Gatorboard

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Gatorboard

Postby Zack » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:02 pm

Hi everybody!

I'm new here, I'm considering building the Weekender.

I was wondering if it would be possible to build it with GATORBOARD? That would make it very light, and a good coat of paint should seal it.

Is this a half baked idea?
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Postby ALAN GEDDES » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:13 pm

Not familliar with the term Gatorboard. What is it ?
Alan & Wanda & Hubble the wonder dog.
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Postby Chris C » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:13 pm

What is Gatorboard?
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The tension between what is good enough and what is beyond that creates the space for character to become our work.

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Postby Zack » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:19 pm

Gatorboard is like super foamcore. Its foam between two layers of wood pulp, held together with a proprietary glue. Its as light as foamcore, but as strong as plywood. It can be worked with standard woodworking tools.

Its used extensively to build stage illusions (thats how I know about it -- I'm a magician) its also used for signs.
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Postby Chris C » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:32 pm

Zack, I just did a Google on Gatorboard. I wasn't able to find any reference to "strong as plywood". I've used a lot of foam-cored materials covered with that clay finish, and I'd say they wouldn't come anywhere near being suitable for a tear. A tear gets it's strength from the enclosure walls..............much as an egg. If those walls are weak, the egg will break. I wouldn't trust Gatorboard myself. At least, not based on what I've read about it so far.
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Teardrop Trailer Build Pictures: http://tinyurl.com/px5cd
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Postby Zack » Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:10 pm

Ah! Too bad then. Thanks!
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Re: Gatorboard

Postby angib » Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:35 pm

Zack wrote:I was wondering if it would be possible to build it with GATORBOARD?

I went and had a look at the technical bulletin on Gatorboard and I don't think using it is a silly idea. The description of the face material isn't too precise ("man made wood fiber veneer", "exterior resin system") but the strength data looks half reasonable (100 lbs held up by a 1ft width of 1" material on a 4ft span).

Zack, you'd have to work out how to make structural joints at the corners and seal the exposed edges. You could think about using a boatbuilding technique of joining the poanels with epoxy resin and glass tape - because the core is polystyrene, you can't use (cheap) polyester resins. And you're going to have to think what to do at edges like door frames.

It's time to buy a 1" thick panel (can you get given a damaged piece, or an old sign?), fit it to a rough frame (just some 2x4s on edge) and try hitting it or jumping on it. When you've done that, report back here, 'cos you're now the Gatorboard expert!

This looks like a lightweight version of the SIP panel system, if that persuades anyone else to have a look.

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Postby Zack » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:37 pm

Wow! I'm brand new here and already an expert!

I might be able to get some scrap pieces...my aunt's an archetect and she uses it for models. I'll see what happens.

Good point about the joints. My plan was to use 2 X 2 gussets along the joints, but I hadn't thought about sealing them.

The doorframe could probably be sealed with some kind of rubber sheath...like the stuff that goes under windows.
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Postby angib » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:36 pm

Zack wrote:The doorframe could probably be sealed with some kind of rubber sheath...like the stuff that goes under windows.

Zack, I was talking (well, writing!) about how to seal the exposed edge of the Gatorboard where you cut it, like at door openings. I don't think you want to leave the foam core exposed - even if it doesn't deteriorate from UV, it will be terribly vulnerable to damage, just poking your finger into it will do it.

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Postby rlphoto » Fri Jun 10, 2005 12:19 pm

I use gatorboard every day. I am a photographer and I use it for mounting big portraits.

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Postby s4son » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:48 pm

rlphoto,
really nice web site. And great pictures. I shoot mostly weddings with an occasional senior portrait. I've been a photographer for over 30 years but just turned pro a few years ago. Still working a "real" job but may retire in a few years and be a real photographer. I plan on taking a lot of mini-vacations with my teardrop and my camera.

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Postby rlphoto » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:51 pm

Cool, another photographer! nice to meet you!
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Postby s4son » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:48 pm

rlphoto,
From reading your other posts it looks like you are at about the same stage I am. Trying to decide on a chassis. I purchased the Kuffel Creek plans and they are a pretty good starting point. Between them and all the knowledge on this forum, I think a person can build a pretty nice tear. Lots of knowledge here and everyone is more than willing to share. Look through the Hall of Fame, it's a great way to see the different ways people have accomplished the same thing. And the craftmanship is outstanding.

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Postby norm perkiss » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:01 pm

Zack,
I just happened upon this web page.

http://www.happitrails.com/

Teardrops built out of a foam board material.
Norm
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Postby rlphoto » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:53 pm

s4son wrote:rlphoto,
From reading your other posts it looks like you are at about the same stage I am. Trying to decide on a chassis. I purchased the Kuffel Creek plans and they are a pretty good starting point. Between them and all the knowledge on this forum, I think a person can build a pretty nice tear. Lots of knowledge here and everyone is more than willing to share. Look through the Hall of Fame, it's a great way to see the different ways people have accomplished the same thing. And the craftmanship is outstanding.

Scott


Hi Scott, the craftmanship is quite amazing I would have to agree! I just stumbled onto this tear culture yesterday while searching cartop tents. I instantly realized that building one of these might be the ticket, because I cannot find an decent alternative to the ground tent we have been using that dosent cost as much as a new car. We have no other income other than our photography business, so we have to live frugally . It is just my wife and I, and I dont do weddings anymore. Do you have a website?
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