I finally decided on a name, but you'll need to follow me down a geeky rabbit-trail. I'll write that trail at the end of this post, because it's so geeky. If you make it that far, it's your own fault!
Anyway, I made the sign above with the cutting torch as Cory was inside the trailer welding. I wasn't planning on doing any more welding, but do you remember that ball-hitch from the last post? I took a few pictures and sent them into The VAP. The VAP gave me some advice that changed that plan.
If you don't know what The VAP is, it's because you're not in the Airstream world. It is an acronym for the Vintage Airstream Podcast. The VAP is like Car Talk on NPR, but for vintage airstreams.
Anyway, I've sent in a number of questions before and they are amazingly helpful, so I sent this picture in asking what the hitch was for:
According to Tim Shepherd and Colin Hyde (the two gurus from The VAP), the hitch above is part of a anti-sway bar. A few readers of this blog told me the same thing! But The VAP gurus noticed something much more ominous in the picture.
In the photo above, the red arrow points to the most forward crossmember that braces the A-frame. In some Airstreams, mine being one, that crossmember is just L-shaped angle iron. It needs to be the full height of the frame itself (the blue lines I put in). They said there is a real possibility that the frame could bend on an aggressive driveway or unlucky twist in the frame.
What a catch! I was just about to close up the belly.
Well, Eisley (see, using the new name!) is in too many pieces to be rolled anywhere, so I rented a gas-powered welder and Cory came over. I still pinch myself at my good luck of having a neighbor and friend that is not only a welder, but a welding engineer too. He's smart, meticulous and fun to be around.
We made a day of it. I mostly was his assistant, but I puttered when there was nothing I could do to help him. So while he welded, I made the Eisley sign:
I replaced the broken marker lights with fancy new LED lights:
And I began to work on patching this hole in the streetside lower panel:
Here's a few pictures of Cory welding:
I missed my opportunity to get a pic of him working on the main issue. But the results are below. In the first pic, you can see the short angle iron brace. In the second picture, the new cross brace is welded in place (it's not painted yet). It is made out of the same channel iron as the frame itself. See how much taller the new brace is? The new backer plate is beefed up, too.
My next step is painting the last part of the frame. Next, I'll close up the belly pan up front and seal it. Then it will be a few electrical runs, insulation in the belly, and finally, FINALLY, a finished subfloor.
*In the first (original) Star Wars, Luke and Obi-Wan meet Han Solo and Chewbacca in a seedy bar as they are trying to leave Tatooine. The bar's name is Chalmun's Cantina, but none of that seemed like a good name. My family and friends were partial to naming our Airstream The Aluminum Falcon, but the Millennium Falcon is too fantastic. I could never quite get on board with so grand a name. The bar our heroes met in is in a city called Mos Eisley. Obi-Wan says, "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany." Sara didn't like that description, so I dropped the "Mos" and it became a nice soft name.
**Han shot first.
I'm not an Airstream Jedi, yet. Airstream Jedi would have sounded presumptuous, like I know what I'm doing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Padawan is a title I can hope to live up to.
Knots Per Hour
My friend Mike is building an airplane. Check it out.