Hello

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Hello

Postby mbergen » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:18 pm

Hi. I've been lurking a few days and finally registered today. I've been thinking of buying a teardrop or other small trailer, but then decided more recently - as of a few days ago that I would try and build one. I'm just getting going here - cut the pattern for the wall out today - I thought it would be a good winter project, and get myself a camper much sooner than if I'd have to save enough to buy one outright - going with the Wyoming woody plans online, but with some slight modifications. I've sized it down so I can use 4 x 8 boards to simplify things & I think I'm going to skip the galley so I have more inside space and for simplicity of making it - though I may build some shelves inside still.

I bought Steve Frederick's shop manual, and have been reading through it. Was feeling a bit overwhelmed today with all the ideas, and possibilities, and options, but then decided just to get going step by step & I think I can figure this out with that and all the info here & on the internet.

I guess one thing I'm wondering - is there any reason why I cannot cut the sides of my camper with my jig saw? I plan to borrow a router from my brother tomorrow but have never used it before - the cutting of the pattern went easily with the jig saw and I'm familiar with the saw - how hard is it to learn to use a router. I'm going to use 1 x 4's to make a frame - that is my next step then will need to trim that to shape.

Anyway thanks for adding me to the forum.

Meg
mbergen
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Re: Hello

Postby tony.latham » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:59 pm

Welcome!

I bought Steve Frederick's shop manual...
:thumbsup:

I've built three 'drops using his techniques and believe he's spot on. On the first one, I built my skeleton–-as per Steve--using 1x4s.

Image

I find building those skeleton frames to be overly labor intensive. On the last two, I used plywood. I "stretch" 3/4" plywood with a spline cut made from a router. The spline is made from scrap 1/8" Baltic Birch ply and those joints are strategically located to be reinforced by the internal/external sheathing. :frightened: (And they're weak until they wall is sheathed.)

Here's a shot of the last one that was 10' long:

Image

Ignore the blocking for the fenders. I chickened out and attached the fenders to the chassis. (I think if they were screwed to the wall, and you hit something with the fender, it'd damage the wall...and then you'd have a problem.)

Building the internal skeletons using plywood is quick. (You can mark out your skeleton plan on your pattern and drill 1/8" holes at the cutout corners so you can transfer it.) I could have two skeletons of finished in a couple of hours. Not so much with all those joints on 1x4s. That's probably a two-day job assuming you have a biscuit joiner to help you along.

Yes, you can cut out the wall pieces with your jigsaw. I'd recommend you cut them about 3/16" "proud" and then use the router with an appropriate trim bit––it'll have a bearing on it called a bushing that will follow your pattern and duplicate each piece. (Forget free-handing with a router...)

Here's my wife running a pattern bit along the pattern:

Image

Happy building, and happier camping!

Image

Tony
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tony.latham
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Re: Hello

Postby mbergen » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:22 pm

Thanks Tony,

I've already got the "skeleton" all cut out for one of the side (but not trimmed) so I'll probably continue this time, but I see where the plywood would probably be easier - I'll keep that in mind if I do another one of these someday. At least I'll get a lot of practice learning technique of joining two boards together.

I watched a video & this is making more sense now. I'm used to using a dremel - this doesn't look a whole lot different.

Meg
mbergen
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