Pop-up to vintage standy (EPDM roof installed 8-17-19)

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

Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (demo begins)

Postby les45 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:47 am

Nodrog wrote:Hey Les- This is very interesting! About moving the trailer, somebody ( I think Woodbutcher) made little plywood discswith holes for lug nuts just larger than the hubs to roll his standy out of the garage. Cheap and easy! I think you'll like having a standy, ours is just about done and has lots of conveniences and room for a small trailer...will be nice. Don't know if we'll take it out this winter, but maybe? Yours is a good size to be pretty nice too, will be an interesting build! Good luck! Nodrog


I saw those plywood discs but they only give you limited motion forward and back. I've decided to use car dollies on each corner which will allow me to move the whole trailer from side to side and allow better access for working on the side near the wall. I already had two dollies so I bought two more. I plan to securely fasten the wood cribbing to the dollies and to the trailer frame so there is no chance of anything slipping off. I have a lot of work to do first while the trailer is still up on blocks (demo, drop floor, shorten door, etc.). Getting the 200 lb roof off will be the biggest challenge.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (demo begins)

Postby 2bits » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:24 am

I will be following your build, have been wanting to try a popup conversion for a while myself
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (roof is gone)

Postby les45 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:07 pm

Spent the last two days removing the old roof. Yesterday was kind of experimenting to see how the roof was made and how I might best take it down. I cut into it with a diamond blade on my grinder and much to my surprise I found there was almost no wood in the roof deck. It is simply a foamy type construction with one inch of styrofoam sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum skins. I decided to punch holes in the deck and use my sawzall to cut the deck out in sections, leaving the seam down the middle to kind of hold it all together until I was ready to take down the short side walls. The sawzall cut through the foamy deck very easily and I took it out in thirds on each side.
I left the lift posts bolted to the short roof side walls to hold it in place while I cut the side walls out. All in all it was a lot easier than I expected.

A little experimenting to see what I was dealing with. I could actually peel back the aluminum skin after cutting it with a chisel or nippers.
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I cut about a third at a time on each side, primarily to keep the pieces small enough to handle. I bridged over the top with one of my old 3/4" plywood end shelves on 2X4's to keep my weight off the deck while I was cutting with the sawzall. Eventually, I could stand inside the shell and do the cutting.
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Right side is gone.
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Entire top is removed. Side walls are still standing and bolted to the lifting rods.
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This is how most of the top deck was fabricated. It had one wood 1X2 running down the middle where the seam fastened and a 1X2 frame for the fan. I could stand on the top when I was painting my previous project. I was surprised at how strong it was.
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Side walls removed and top is all gone. Ready for the next step.
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Roof parts ready to haul to the dump.
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Tomorrow I start the removal of the hoisting system. That will require the removal of all the bead board wall panels for access.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (hoist gone)

Postby les45 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:33 am

Took out the hoist system today. For those not familiar with the pop-up hoist system, it consists of four cables, each running through various pulleys to a telescoping leg on each corner. The cables pull on a flexible spring rod inside a tube that then pushes up through the telescoping leg to raise the roof. The four cables connect to a single manual winch cable near the front. The hardest part of removing the hoist parts without a helper is that you can't hold wrenches on both ends of the bolts. I finally resolved this problem by putting a box end wrench on the top and wedging it to a wall or other solid part. I then laid a three pound flexible ankle weight on top of the wrench to keep it from moving. I could then get under the trailer and turn the head of the bolt with a socket wrench. I could probably have left the hoist system in place since it is all in a dead area behind walls in the new build but I hope to pass the parts on to someone who might need them as they are getting harder to find. If anyone knows someone who might need these parts, I'll give them away for shipping costs.

Removed hard to reach bolts by first placing a box end wrench on top and wedging it to a wall.
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Then covered the wrench with an ankle weight to keep it from coming off the nut. This allowed me to go under the trailer and turn the other end with a socket.
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All parts removed. Cables were scrapped as they had to be cut out with a Dremel tool.
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Next step: start building the drop floor.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (hoist gone)

Postby tmclemore » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:52 pm

Great job. Looking forward to the next step.

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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (drop floor done)

Postby les45 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:22 am

I decided to build the drop floor before I lower the frame onto the dollies for the rest of the project. I dropped the floor because I had to drop the roof by about six inches in order to build inside my garage. The drop floor area is between the bed and dinette. It turns out that my trailer frame cross members were in a perfect location that allowed me to bolt the sides of the floor box directly onto the frame. The trailer frame is 3" C channel so I filled the channel with a treated 2X4 cut to fit which would serve as the bearing surface for bolting the box side walls. I happened to find some 1X5 lumber which gave me the drop I needed and that kept the bottom of my box about 3/4" above the bottom of the axle which is the lowest point. The floor of the box is 3/4" plywood recycled from a shelf from my previous project. I had to cut it into two pieces and splice it in the middle. I probably overbuilt with 2" screws every two inches around the perimeter and six metal roofing angles bolted along the sides. I added an aluminum bar down the middle to reinforce the splice area. To install the box, I simply rolled it under the frame on a dolly and then lifted one end into place and used two trolley jacks to push the box up into place while I drilled and bolted the side walls.

I laid out the cut by drilling holes from below and measuring to the edges. Masking tape was the outer edge of the box and the cut line was 3/4" inside the tape.
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I used a saber saw to make the cut (slow but effective). The two scrap boards were screwed to the cut piece to keep it from falling.
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Cut complete. You can see the bottom flange of one of the C channels that will be filled with a treated 2X4 for bolting the box.
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The box walls are cut and dry fitted to the hole.
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The box is heavily reinforced. Wanted to make sure there was no give in this area.
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Top view of completed box.
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Dry fitting the completed box. At this point the box was very tight. Since I planned to paint the box and the 2X4's with several coats of Rustoleum, I took the 2X4 side rails and trimmed them down on my table saw by about 1/16" each.
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The outside of the box and the two 2X4's were primered with Zinsser and given two coats of black Rustoleum.
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I used two trolley jacks to push the box up into place. When the box was fully positioned, I drilled and installed three 5/16" carriage bolts on each side (I had already pre-drilled the metal C channel and 2X4 bolting rails.
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Another view of the box in place. Note that I only bolted the two long sides of the box. I felt that would be plenty adequate.
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The drop floor is installed.
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Giving the floor the true load test. I will install metal edge trim around the top, paint the sidewalls, and install matching floor tiles later.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (down to the bones)

Postby les45 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:57 am

After removing the roof assembly and the hoisting system, the last demo work was the removal of the skins on the lower shell and evaluating the existing framework. The skins consisted of a thin luan type inner material stapled to the wood framework with the metal outer skin stapled over that. Lots of staples to remove but I finally got all the old skins off. I was surprised to find that the framing on the front and back end walls was only held on by the skins on both sides. Needless to say, all that had to be removed in order to create a solid base for the new front and rear tall walls. The framing on the sidewalls appears to be solid and I will simply build up on top of that. I will have a full height 2X2 stud on each corner where the old telescoping legs were.

Front end with skins still intact.
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Back end showing existing skins.
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Front end with skins removed. All the framing on the front end was connected by the skins. I installed some temporary connectors to keep the front end framing from falling off when I pulled the skins in that area.
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Back end with skins removed. Note that the entire back end was re-built under my previous project. That is why it looks newer. It also was only connected by the skins so I had to add temporary connectors there also.
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Front end with all the old framing removed (the remaining bead board walls on both ends were built on the previous project and will remain. They will add rigidity to the front and rear wall framing. I'm thinking I will start by bolting a 2X6 the full width of the front floor edge and that will serve as the base for my front wall.
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The rear end with most of the old framing removed (the vertical 1X8 piece in the center with all the wires and the 2X2 along the bottom width were left because I still needed to take out some of the interior bead board panels and one AC receptacle before I could access the screws that held them in place. They will come out eventually and I expect that I will start with a full width 2X6 bolted to the rear edge of the existing floor to serve as the base for the rear wall also.
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Anyway, this is my starting point so now I have to go back to the drawing board and start designing my framework.

Stay tuned.......
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (making sawdust 12-1-18

Postby les45 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:46 pm

Finally started on actual construction (versus destruction). First order of work was the four legs that will support the roof. My original plan was to use a 2X2 that would just fill the gap left by the old telescoping legs but I ended up removing the outer adjacent studs on both ends due to previously unknown rot. This left a gap of exactly 3.5" on each end so I decided to use a full 2X4 for each corner leg. This also required a total re-build of the framing in the rear. The top of each 2X4 is notched to receive a 1X8 rim joist on each side which will establish the outline of the roof. In the center over the door (and dropped floor area) the rim joist will be full width (7 1/4") and will drop by 3" to each end. After dry fitting the uncut 1X8 I found that I now have to drop the frame down on the dollies in order to clear the garage door. I had planned to drop the frame later as I thought I could work the two side walls with the wheels still on. I am now thinking that I will remove the wheels and the axle to get a full 10" drop and provide more room to work on the roof inside the garage.

General front view of the four 2X4 legs in place.
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General rear view of the new legs.
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Closeup of rear framing. The two cross bars had to be totally rebuilt and will hold the bead board paneling on the rear wall.
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Inside view of a rear corner. The white board was bolted to the floor and serves as a base for the 2X4 and covers several holes in the floor where the old lift system was attached. I'm using my Kreg jig and making a lot of connections with pocket screws.
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Closeup of right front corner. Everything to the left of the 2X4 was existing. The 2X4 legs are fastened to adjacent framing using 3" deck screws and several pocket screws in strategic locations. On the front left leg I had to use two 6" x 5/16 bolts because the adjacent frame was so thick.
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The top of each leg is notched to receive the ends of a 1X8 rim joist on each side. The rim joist will be full width near the center and taper down by 3" at each end forming a flat center section and two sloping ends to the roof.
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Next step is to cut the rim joists and screw them in place (after removing the wheels and axle and dropping the entire trailer frame down onto dollies).
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (making sawdust 12-1-18

Postby tmclemore » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:00 pm

Looking good!

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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (dolly drop 12-6-18)

Postby les45 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:36 pm

Time to drop the trailer down on dollies so I'll have enough head room to start framing the roof. After installing adequate support blocks on each corner (and a few more for extra safety), I started the process of removing the axle. I found that by removing the axle I could get an extra 3" of clearance which will allow me to install the ceiling fan inside the garage. I found that I had been overthinking the process of dropping the frame onto the dollies (about 9"). I had planned to use two scissors jacks in order to control the descent and move them alternatively from front to rear as I dropped the frame in small increments. It turned out that I could use the tongue jack on the front and a single trolley jack on the rear to do it much more easily. Each corner was supported by an 8" concrete block with various thicknesses of wood boards on top of the blocks. I would alternate from front to back and remove about one to two inches at a time until I was down to the dollies. It actually went a lot quicker than I thought.

First step was removing the tires. Those lug bolts were so tight that I needed a cheater bar to get them started. I found that a small piece of 2X4 made as good a chock as anything to keep the tire from spinning.
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I used a small tool that I created to help hold the wheel as the lug bolts were removed. I had previously made a 1/2" stud that I could screw into the top hole that would keep the tire from falling as I removed the other three lug bolts. I could then simply lift the wheel off the stud. This also is a great help when installing a wheel with lug bolts.
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Here is a closeup of the stud. It is slotted to allow use of a screwdriver but it generally goes in easily by hand. It's just a 1/2" bolt with the head cut off.
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With the tires removed I could then remove the axle. Note the blocking on each end that would later be removed incrementally as I lowered the frame.
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I supported the center of the axle with a trolley jack and let it down onto the dollies that I would later use to support the trailer. Four bolts and it was down.
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Front view of the trailer resting on the dollies. I'll store the axle under the A-frame during construction. Note that the dollies are supporting the main frame that holds the axle which is located about 12" inside the perimeter frame. I figured that frame would be the strongest plus it keeps the dollies totally inside the footprint of the trailer.
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Here is a closeup view of one of the front dollies in place.
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Rear view of the frame on the dollies. The rear dollies use 2X4 cribbing while the front dollies use 1X4. I did this to try to keep the trailer level since the garage floor sloped about 1" in 10'. The wood cribbing is screwed onto the dolly through holes that I drilled in the metal and is covered in a non-slip material. Maybe overkill but I didn't want the frame to slide off the dollies when I start moving it around.
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Side view of the frame completely down on all four dollies. They move easily from side to side but there is enough friction caused by the weight of the trailer that I don't need to set the brakes on the dollies.
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Next step is construction of the roof rim joist on each side and framing for the door.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (framing/door 1-8-19)

Postby les45 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:11 pm

After dropping the frame onto dollies and installing the 2X4 corner studs, I finished the perimeter framing with the two 1X8 rim joists at the top and two more 2X4's that would frame the door. I also added the 1X8 corners that establish the body lines for the front and rear end. Probably the most challenging part to date has been the door. I decided to use the two piece door that came on the original pop-up camper. I had totally rebuilt it during the last project and it is in excellent condition. The door is in two parts with a fixed bottom section that is permanently attached to the bottom shell and a portable top section that folded down from the ceiling and fastened to the bottom section to make one door. The two sections required different framing but they had to fasten together to make a single fixed door in the new project. Also, I had to cut the door height down by 3" and I decided to do this by cutting the top out of the bottom fixed door section. This turned out to be a total rebuild of this section since the wood framing on the inside had a lot of water damage. The following pics will describe the door work:

The 1X8 rim joists at the top of each side establish the outline of the roof with a sloping front and back and a level section over the door where the fan will go. The rim joists fasten in the slots in the corner studs with 1 3/4" wood screws from both sides. (the cross braces on each end are temporary to keep everything in position)
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The two piece door had to be fastened together and fastened to the 2X4 studs on each side. I set the studs to fit the bottom section and cut a one inch section out of the top to accommodate the wider frame in the top door section. I started by installing the studs in their location to accommodate the bottom hinged section and then fastened two boards to keep them at the proper width.
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I then laid the top section over the studs and marked the 1" cut that would accommodate the frame of the upper section.
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The studs were then re-installed and the two door sections were dry fitted into place. They actually fit pretty well on the first try so I then fastened everything permanently. Not pictured are holes drilled in the top frame to fasten it to the studs. The frame is square aluminum tubing so I had to drill a large hole first in the inner wall to accommodate the screw and screwdriver and then a small hole in the outer wall to accommodate the four screws on each side.
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Door is now permanently installed.
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Inside view of installed door.
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I decided to keep the bead board theme for the lower shell when finishing the interior of the door.
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The door lock was purchased new for the previous project. All I had to do to it was fabricate a simple latch that fastened to the adjacent stud.
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Overall side view from front with door installed. Note the 1X8 corners have been added to the corner studs using pocket screws. These will establish the contours of the front and back ends. The front will have a rounded top with a flat vertical wall and a bevel at the bottom.
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The back wall will be sloping to the roof line in the upper half with a flat lower section and a bevel at the bottom
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Next order of work will be framing both sides for the four windows.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (framing done 1-19-19)

Postby les45 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:39 pm

Completed most of the framing today. I found it cheaper to buy 1X4's and split them rather than using 1X2. This gives me nearly 1/4" extra depth and maybe slightly more strength, especially for the roof joists. I used my trusty Kreg Jig and pocket screws for all connections. On the side walls, I mainly framed for the windows. I anticipate that I'll have to add some horizontal pieces later for stapling the sheet metal skins but I don't know yet what that will involve.

Kreg Jig was invaluable for all the framing connections.
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Front quarter view of completed framing work. The two window frames are temporarily installed to show my wife how the windows will look. I plan to use the same fixed windows that I had in the previous project with two on each side. No windows in front or back walls.
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Rear quarter view of framing.
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Head on view of framing.
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I installed a 1X2 full width on each end at the bottom of the bevel. This will give me a better surface to staple the sheet metal skin where it terminates. I fastened the 1X2 with bolts and pocket screws and will remove it later to give it some sort of waterproofing treatment.
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The front end will get a 15" shelf next to the dinette seats. This will be used for storing luggage or clothing at night.
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The rear end next to the bed will get a 9" shelf for storing glasses, flashlights, books, etc. at night.
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Next step is roughing in the wiring. The basic AC and DC systems are already in place so this work will consist mainly of running the DC wires overhead for interior lights, fan, and porch light and the AC wiring to the existing receptacles plus one new outside receptacle. This will also include wiring for the running/clearance lights which have to be raised.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (framing done 1-19-19)

Postby steve cowan » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:09 am

The framing is looking real good.Do you think it would have been easier without working around the existing lower portion of the walls?Just asking I know you
had a reason.Will you reuse the skin on the outside?
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (framing done 1-19-19)

Postby les45 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:11 am

steve cowan wrote:The framing is looking real good.Do you think it would have been easier without working around the existing lower portion of the walls?Just asking I know you
had a reason.Will you reuse the skin on the outside?


I had previously re-built the front and rear end walls so the side walls are the only remnants of the original structure. The existing side walls were so integrated into the raised bed frame and wheel well that I decided to keep them as a base. Also, I had run a full length conduit inside the left wall that carries the wiring to the rear running lights. The old skins were so full of holes that will not be in the new build that I plan to buy all new skins. Finding a source for the new skins is probably my biggest challenge right now. I have asked for help on this in the Canned Ham section.
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Re: Convert pop-up to vintage standy (more framing 1-26-19)

Postby les45 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:59 pm

OK, so I just thought I was done with the framing. After getting the major pieces installed, it dawned on me that I have to install all the nailers that fit between the joists and studs for fastening the inside paneling. Also, I had some concern that my single 1X2 roof joists (spars) that are 78"long had a little too much give when I pulled down on them. I did a simple test by hanging a ten pound weight as a point load in the center of one joist and measured the deflection and compared that to a doubled joist. The single joist deflected 1/4" while the doubled joist deflected as expected only one half as much or 1/8". I decided to go ahead and double all nine of the 1X2 roof joists. I would note that my joists are actually 3/4" X 1 3/4" since I made them by splitting a 1X4. That was the cheapest way to buy the lumber at my local big box. I'm hoping that the beam effect of adding the plywood skins inside and outside with glue and staples will add enough strength to eliminate any sag. It turned out that, in addition to the nine ceiling joists that were to be doubled, I had to make 68 nailers that ranged in size from 8" to 40". On some I was able to simply screw them in place but more than half had to have pocket screws drilled for installation. It made for a long two days.

On the front wall I was able to simply screw the nailers because of the orientation of the spars. Also, I was able to re-use some of the primed finger joint materials that I took out of the old project.
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On the roof joists I could also screw the nailers between the joists. Note that all the joists have been doubled by screwing the additional pieces.
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On the rear wall and on both sides, all the nailers had to be installed using pocket screws since they were oriented in the same direction as the spars.
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Most of the pocket screws were installed tranversely toward the center of the nailers instead of longitudinally on the ends to avoid interference with adjacent pocket screws holding the spars. I experienced this problem while installing the front spars and found that when a screw hits another screw it will not go any deeper.
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I still have to install two pieces to finish framing for the ceiling fan but I'm declaring victory on the overal framing and ready to start my electrical rough in.
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