Saturday, June 5, 2010

Send Vulkem and Kleckos

Today I finished the street side belly pan curves and still had some daylight, so I decided to get working on the furnace hole cover. Since I'm not going to be re-installing a furnace, I needed to cover the hole where the furnace vent was. I used the original trim pieces and a piece of .040 aluminum to plug the hole. To this I will mounting the original furnace chimney for an original look. I'm not one who goes for non-functional decoration (you won't find spinner hub caps or under body neon lighting on any of my cars), but I think this is a better option than just riveting a new piece of sheet aluminum over the hole and hoping it's not very noticable.

I would have had this piece all riveted together and the furnace chimney mounted today, but I'm all out of Vulkem, that magic caulk which will seal the cover to the hole and still be pliable and working in another 50 years when the next guy takes my trailer apart. I could use a few more kleckos, too. Mine are all being used right now. Hey, Father's Day is coming up....maybe I should start leaving hints around the house.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bling Bling

When I replaced the front crossmember, I was planning to leave it exposed and paint it whatever color I end up using for the tongue. After looking at it for a while, I decided it need to look more finished. I wire brushed and painted it with rust converter, then got down to business.I used .040 aluminum and cut the piece I would use to cover the crossmember. This would then be slid between the exterior skin and the metal support plate.The lower support undeneath the front window was in the way, and since.040 doesn't bend all that easily, I drilled out the rivets holding the support and took it off. Plenty of room now. I'll just rivet it back on when I do the rest of the riveting. An extra 4 rivets is not a problem when I'll be doing a few hundred.

The sheet in place and held with kleckos. It hung down underneath the cross member about 2 and 1/2 or 3 inches. Just enough to bend back up underneath the trailer. A rubber mallet and patience is all it took to get it to bend the way I wanted to.

The finished product. Aluminum looks so much nicer than steel. I don't know if the trailer originally had aluminum there or not. I know that newer Airstreams did, I like the look. The best part is not having to wonder, when everything is all done and I'm camping, if I should have covered it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting Bent

It feels so good to be getting my trailer closer and closer to being able to take back out on the road. A few weeks ago, I was pretty nervous that I would not have my trailer ready in time for the Birthday Bash at Rob Baker's farm at the end of June. Well, these past few weeks I have been spending lots of time making sure I'll be ready. Today I riveted one piece of belly pan material to the trailer. I say "material" since it's only the curved piece that goes up underneath the trailer. A previous owner had cut the belly pan away, but left about 8 inches of the curved piece. When I'm done, I'll bridge the underneath of the Airstream with a sheet of aluminum so that I have an entire belly pan.
This is a new piece of belly pan material that I made. The original was just too banged up and coroded to use. I think it looks pretty good. I also used rivets from These are solid aluminum rivets with plain heads, as opposed to some rivets which have numbers stamped into the head. The heads are just a fraction larger than the originals, but not so much as to be noticeable without it being pointed out.