VermonTear 4x8 "Moby" Build ~ Dec 11 -- ?

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VermonTear 4x8 "Moby" Build ~ Dec 11 -- ?

Postby VermonTear » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:15 am

Well... here goes.

This will be the diary of my build of my first teardrop trailer.

Although I've done a fair amount of woodworking over the past 30 years, built some nice furniture pieces, remodeled an old farmhouse, designed and built a pretty nice kitchen with good-looking (if I do say so myself) red birch cabinets, and built some nice okume strip kayaks from Chesapeake Light Kits, this will be my first teardrop, and my first venture into something with 12 volts, an axle, and wheels.

I've been scouring the internet and this site for a couple of months and have settled on a 4x8 profile somewhere between Grant Whipp's L'il Bear and Steve Frederick's design for Peg Brown. I've gotten my shop cleaned up, my space organized, supplies ordered, and some of the parts I'll be needing sourced and on the way.

I have a large, very professional and competent welding machine shop 3 minutes away in our small town and they are going to weld up the chassis to my specs. In my seventh decade, welding is not a skill I wanted to develop. I am also blessed with having a trailer sales, parts and service facility a few minutes in the other direction, so I was able to talk through a lot of the Dexter axle issues with them (and with the Dexter engineers via phone), and order wheels, tires and chassis parts easily (and economically it turned out.)

Day 1 -- Dec 2


I spent $45 (well spent, I decided since it saved me at least 8 hours of head-scratching) on Grant Whipp's full size drawing of his L'il Bear and got to work on December 2.

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This is Grant's L'il Bear Profile secured to two sheets of ply that I will cut out to use as my pattern (one for the pattern, one for a safety backup) as I build the teardrop.


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I'm altering the profile a bit to somewhere between a L'il Bear and Steve Fredericks Peg design.

That was enough thinking and head-scratching for Day 1. Tomorrow I'll break out the saber saw -- not my favorite tool.

Okay... Day 2.


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After transferring the lines from the paper to the plywood patten, I am carefully (note tongue in correct corner of mouth) cutting out the pattern(s). Saber saw worked better than I remembered, maybe reading the manual and that new blade helped.

So here's what it looks like....

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Not sure we're there yet, but there's still time to make changes.

My wife, Carol, thought the profile looked like a whale, so she drew on an eyeball and a mouth, and we instantly named our tear "Moby".

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While we ponder if this is the final profile, I've got to glass the exterior panels.

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That's one of the exterior panels on the left. Yellow Birch.

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Here's the first coat of epoxy going on. I know the respirator is supposed to be on my face, not my head, but my glasses would steam up and I couldn't see a thing. I'll wear my contacts from now on.

Day 3


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And here's the Fiberglass going down.

Day 4

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And here's one of the exterior sides after the second coat of epoxy to fill the weave of the fabric.

All done with the exterior sides for a bit. I'll sand and varnish them later in the build. Right now I have to do some planning on what the interior is going to look like so I put the bulkheads, doors, etc in the right places. (I hope.)
Ken

My first build 12/2011: viewtopic.php?p=890137#890137
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Postby Deryk the Pirate » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:53 am

Looking Good! And yeah please use some ventilation along with the respirator lol. Ive done some fiberglassing on my boat, and bein outside is a plus lol.
Build Thread lil vardo 1: http://tinyurl.com/baqe6py
Build Thread lil vardo 2: http://tinyurl.com/b3rwffm
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Postby kinto » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:31 pm

looking great & welcome to the forum! :thumbsup:


kent
:)
time flies when you're making a mountain out of a two way street

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Postby Bob Patterson » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:40 am

Looks great, VT. Your shop looks impressive. (Mine's a carport.) Good luck with your build and welcome.
All the best,
Bob (& Reggie)
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Postby terryjones1 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:22 am

I suggest that you use a respirator and not just a dust mask!

I use respirator for sanding, painting, any "fumes" project.
My TTT Garageable Standy Build Journal: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=40591
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Postby VermonTear » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:14 pm

> Terry: Guess I'll have to read up on Epoxy. Don't smell a thing, so it's easy to be lured into .... oh well, I'll check it out.

> Bob: Yes, we bought a house 20 years ago with a full-sized shop above a two car (unattached) garage. Even has a home built electric elevator for heavy stuff up and down (won't take a 4x8 sheet though, since it is made out of 4x8 sheets.) Wood stove and all. I'll have to move downstairs in February (IN VT!!!) to finish this thing off on the chassis. And, there's no heat downstairs! Hmmmm?

>Kent & Steve: Thanks for the welcome.
Ken

My first build 12/2011: viewtopic.php?p=890137#890137
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Postby VermonTear » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:16 pm

> Deryk: Thanks for your welcome, also.
Ken

My first build 12/2011: viewtopic.php?p=890137#890137
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Postby VermonTear » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:43 pm

Lost track of my "Days" already.

I picked up my Dexter Axle, stabilizers, coupler, tires, rims, etc. and delivered all to my welding shop on Dec 12, along with my drawing. (No pics) Should have a chassis back in a couple of weeks.

I trimmed up the profile a bit:
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Made "Moby's" forehead a bit less pronounced.

Spent a couple of days drawing, then erasing, then drawing, then.... etc. the profile of my galley. Wanted to make sure I had room to fit the drawer in for my stove; wanted as much space for the galley as possible; didn't want to cramp the sleeping space for this 5' 9er too much (plus I might want to sell this to a 6 footer some day). All hard to do in a 4x8. Looks like folks end up building their hatches 4+ inches too. To accommodate water seal etc.?

Not sure if you can see the pencil lines here:
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I'll "Sharpie" the key ones in when I'm sure.

I started work on the floor yesterday (Dec 13):
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Here's the frame of 1x4 pine. Biscuit plated joints. I'll top it with the 3/8" ply floor, then turn it over and put a sheet of 1/4" ply on the street side.

Then this morning:
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Glued up ready for the 3/8" ply.

Here it is topped off with the floor, screwed to the workbench and weighted down to set the glue.
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Tomorrow I'll flip it over, add some blocking where it's going to bolt to the chassis, add insulation in the voids, and put the bottom 1/4" ply on.
Ken

My first build 12/2011: viewtopic.php?p=890137#890137
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Postby rand_98201 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:38 am

looking good cant wait to see more as you move along
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Postby VermonTear » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:20 pm

Hey! I haven't posted for a while, but I've been making some progress.

> Thanks, Rand.

I flipped over the floor before the holidays, and added insulation and some blocking where the floor will be bolted to the chassis. I also marked up where all the blocking was and photographed it in case I needed to be sure later:
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Then I added a 3/8" sheet, gave the bottom 3 coats of epoxy and two coats of Rustoleom Black.
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I still have to give the topside (where we'll be sleeping) two coats of epoxy to keep the moisture out, and a coat or two of poly.

Meanwhile, after Christmas I trimmed the two exterior 1/4" fiberglassed plys:

Here's the Driver's Side:
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And here's the Curb Side:
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I hadn't cut the doors out yet when these pictures were taken.

Just before New Year's my 14 year-old mentee helped me build the 3/4" frames that will be the center of 1 1/4" stress-wall sandwich exterior walls. I'm using the "Inside-Out" method of builiding the Steve Frederick outlines in his very thorough Shop Manual.

Here are the frames Kevin and I built:

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Then I trimmed the top from the pattern, as per Steve's Shop Manual, and cut 1 5/8" off the frame. That's where the headliner and the roof struts will rest:
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Here's the Driver's side showing me where to put the glue to glue the frame:
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So that's where I put the glue (mostly):
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I also put a little glue in my shoe sole where it was coming apart: ;)
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Then I put the a 3/4" frame on top of the glue and weighted it down:
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Last Friday (1/6/12) was a big day. I got a call from Steve Giroux telling me my chassis was all welded up. I had supplied them with the axle and all the parts except the steel channel. They did a terrific job and I'm confident my chassis will serve me well!

I picked it up:
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And brought it home and clipped the template on it to get a look:
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Still a lot to do before I'm ready to put anything more on that chassis than the template. So, as one of our local radio commentators says to close his show... "I'd better get back to work."
Ken

My first build 12/2011: viewtopic.php?p=890137#890137
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Postby rand_98201 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:29 pm

looks like youre off to quite a start there.the trailer/chassis looks really good.
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Postby DasBaldGuy » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:21 pm

Welcome.

Mine is called "Moby" as well.....

http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=33109
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Postby VermonTear » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:23 pm

And I see from your build that there have been other "Mobys" before us. Oh well, so much for originality.
Ken

My first build 12/2011: viewtopic.php?p=890137#890137
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Postby S. Heisley » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:50 pm

That's going to be an interesting door shape! With all your experience, there's no doubt that it'll be a pretty woody. But, building in an unheated garage in February in Vermont is c-c-cold! Maybe you can hook up an electric heater part of the time to take the chill off.

The profile makes it look longer than 8'.
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Postby Woodbutcher » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:15 am

Looks great! This will be fun to follow along with. Have fun with your build. It really can be a fun project.
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