09 August 2008

Baby Steps!

We worked another 5 hours today & got a two more boards replaced!! I know, that doesn't sound like much, but it was huge for my Dad & me.

When there's nothing to make a template because it's all rotted mulch, there's a LOT of measure, "figger", measure, cut, wiggle in, nibble off, fit, maybe nibble some more, pound a bit, screw in to place.

We traced the skin onto the pine board to get the right radius' on the back & in the wheel well. We then used a jig saw to cut the shape to a precise fit.

You see here in my pic, I've labeled some items. Number one is a nice piece of Mahogany. Being completely unprotected underneath, it really
needed to be a hardwood. At least I thought. Pressure treated was NOT an option IMO.

Piece number two is the original wood. It had some rot, but was still structurally sound. My father said we "could" have probably left it as it was & used a product to fix the bad parts & fill it in, but that wasn't really good enough for me. I wanted it to be doubly good.

Number three is the aluminum that wraps number four, the pine 1×4. Originally, there were two 1×2's, but I wanted to just use one piece because I thought one piece was a better idea than two... I'm not really sure why they used two pieces of stacked 1×2's? Making the aluminum that wraps the pine go from back wall to wheel well worked out perfectly. I made it taller & longer than the original piece & with a thicker gauge. Nice.

You can see by the pic, that the wall is still a bit torqued. It is a bit worrisome, but that happened because the rear was about 1" out of square¹, so we had to tap it back in with a hammer. It's still not perfectly square (& it is a little scary for me to see it like that!) but it will be pretty shortly. We really want to get those rear walls off the 2×6 supports that they're on... still! I would really hate for those boards to have developed a memory in that bowed state!!

On a more frustrating, although not surprising note, I had a leak that caused more damage!! It either leaked from the fridge vent on the wall (which I forgot to close all the way OR it leaked from the fridge vent in the roof that I'd taken off & sealed temporarily with the aluminum tape... The tape worked really well where I'd pushed it down hard enough to seal it.

There were a couple of places were I wasn't able to push down hard enough to seal well. Some water may have leaked in where the gaping hole was, but I'm sure it was a mix of the two vents. You can bet I won't let that happen again! "We learn as we go." [about half-way down the page] LOL

I got the stainless steel screws, so that fridge vent goes in first thing tomorrow morning. I'm excited to use the butyl tape for the first time!

¹Goldie's rear was out of square. We remedied that by first raising the walls up to the proper height using a simple lever system & propping it up with blocks of wood. (See this post for how we did that!) Keep in mind there's a lotta shimmying & measuring, tapping & remeasuring. It may seem tedious & like you may not be accomplishing much, but you'll get it! So try not to get discouraged!

After we got it to the right height, we needed to move the support system we'd rigged from the steel I-beams back to the plywood about 12" father back... this was poor planning on our part. You can see our original set up here and to where we moved it {below}. If we'd thought it through more, we would have realized that we couldn't work with the support system right in front of us. No biggie. Just move it back, so we did.

It just so happened that two 2×6's were the proper height that it needed to be lifted. We cut two 2×6's to 85 ¹/8", lifted the walls with said levers, & wedged them under the 1×2 framing. I may be making this sound far more difficult that it really is, here's a pic:

As soon as this pressure is released from these, the bowing will go away.

The rear needed to be shimmied a tad to the left (street side), so we used 3½" deck screws to screw them together, then screwed another 12" piece of the 2×6 on top of that, and gently tapped it until the walls/floor were centered on the frame.

Squaring up these walls is a tedious & delicate operation requiring a lot of patience & perseverance. Even though my Dad has 30+ years of construction experience, it still took us hours, so just don't give up if you're tackling this important part of the job!

The stainless steel hex screws for the exterior ended up costing $33 more than I'd expected due to the "online catalog" only being updated once per year. Um? Huh? Whatev. The box of stainless screws went from $10 a box to $14 a box. Quite a jump, right? Yeah, 40% more than the quoted catalog price? Wow!

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