11 August 2008

To Err is Human...

And we've done plenty of erring lately. It's mostly just blunders & rookie mistakes, rather than blatant stupidity. I mean, hey... at least we're gonna fix 'em.

As I've said several times, my father builds house (beautiful houses, AAMo'F) and insists on quality work that is perfectly square (YAY!). It's far more difficult to make something "perfectly square" that sits on something that gives, shimmies, & shakes. So, here's the deal: in order to get the proper width, we forgot to figure in the width of the paneling. The walls do not rest on the floor, as they do in traditional housing. The walls are screwed to the supports under the floor.

When these trailers were assembled, it's become apparent to me, that they were built in large pieces, then assembled those pieces onto the frame. By that I mean, the street side wall was completely framed, insulated, & paneled... so was the curbside wall, then the front, back & roof. Those completely assembled & finished pieces were brought over to the trailer frame, nailed together, the cabinets & counters were screwed in, then the pre-finished skin was stapled on, finally the aluminum drip rails were screwed on & voila!

Of course I could be wrong, but that's what I think.

So, in assembling it that way, in order to get a true, straight, square wall, you must add that paneling width between numbers 2 & 3 (refer to this picture) or your wall will taper in the back, creating "baggy" skin. Baggy skin would probably be fine while camping. Traveling down the road at any speed wouldn't be advisable, however.

It was funny because on Saturday, when we were casually chatting I made the remark, "I'm not sure if it matters, but the paneling was added before the wall was put on, so the paneling was between plywood floor & the wall studs."

My father either didn't pay attention to the remark or didn't hear & it didn't even occur to me to make sure he heard. So Sunday, when we were trying to figure out why the wall still looked slightly out of whack to my eye, we were brainstorming as to why that could be... my father said, "unless there was something between the wall & the floor..." and I chimed in with my index finger pointing upward in a "Eureka" moment, I declared, "there was paneling between the floor & the wall studs!" Dad promptly said, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I did," I said. "Yesterday. I don't think you heard me because you were deep in thought, & for some reason it didn't occur to me to repeat myself."

It didn't matter, we were relieved that we found the just over quarter inch we were looking for. The paneling that came out was 5/32". 5/32"×2= 10/32 = 5/16".

Just over a quarter inch. What a pisser, huh?

We're going to unscrew the reinforced floor supports we did on Saturday & put a piece of 5/32" KOMA Board on each side wall, and screw it back up... I mean screw it back together. I decided on the KOMA Board because I think putting paneling back between the walls is just asking for moisture to be wicked up the wall, in to the interior. Not good. Not something I want.

My father will fabricate the right size KOMA Board using his table saw to cut it first to the proper width of 4", then standing it on end & cutting it to the correct thickness. Cutting to the correct thickness will require two passes, because the table saw blade only raises 2½" above the level of the table. He is able to cut anything to the proper thickness that is 5" wide or less. Anything wider than that would have to be brought to a lumber yard & planed to the proper thickness. I'm glad my Dad is willing to help :) Without him, picture me in a canoe on a brown creek.

Another thing we're doing to improve the durability in the corners is we're using mahogany, which resists rot a helluva lot better than pine. Also, in another funny FYI moment, all the boards used in the framing are 1×2's that actually measure ¾×1¾ (common), but the corners as well as the board below the trunk door all actually measure 1"×2". Just a little something to think about if you're restoring yours... not all the lumber may be the same, even if they look it. It's best to replace the lumber with same measurements as what was there. It may throw things out of whack if you don't & if you aren't vigilant & aware of your measurements. I'm sure there are also strength issues if you don't use the proper lumber.

By the time we get to the street side, we should be experts. heh.

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