Australian Retro Rambler

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Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:41 am

Hello all,
I am copying the bulk of my intro post to kick off the build journal.
Let's see if I end up with anything like the plan!
Teardrop profile.jpg
Teardrop profile.jpg (11.82 KiB) Viewed 1987 times

So here is the story so far....
Our extended family are all mad keen water skiers and we gather regularly to camp and ski. My wife's 3 brothers, their families, the in-laws and two ski boats make quite a party!. Two of the brothers have upgraded from tents to camping trailers where the tent top folds out and the mattress is on top of the trailer still. Similar to this style of thing:
allrounder_194 (Custom).jpg
allrounder_194 (Custom).jpg (22.62 KiB) Viewed 1987 times

When the air mattress in the tent sprang a leak my wife looked longingly at the foam mattresses in the trailers.... Now she is into retro style things, will dress in the style of any decade from the 40s through the 70s as the mood strikes so when she saw a picture of a teardrop on Pintrest, well let’s just say it was a light bulb moment.
Due to limited parking space (or too many vehicles & boat!) I have designed a system where I can lift the TD off my trailer so it can double for general haulage tasks. (it also allows for sliding a folding table and tarp poles etc underneath)
LiftOffTDFrame1.jpg
The horizontal bars that sit on the jacks slide out when the TD is on the trailer.
LiftOffTDFrame1.jpg (54.72 KiB) Viewed 1987 times

I have the base trailer (5’ x 8’ flat top kit) and my floor frame complete (recycled steel too!). I have the profile drawn up and the marine ply for the sides ready to cut out ….
Although I’d love to have it done for our Christmas trip it is highly unlikely, given my time off work is after Christmas. I’ll do what I can in the meantime…

By the way, I am open to naming suggestions Retro Rambler will do until something better comes to mind :thinking:
Last edited by edgeau on Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:43 am

Oh and the design might be tweaked a bit already - I am toying with the idea of increasing the radius of the front curve from 600mm to 800mm as shown in this diagram.
Teardrop profile comparison 2 (Custom).png
Teardrop profile comparison 2 (Custom).png (35.22 KiB) Viewed 1985 times
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby drhill » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:11 pm

Picking the final shape is tough, I really like the traditional look like the Grumman or Cub, but there is a lot of lost space especially in the galley. Obviously a square box has the best use of space. I think the Benroy is a good compromise. I see you are considering going with a larger radius at the front. The Generic Benroy plan uses a 19" radius. I went with a 20" (508mm) radius. A 600mm radius wouldn't be too much more, but 800mm radius may make the vertical portion of the front wall a little short for sitting up in bed and reading a book or watching a movie on the laptop. Just thought I would mention that in case you hadn't considered it. By the way I used 1/8" baltic birch and it easily bent to the 20" radius. On the tongue box I used a 16" (406mm) radius and that wasn't a problem either.
Cheers, Don
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:01 pm

Thanks Don. Good to know. Was your Baltic Birch marine ply or just structural ply then sealed / waterproofed?

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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby drhill » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:44 pm

The baltic birch isn't marine plywood. I didn't do anything to seal it but for the final finish that was DEFT Water Based Polyurethane. They say to use a minimum of 4 coats and I had 4 or 5 coats on for my first 30 day trip and it held up fairly well. There was some water penetration on the front of the tongue box where the plywood is bent to a tighter radius and gets sandblasted with road grit from the SUV. I sanded that and put on more coats. Last spring I bought a gallon of Varathane Outdoor water based finish and did another 4 coats. I plan to do another 3-4 coats every spring. It can all be done in a day and that gallon will last a few years.

Old school wisdom is that woodwork on boats does well with nothing but spar varnish as long as it replenished annually. The water based finishes have come a long way. It takes a lot more coats to build up the dry film thickness but there are a couple things I really like about it. As already mentioned it is really quick to apply and clean up after. And the other advantage is that it is non-yellowing, so you can touch up areas, or do modifications in the future and the new finish will match the old as it hasn't yellowed. (big advantage for hardwood floors in a rental house, which is where I started using water based finishes)

My teardrop is in a garage when not in use so it only has about 95-100 days outdoors so far. For me it is an experiment in progress. I hope it is as good as oil based spar varnish in the long run (as long as I do the annual maintenance). Truth be told the whole Teardrop thing was an experiment and I didn't want to spend a bunch on marine plywood or epoxy as I had never actually seen a teardrop in person when I did the build. But I am sure glad I built it now.
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:56 am

OK floor is now attached to the frame and under floor stowage access hatches are done.
Image
I am glad I did them first as I learned some important jigsaw lessons.
I have always drilled a hole to start a jigsaw cut but this time I need the piece I was cutting out. I thought I had a great solution: clamp the circular saw in place and just lower it like a mitre saw. Image
The trouble is the blade, even though it is a thin plywood one, is still wider than a jigsaw blade so the change over point is pretty rough. A lot of sanding was required.
Next issue was trying to keep the jigsaw straight where needed. I even clamped a straight edge to guide it against. It still wandered. Even with excessive force to keep the base against the guide the blade simply bent away from vertical and twisted.
Image
It turned out the base was not quite perpendicular to the blade, doh! Before all important cuts I'll be getting the square out to check that!
Back to getting the cut started, I remember reading others do it with a reciprocating saw. I had experimented with this on scrap only to find the blade wobbled so much I could not be sure it would cut on the line. I found with the shorter blade I could do it with the jigsaw itself! Unfortunately I could not photograph it as I was on my own. I'll try to explain it for others reference. I started with the saw close to vertical, nose down, and the top toward me so the blade was pointing away from me. Keeping the nose still I slowly tilted the saw away from me while running until the blade made contact with the line. Then it sort of scraped its way in to the wood. Once there was a bit of a groove to keep it in line a little more pressure on the tilt and it goes in quite easily. I'll have to get someone to video it when I do the doors.

I hope someone else can learn from my mistakes. Happy building all.

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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby swoody126 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:51 am

i have resorted to using a Rockwell 4-1/2" worm drive mini circular saw for delicate cuts

https://www.rockwelltools.com/compact-c ... 3441k.html

under $100, available at most big box stores and goes "on sale" from time to time

the 24 tooth carbide tipp'd blade cuts a kerf that is only a chigger whisker's thickness wider than that of the snaky jigsaw kerf and the cuts are much more controllable

workin for me building boats w/ some rather expensive materials which i don't care to screw up/waste

btw, it is always nice when folks share both sides of their coins, the unfortunate as well as the successes

THANKS

sw
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:25 am

You're welcome. Gotta keep it real :)

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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby MadMango » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:02 am

If your deck is adjustable, only drop the blade low enough to cut through the material you're cutting, at least that's what works for me to keep straighter cuts with a circular saw.
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:38 pm

At last an update. I have not had weekends available for a while and we have had Summer storms. My old threadbare tarp over the work area was ripped in half and everything soaked. So now it has dried out and I have a new tarp up that won't give up in a bit of wind. I made myself a compass jig to draw my profile arcs last night after work.
Image
Image
There are holes for the pencil to go in at each of my radii 1225mm 800mm 600mm and 480mm
Image
Image

I even got to use my new cordless router for the first time! If only to rebate the nut and bolt on the pivot point.
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:52 pm

Some kind people have liked my jack stands for lifting the TD off the trailer. I thought I'd throw up a clearer shot of them.
Image
Image
As you can see the nest reasonably well for storage. My first try the base was a Z shape rather than H so they would nest really well but they were not stable enough if the TD was pushed on a diagonal from one corner.
The RHS on the H is only 20mm high so very easy for the tyres to roll over when removing the trailer.
The slightly different sizes on the other dimension are because I am recycling scrap. I get all my steel from the local motorcycle dealer. The bikes come on a steel frame in wood packing crates. Here is a picture of one I have not cut up yet.
Image
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:12 am

Woohoo progress! I have finished the profile template.
Image
When I bought the trailer kit the plywood floor pieces were packaged in this really thin fiber board. I thought it was pretty funny but I kept them 'just in case they come in handy'
Image
They were not as big as my wall so the template is two pieces. I laid each piece long axis along the plywood short axis, aligned one edge, then used the trim router to cut the excess off so it perfectly matched the ply. Ironic really that the wall is the template for a piece that will be the template for the wall....
Anyway I used the compass previously described to mark up, jigsaw to carefully cut as close to the line as I dared and hand sanded the curves in about 20 minutes. I am quite pleased with the result.
It will have to wait a few days now before I get a chance to get the router running around it.
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby swoody126 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:29 am

get a 3/4" sheet of foam insulation to place between your trailer deck(i think that's where i see the work being done) and your work

having a solid flat surface to work on is real handy

i use this method when sawing thru plywood w/ the circular saw

Image

as you can see in the pic i even store my extra sheet material under the foam

sure makes life easier

sw
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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:46 pm

Good tip! I have strategically placed pavers underneath to create an air gap but the foam idea is great.

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Re: Australian Retro Rambler

Postby edgeau » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:58 am

Oops!
Image
In the interests of learning from my mistake you can read my description of how it happened at
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=67577&sid=7ef3c0dbda52fe42f8ae5182322cd002#p1192066

Seems my only choices are a lot of sanding or putty. I am trying the putty first :worship:
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