Can I Build a Teardrop?

This is where the gals can have their very own discussions...

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:05 pm

doris s. wrote:Barb, Your teardrops are lovely!

Doris


I saw the little green one in Elk Neck last weekend, being enjoyed by the new owners Bill and Julia. I just fell in love with it. Wonderful job Barb. I hope mine turns out that well!!

Becky
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

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Postby Oldragbaggers » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:16 pm

Shirley,

You can absolutely do this. Remember, it's just a series of very small steps that will grow up to be something big. But if you concentrate on the small step at hand, one at a time, it should not be too overwhelming. If you can follow a pattern and then sew, or a recipe and then cook, or a set of instructions then assemble something, then download those generic Benroy plans and put together a teardrop. I'm doing it, and many other ladies have done it before us. And you couldn't find anyplace better to be for help and encouragement.

Becky
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

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Postby Wayne in maryland » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:03 am

b.bodemer wrote:Shirley,
Yes..............there is a galley in the back. Have fun planning one for yourself. And this forum is a great place for just about everything you need to know about building a td.

Here's the galley:
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Barb


Hey I know that trailer...just saw it at Elk Neck a few weeks ago...great job
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I like that

Postby dawn68 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:51 pm

your gally is neat.it is light and easy to do. I never thought of uesing crates likt that
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby PanelDeland » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:27 pm

Yea you can.It's like eating an Elephant.Just take one bite at a time.
"I know the voices in my head aren't real,but they have some really good Ideas!"
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby canned o minimum » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:10 am

OK... now wait a cotton pickin minute ! I sure do hope you ain't thinkin anythin like : Can I ( a girl ) build a teardrop ? I got eight daughters and if one of em EVER said a lame thing like that ... Ida kicked her butt ! Girls ROCK ! You can do anything a guy can do ! and frankly... even better than sum guys can do.

There is SO much info here and EVERYONE is here to help ! The only stupid questions are the ones NOT asked...

You are SO fortunate to have a huge garage and a hubby to lend a hand. Yer well on yer way to a "build" ! LET THE SAWDUST FLY !!!
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby Pgrnfarm » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:08 pm

Oh my, has it been that long since I first posted here on the forum. Life has gotten in the way but I still had the dream. Well, today, my journey has begun. My husband was never impressed with the construction of the Harbor Freight trailers, we placed "wanted" ads in local papers for a junked camper so we could use the frame, no responses. So today, we visited a salvage/junk yard only a few miles from our home. I truly felt like "Mike and Frank" from American Pickers as we sorted through piles AND piles AND piles of junk, but in the end my husband found a heavy duty trailer that satisfied him, we only need to extend the frame by 12" which he can easily do with his welding skills. Best of all, $100! Did not bring it home, as the guy must clear a path and pull it out of the pile and to his garage! I recently had Total Knee Replacement and have not been able to do much of the farm work and am feeling very worthless at this point in my life. I'm hoping this project will lift my spirits! Just thought I would check in.....
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby pchast » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:29 pm

I'm glad you checked in.
Glad you are pursuing the build.

I know many people that have had knee replacement and are happy
they did. They say they feel young and spry again.

Keep making small steps and you will get there.

Be Well, :thumbsup:
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby Pgrnfarm » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:56 am

I feel anything but young and spry! All I hear from PT and surgeon is that everyone is different. I've been a difficult case! A second manipulation in the OR to help my Range of Motion is scheduled for January. I'm not a person who can sit still and I want instant gratification, neither of which goes well with TKR.
I am so excited to get this trailer going.....I would love to have my father see it done before he is no longer with us. He gave us the truck because he knew with his health he would never see it restored and he knows of my plans for this trailer. I'm confident I can tackle this and it doesn't look that hard.....the hatch looks like the most challenging part. I build furniture and of course have helped build barns and pole buildings here on the farm.
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby jeff0520 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:06 am

I have, for 26 years now, been married to a woman with Rheumitoid Arthritus, Lupus, Attention Deficit Disorder, and a learning disability called Dyscalculia, which is similar to Dyslexia, except affecting her ability to see patterns in math rather than written language. I have seen her put her mind to, and succeed at tasks most said she couldn't posssibly succeed at. when she went back to college to earn her Biology degree her acedemic advisor told her she couldn't possibly earn a hard science degree from a school as respected as UAH with a math learning disability. Her reply was "Hide in the bushes and watch, Skippy." She greduated in 2010 with a degree in biological sciences and a solid B average.
What this tells me is that if my wife can rise to those sorts of challenges with the obsticles she deals with, there's no reason why you can't do any darned thing you set your mind to. Just read a lot about it, ask a lot of questions, try small projects to develop skill sets before you jump into the big ones, and keep on plugging away.
I'll be looking forward to seeing your build journel . :D
Hypno-Toad's Command Post, the build thread! http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50384

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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby rowerwet » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:53 pm

sometimes if you have no skills or experience with the project you are trying to do it is better to start with a smaller project to learn skills and build experience.
I wanted a to build a tear for a few years before I tried, before that I had wanted to build a wooden boat since about high school. I assisted with boat building as part of a group, however the leader of the group was a professional boat builder/carpenter and I knew I couldn't build to his standard on my first try. Finally after 15 years or so I decieded to build a small simple plywood boat, I took me two years, one to mostly build it, and another to actually finish it. I took it to a local pond where I found no one there as I expected.
Amazingly it floated and was easy to paddle. I learned I could build a functional boat and no problem should be a "burn it and start over" problem. For me, sleeping on a problem tended to allow my mnd to work the problem over, many times the answer came in the shower or driving to work the next morning. (most boat builders (and tear builders?) have a "moaning chair" , a place to sit with a drink and survey the latest road block while studying the plans reading what others have to say)
After my third boat I built my tear with the same materials and construction as the boats. Now I've built 7 boats112837, have two more under construction, and can't wait to build a foamie.
a big project is a bunch of small steps, making a woodie makes each of those steps harder or take longer as most of the wood work will show. Many tear builders are also boat builders, a small boat could be the best start to a tear.
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby tony.latham » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:50 pm

No, you can't. You're a gurl. Building stuff is fer us men. Just the way it is. Bring some cookies out to the shop but make sure you knock first. We're probably doing some really important stuff in there.
















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Damn Rosie! First you build a bunch of B-17's, then ya raises the bar and cranks out a few P-51s... :x And now ya thinks ya can build a teardrop?

Sheeeeeesh.... makes me wanna go take a nap.

TL

p.s. Grab a mentor. Either gender will work, just find one that you like. Makes no difference.
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby Glenn Butcher » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:33 pm

Having done a lot of household remodeling, I've learned it works for me to take each piece of the job and do a specific assessment of my ability to produce an acceptable result. In that vein, here's a breakdown of a TD build, with some notes on what would make it simple:

1. Trailer Frame: Get a kit, Northern Tool or Harbor Freight. Only requires bolt-together skills, and the result is road-worthy with no further engineering on your part. A trailer that is sized to fit your camper floor makes things easier.
2. Floor: Basic wood skills. Right-angle cuts and shapes. Wood screw/glue assembly. Undercoating is required to make waterproof; requires basic painting (and hand-cleaning) skills.
3. Profile (side walls): Basic wood skills. Solid plywood walls are easy, if insulation isn't a big concern. Curves can be as simple as circle radii. Or, go for a Weekender or other box shape without curves. Sabre saw cutting for curved profiles. Wood screw/glue assembly to the floor and ceiling spars.
4. Ceiling/Roof: Basic wood skills. Wood screw/glue assembly. Curved profiles require consideration of material that will tolerate the bending, strapping/clamping to hold the shape while the glue sets.
5. Doors/Windows/Vents: Wonderfully ready-made items are available. Installation is easy: just trace the door/window/vent opening on the wall, cut it out, and mount with butyl tape and screws. Placement is at your discretion, mostly. You'll need at least one vent to keep from suffocating...
6. Outer covering: Runs the gamut from paint to aluminum, pick yer poison. Just do it sufficiently to render the shell waterproof. Sheet siding requires cutting, tools ranging from tin snips to routers. Trim installation is probably required for most sheet siding, drilling and screwing. Fiberglassing is an option; relatively easy to lay up, but requires a bit of sanding to make a decent surface.

The above gets you a minimal sleeping compartment using a drill, saber saw, and maybe a circular saw, in addition to the regular hand tools. Some other considerations:

1. Rear Galley: Just a little more than basic wood skills, challenges are in making the hatch and cabinets. Selecting a boxy profile can simplify hatch construction. Cabinets can really be as simple or complicated as you desire, from a counter and plank shelves to finished cabinetry.
2. Insulation: Depends on your climate, and which seasons you intend to camp in. If your roof is an interior and exterior skin separated by spars, sticking foam in between the spars is a no-brainer. Cookie-cuttering, insulation-stuffing, and skinning your walls is not hard, just time-consuming.
3. Plumbing/Electrical: Electrics can run the gamut from None to dual 110v/12v multi-sourced (solar, wind, grid) configurations. Same with plumbing; my favorite is the 7-gal blue water jug under the counter...

Safety Note: Cutting and drilling power tools can be dangerous, but it's not hard to use them safely. Keep close track of the blade/bit at all times, whether its moving or not. Just last week building the bike carriers for my trailer I minorly gouged my palm with a spinning drill bit because I got in a hurry. Eye protection is a must, both for power tool and hand tool work. Don't stand in water when using power tools (my dad has a story...). Keep track of your power cord while cutting. Gee, I'm sounding like the warning labels on a ladder...

Become familiar with the "dynamic" of the power tool, that is, how it moves, even how it sounds. This is also important for doing good work; you may find it useful to make practice cuts/holes in scrap before you do the real operation. Also, for close fitting stuff (really, not a lot of that in basic TD construction), I tend to make my first cut 'fat', then work my way to the line with successive passes. I do less of this now that I know where my blades are, so to speak, but that thinking follows the adage, 'it's easier to cut off excess than add back from an over-zealous cut', or something like that...

What continues to amaze me about the teardrop concept is the wide variety of construction choices ranging from simple to complex that all will yield a decent trailer for camping. Poring over the build journals is fascinating to me, both in making choices for my own build and just admiring others' choices. Also, this group is ready and waiting with constructive answers to any of your questions; you won't find that easily elsewhere in the Internet...

Disclaimer: I'm not an accomplished TD builder, yet. I need to be an accomplished garage-cleaner first. Also, I don't mind the more experienced builders hacking on my above musings...
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby Mary C » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:03 pm

I have almost finished the major building of my foamie and I am a 63year old girl. If I can do it with all my ailments then you can too! Just, as they say suck it up take advill for the little pain and go for it. As my daughter in law says doooooooooo it girl !!!!

I will be looking forward to your build thread.

Mary C. :lady:
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Re: Can I Build a Teardrop?

Postby bstewart » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:58 pm

Pgrnfarm wrote:First post here! I've had the dream of building a teardrop for years. Recently my father gave us his 1938 Ford pickup he restored years ago and I feel this is the time to do a teardrop. My question, can I as a female build a camper myself? I like the look of the "woodie" type campers and feel it would go with the 1938 era truck. I do have carpentry skills, not real good at wiring....could probably learn and have never welded, guess I could get my husband to do that for me! Any advice as to where to start and if it's possible! Thanks


Yes you can. I started building a teardrop last spring and I'm almost done. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. But I have built it entirely by myself. Some of it was difficult doing it alone, but I did it. Now I just need some trim work and odds and ends and I'm done. You can do it too. Just do your research and dive in.
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