Welcome to the "Learning Curve"

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

Re: Welcome to the "Learning Curve"

Postby KCStudly » Sun May 21, 2017 8:46 pm

The 3M respirators are best in my experience. Might as well go for the charcoal filters, too, especially since you are using epoxy. They don't always say charcoal on them, but they will be the "contractor" grade for use with chemicals (as apposed to the "homeowner" grade that is usually just for dust). Keep the filters in a zip lock bag when not in use so that the charcoal doesn't just soak up everything all of the time.
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Learning Curve - Build Day 9

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Mon May 22, 2017 7:52 pm

Today, after work, I got the rest of the floor insulation panels cut out and epoxied into place. It is supposed to rain over the next few days so I will have to do something else instead of dragging the trailer out into the driveway and sand down all the floor insulation panels level with the floor framing. Maybe I can start laying out the profile template for the sides.

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Re: Welcome to the "Learning Curve"

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Mon May 22, 2017 7:59 pm

The 3M respirators are best in my experience. Might as well go for the charcoal filters, too, especially since you are using epoxy. They don't always say charcoal on them, but they will be the "contractor" grade for use with chemicals (as apposed to the "homeowner" grade that is usually just for dust). Keep the filters in a zip lock bag when not in use so that the charcoal doesn't just soak up everything all of the time.

KC


Thnx, KC. I've worked with epoxy resins before but always in fairly small quantities. I've never had any problems with the fumes then. But with the quantities that I will be using on this project I think you are right about getting a respirator with charcoal. Good point, too, on the zip lock bag. I probably never would have thought of that myself.
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Learning Curve - Build Day 10

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:57 am

I got myself a dust mask and started sanding down the overly thick insulation in the floor panel, and sanded, and sanded, you know the story. After 3 hours I got it all sanded down level.

Image

Rather than continue with gluing down the floor's top layer of plywood I decided to treat myself and work on the wall profile template. Here is the profile for one of the two configurations I am thinking of. This is the "door forward, raised bed platform" version. On the other side of the profile I am going to draw out the more tradition "mattress on floor with door in middle" version.

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The door is drawn in pencil, I hope you can see it. I'm about 70% sure I'm going with the raised bed platform and the forward door. I don't like only being 70% sure of any design decision so I'll finish off the floor panel and continue to ponder before I go any further forward.

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Learning Curve - Build Day 11 & 12

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:07 pm

Today I glued down the two sheets of 1/4" baltic birch that make up the top layer of my floor. I used epoxy to glue down one one sheet and on the other one I used PL300 adhesive just to see how I liked it before committed to using it in the walls and roof for gluing the XPS sheets in place. I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the PL300. It seems to have glued the foam to the plywood okay but it did not glue the plywood to the poplar framing nearly as well as I expected it to. Even with a lot of heavy objects piled on top it did not glue down wood to wood very well. I wound up having to add some screws to the seam between the two sheets of ply as well as along the port and starboard rail.

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After some plastic wood for the screw heads and much sanding I have an acceptable floor so I put down some Minwax Poly. Here is a picture after the second coat.

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Next I'll flip it over and seal and waterproof the bottom and flip it back and bolt it down to the trailer.
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Learning Curve - Build Day 13

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:37 pm

After two months I've finally gotten a little time in on Learning Curve today. Part of the delay is that I'm building in an un-air-conditioned garage in Texas.

I've gotten two coats of poly on the bottom of the floor and I've cut some thin plywood material to fill in the gaps formed by the bolted pieces of the trailer frame cross members between the longitudinal rails.

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I'll glue these strips to the underside of the floor so the wooden floor will be flush with the entire metal frame of the trailer. The bolt heads at the frame junctions will be recessed into the floor.

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Here are the strips laid out on the flipped over floor. After gluing them down I'll continue with the poly and asphalt waterproofing and then I can finally flip the floor back over and bolt it down to the trailer frame.

Stay tuned...
Last edited by Lou.Catozzi on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning Curve - Build Day 13

Postby aggie79 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:05 am

Looking good Lou! :applause: :thumbsup: :applause: Very nice work

Lou.Catozzi wrote:After two months I've finally gotten a little time in on Learning Curve today. Part of the delay is that I'm building in an un-air-conditioned garage in Texas.


I feel your pain on the heat! Here's a pic of the temperature at 8:00 p.m. in Watauga (NE Fort Worth) on the day I was applying the poly to my teardrop's cabinets:

Image

The older I get, the more the temperature in Texas seems to be too hot or too cold. I wish we had longer spring and fall seasons.
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Re: Learning Curve - Build Day 13

Postby working on it » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:57 am

aggie79 wrote:
Lou.Catozzi wrote:After two months I've finally gotten a little time in on Learning Curve today. Part of the delay is that I'm building in an un-air-conditioned garage in Texas.

I feel your pain on the heat! Here's a pic of the temperature at 8:00 p.m. in Watauga (NE Fort Worth) on the day I was applying the poly to my teardrop's cabinets:

Image

The older I get, the more the temperature in Texas seems to be too hot or too cold. I wish we had longer spring and fall seasons.
  • Been there, done that. The first 11 months of my build took place at my friends' shop/garage, a large metal building that was heated and airconditioned until the bay doors were opened for the constant flow of project vehicles into his shop. 90% were friend/family/race team cars which he and I worked on at the same time as on my trailer...sometimes inside and sometimes outside, depending on what was needed. Engines were pulled and degreased outside, as were heavy welding and larger paint jobs (no pro-type painting, mainly rattle can on frames and such).
  • Believe it or not, his shop had a turnover of 4-5 vehicles a week, plus 2-3 longterm projects, and 1 of his cars ('66 Nova wagon) inside, along with my trailer and crane/massive toolboxes/fans/2 shop vacs + a Dyson for the 90% carpeted floor/mills & drill stands/grinders & welders & torches (plasma cutter, too.)/etc. There wasn't much room to spare, so we were always moving things around for the best access (most cars were on wheel dollies, some on jackstands -he had 12). My trailer was the easiest to move, so it moved the most; I kept my parts & supplies inside it, for that reason. The inside storage precluded me from doing much work inside the trailer, so I had to do the entire interior at my garage, after I finally brought it home on the 12th month.
  • When I felt it was time to polyurethane, then paint the exterior, preparing it for transport; I wanted the exterior finished and sealed before the trip home (you know, Texas weather is unpredictable, so prepare for any/all conditions!). I started poly/paint inside his shop, and was worried by the proximity to top-notch paint on nearby project cars, the freshly carpeted area my trailer was on, and the insulated (spotless) walls nearby, despite my best efforts to avoid a mess. So, I moved a car or two, and rolled the trailer outside onto the chalk rock surround (to not drip on the pristine concrete, where only burnout marks were permitted...after all, we built drag cars here!). So, for three days (with the trailer back under cover at night), I poly'd/painted it outside on the hot rocks (reflecting/refracting heat back up towards me) under the brutal sun. The official high temperature the first day was 106 degrees (though I saw 110 on the gauge outside the shop). I was on vacation, so I spent upwards of 8 hours each day outside, painting, relieved only by 8 hours inside, under and over project cars, in the cooler shop.
  • ready to start poly; moved it outside.png
    ready to start poly; moved it outside.png (900.24 KiB) Viewed 863 times
    best not to splatter paint on expensive cars, walls, or carpet!
  • outside in 106 degree heat.png
    outside in 106 degree heat.png (903.27 KiB) Viewed 863 times
    wow!, it was hot; the reflected heat from the rocks made it worse
  • painting temp.PNG
    painting temp.PNG (113.5 KiB) Viewed 863 times
    Sunday, Monday, Tuesday in the heat (actually hotter than the recorded data, at that location)
  • The heat is just part of the Texas lifestyle, so you just grin and bear it. My garage, the scene of the build completion, over the last 11 months, was a etal building also, but without heat or A/C. So, I alternately baked under a tin roof, or froze. Still, I did complete it (actually, they are never complete!), and survived the long haul (ordeal?). In retrospect, building the trailer was more enjoyable than using it, because, at heart, I love tinkering with machinery best (hence my lifelong username, for over twenty years "working on it" or variants of it).
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  • *zinc/stainless steel front racks *96"L x 6"Dia. rooftop fishing rod/reel carrier
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Re: Welcome to the "Learning Curve"

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:50 pm

There wasn't much room to spare, so we were always moving things around for the best access. My trailer was the easiest to move, so it moved the most; I kept my parts & supplies inside it, for that reason.


I'm building in the family attached garage. 99.99% of the time the project is tight against one wall and the rear of the trailer floor is tight to "stuff" piled in the back of the garage. That way there is a 3' path down the center of the garage from the door into the house to the garage doors. Every time I want to work on the trailer I spend 20-30 minutes moving things around to get at it and/or to get to the power tools I might want to use, etc. I'm sure this situation is quite normal for DIY builders of all sorts of things. I know of one person who built 75% of an airplane in a spare bedroom of an apartment - one sub-assembly at a time!
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Learning Curve - Build Day 14

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:42 pm

I got a little more time in today and epoxied down the plywood strips to the bottom of the floor. The thin, cheap plywood had curled a little so I had to weigh them down with whatever I could find.

Image

Maybe tomorrow I can get another coat of poly on the bottom and then start with the asphalt roof coating that will be my final waterproofing for the trailer bottom.

To be continued...
Last edited by Lou.Catozzi on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Learning Curve - Build Day 15

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:58 pm

Earlier this week I finished putting 3 coats of polyurethane on the cabin bottom so today I decided to apply the asphalt roof and foundation coating that should be the final waterproofing layer. The gallon can said that it would cover 50 sq feet so I thought "perfect!". They recommended a roller for applying it but I decided to use an old 4" paint brush I had laying around the garage. It went on thick and glossy but as I finished coating half the floor bottom I had no where near gone thru half of the can. By the time I finished one coat it was apparent that I had enough for at least a second coat, and maybe a third! I managed to coat the entire floor in about a half an hour without getting any of the asphalt on myself, my clothes, the rest of the trailer, or the garage floor.

Image

I'll let it dry/cure for a day or two and see how hard it sets up. I am anxious to flip it over and get it bolted down the trailer frame. Total cure time is 30 days! I am NOT waiting that long!
Last edited by Lou.Catozzi on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning Curve - Build Day 15

Postby working on it » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:41 pm

Lou.Catozzi wrote:Earlier this week I finished putting 3 coats of polyurethane on the cabin bottom so today I decided to apply the asphalt roof and foundation coating that should be the final waterproofing layer. The gallon can said that it would cover 50 sq feet so I thought "perfect!". They recommended a roller for applying it but I decided to use an old 4" paint brush I had laying around the garage. It went on thick and glossy but as I finished coating half the floor bottom I had no where near gone thru half of the can. By the time I finished one coat it was apparent that I had enough for at least a second coat, and maybe a third! I managed to coat the entire floor in about a half an hour without getting any of the asphalt on myself, my clothes, the rest of the trailer, or the garage floor.

151083

I'll let it dry/cure for a day or two and see how hard it sets up. I am anxious to flip it over and get it bolted down the trailer frame. Total cure time is 30 days! I am NOT waiting that long!
  • Very pretty looking deck; nothing like the polished look of polyurethane, just finished and cured! I left mine bare, and laid rubber/carpet mats over it, and even after one interior flood event (1+" of standing water, drained, and left wet under the matting for two days), it still remained perfect despite the wet, and the mats possibly scratching it, for almost 6 years, now. I liked the look of the poly over my exterior walls, and might've left them poly on plywood, but I had already bought $100+ of paint for the exterior.
  • 86942 glossy look, and still shiny and impervious after 5.75 years
  • I've undercoated several cars and trucks (with asphalt spray from rattle cans), and a tin roof with liquid asphalt (pretty much the same as what you used), so when it came time to undercoat my squareback TTT, I chose an undercoat (rattle-can, again) that went on dry. No drips, no runs, no errors! And, each time I have to drill another hole thru my floor (for tie-down hardware inside the cabin), I just spray some more to seal each new hole, plus it prevents the srews/bolts sticking thru from loosening (don't even have to use locknuts). The best part, I can renew it over time, with no messy build-up underneath.
  • undercoating.PNG
    undercoating.PNG (137.33 KiB) Viewed 709 times
    goes on dry, and no drips
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  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle, w/brakes, 3000 lb. springs, & active-progressive bumpstops
  • *27x8.5-14LT all-terrain tires (x 3) *modified Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *LED lighting, triple fans, Pioneer stereo *A/C & 110vac heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill
  • *zinc/stainless steel front racks *96"L x 6"Dia. rooftop fishing rod/reel carrier
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Re: Welcome to the "Learning Curve"

Postby capnTelescope » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:01 am

Great progress, Lou! :thumbsup:

That dreadful heat was "57 above" in Fairbanks this summer. It was a fantastic trip.

Gluing wood to wood, it's hard to beat Titebond 2; affectionately referred to on the forum as TB2. The bond will be stronger than the wood. Never was much impressed with the Construction Adhesives for gluing wood.
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Learning Curve - Build Days 16 & 17

Postby Lou.Catozzi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:59 pm

The Texas weather, family commitments, spare time & energy, and the stars all aligned this past week and I got some great progress in on Learning Curve.

Image
Image

I have been able to cut out the outer wall skins from 5'x5' sheets of 1/4" BB and I have started framing up the starboard wall with 1.5" poplar. If it looks like the roof plate is made from 2x4's it is because it is. It will be routed smooth with the edge of the outer wall skins and then a ledge will be milled into it for the roofing material to rest on. The roof is going to be made up of 1/8" BB headliner, then two layers of 3/4" XPS foam board, and then two layers of 6 oz fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

Image
Image

Cap't Telescope - I have switched to TB2 for gluing wood to wood. I will continue to use epoxy for gluing the XPS foam boards to the wood and to each other.

working on it - Thanks for the encouragement. Sounds like we have similar ideas about weatherproofing and finishing. The roof on my tear will be painted and the sides will be poly'ed and possibly stained BB.
Last edited by Lou.Catozzi on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Welcome to the "Learning Curve"

Postby Johnysteam » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:18 am

I really like that shape. Well done thus far!
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