Hatch skin

Finishes, paints and coatings

Hatch skin

Postby skinnedknuckles » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:54 am

I'm in the process of skinning my teardrop and I'm wondering if .050" would be too thick for the hatch? I can get 4' x 8' and 10' easily locally, but the only 5' wide piece that I am finding locally is .050" , unless I go up to the semi trailer shop and pickup a 53' roll, a little too much for this project :shock: . The overall thickness of my hatch with 3/4" x 1 5/8" plywood framing and 1/8" birch ply inside and out ,is of course 1 3/4". It is basically the same shape as a Grumman 2 hatch 5' wide 53" tall around the curve. My concern is that it may put too much stress on the hatch causing it to start distorting . Any ideas would be very helpful :D

Paul, getting closer to be able to go teardrop camping in Wisconsin
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Re: Hatch skin

Postby skinnedknuckles » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:33 am

I ended up going with .040"aluminum sheet 4'x5' and adding a small strip near the top of the hatch. I didn't want another seam but it sealed up well with Sikaflex 221 and a narrow stripe of 1/8" aluminum and stainless screws so it should work :thumbsup:
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Re: Hatch skin

Postby Nobody » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:21 am

When I was building my TD in 2006 I couldn't find any aluminum sheets larger than 4x10' so I built it, planning all along to use 2 pieces for the hatch. I chose to use the narrow piece (approx 6" wide) at the bottom & it worked great. After construction of the hatch framework I covered the exterior with a double layer of 1/8" Luan. The 0.040" aluminum is 'floated' with only fastenings being the trim, the 'better than hurricane' hinge, & the screws/Adhesive/Sealer at the narrow strip joint. I'd added a 2x4 at the location of the 'T' lock mechanism & cross braces between the spars so there was plenty of support for the screws. I was very happy that I'd built it like that when I was rear ended Labor Day weekend of 2010. The damage was mainly cosmetic with minor damage to the trailer chassis, the bumper, & the lower trim piece of aluminum under the hatch. After straightening the chassis, it was a small matter to remove the narrow strip from the hatch, straighten it, reinstall, & then replace the trim strip under the hatch with another strip of 'diamond tread' which is a little heavier than the 0.040" that I used originally.

When I built the hatch I used 2 thin beads of PL adhesive/sealer between the 2 pieces of 0.040", drilled pilot holes & added the screws. After all the screws were in place, I removed each screw individually & squirted a little adhesive/sealer in the hole & replaced each screw. After the rear end collision, separating the 'joint' to straighten the narrow piece was a real bear but still better than removing the skin from the entire hatch... I didn't do a perfect job of straightening but it ain't bad & hardly noticeable unless you're lookin' for it.

Original look
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collision damage
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repair
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Harvey -

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Doing the right thing ain't always easy but, . . . it's always right!
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Re: Hatch skin

Postby skinnedknuckles » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:12 am

That looks good.. I figured, since I was only about 3" short that I would put the seam up near the top so it would kind of look like it belonged to the hinge ( and since I had 5" of frame material to work with near the hinge but only 2" at the bottom ). Thanks for the info about how you did yours :)
Paul
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