it came in 8-oz kits, and I bought 2. Three or 4 would actually have been a better choice, but it isn't like the insulation panels are going anywhere, so I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

The foam panels are slightly thinner than the 1 x 4s, so I had the bright idea of using Puff-e-foam to fill in that shallow cavity above the insulation. I was thinking the challenge would be to weigh down the 1/4" plywood so that it didn't bow up as the Puff-e-foam expanded. I had WAY overestimated the power of the Puff-e-foam. It turns out, 1 can contains a pretty minuscule amount of foam--not nearly enough to form a solid layer across the surface of 1/3 of the trailer. So we used it around all the edges and filled in the center with whatever was left. Flexing upwards from the inexorable force of expanding foam was SO not an issue.

I had only bought 1 can (again, totally overestimating the awesomeness of the Puff-e-foam), but fortunately, Mr P had a couple of spare unopened cans kicking around the garage. We used all 3 completely, and still didn't achieve a solid foam layer.

But we topped with the plywood and weighted it down, so hopefully the foam dispersed horizontally under the weight to provide a little extra support for the floor, which was my main goal.

We fastened with PL Premium (I'd bought 2 tubes--also not really enough--there is a theme here) and reinforced with a brad gun.

The workstation--note the plastic swathing--I was just sure that foam would be oozing and squirting and exploding all over the place, which is also why we worked outside. Eh, well.

Image

The finished product, curing. Next step will be to coat with The Mix and screw to the trailer.

And then--holy cow!--I can put on some walls!!

Image

PS--You'll note in the foreground a gallon jug of Titebond: my first full gallon of TB3! It feels like some sort of milestone. No more weenie little tubes for me--I'm swimming in the deep end now. I assume they'll be sending me some sort of certificate or diploma in the mail? And are there some initials I can now use after my name? "Plectrudis Jones, MD, PhD, OBE, MP, TB3..."
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:51 am

Isn't that fun, dipping deep into a gallon of glue? It is a rite of passage! Still, by the time you get to your 3rd gallon it is a mere gleam in your eye. :lol: "Ah, I remeber my first jug of glue." :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Little Ferdie - 11-ft Grumman

Postby plectrudis » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:06 pm

LOL, KC! Something to look forward to. :D

Lately, I've been starting to think more about the Little Ferdie's wiring, which I'm expecting to be the most profanity-inducing part of this build. So I'll be posting a bunch of questions in the Electrical Secrets section as I try to figure this stuff out.

Here's my first: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=66560#p1177356 If anyone has any insight, I'd appreciate it!
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