Tom & Shelly's build

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

Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:38 pm

We now have pictures of the trailer chassies we're having built, so guess this is a good time to start our build thread. We're in the middle of our design, hopefully with construction to begin in early June, as I take a practice retirement this Summer.

Our plan (after much helpful advice from the folks on this forum--thank you!) is for 5 x 10 Benroy design, built using techniques from Steve Fredrick's manual. We'll have a 74" long sleeping compartment, storage in the front for our Eazey-up (sp?), folding chairs, camp table, and privacy tent, as well as a Climate-Right air conditioner/heater. We'll probably buy Challenger doors for people (one on each side) as well as cargo doors for the front (one on each side). We plan to build our hatch using Fredrick's method. Shelly is still working out the details for the galley.

After a preliminary weight and balance estimate, we decided to locate our spare tire on the rear side. We'll locate the battery(ies) in, or below, the galley as well, with the PD 4045 converter in the galley. I wanted to have the AC cord for shore power on a spool near the converter, but that'll probably take up too much room, so we'll likely go with the more traditional approach, just coiling the cord and keeping it in the front storage area when not in use, plugging it into the side when in use. (As we get serious about different aspects of the design, we tend to converge on ideas used by those before. Which I suppose is natural, and suggests we are at least thinking along the correct lines.)

Still planning on finishing it with fiberglass (something new for me). Originally, I wanted to use automotive paint, but I'm beginning to like the idea of a bed liner like Monstaliner. I once painted a car with Rustoleum Hammer Finish, and the texture hides a lot of minor imperfections.

So, here is our trailer. It is 10 feet long by 56 inches wide. The width should allow us 1 1/8" walls, and still let us use 5 x 5 Baltic birch for the ceiling and roof, with 3/4" overlap on each side to clamp the two pieces of the roof (ala Fredrick). The frame is made of 2 inch x 3 inch tube, with angle iron cross-pieces. The builder convinced us a 2 x 3 inch tube A frame hitch is enough (I originally wanted a composite hitch). There are 2 inches of clearance between the sides of the frame and fenders (as well as spare) for the walls to overlap and cover the frame.

These pictures were taken by the builder yesterday. Perhaps not coincidentally, his company's name and phone number happen to show up in the color pic. Carl gave us a good quote, not much more than a stock trailer, good advice, and is good to work with. If we hadn't found a company to build for us, we would have talked with friends who's welding skills I trust. Carl's quote included painting, which wasn't started when these were taken.
Image
Image
Image
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 91
Images: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby KCStudly » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:01 am

Even included the two speed wrenches for the stabilizers. Nice. :thumbsup:
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
Green Lantern Corpsmen
User avatar
KCStudly
Donating Member
 
Posts: 9132
Images: 8114
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Southeastern CT, USA

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:24 am

Been taking the Summer off, starting Memorial Day, to build our tear drop. First order of business was to build a 5' by 10' lay-out table, add some lights, and get the wood shop in shape.

154710

This is a "borrowed" table saw, a Craftsman benchtop. We borrowed it from a friend about four years ago, and are now storing it for him. We mutually figured the storage fee and rental fee just cancel. I spent a day last week trying to tune it up. Found that by shimming the cast aluminum table I removed a saddle, but there's still a hump in the table to the left of the blade. Also found the fence was concave, so added a wood auxiliary fence. I built the table about a quarter inch lower than the saw so we can use it as an out feed table. If I decide I enjoy woodworking into full retirement, and can find the room, we'll probably upgrade to a cabinet table saw.

I consider myself a beginning/moderate wood worker. Been building rustic furniture for the past ten years, and rustic describes both the material and my skills. Started with some hand saws, a draw knife, and some vigas and lattias (New Mexican for logs and sticks) that my house builder gave me. We now own a 14 inch Grizzly band saw, Floor standing Harbor Fright drill press (but with a Jacobs chuck), a Ryobi mitre saw, and several powered hand tools.

We also own a nice router, which I need to learn to use. I plan to build the teardrop slowly, acquire necessary tools as we go along, and take my time to learn to use them.

Tom
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 91
Images: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: New Mexico
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Billinthedesert » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:35 am

Good luck on this, Tom. That's really good thinking to clean up the shop and build the layout table first. I'll need to do the same if I decide to try my hand at a TT down here in Alamogordo.
Billinthedesert
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:30 pm
Location: Alamogordo, NM
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:54 am

After getting the shop in shape, I started on the tear drop floor. Was planning on a sandwich, with 1/4" plywood on each face, with skeletonized 3/4" ply and foam in the middle. However, I found some flat poplar at Lowes, and decided to use that for the skeleton instead. we recently purchased a biscuit joiner, so that's how these are joined.

154715

154717

We don't own a jointer, but found the straightest edges and used those for the sides. (Wonder if we could have used the router mounted on a table as a jointer, and straightened a 10' long edge?)

The sides are 5 inches wide and the cross braces are 3 inches wide. The rectangular frame will be an opening in the floor of the galley to access the batteries. I plan to build a battery box and mount it to the trailer frame behind the axle. (Thank you Half Dome Danny for the idea, and Tony Latham for pointing me to it!)

Found that the wood at the frame joints sometimes stands as much as 1/32" proud, so I guess that's about the tolerance for biscuit joints. Figure I'll sand them flush once the glue dries.

Next step will be to use a router to make really precise seams between the plywood, and build the skins. Shelly is trying to talk me into switching to 1/2" ply for the floor. May do that, since weight is no longer an issue: we bought a Tacoma last month and will use that as our tow vehicle.

As an aside, I'm really enjoying the first few weeks of my Summer, "practice retirement"! Looking forward to revisiting skills I'd learned years ago. I took a wood shop class in 8th grade, and it is interesting to see that table saws now come with blade guards and riving knives. And I haven't had a formal class in taking naps since 1967, but found I was able to pick up that skill better than ever. (Although I understand here in New Mexico, they are referred to as siestas.) :)

Tom
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 91
Images: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: New Mexico
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:08 pm

Billinthedesert wrote:Good luck on this, Tom. That's really good thinking to clean up the shop and build the layout table first. I'll need to do the same if I decide to try my hand at a TT down here in Alamogordo.


Welcome to New Mexico Bill! :)

Decided the layout table is a necessity, although it takes up significant room in the shop (garage). If we later buy a cabinet table saw, I may modify the table to be a combination out-feed side-feed table.

Another decision related to retirement--No firm and hard dead lines! I'm going to take the time necessary to build jigs, tooling, etc. for the shop to make the work go easier.
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 91
Images: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: New Mexico
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby lincolnlerner » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:31 pm

Love the whole plan! If taking your time and building jigs... Yep you might think of building several at the same time. Each step prototypes the three. Build each as you go so the step is fresh in your skill-set mind. And in addition to the ones you built you will still have all the jigs to easily build more. Get those naps in between. You will be pumping them out with ease.

Beautiful New Mexico
lincolnlerner
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:24 pm
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Billinthedesert » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:13 pm

Tom, this business of jigs is the heart of boatbuilding these days. Makes a lot of sense.
Billinthedesert
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:30 pm
Location: Alamogordo, NM
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Homebrewer25 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:53 pm

Back in the early 80's I was a custom cabinetmaker. My boss (a good ol' boy dairy farmer with lots of charisma and a love of fine woodworking, but no talent for doing) would get commissions to reproduce a copy of an antique for a client. I would make 3 of them, selling the other two to make up for the loss of making one. I don't know if any others here have every tried to make a living doing one-off woodworking, but it is dang hard if you aren't a renowned artist. I am certainly not that type. Making 3 is nearly as easy as making 1, which brings the production cost down considerably.
It's 5 o'clock somewhere ... time for a :beer:

Steve
Noname Foamie Build (starting fall '18): http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=70159
User avatar
Homebrewer25
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 60
Images: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:08 pm
Location: Flag Pond, TN
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby KTM_Guy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:46 am

This looks like it will be a fun build, I'll be following along.

Building a 5X10 table was one of the best things I did, I put it on casters so I could move it round the garage and driveway. I also built a frame out of 2X4's with 4" casters that I am building on. Puts everything at a good height. Thanks Tony for that idea.

A router table works as a joiner but it needs and offset fence. I like building things like the router table but I needed one and bought the Kreg and really like it. It has the offset fence.

You might want to look into a good blade for the table saw that can make a huge difference. I switched to Forest Woodworker II on my table saw years ago and couldn't be happier. Kinda spendy but well worth it and if you do get a better saw later you have the blade.

Todd
User avatar
KTM_Guy
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 163
Images: 88
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:50 am
Location: Mesa, AZ near Usery
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Carl01234 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:02 am

Im in the middle of building a 5x10 benroy as well. Will be following closely.
2nd Build Starting a Benroy viewtopic.php?f=50&t=70427
Image
User avatar
Carl01234
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 74
Images: 93
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:36 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:38 am

We glued the floor frame to the bottom skin yesterday.

154762

The skin is made of three sheets of 1/4" ACX plywood. To make the edges of the plywood fit together better, I used an idea from Steve Fredrick's manual, and clamped the plywood with a gap of about a quarter inch, then ran a router with a half inch trim bit down the gap. (My first time using a router, as it happens.) After two Mulligans, I got the process down and the edge joints look wonderful! Not necessarily important for the bottom of the floor, but I used the same technique for the top skins, (1/2" plywood). We don't plan to cover that with anything else, we will just varnish the plywood and put a mattress on top, so the quality of the edge joints is important there.

We glued the frame to the skin using Titebond III. Previously, when doing similar things, I'd had the pieces slide around, so this time I made some corner guides from scrap ply. Shelly reminded me of a woodworking tutorial we'd watched where the instructor used packing tape to prevent a jig from sticking to the glue--worked great.

154763

When I built the frame, there were a few joints that I'd messed up by not paying attention to vertical movement of the two pieces relative to each other. I'd incorrectly assumed the biscuits were thick enough to minimize this. Anyway, I corrected the problem by using a jamb saw to cut the joints, and used these pieces of scrap to hold the whole thing together while we glue the frame to the skin. Now the skin should hold the frame so there is no need for the original joint.

154764

I'd made the skin about an inch wider than the frame so we could clamp it to the table. Next step will be to flip the whole thing over and trim the skin to size, using a bearing guided router bit.

Then we will flip it back and glue in the foam. We couldn't find 3/4" thick foam, so we plan to use 1" thick foam (which I've already trimmed to the frame before gluing on the skin). I've ordered the parts to make a 6 foot long hot wire foam cutter, which I hope will work to trim the extra thickness from the foam. My Dad used to make model airplane wings with a hot wire cutter, and so I was familiar with the concept. Googled on the subject and found a lot, including a site that sells the wire, transformer, etc. I guess you foamistas probably know all about it.

I knew we'd need weight to hold the frame to the skin during glue-up, so I'd asked Shelly to pick up about ten 20 lb containers of cat litter. She tells me several folks asked how many cats she has. I told her she should have said "just one, but you should see what she did to the burglar last week!".

Tom
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 91
Images: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: New Mexico
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Feen » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:41 am

Great looking build, and a nice approach. Oh to be semi-retired.

What’s your plan for the fibreglass?

I had intended to resin the ply as a primer for Raptor bedliner however I’d also like to add some graphics afterwords which might prove difficult on Raptor’s textured finish.

So now I’m also looking to lay up chopped strand mat and reading up on flow coats versus gel coats etc.


I’ve also started a build, and a journal. Will be good to compare techniques and progress as we go.

Good luck

James
Feen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:00 am
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby KTM_Guy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:36 pm

Feen wrote:Great looking build, and a nice approach. Oh to be semi-retired.

What’s your plan for the fibreglass?

I had intended to resin the ply as a primer for Raptor bedliner however I’d also like to add some graphics afterwords which might prove difficult on Raptor’s textured finish.

So now I’m also looking to lay up chopped strand mat and reading up on flow coats versus gel coats etc.


I’ve also started a build, and a journal. Will be good to compare techniques and progress as we go.

Good luck

James


I am hoping to be ready to spray Raptor next weekend. I have seen videos that if you use a LPHV spray gun you can get a much less texture finish which is what I'm after. Rolling or Schutz gun is a much rougher texture. I'm going to try some practice runs this week.

Todd
User avatar
KTM_Guy
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 163
Images: 88
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:50 am
Location: Mesa, AZ near Usery
Top

Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:05 pm

Feen wrote:Great looking build, and a nice approach. Oh to be semi-retired.

What’s your plan for the fibreglass?

I had intended to resin the ply as a primer for Raptor bedliner however I’d also like to add some graphics afterwords which might prove difficult on Raptor’s textured finish.

So now I’m also looking to lay up chopped strand mat and reading up on flow coats versus gel coats etc.


I’ve also started a build, and a journal. Will be good to compare techniques and progress as we go.

Good luck

James


Thank you James. Have to say, semi-retired is as much fun (so far) as I'd anticipated! I wake up every morning thinking about what part of the camper I'll work on that day. As much fun as my favorite jobs, only without a boss (Shelly excepted, of course.) :)

My plans for fiberglass and epoxy right now are to study the products and options further in a week or so when I get to that step. I don't plan to fiberglass anything on the floor, but want to coat at least the underside with epoxy. We may do the top with epoxy as well. We were going to use varnish, but it occurred to us that the AC and stuff in the galley may occasionally drip, and the extra waterproofing won't hurt.

We were thinking of using Monstaliner over the fiberglass, but on another thread someone said the company told them they couldn't put it directly over marine epoxy. There seems to be a product they make that would work as an intermediate coating, but we will probably have to call them and discuss. In the meantime, I did read up on Raka's and West Marine's products and tips on their web sites a year ago, but need to review. We have a friend who made a canoe using fiberglass and a Raka product, and offered us the left over to experiment, so I'm leaning that way right now. But I'm willing to slow down and study the options.

I'll be looking forward to see what you decide with your build.

Like your mock-up!

Tom
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 91
Images: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: New Mexico
Top

Next

Return to Build Journals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: pencil5757 and 5 guests