Warnings if you are working with foam...

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby mikeschn » Sun May 15, 2011 4:33 pm

Foamie Information:

The foam used in foamies is often refered to as Pink or Blue foam, Its very lightweight, its tough and durable. It doesn’t warp or soak up water and is easily worked into shapes without specialist tools.

Pink or Blue foam is actually a closed cell Extruded Polystyrene commonly known by the trade name of “Styrofoamâ€
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby azmotoman » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:12 pm

Nothing to do with foam: Love your pup! We have a couple of mini-Schnauzers that travel with us. Smart! Evil, at times, and such great company.
Money isn't everything, but it keeps the kids in touch!
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby mikeschn » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:10 pm

azmotoman wrote:Nothing to do with foam: Love your pup! We have a couple of mini-Schnauzers that travel with us. Smart! Evil, at times, and such great company.


:D

Yep, we've got two of em!!!

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Mike....
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby GPW » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:23 am

WARNING: Foamies can become Addictive !!! :frightened:
There’s no place like Foam !
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby Grumpypaz » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Foam is where the heart is. Foam foam on the range
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby GPW » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:39 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
There’s no place like Foam !
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby JDHIV » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:26 pm

There may be 'no place like foam'...but is that 'place' a sturdy one? I'm constricted by a lowly 1000lb towing capacity and I spent the last two days completely gutting an old Coleman "valley forge" model pop-up...and now I'm down to just the actual trailer minus some of the outer metal...so, now I have a 9' long and 51" wide tubular steel trailer on which to build. I'm thinking a "foamie/foamy" might be what I'm looking for since I want to go low on weight.............the issues are: Is this a method that is as insulated as some of the other methods? [foremost]=Is this as structurally sound as a "woodie" or even an insulated version of a woodie or even an aluminum skinned TD???...I ask because I don't want something easily broken into (or at least moreso than an average TD) because my dog will accompany me and needs to be safe enough inside when I go off biking/hiking without her. So, how finicky or delicate is a "foamy"? As I understand it: I cut some of that 2" thick hard foam to the shape I want and there is some small amount of wood as framework and spars.......and then I put rolls of fiberglass and coat it with epoxy-resin and when that dries it is hard and secure???

Thanks from this newbie!

_John
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby tac422 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:08 pm

John,
It's a lot sturdier than you would think. There have been several tests taking a hammer or sledge to it. Yes, it will damage, but not easily. See the large thread.

Most of us are using paint and canvas over foam, but some have used fiberglass. I think Atahoe kid used fiberglass,
check out his build at viewtopic.php?t=45698
or GPW's FoamStream build.
There's a huge thread with lots of info, at
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=39373
fortunatly there's a guide to that thread by Rowerwet at
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=56186

You could attach wood or plastic paneling to the foam on the inside if you're worried about the dog...
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby atahoekid » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:34 am

JDHIV wrote:There may be 'no place like foam'...but is that 'place' a sturdy one? I'm constricted by a lowly 1000lb towing capacity and I spent the last two days completely gutting an old Coleman "valley forge" model pop-up...and now I'm down to just the actual trailer minus some of the outer metal...so, now I have a 9' long and 51" wide tubular steel trailer on which to build. I'm thinking a "foamie/foamy" might be what I'm looking for since I want to go low on weight.............the issues are: Is this a method that is as insulated as some of the other methods? [foremost]=Is this as structurally sound as a "woodie" or even an insulated version of a woodie or even an aluminum skinned TD???...I ask because I don't want something easily broken into (or at least moreso than an average TD) because my dog will accompany me and needs to be safe enough inside when I go off biking/hiking without her. So, how finicky or delicate is a "foamy"? As I understand it: I cut some of that 2" thick hard foam to the shape I want and there is some small amount of wood as framework and spars.......and then I put rolls of fiberglass and coat it with epoxy-resin and when that dries it is hard and secure???

Thanks from this newbie!

_John


John,

I understand your apprehension. The foam makes a great composite panel. I sandwiched my foam between fiberglass on the exterior (many have used canvas but I went with 'glass becuz the wife didn't like the textured look of the canvas) and 5 mm lauan plywood on the inside. It is very strong. As strong as any conventional build method and much lighter. People have talked about it's resistance to tree branches, bears, sledgehammers and the like and I think my Road Foamie will fare as well as any other build. For my interior support, (don't think stick built), I built a set of cabinets up front and a set of cabinets 2/3rds of the way back. The cabinets serve as bulkheads and provide much of the needed support and the rear bulkhead separates sleeping quarters from the rear galley. There are are three additional spars across the top to provide roof support (I overbuilt those just in case I ever have to park it outside in our Sierra Nevada winters with our legendary snowfalls) but even then I only used 1 x 3's as support. I have gone on several trips and not one issue with the trailer build. Just read my build log and others in the foamie thread and I think you'll be a convert too!!!
Mel

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The Road Foamie Build Thread: viewtopic.php?t=45698
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby JDHIV » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:15 pm

I understand your apprehension.
----------Thanks..and your Road-Foamie and beautiful behemoth in the TD community!!

The foam makes a great composite panel.

1----I'm glad to hear that and have read it a number of times here..but always good to hear it again!

I sandwiched my foam between fiberglass on the exterior (many have used canvas but I went with 'glass becuz the wife didn't like the textured look of the canvas) and 5 mm lauan plywood on the inside.

2------So, structurally Canvas and T2 is just as strong as fiberglass and epoxy-resin...and it is just an aesthetic preference?
3------Also, how quickly did you do the outer FG skin in relation to the luan skin on the inside? Was there any worry of shrinkage and warping...or not true with FG?

People have talked about it's resistance to tree branches, bears, sledgehammers and the like and I think my Road Foamie will fare as well as any other build.

4----EXCELLENT !!!!! "Bears"?? Hope we don't need to test that one too often! :?

For my interior support, (don't think stick built), I built a set of cabinets up front and a set of cabinets 2/3rds of the way back. The cabinets serve as bulkheads and provide much of the needed support and the rear bulkhead separates sleeping quarters from the rear galley.

5-----Not sure what you mean by "don't think stick built"?? Do you mean don't go too thin on any wood skeleton/framing? AND THANK YOU..now I get why bulkheads are there (structural soundness) aside from making a galley. Thank you! I almost wasn't going to do any bulkheading.... :worship:

(I overbuilt those just in case I ever have to park it outside in our Sierra Nevada winters with our legendary snowfalls) but even then I only used 1 x 3's as support.

6-------So, even just a 1x3 spar is ok for heavy snow loads so if I don't plan to be heavy snow loads...are 1x2's of 1x1's OK for spars????

Just read my build log and others in the foamie thread and I think you'll be a convert too!!!

7------I think I already am a convert...even with my reticence I already have about 300lbs of trailer and the wood and camper will add to that and I can only tow 1000lbs and want to keep the "dry weight" hopefully limited to ~800lbs so my gear and amenities won't go beyond my limit! And, I will go back and read your thread again...Thanks! :applause:

ALSO, can you tell I was practicing using the "quote" function? I'm such a newb here!

_John
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby kudzu » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:49 pm

Welcome, John. Have the same concern about leaving my dogs in my future foamy. After researching the issue I have already decided my dogs will be crated when I must leave them alone in the trailer even if it was plywood, aluminum or fiberglass. Have heard & read multiple stories of dogs breaking out of trailers made from conventional materials.

For interior wall cover I would prefer fiberglass, FRP or aluminum. That probably isn't what I'll do for monetary & feasibility reasons. Instead I will likely go with a 5 mm, moisture resistant, plywood underlayment. I might use old sheets & paint to canvas over that for further protection. Or possibly use craft paper & poly to give a leather like look & a bit of extra protection.. Regardless of my choice I don't think I'll leave my dogs uncrated. if I'm not at the campsite. Big dogs loose in a tiny trailer I made by hand would really worry me. Then again I don't leave them loose in my fully fenced yard.& that has nothing to do with me building the fence.
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby JDHIV » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:41 pm

kudzu wrote:Welcome, John. Have the same concern about leaving my dogs in my future foamy. After researching the issue I have already decided my dogs will be crated when I must leave them alone in the trailer even if it was plywood, aluminum or fiberglass. Have heard & read multiple stories of dogs breaking out of trailers made from conventional materials.


Kudzu, Thanks! I had the same thought that she will be crated (if I can find the room and or light enough crate to use) inside the trailer. The one that she uses at my house is HUGE...it was a hand-me-down from my family 2 dogs ago and is not getting used...so, I'll "bark" at that "squirrel" when we come to it! Thanks!

Also, thanks for describing your plans for inner skinning....I was actually considering using 4x8 plastic sheets from HomeDepot SOMEwhere in my build to save weight...unless it doesn't have good adhesion properties.

--CORREGATED PLASTIC for inner wall/skin? $110 for 10 sheets of 4’x8’ http://www.homedepot.com/p/48-in-x-96-i ... ifications

_John
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby kudzu » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:17 pm

JDHIV wrote:...so, I'll "bark" at that "squirrel" when we come to it! Thanks!
:lol:

Would think adhesion could be a real problem with the corrugated plastic but there's a glue for everything. Am sure you could find one, though maybe not a truly "thrifty" one.

There have been velomobile shells made out of it that held up shockingly well in 20+ mph accidents. Now that's on a 60 lb vehicle so not comparable to a camper on the hwy. Still the resilience of that corrugated plastic surprises me.
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby JDHIV » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:08 am

Thanks! :D
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Re: Warnings if you are working with foam...

Postby dancam » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:14 pm

Back to the original topic about warnings. Where I work we cut white expanded styrofoam every day. sometimes machining 20 4x8sheets a day, but on average maybe 3-4 sheets/day. We get the higher density 40 pound crush stuff (I think average is 20 or 30?) and have used a couple different suppliers and we have seen several problems. They are not airtight in the slightest. We use vaccum to hold it down to a spoilboard to cut on a 12x7ft router table and a lot of air pulls through. To the point where one 1.5in thick sheet sheet will actually hold down on top of another. They get incredibly waterlogged when wet, they just drink up the water and are really hard to dry out. If you get a bottom corner wet it will travel way up the foam with capillary action. All the companies we have tried every now and then have sheets that havn't properly bonded. Sometimes its in the form of soft spots but usually its crumbly where it will just crumble apart with light pressure. Only seems to happen with like a batch of 25 in every maybe 300 sheets and its usually just sections of the sheet. They are also warped fairly often. I find they snap easier than extruded.
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