"Duct tape is not a perfect solution to anything. But with a little creativity, in a pinch, it's an adequate solution to just about everything." — Jamie Hyneman, MythBusters
So the last few weeks have been frustrating, putzy work. I've been hanging the supports for the black tank, shoring up the grey tank brackets, and putting in angle brackets to keep the tanks from moving. Let me show you:
In the pictures above, I had to build a rack with angle brackets and aluminum u-channel and then drill holes in the frame and secure it. In reality, I had to repeat the process several times. I'm working with tolerances of about 1/4" or less, so it was painstakingly slow. I'd be a terrible carpenter; I don't measure well. On one end, after getting it all in, the last bolt kept breaking and I realize I had measured the u-channel just wrong enough (which was right about 1/4" off) to snap the bolt. I had to take the whole thing apart and redo it. Ugh. After that was in, I built these:
I had to keep the tanks from shifting sideways as the trailer moves. I used 6" steel angle brackets to hold them, like a bookend holds books. Lastly, I needed to grind the rough edges and figure out how to keep them from rubbing holes in the tanks as they bounce down the road:
Everywhere I could, I used the orange rubber pad. But there are several places that the system was too tight. Duct tape.
Lastly, I washed the frame, primed it, and painted. The color doesn't matter because if I've done everything else right no one will ever see it, but we chose it because it will eventually be the accent color of visible things. I used Corroseal rust-inhibitor, Rustoleum primer, and Rustoleum paint. The best practice of the automotive restoration industry is something called POR-15, but it is expensive and a nightmare to use. Since my frame made it this far for 50 years, I figured this work will outlast me.
With the frame finished in the back (YAY!), I'll reinstall the tanks, plumb the pipes and put the subfloor back in. I'm so excited. It feels like I'm actually accomplishing this!
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.