WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

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WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:55 pm

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INTRO:
I joined after viewing the TnTTT site for several years. I decided to build a lightweight Camper. I had liked the
Compact 3 Design by Andrew Gibbens, and I had followed the build by S. Heisley. I decided to do my own variation.
I contacted Andrew and he shared his load, and moment calculations. My loads would be lighter, but the lever arms
would be about the same to locate the axle. I used the same specifications for the axle, and it works fine.

In my design variation, I stretched the cabin length 6 inches to get a bigger galley. I battered the nose to give a low
frontal area and decrease wind resistance. To keep the profile low, I added a footwell in the galley. Instead of a pop
up top, I designed a trolly top. Standing headroom is six foot in the footwell. I designed the overall height to be 7
foot, but when the actual load came in 300 pounds lighter than anticipated, the actual height is 7 foot 1 inch. I used
high speed highway radial tires, and put in electric brakes per Andrew's recommendation.

With Andrew's information, I developed my detailed drawings. To accomplish a light weight and aerodynamic shape, I
needed detailed shop drawings. I ended up with eighteen 8 1/2"x 11” drawings. The final trailer, fully loaded to go on
my trip, weighed 1,240 pounds. The tongue weight was 135 pounds. It glides down the road fine. I can go super high-
way speeds, and it only knocks about 9MPG off my Honda CRV. I took it on a 10,000 mile cross country trip last year,
and I'm planning another 8,000. trip shortly.

I will follow this INTRO with posts on the stages of construction. There will be construction comments for each photo.
To best follow this BUILD JOURNAL it would help to find the .pdf files for the eighteen 8 1/2" x 11" drawings. They are
located in a post from MIKESCHN, Site Admin, on June 25th of this thread. They follow my number 46 progress photo
that was posted on that same date. If you click on one, it will open up for viewing. If you print them all out, you can
follow the details of the construction photo comments.

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Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:47 pm, edited 7 times in total.
And have fun out there, Rog
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Re: WOODY CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby RRJR » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:13 am

:thumbsup:
Last edited by RRJR on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:20 pm

Here's a sequence of Construction Photos of the Frame and Floor;

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1.) Welding the 2" x 3" x 1/8" steel tube frame. Keep it level and square. The diagonal measurements
from corner to corner on opposite sides should match.

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2.) Completed frame; rear, sides and bow.

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3.) 2" x 2" anchor bolt washers welded in place. 2" ball "A" frame coupler welded in place. Axle bolted
through the frame. Tack welded bolt heads on top of frame to keep bolts from turning if the axle ever needs
to be removed.

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4.) Frame welds ground, rust wire brushed off steel, everything degreased and prime painted.

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5.) Finish painted frame. Do not build on the frame supported on only 3 points like this. The weight of the
wheels will sag the frame in the middle and not be straight.

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6.) A table saw was essential to this build. I ripped all the 1" x 2"s from clear, straight, and light weight 2" x 4"s.
Most of the interior cabinet blocking and trim are not stock sizes, and have to be ripped to size.

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7.) For long cuts on plywood sheets to large to fit through the table saw, a good circular saw with a carbide
finish blade was needed.

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8.) To guide the circular saw straight a good straight edge and clamps were needed. I ripped this one on
the table saw to 3" x 5/8" from a 1" x 4". The home improvement stores sell metal ones, and some have
built in clamps.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:22 pm

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9.) Titebond II glue applied to 11/32" plywood footwell sides. Glue will be spread out and both pieces
will be clamped and brad nailed together. The inside pieces are set in 11/32" from each end to create an
interlocking corner when assembled.

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10.) Measured and cut 3/4" x 1 1/2" footwell floor framing.

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11.) 3/4" x 1 1/2" framing being Titebond II glued and 18 ga. brad nailed to the 11/32" plywood footwell floor.
The good side of the plywood is down; it will be the finish floor of the footwell.

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12.) For extra strength, I used Epoxy Resin to assemble the footwell floor sides. I did a dry fit to verify
everything fitted together. I primed the joint edges with un-thickened resin. See next photo.

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13.) Epoxy resin is thickened to bridge the gaps in a joint. I put 1 dip of colloidal silica per 3 dips of
filleting blend in the resin. I use that ratio, and add to the resin to achieve a final texture of catsup.
Hold the assembly together with brad nails and clamps until set.

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14.) I cut 3/4" foam insulation to fit between the framing. There was a film on the foam and I peeled that off.
I applied Titebond II glue to the insulation before I inserted it. I spread glue on the insulation and framing as
shown. I also spread glue on the back of the 5mm plywood bottom before brad nailing it to this framing.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:24 pm

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15.) I used a bigger (16 ga.) brad nailer and epoxy resin to fasten the floor framing to the footwell.

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16.) I used epoxy resin and 16 ga. brad nails to attach the side framing to the footwell. I used straight
temporary framing to align the floor framing that cantilevers off the side of the footwell. Note the
plastic bags between the temporary and permanent framing.

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17.) I used Titebond II glue and 18 ga. brad nails to attach the 5mm plywood floor bottom. Note there is
no plywood on the front framing. The plywood from the next assembly will attach there.

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18.) I cut the framing and the 5mm floor bottom to glue and brad nail together. I checked that the corner
to corner diagonal dimensions were the same. Note the footwell assembly in the background.

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19.) The completed floor bottom with the 2 parts connected together. Note the 2 countersunk holes
adjacent the wheel wells. These are for the axle bolt heads that stick up from the frame. Also note,
that it was important that the construction table was level, straight and there was no twist.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:26 pm

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20.) The bottom has been prepped for 6 oz. fiberglass cloth.
*A thickened epoxy fillet has been installed and sanded in the inside corner between the footwell and bottom.
I mixed the epoxy to the consistency of peanut butter with the powder fillers.
*The wheel well and back edge have been finished square with a flush trim bearing router bit. The sides, front
and footwell outside corners have been finished with a 1/4" round over bearing router bit. The footwell side
corners have been rounded with a rasp and sandpaper.
*The raw wood was sealed with a coat of epoxy resin rolled on. After it cured, it was hand washed to remove
the waxy film left from curing.

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21.) The 6 oz. fiberglass cloth has been cut and dry fitted. The "feathered" side edges of the cloth have been
interlaced. I used a big dry soft brush to sweep the cloth flat, and remove bubbles.

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22.) The fiberglass has been "wet out". I start at the high point, and pour the epoxy resin in the center of the
area. I use a flexible bondo squeegee to drag the excess through the cloth until it becomes translucent. I work
out from the center to tack and hold the cloth in place.

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23.) This is an example how to trim the fiberglass without grinding. An hour or so after applying the epoxy,
it will reach a partial cure, "rubbery" state. Keep an eye on it for it to develop. When its no longer wet or sticky
to the touch, but it's still flexible then it will cut like butter.

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24.) Here the bottom has been finish painted. I washed the cured epoxy. Then I applied a thinned primer coat
and a finish coat of porch and deck enamel. I mask taped back the side and front rounded edges. When the side
walls are installed in the future the fiberglass will wrap around those edges.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:28 pm

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25.) The floor has been flipped, aligned and bolted to the frame.
*The floor is not very heavy, but it is a four man job to not bend and break it. We had to be careful
to adjust the front and rear jacks to keep the floor straight with no twist. Two more jack stands at
the wheels would have been better.
* We got the front steel angle support frame 1 1/2" to far forward. I had to cut steel angle straps,
and double bolt the front down.

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26.) The floor is shown finished.
*I cut 3/4" pink foam insulation, and Titebond II glued it in between the framing.
*I cut the 11/32" plywood floor slightly oversize. I drilled holes in the plywood for bolt heads sticking
up above the framing. The holes were filled latter with thickened epoxy.
*The framing and insulation were coated with Titebond II glue, and the 11/32 plywood floor was back glued
and brad nailed down. All the plywood edges were then flush trim routed square.
*The 2" x 4" framing is for a 4' x 8' work table on top of the trailer. All the wall panels were built there.
I have a one car garage, and I needed the work space. Also, it's way to hot to work outside in Florida in July.
I had to store all the plywood and insulation in the house.

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27.) The plastic covered work table is shown.
*All the 3/16" wheel well panels are laid out to be laminated to make the wheel well boxes.
*The side and top edges of the inside layers of the sides are set in 3/16". All the the edges of the inside
layer of the tops are set in 3/16".
*I spread Titebond II glue on both sides, and used an electric staple gun to hold the pieces together.

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28.) The assembled wheel wells.
*I dry fitted the panels, and marked them with pencil for proper re-assembly. I double checked the finish
dimensions of the dry fit to be sure they were in correct sequence. It was a complex little puzzle.
*The edges were sealed with epoxy resin. Catsup texture epoxy was applied to the edges. The corners were
interlocked, and then they were 18 ga. brad nailed together.

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29.) This shows the detail of thickened epoxy fillets on the inside corners of the wheel wells.
*I used the rounded edge of the tongue depressor stick to apply the thickened epoxy. I used the 3 to 1 powder
mix until the epoxy is the consistency of peanut butter.
*When the epoxy has cured, I use a big rat tail file and sand paper to smooth the fillet.
*Note the left outside 1/8" plywood has yet to be installed.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:28 pm

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30.) 3/4" x 1 1/2" wall framing cut and laid out to begin assembly of typical wall panel.
*I dimensioned and pencil marked all framing with a small square at intersections.
*I used Titebond II glue and 16 ga. brad nails to secure joints. Some parts had to be sub assembled
before adding to the whole to allow for a straight shot with the nail gun. I tried to do only a few
toe nailings. I used large squares on the corners, and temporary clamped until the glue set.

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31.) Typical 5mm or 3/16" "Tri-Ply" plywood interior wall panel. Note the finished wall frame on the left.
*I originally envisioned blond wood, but there were not enough matching panels. I settled on sort of a
"birds eye" pattern. I separated all the panels to best match the adjacent panels. The best finish was
used in the highest visibility area and the worst were used for shelves and back laminates.
*The plywood was cut slightly larger than the wall frame, and slightly smaller than the window opening.
This was to allow for flush trim routing the edge to the wall frame.

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32.) Glued and nailed interior side of typical wall panel.
*I put light pencil lines on the Tri-Ply to mark the framing. I used Titebond II glue on everything and 18 ga.
brad nails to secure the Tri-Ply to the framing. I used a big pink eraser to remove the pencil lines.
*After the glue set, I trimmed the plywood edge flush to the frame with flush trim bearing router bit.

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33.) Typical exterior side of wall panel.
*I cut3/4" pink foam insulation to fit. Wherever possible I used the table saw for a square cut. I Titebond II
glued the backs and sides before final assembly.

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34.) Typical 1/8" Luan plywood exterior side of wall panel.
*I put light pencil lines on the 1/8" Luan plywood to mark the framing. I used Titebond II glue on everything
and 18 ga. crown staples to secure the plywood to the framing.
*After the glue set, I trimmed the plywood edge flush to the frame with flush trim bearing router bit.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:16 pm

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35.) Trolly top side frames cut, nailed and glued. The window radiuses have even been cut,
but I forgot to install the 3/4" x 1 5/16" x 1'-10" blocking at the bottom of the opening. The
wonder of thickened epoxy got that re-cut and repaired. Epoxy is the new board stretcher.

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36.) The 17.5 degree angles of the trolly top were to acute an angle to cut on my chop saw. I used a
plywood guide board cut at 45 degrees. I set the cut at 62.5 from 90 degrees or 27.5 degrees from zero
degree saw setting. I had to clamp and hold on tight as I cut it slow. Extra clamps would have helped.

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37.) The completed trolly top side being painted black. I put on 2 coats.
*Note the 1/8" Luan plywood is cut 1" larger that the opening for the 3/16" Plexiglass window.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby KCStudly » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:30 pm

You did some first class work on this camper, both in the design modifications and in the build execution. I like that you are using (um... used) straight forward materials and methods, but to great effect.

Waiting patiently for the rest of your installments. :thumbsup:
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:19 pm

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38.) Here's the bow roof framing.
*It's been cut, marked, glued and nailed. The diagonal measurements have been checked and then
clamped in place until the glue sets.
*Note the 4' x 8' plywood work surface cantilevering from the 2 x 4 framing makes a good clamping edge.

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39.) Here's the rear wall panel semi-completed.
*The interior Tri-Ply has been Glued and nailed.
*The 3/4" insulation has to have Titebond II glue spread all over. Since the glue dried pretty fast,
I ended up also spreading glue on the backside of the exterior plywood. Then the 1/8" Luan outside
face can be 18 ga. crown stapled in place.

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40.) Cutting the angle edges to 72.5 degrees. The magic number that makes the bevels work.
*The saw has to be set to 17.5 degrees. The markings are not that fine on the thumb screw adjuster.
I used an adjustable triangle set at the 72.5 degrees to set the angle between the blade and guide shoe.
A precision cut block of wood would have been simpler.
*The cut has to be right at the corner edge of the wall panel. I did cut off too much of one panel by mistake.
I ripped a strip off of a 1" x 2" the width of the saw cut, and epoxy glued that and the cut off piece back on the
wall panel. When the resin cured, I cut the panel to the proper length and angle. Epoxy can fix anything.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:37 pm

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41.) I used some scrap 1/8" Luan to make a template to layout the wheel well cutouts. Also,
I drilled a few holes and made a big compass to draw the line.

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42.) This is the completed template. I put it on the exterior of the wheel well box, and traced
the cutout line on the box. I then used a saber saw to cut out the box opening. See next step.

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43.) This is the completed wheel well box being glassed.
*The cutout has been made, and the interior edges have been routed with a 1/4" roundover bearing bit.
*The box was test fitted in the floor opening, and in this case I had to add a narrow shim on one edge.
It's best to make any adjustments on the rear edge as that interferes less with the interior cabinets.
*The inside of the box was sealed with epoxy resin, and washed when cured.
* the 6 oz. fiberglass cloth has been dry fit, and dry brushed smooth. It's ready for epoxy resin to be
squeegeed through the cloth.

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44.) The fiberglass cloth being trimmed off at the "rubbery state".

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45.) Wheel well boxes being installed.
*The interior was washed and painted with 2 coats of black porch and deck enamel.
*Cleats have been applied to the back side so the the exterior is perpendicular to the floor deck.
*The wood glueing edges have been sealed with epoxy resin. The laminating epoxy has been
thickened with 3 to 1 mix fillers to the consistency of catsup.

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46.) Since this area is exposed to weather, I used stainless steel screws to attach the wheel well box
to the floor. I pre-drilled the holes with a one piece countersink bevel and tapered drill bit.
*I also covered the screw heads with epoxy. I epoxy wiped the joint between the fiberglass floor bottom
and the fiberglass rounded over edge of the box. I washed and touch up painted the heads and the joints.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WOODY CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby wiseguydirk » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:59 pm

Where is the " woody camper " part
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Re: WOODY CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby mikeschn » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:49 pm

The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Re: WOODY'S CAMPER - Lightweight Standie

Postby TreeRog » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:19 pm

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47.) Wall panels shown being installed. This was a two person job.
*The wood glueing edges were sealed with epoxy resin. The laminating epoxy was thickened with
3 to 1 mix fillers to the consistency of catsup, and applied to both sides of the joint.
*Pipe clamps pulled the floor up to the walls. A second set of jack stands or blocking to get the
floor straight would have helped.
*From below the floor and at the corners, I used 2 1/2" stainless steel screws to pull everything tight.
I pre-drilled the holes with a one piece countersink bevel and tapered drill bit.

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48.) The walls were squared to the floor, and then the cut 2" x 4" beam was epoxy glued and screwed into place.

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49.) The bow wall panels have been installed. Note the stainless screw locations at the corners.

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50.) The trolly top sides were epoxy glued and stainless steel screwed into place first. See note "A" below.
*Then the side roof panels were epoxy glued and S. S. screwed in place. The trolly sides were horizontally
S. S. screwed to the edge of the side roof panels.
*Note "A": I lined up the forward edges of the trolly sides and the roof panels so they fit the sloped bow
roof and the sloping front trolly roof. I did that as a dry fit and put pencil reference marks for re-assembly. The
perimeter edges hung over slightly, but I ground that off latter. The important thing was to make sure the
tops of the walls were straight.

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51.) Rear view of rough wall and roof panels.

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52.) Front view of rough wall and roof panels. You can see the perimeter edges hanging over the walls slightly.

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53.) Here I'm grinding off the overhang flush with the walls. I checked it with a straight edge every once
and awhile to keep it straight and vertical.
*All the edges have to be rounded over for the fiberglass cloth to turn the corners. I ran the router with
the 1/4" round over bearing router bit around all the corner edges.
Last edited by TreeRog on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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