Tom & Shelly's build

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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:56 pm

Esteban wrote:Helpful fiberglassing videos:


Thanks Steve, we especially like the two showing the canoes. Hope ours goes as smoothly! (Pun intended)

Tom & Shelly
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:46 pm

So, it's been awhile since we fabricated anything for the tear drop, or posted.

In that time, we learned (theory) about fiberglass/epoxy, and ordered (and received) Raka's 127 epoxy, 350 hardener, and a roll of 4 oz fiberglass. We haven't tried using it yet, but that will come soon. We also purchased masks and filters for both of us.

I also cut some angle iron to mount our battery case to the frame, behind the axle and underneath the camper floor.

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That's a Harbor Fright metal cutting band saw that I've owned for years. It acts like a guillotine, and just grinds away on the metal while the worker (who cares about his/her hearing) goes a few rooms away to eat lunch, or whatever. It took about an hour to cut 1 1/2" angle iron. Oh, yes, there used to be a cheap plastic guard for the belt and pullies. Clearly an add on for the western market. I've often wondered what the Chinese workers who built this adequate piece of machinery thought about westerners who required that sort of protection.

I also used a 70 year old drafting table to put (most of) our teardrop design on paper. I'd probably get a B- for the work from my high school drafting shop teacher (I think my near vision may have been a bit better back then), but the drawings are good enough to remind us what we want to do. If I had to do a lot of this sort of work, I'd invest in a good drafting machine (which I used in high school--shop programs rated higher in the school budgets back then), or perhaps a CAD program.

From the plans, we figured out the dimensions for our two passenger doors and three cargo doors, and ordered them from Challenger. They should be shipped in about a week.

I also decided to order a separate base for our Bosch router to mount in the router table. Received it and mounted it. Now, we can just move the motor when we want to use the table.

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This is a nice table from Grizzly that I bought for my wife a few years ago, but that we never used until this week.

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It has a split fence and includes plastic shims that go between the aluminum straight edge in the back and the out feed fence. I tried using it as a jointer for the first time this week, and the results are fantastic! (For ten years I built rustic furniture, and didn't see a need for a straight piece of wood. This is sure to change my woodworking! So, the industrial revolution has finally reached our cabin.)

Rather than epoxy the floor right away, I decided to start building the two bulkheads and front of the camper first. We plan to have a large cargo door on the front of our camper, which will have a Benroy profile and about 2 feet of flat vertical front. To mount the door, it seems easiest to frame that vertical front with plywood, just like the bulkheads, and then extend the two layers of roof (1/8" Baltic birch) over it.

The front and forward bulkhead will both consist of two layers of 3/4" skeletonized plywood. The idea is to have a 1 1/2 inches of foam in front, to match the depth of insulation from the roof, and also have 1 1/2 inches (sound insulation) between our heads and the Climate Right heater/AC, which will be in the forward storage compartment. The rear bulkhead, between the sleeping compartment and galley, will be a single piece of 3/4 inch skeletonized plywood, with foam, and with 1/8 inch Baltic birch on either side.

With the success of our router table jointing, I made some straight edge guides for our router and cut the 3/4 inch plywood to size. Found one sheet to have a large separation between layers in the middle. This was ACX plywood that we'd purchased from Rak's in Edgewood and came from Georgia Pacific. Terrible quality! I hope the teardrop doesn't just fall apart, due to this plywood! Of course, we got rid of the known defective sheet.

Anyway, here are two pieces of plywood being glued together.

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I skeletonized one, cut foam to fit, and plan to use the router to cut the other sheet of plywood to match. After all of that, we will put a layer of 1/8 inch Baltic birch on each side. This will be our forward bulkhead, separating the sleeping compartment from the forward storage and AC/heater.

It is only 30 inches tall, as we plan to use the upper front, rounded over part of the camper, above the forward storage compartment, as a little extra storage behind our heads (when sitting up) accessible from the sleeping compartment. (That will make more sense as we progress, and I show pictures--hopefully!) Anyway, it should be a nice little area that will work like a night stand. I hope to keep a few bird books, and the like, selected for the areas we are travelling in, on my side.

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Staryder61 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:46 am

Tom, For retirement,, I'm not a fan of the big box stores. Though, one thing I have been really happy with is the following table saw:
I needed a replacement that wouldn't break the bank..
https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-13-Amp-10-in-Professional-Cast-Iron-Table-Saw-R4512/202500206
We bought one like it a couple years ago. An upgrade from an old craftsman.
This saw is heavy enough to stay where you put it. Large easy to level table. Yet it has casters to move it when needed. Dust collector shroud on the bottom.
We put 2" x 4" oak or black walnut through it with no slowing it down, unlike the craftsman (It would stop)
I hope this helps a little.. enough about saws now... ;)

Will keep watching your build :thumbsup: :thumbsup: , have fun and enjoy...
David

"A Great Mind is like a Parachute, it works best when it is open.."

"Our build Journal.." http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=69528

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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:43 am

Staryder61 wrote:Tom, For retirement,, I'm not a fan of the big box stores. Though, one thing I have been really happy with is the following table saw:
I needed a replacement that wouldn't break the bank..
https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-13-Amp-10-in-Professional-Cast-Iron-Table-Saw-R4512/202500206
We bought one like it a couple years ago. An upgrade from an old craftsman.
This saw is heavy enough to stay where you put it. Large easy to level table. Yet it has casters to move it when needed. Dust collector shroud on the bottom.
We put 2" x 4" oak or black walnut through it with no slowing it down, unlike the craftsman (It would stop)
I hope this helps a little.. enough about saws now... ;)

Will keep watching your build :thumbsup: :thumbsup: , have fun and enjoy...


Thank you David. I showed this to Shelly and she remembers a contractor at Home Depot pointing out the Rigid saw to someone who was shopping for them.

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:21 pm

Finished the forward bulkhead this morning:

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This will be our headboard, with USB outlets on each side and AC/ventilation ducts in the middle. We're hoping the separation is sufficient for AC, but if not we have several options, including using one duct for AC while drawing air from outside, and keeping the other closed or using it for ventilation.

The idea is that this bulkhead will not go all the way to the ceiling, but rather, there will be a little storage above it in back of our heads, that is open from the cabin. We'll put a horizontal partition about an inch below the top of this piece, to separate that storage from the ClimateRight AC and forward storage compartment. We will probably insulate that partition to mitigate the AC noise.

This bulkhead consists of two pieces of skeletonized 3/4 inch plywood, with 2 inch foam inside, cut to 1 1/2 inches with our hot wire cutter.

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You can also see in this picture that we cut the AC ducts to two different sizes, one for the registers and one for the hoses from our unit.

Both sides, and the top, are sheathed in 1/8 inch Baltic birch. Learning to really love this stuff!

All bonded with TB 3. We seem to have success merely squeezing it out of the tube along one surface and mushing the other down (with guides to keep it from sliding sideways), then clamping and weighting. Hope it holds up! TB 3 is a bit more expensive than TB 2, and may not be worth the extra cost for interior portions, but that's where we chose to "over build".

I was all ready to route the cabin side Baltic birch to match the top of the 3/4 inch plywood, when it occurred to me that merely capping the top, and letting the edge of the cap show, wasn't as nice as it could be. Instead, I used the router in the table to make a nice edge on the cap, and glued it behind the cabin side birch (on top in this picture).

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Then, this morning, I routed the edge of the cabin-side sheet to be flush with the cap, and sanded the back of the cap to be flush with the storage side birch sheet. Now the joins won't show unless one maneuvers their head up to the storage. And the joins look pretty good to begin with! I'm real impressed with how well these things come out with the use of a router. However, I'm humbled by memories of my Dad making as good joins in models by hand cutting. (Not just a memory--I have a few things to look at and compare.)

To allow the switch plates on the USB ports to sit flush, I cut room in the Baltic birch for the tabs on Carlon "old work" outlet boxes.

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I cut the backs off of the boxes, as they are deeper than the bulkhead. I originally intended to use the cut boxes merely as templates for cutting, and then centering the birch as we glued it down. However, the squeeze out actually glued the boxes in! I didn't think it would stick to plastic that well. Now, I think we will probably leave them. I'm tempted to epoxy the backs back onto the boxes, so whatever gets stored doesn't someday bump and break the USB ports.

If I try this trick for the high voltage outlets in the Galley bulkhead, I'll first put packing tape around the outlet boxes, as I know TB 3 doesn't stick so well to that material.

Now, on to the Galley bulkhead...

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:53 pm

Finished the galley bulkhead this morning.

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A 120 vac outlet, USB port, and 12 v cigarette lighter style outlet go in the holes. These are for the cabin side, and will be at the feet of the port-side occupant. (That will be Shelly.) On the galley side, the outlets will be behind a box that will also hold outlets for the galley, the PD 4045, battery master switch, and voltage meter.

The bulkhead includes 3/4" skeletonized plywood (with foam in between), and a sheet of 1/8" Baltic birch on each side. The thing that surprises me (pleasantly), is that the plywood was rather warped, and it seemed to get worse when I skeletonized it, and glued one side on. It seems to have flattened out almost perfectly last night, however, after we glued the other skin on and used 2 x 4's to clamp everything down flat to the bench.

I suspect that is a clue to one reason this way of building a wall is so strong. The tendency of the plywood to want to warp the wall is opposed not only by one skin in tension along its surface, but also by the other skin in compression along its surface. Since both of the skins are glued everywhere (ideally) along their inner surfaces, each little piece of the glue joint only has to hold a little bit of the overall stress.

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:26 pm

We received our doors from Challenger yesterday, about a month after ordering them. They sure pack them well for shipping! These came in crates made of 1" pine on the sides, and luan stapled to the tops and bottoms, all wrapped in cardboard.

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This is a 20 x 36 inch cargo door that will go on the front of the camper, and will be the main access to the air conditioner. It includes struts, and so can be left open when the AC is running.

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I suppose after doing my best to cut straight lines in the wood for this project, I was disappointed to see the bottom of the door isn't quite straight. Guess you can hardly see it in the photo, and no one will notice while we are camping, but in the center it is about a 1/16" short, and doesn't line up with the edge of the frame.

There is also a dent, which I managed to emphasize in the photo by showing the reflection. This must have happened at the factory, as there is no way anything could have struck it there in shipping. But, I suppose that with this door on the front of the teardrop, it will soon take worse punishment.

We also ordered two side cargo doors, which arrived in great shape.

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All three of these doors have a 2 inch thick frame, with no inner trim ring. My walls will be slightly less than the frame (1 1/8 inch total in the side walls, and 1 1/4" in the front), but I don't think it will hurt to have the frame extend into the cargo bay by that much.

The passenger doors arrived in great shape.

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They include an inner trim ring, and a rain gutter. Looks like the door frames themselves are about an inch and a quarter thick, and so they will be slightly thicker than our walls. Probably won't matter and also, the door won't really be flush with the outer wall, since there will be sealing putty stuff (can't think of the name--this is my first RV). :oops:

Next step is to finish the front panel. Then either cut the template for the sides, or epoxy the floor...

About a week and a half left until I have to go back to work for the Fall, so the effort slows down after that, until the Christmas break.

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Staryder61 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:10 pm

It's all coming together Tom,
Parts is parts. :lol: It's great when things come packed right..
David

"A Great Mind is like a Parachute, it works best when it is open.."

"Our build Journal.." http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=69528

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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:49 pm

Finally made the templates for the walls:

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Didn't see a need to make front and back into a single form, as the part in between is straight. I will adjust the overall length to be 122" (approximated in the third photo). If necessary, I can trim the left and right edges of the templates to make them easier to work with.

I cut the material with a saber (hand-held jig) saw to near (or not so near) the line and hand sanded the curve to the line with 80 grit paper.

The smaller opening near the front is for the cargo doors (one on each side) while the larger is, of course, for the passenger doors (also one on each side).

The over-all shape is from Mike Schneider's "Generic Benroy Plans." (Thank you Mike!)

A rounded lower front would have looked nice, but we don't want to lose the real-estate. We may look at a two-tone paint scheme that mirrors the top curve on the bottom with black (or other dark color) camouflaging the corner a little.

The shape consists of a 48 inch radius curve and several 19" radius curves, so I made some dedicated beam compasses to do the job

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Now what do I do with them? :thinking:

The templates are made out of 3/16" thick 3-ply "underlayment". Tony (if you're reading) does this look like the stuff you used for your walls? We found this at both Home Depot and Lowes (our local lumbar yard was sold to a chain recently and isn't as good as it was--doesn't sound as good as your store in Salmon Idaho!) There are no voids, it works real nice, and looks better than the 1/4" AC ply we bought, but it is advertised as interior only. I haven't tried throwing a chunk in water, but, now that we have scrap, I'll try it this afternoon.

Incidentally, some of the 1/4" AC plywood we bought from that lumber yard is stamped "underlayment", despite the fact that I asked about buying 1/4" underlayment and was told they don't have it. The term evidently means different things (aside from the obvious use as floor underlayment). If we use the 1/4" AC plywood for our outer walls, as we plan, we will have to use epoxy and filler to fill some cracks in the A side before applying the cloth. (The underlayment material we used for the templates already seem to have much of the imperfections filled with some sort of material.

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby tony.latham » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:22 pm

Tony (if you're reading) does this look like the stuff you used for your walls?


Kinda, but I'm not convinced. The stuff I get here has more grain variation. I do think that when they stamp it 'underlayment' it has to be water friendly. But as you said, give it the bucket test.

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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby eagle24 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:46 am

tony.latham wrote:
Tony (if you're reading) does this look like the stuff you used for your walls?


Kinda, but I'm not convinced. The stuff I get here has more grain variation. I do think that when they stamp it 'underlayment' it has to be water friendly. But as you said, give it the bucket test.

Image

Tony


My 2 cents worth and 32 yrs experience in retail building supply and construction. Underlayment rated means that is has no voids, top surface free of knots (or they are filled) and sanded, and laminations are done using exterior glue. It needs to be protected from water and moisture. Marine plywood is the same except the wood itself is a specie that has natural tannins which make it naturally resistant to rot and decay. Still should be protected from water to control expansion and contraction if nothing else. It can eventually rot as well.

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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby Tom&Shelly » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:27 am

After less than a day in the bucket, the underlayment shows delamination of a very thin veneer layer (that I hadn't realized it even had), visible in the upper left of this edge-on photo

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and some serious swelling

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OK, I wouldn't use this particular product as underlayment! Certainly not as anything that could be exposed to water. In fairness to Home Depot and Lowes, they did advertise this for interior use only.

Must be a different product to the underlayment Tony found.

Tom
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby willrothfuss » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:29 pm

I thought underlayment was used under linoleum, vinyl, etc, in other words inside only. Being waterproof would not be a concern, only smoothness and some structural integrity ( no major voids). This would be different from what you would use on a roof or exterior application.
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby KCStudly » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:43 pm

In a perfect world, but when used in potentially wet areas, like kitchens and baths, where that kind of flooring is typically used, and subject to spills, moisture and mopping... when was the last time you saw a flooring tradesman seal the edges of his work? Typically they just seal any seams in the field, glue or staple the perimeter, and the carpenter comes along and butts shoe molding over the edges with no caulk between the finished floor and molding. So you have a raw edge under the shoe molding that water can get to.

IMO, That's why good underlayment should be water proof.

Trust me, I work in an industry with wash down grade floor and wall systems, and even "the best" engineered solutions have chinks in them. Water gets through. Seal everything. Be thorough. Be very thorough.
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Re: Tom & Shelly's build

Postby tony.latham » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:40 pm

Here's the back side of the stuff I get locally:

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