A foam project- Screen and Mastic! New Pics 4/28

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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A foam project- Screen and Mastic! New Pics 4/28

Postby Nodrog » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:43 am

Greetings all! I have been working on this thing since about this time last year, took the winter off. Anyway, wanted to build a trailer about 10', figured I could get the essentials in that space,if I made it wide enough to fit 75 inch long bed crossways. Really liked the foldup bed on the bug trailer some fine folks renovated because then you get a dinette and a bed in the same space...also a decent mattress can be used. We had a camper that used about 52 separate cushions to make the bed, and our behinds were always between cushions!
So anyway, to make a long story short, it's the covering where I am doing something a little different. I had seen the posts about someone who had used some HVAC mastic on a boat I believe it was, then discussions of using mastic on canvas covered canoes, so I decided to try something like that. So I ordered a 1/2 gallon of speedi-products DP 1030
mastic from home depot. It is in the heating section of the website. Then....I was looking for something fun and easy to use for the basic covering, knowing that the product is applied over a fiberglass tape....so I looked around at various fiberglass netting things, etc. and decided to try the mastic on a piece of old fiberglass window screen, and no kidding, applied a layer of mastic over 2 thicknesses of screen, which I determined by a little research to be @ 7 oz per square yard weight, and yes!! looked good!! The mastic squeezed through the screen and stuck to the foam!! I wasn't surprised too much when I later saw posts related to making van cabinets out of foam and screen stuck on with paint! But I know the mastic is better than paint...it is fiber reinforced, and get this- it sands when dry!! I then ordered 100 running feet by 7 feet width from a screen outfit in LA. The screen can be hung on the trailer without ANY wrinkles or seams!!
I am to the point in my trailer construction where I have 2 coats on the screen on 2 sides of the trailer. I have used a cheap plastic squegee to put on the 2 coats. Another 1 or 2 will be necessary to completely cover the screen. But I will do 2 coats on all of it first. I have rounded the corners and am going to double lap each corner to toughen the corners. But let me tell you, when the mastic dries it gets really tough!! But since it looks like the finish will end up pretty darn smooth, I may get out some steel drywall knives to help maintain a maximum of fairness. I have a pretty good selection of tools overall.
I will make further posts detailing what I know about applying this method, and hopefully post some pics pretty soon, wish you all could see and touch (or poke and prod) this thing right now!! Anyway, tell me what you think! I have told my wife I am posting to the Foamers section, I feel like I have been foaming long enough for now....so good night all, more soon if you are at all interested....! Nodrog
Last edited by Nodrog on Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A foam project

Postby John61CT » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:48 am

I think two layers of screening is overkill.

If I wanted overkill then I'd let the first set and dry before the next layer, get more tensile rigidity?

Wonder about aluminum screen?
Mystery 13's was using Glidden Gripper.

Thanks for reporting!
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Re: A foam project

Postby Nodrog » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:22 am

I think I'll explain my project a bit more this AM....I wanted a lightweight standy, along the lines of GPW's Foamstream, or the Camp Capsule, ( which weighs under 1000 including cabinets etc), or the Big Pink, or Canned Ham in Foam. Yes, I have a TV that will pull 5000# but why build a 5000# trailer? Mine is designed like other foamies that are light, to use very little wood, the skin is integral to the support and strength of the trailer. I have used 2 layers of regular fiberglass screen to achieve this goal. I paid @ $125 for the 7' x 100' of screen. The mastic I am using is tougher/harder than painted canvas but not as hard as epoxy/glass. But smooth and easy to work with- water cleanup, non toxic. I think the whole shell exclusive of the frame and floor will weigh about 150#. There will be some interior structure to provide additional support, as light as I can build. I have a couple of pics in my gallery, will post some here soon....
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Re: A foam project

Postby dancam » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:44 am

Cool! Would be nice to see some photos.
Ive never seen this mastic stuff, rigid is good, but will it flex enough without cracking to allow movement when you go over large bumps at higher speeds?

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Re: A foam project

Postby GPW » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:33 am

Drog , you seem to have a really good understanding of the construction methods !!! :thumbsup: Cool idea suspending the screen , and yet another choice of fabric /Glue ... 8) Good Luck , please keep us apprised !

Re: Lightweight … There’s just nothing like towing a vehicle you hardly know is there… great on gas too … ;)
There’s no place like Foam !
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Re: A foam project

Postby Nodrog » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:29 pm

Hi again- Thanks for the replies, good to hear some feedback!! Dancam- I think the mastic/screen strength will exceed that of canvas/paint. It has the fibers to add a lot more strength to the mix. And GPW, o godfather of foamies, hopefully I'm as smart as I think I am, hahaha !I am figuring out a lot of stuff as I go, since I never built a thing just like this before! Mostly I am using the "sock" method, and am embedding small bits of plywood at some attachment points. I have experimented a little with shelves with thin plywood on the edges wrapped in muslin and glued on and covered with Titebond 2. Strong,light. The ceiling pieces were covered in muslin on the inside before installation, squegeed down tight, easy to cover then!
So the interion will be covered in muslin, goes on smooth...! I figure a good tuff exterior and muslin exterior will be completely adequate, even though I am only using 1.5" styrofoam, to match better some ancient jalousie windows I refurbished. Oh my garsh, I even have dinette benches of doubled styrofoam that still need their bits of wood reinforcement....
I have to add a little weight to keep the thing from blowing away,so I will use a 20# propane tank, a 3 way fridge (small,no freezer, 35#) a decent sized battery...
I have yet to apply the screen skin to back, front, and top, so today I will get some done on back and front, as soon as I have time I will add a third coat to a side, so the pics that will come soooon can show 3 phases of mastic application...I am using thin coats to maintain the smoothness of the application, I was careful to make each area as smooth as possible before starting skinning....
I guess I will continue to put out info on the whole build little by little, too much at once is just too much, I really don't type.....Later, gators....Nodrog
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Re: A foam project

Postby me&z » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:23 pm

:pictures:


Foamies demand pictures!!

But I like what I'm reading.
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Re: A foam project

Postby GPW » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:42 am

Drog , no worries about you !!! You Got it !!! :thumbsup:
Each new Foamie is a challenge and that’s really part of the Fun , you have to Think about it . As we’ve always called it … “ the Thinking man’s ( or Ladies ) trailer “ ;)

And yes, we do LOVE the pictures !!!
There’s no place like Foam !
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Re: A foam project

Postby me&z » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:55 pm

Nodrog wrote: ...
I have to add a little weight to keep the thing from blowing away,so I will use a 20# propane tank, a 3 way fridge (small,no freezer, 35#) a decent sized battery...


Don't forget that the approved ballast for foamies is :beer:

;)
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Re: A foam project

Postby KennethW » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:34 pm

In that the screen has very little stretch I would thing it would made the PMF a lot more rigid. Making the skin more as a stress skin. That could lead to less or no wood reinforcements. Maybe just some FRP mounting pads. Hope you have sanded the foam a little to get a good glue up. Good luck and have fun with the build.
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Re: A foam project

Postby Nodrog » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:39 am

Trying a pic- from album- click to enbiggen, maybe??




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Re: A foam project

Postby Nodrog » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:47 am

I am going to just make more posts, too late to put more pics on one post,ok? This is the screen hanging really straight and flat against side of trailer...

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Re: A foam project

Postby Nodrog » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:03 am

Here I am putting first coat of mastic on screen- it is massaged in well using a plastic squeegee, like they sell at W-mart for Bondo....the screen pulls up the little hairy fibers, which I just wipe off the squeegee sometimes, or scrape from the edge of the work area and wipe on a rag. After the first coat, these hairy things are removed easily by lightly running a palm sander with some good 100# coated abrasive over the surface. The excess fibers turn into little pills like on your sweater, then I brush off with a shop brush. Just so the mastic is put on in a thin coat filling the screen, without excess gobs or ridges...Don't worry, the second coat goes on very smooth, and is more fun!!



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Re: A foam project

Postby Nodrog » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:05 am

This is the second coat...smoother. I've been getting front and back, as well as edges folded over, doing 4 layers on corners by lapping each side or front and back over the adjacent area...I stopped the 1st coat just shy of the corners by @ 1/2 inch to mark and goop down corner laps when 1st coat dry, am using an edge guide to mark the cuts @2 1/2" around the corner. Couldn't find a marker that made a visible line so am using one of those squeezable whiteout pens to mark. I have a 3" overhang of the roof in the back above the door- I first did the flat surfaces up to the corner, then creased the screen tight into the corner with the squeegee, then applied a bit of heat with a heat gun to set it, while creasing it tight with the squeegee. Then today I marked the edge, where it rolls around to the top, applied mastic, smoothed it down. The corners are sanded with a roundover, @ 3/8, so the best way to get that smooth and tight is to use a hand, don't want excess gobs of mastic all over anywhere! Will get a closeup of that tomorrow? Still need to get 2nd coats of mastic on front and back as well as doing 1st and second coats of mastic on bottom edges of sides, this isnot that fun because of laying on the ground. But what fun to see this progress!! Will get 2 coats of mastic on everything, then do the roof. Plan to do 3 or whatever coats on roof, then do a coat of primer. Am building under one of those cheapo harbor freight portable garage things I bought barely used for cheap, want the top to be more water tight in case I get a leak over the winter. The mastic bucket states "waterproof when painted", Latex or epoxy paint only. Also 0 VOC, no toxicity warnings. And 0 flame spread....Pretty nice...ok, too late, more soooon Nodrog


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Re: A foam project

Postby me&z » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:34 am

Very nice!
Thanks for the :pictures:
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