The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:12 pm

You know, it’s true what they say about self-made doors; they are a lot of work!

Today I laid the window shim pieces in a dry fit on top of one of the doors and traced the window RO onto the wide side pieces. From there I stepped the line off for a rough cut, then transferred those cuts to the remaining two pieces. Here’s the first one after rough cutting the inside waste out on the bandsaw.
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Here’s a dry fit after the cutting.
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Next I glued and clamped those up, making sure to check diagonals.

While those were setting up, I turned to the door latch hardware. Here’s one of the supplied oval head Torx drive screws on the right in dull zinc, compared to the longer flat head #2 Phillips in stainless steel on the left.
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Flip flopped now with the Torx on the left and the #2 on the right, shown mocked up on the inner latch paddle. I think the FH’s will do fine.
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Here’s the back side of one of the door latch assemblies. You can see a couple of the unthreaded screw bosses.
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I put a few drops of kerosene in a bottle cap to use as a cutting lubricant; kerosene works really well for tapping aluminum.
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Tapping the bosses with an 8-32UNC starter tap.
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I didn’t have a bottoming tap handy, and I’m not sure it would have made a difference, but when checked the 1-1/8 inch long screws will do fine. I managed to find 6 of them, so will only have to cut down 2 from 1-1/4 long.

That task gave the window shims enough time to set up to where I could take the clamps off and gingerly continue working on them. Scraped the glue squeeze out and there was a little sanding on the faces of the joints to get that last little bit of fairness.

I used one of the cut away sections, held in tight, to help lay out the outside radii; then cut outside the lines on the bandsaw.
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After sanding the edges to the lines we get this. They look all over the place because the inside was just rough cut and is still undersize to the RO.
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The corners aren’t all exact so I’m going to stop here for now until I get the window trim rings. They will be laser cut and exact, so I can use them to make sure that the offset is correct before attaching these to the doors.

Did a little dry fit so you can see where I’m heading with this.
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About 4 hrs in today; tomorrow we are going to in laws for a b-day celebration, so won’t be working on the camper.

There are starting to be fewer and fewer things that need doing before I get back into the final body work, but I am enjoying the change of pace for now working on fabricating and fitting parts instead. Still need to do the door latch bolt and strike plates, and the rock guards, but that’s about all that I can think of at the moment.
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby OP827 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:32 pm

The windows look nice KC. Do you have a sketch or could you explain how your home made windows will work? I am asking because I will be doing my windows. Thanks. :thumbsup:
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:34 pm

OP, the windows aren't homemade, just the doors. The windows look a little different than most because they are a flush mount rimless style made by Hehr. I went to the extra effort of rabbeting them into the door so that they truly are a flush mount on the outside, but that pushed the inside of the case frame in past the inside surface of the inner door skin; hence the need for the shims.

The provided 'Z'-shaped trim flanges (clamp rings that screw onto the inner case of the window and clamp it into the door from the inside) would have only worked with a much thicker door, or a thinner door if inverted. By making these shims just the right thickness I can make new trim flanges from flat stainless steel sheet and just get the needed squeeze on putty tape that will go in the recess under the window flange outside. (Actually, I won't be making the trim flanges personally; I hope to have them laser cut).

I'll take some better pics on Monday, but trying to describe it, the windows have an aluminum case and operating flange for the opening part, but the glass is adhered flat on these frame parts without a separate trim or gasket around the outside edge of the glass. The edge of the glass has a sanded finish like you might find on a glass table top. The thin flange that is behind the glass beds into the putty, so all you see outside is the glass. If I were to just surface mounted them w/o the rabbet around the RO they would sit something like 1/4 to 5/16 (or something like that) proud of the surface and the edge of the glass could be subject to chips and scrapes from incidental contact. So I decided to recess mount them so that the outside face of the glass is flush/flat/fair to the outer face of the door skin.

I think they are in the 6400 series of Hehr's line up, but I will confirm that as well. The lower part of the glass tips out at the bottom with a hand crank mechanism and they have a built in screen. The top part of the glass is fixed.
Last edited by KCStudly on Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby OP827 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:08 pm

Thanks for explanation KC. I am thinking of similar design, my self-made design would be with hinge at the top and some type of prop at the bottom. Would be interesting to see your windows detailed photos.
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:58 pm

Well it has been a while since I have posted any progress. It's those little details eating up time. Monday I swung by the ho-de-po to look at door latch strike plates. They had some nickel plated Chinese made ones that I could probably have made work, but I didn’t like the fact that they were steel (not stainless) and I would likely have to cut and grind on them, removing some of the plating, to get them to work.

Another consideration is that the latch and dead bolts both seem to be white metal. I have a concern that if the strike plate opening is just a hole cut in a relatively thin flat piece of sheet metal (like the cheap commercial ones) it might have a high enough point load that it abrades between the edge of the opening and the bolts as it vibrates going down the road. It is a small concern, but another opportunity to exercise good design practice, and to also challenge my fabrication skills. So the strike plate design I came up with includes a folded flap to the inside of the bolt recess so the bolts will bear on a face, not an edge. Here’s the initial sketch, and after a couple of minor revisions, the detailed drawing.
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On Monday I also realized that I had forgotten to tap out the thread bosses in the latches for the screws that hold the latch plate to the latch assembly; so I did that.

By modelling the strike plate as a 3D sheet metal part in CAD, it was simple to develop a flat pattern with ordinal dimensions to assist with determining cutting tool paths and bend K factors (allowance for material stretch/compression and minimum bend radii based on the thickness of the material); in other words, helping to make it come out more like the plan during the fabrication phase.

Karl’s CNC mill does have some archaic ways to load code (mini cassette and a serial port), but we don’t have the software to translate directly from drawings to line code, nor the needed communication hardware to get from remote computer to mill; so the code has to be translated and entered manually for each operation, line by line. (He takes a picture of the screen if it is something he thinks he might need to enter again… hopefully this is a temporary solution, but it is working for now.)

Anyway I spent this evening plotting out the axis points for the cutter paths so that we have them when it comes time to enter the code. (Karl has a paying job on the mill at the moment, but there is still plenty to do to get ready.) Just to give you an idea, here are the plots for the striker plate outer profile followed by those for the inner profile.
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The inner profile starts in the waste area before moving to a point along the cut, and then at the completion of the circuit it moves past this point before lifting out of the cut. This is intended to prevent a “bite mark” that can occur from cutter deflection or jitter. If you happen to be geeky enough to check my math you will note that the inner flap is left longer on the cutter plot than on the drawing. That’s because the narrowest press die we have is a little wider than the flap. We’ll bend it long and then I’ll decide if I want to trim it down to plan after forming.

Thin sheet metal isn’t very stable when clamped by its edges in a mill vise, so last night I milled up a piece of 1/2 inch thk aluminum to act as a holding fixture. It’s milled true on all sides to the same outside dimensions as the strike plate blanks, and then drilled and tapped to the same pattern as the strike plate screw holes (thanks to my friend Dave for calling out the tap drill size). We’ll screw the blanks to this jig giving us a “waster board” to hold in the vice and mill down into, saving the vise jaws and support parallels.
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Also shown in the above pic are the blanks for the strike and bolt plates. Karl helped me shear those out tonight, after which I used the manual mill to drill and countersink the screw holes in the latch plates; four holes each (pics next time).

Tomorrow I plan to mill out the latch bolt holes in the latch plates (simple rectangles) and do the screw holes in the strike plate blanks.

So lots of little fuzzy details sorted out and some stuff done, but very little to show for it.
KC
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby GPW » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:18 am

Truly CUSTOM !!! :thumbsup: 8)
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:17 am

Like I said in the beginning, these are the types of things that probably nobody will notice as being particularly special or noteworthy, but if they are not "right" would stand out as being "wrong", or wartly (yes, wartly... I just made that up!).

Hopefully I can do them justice. :twisted:
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby GPW » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:24 am

No worries eh !!! ;)
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:41 pm

Okay, yesterday I milled out the bolt openings in the door latch plates.
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If you look closely at the above pic you can see a little snipe in the lower right corner. In making the several laps around the cut using the small 3/16 diameter cutter and just taking a few thou each turn, I accidentally turned the handle on the mill the wrong way… but the good news was that after taking this pic, in a dry fit with the latch I found that it wanted a little more clearance with the bolt, so I put it back in the mill and shaved that edge back and trued it back up.

Here’s another dry fit to the latch after cleaning the edges of the opening up a bit…
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…and a quick mock up with the door. I would much prefer to recess the latch plate in a mortise, but I hadn’t allowed for that when I fit the latch and it would take more time (…Tony Latham’s advice to get camping ringing in my head…). I’ll leave that for another time and the 5/ct incomplete category; I can come back and change it later.
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Qty (2) req.’d
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I also drilled and countersunk the screw holes in the strike plate blanks, but on the second one I got a little carried away and ran the countersink too deep; so today I roughed out two more. I did two more because it was different stock; although it is all .060 No. 2 brushed, sometimes the finish can be slightly different from different manufacturers and/or different lots. Plus this way we have one to screw up when working thru programing the mill. Shown here again with the jig, the SS comes brushed on both sides but with a plastic film on the “good” side to help protect against scratches in handling and fab.
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The newer strike plate blanks were just saw cut so I left them a little large to make sure that the profile milling has something to clean up. On the shear cuts we hadn’t thought to do that, but they have a nice clean edge anyway. (Karl wasn’t around and I have not been checked out on running the generator or shear, and it wasn’t worth the trip to work to use the smaller shear there, so I just cut them out of a drop strip on the big Marvel saw.) Here is one being test fit to the jig.
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Still waiting for time on the CNC mill, I was looking for things that need to be done before filling the FG weave and getting back into bodywork (hot and humid and not looking forward to suiting up). Remember the T-nut inserts for the front shovel and axe mounts? The ones that I filled with wadded up stretch wrap and glassed over? Looks kind of like this (the fuzzy white spots next to the black line on the left).
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Time to drill those out before they get lost. I started with a small drill bit and just eyeballed the center, then stepped up to a little bigger bit. From there I used the utility knife kind of like a deburring tool gradually trimming the edge of the glass out until it met the edge of the hole in the wood blocking (being careful not to cut away the epoxy saturating the wood). Then I used a small pair of needle nosed pliers to twist and pluck the stretch wrap out of the hole, and cleaned up the edge with a little twist of fine sandpaper; shown using one of the mount bolts to verify that the threads were still clean.
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Still avoiding epoxy work and PPE, back to the door latch hardware, I used the screw shearing feature on my wire stripping pliers to trim the latch screws from 1-1/4 long to 1-1/8. This gave the pliers a pretty good workout shearing SS screws, but they are a nice quality Klein set so they did a good job of it. Also note that when I went to get the remaining screws needed I found that they had them in the oval heads, so I got enough to do all eight (plus some shorter FH’s for the latch plate screws).
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By turning the screws in until the tips were just flush with the back of the pliers I got nice consistent results.
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Careful inspection of the sheared tips was needed because any rolled or deformed thread here would wipe out the soft thread in the white metal of the latch casting. Here is the jagged edge of a screw, followed by one that has been filed smooth using that little ultra-fine file I got at the tractor swap.
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Details matter.

Finally, I fit the latch plates and latches, drilled and set wood screws to locate the latch plates, and assembled the inner latch paddles to the doors (just a dry run for now).
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Here’s the same shot with the deadbolt extended.
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That felt good to get behind me, the whole issue with the short screws and ugly OEM latch plates. I may still mortise these in, but for now I’m happy with them.

I need to figure out what I will need for sheet aluminum for the TB lid, rock guards and fenders, and get that on order. I’m running out of things to do to avoid bodywork!
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby bonnie » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:15 pm

Nicely done.


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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:25 pm

Thank you Bonnie, I see you are making good progress on your rebuild, too! Keep on chugging away at it. :thumbsup:
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby bonnie » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:37 am

Thanks!


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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby GPW » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:43 am

Hey , looks great !!! :thumbsup: Thinking you need to get a little KC die stamp made to personalize all these Custom parts ... :thumbsup: 8) ;) Just that “extra touch” ...
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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby aggie79 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:27 am

I agree with GPW! Looks fantastic, even more so with the custom machining.


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Re: The Poet Creek Express - Foamie Hybrid

Postby KCStudly » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:49 am

Thanks guys. I appreciate the nice comments. :D
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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