My first teardrop - the Kampster, Final Posting

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My first teardrop - the Kampster, Final Posting

Postby bbarry » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:01 am

After several weeks of lurking around this forum and other sites, I have begun to work on my first teardrop. Here are a couple of the scale designs I'm working with. You can't see the graph lines on the scanned image, but the second gives some idea of dimensions.

Exterior. Think white with metallic grey stripes and fenders.
Image

Interior layout and dimensions.
Image

I'm using a discarded utility trailer that we gave up on years ago because it wasn't large enough to get our big mowers on. It's 4x8 and definitely needed a little work after sitting at the farm for 15 years.

The body overhangs the front of the frame by 15" (all curve, not at the floor), the back by 9" (again, all curve) and the sides by 4" (framed floor to extend beyond the trailer frame.

I'll get some pictures of the trailer frame up soon. Luckily I didn't have much rust to deal with and overall it's fairly solid. I took a wire wheel and grinder to much of it then primed it with Rustoleum Professional Rusty Metal Primer.

I also picked up a bit of scrap 2x2 square tube at the iron yard to replace the tongue to both lengthen and strengthen it. One the agenda for this weekend: paint the frame (Rustoleum Professional oil-based enamel), cut, prep, prime and paint the new tongue and hitch and cut and extend the axle.

I'll try to remember to take some shots of how I extend the axle. It only needs to move out about 4" on each side but I still want to move the springs out also to alleviate any additional stress as this is a light duty axle.

Please comment on design or anything else, I look forward to hearing what suggestions folks out there may have.

Brad
Last edited by bbarry on Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:58 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Postby aggie79 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:04 am

very cool! :thumbsup: I really like the "aero" shape of the body and the fenders.
Tom (& Linda)
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Postby bbarry » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:13 pm

Thanks! I'm shooting for a 40's modern, almost art deco look. I'll probably have to custom make the fenders from fiberglass. Does anyone have experience with this? I suppose I'll make a positive mold from styrofoam, wax it and glass over that, cutting out whichever side is appropriate for the wheel (left or right side). That's a long way down the road though!
Brad

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Postby doug hodder » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:22 pm

Nice profile! I'm a fan of Deco also...what size wheels are you using? The reason I ask is because Grant has a nice set of fenders (his deluxe ones) that have a nice shape to them that would look good on your profile. He also has skirts available for them. I used a set on my Rocketear and was really happy with the appearance. Just an idea. Doug
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Postby bbarry » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:34 pm

I'm planning on 12" wheels for the time being. My hubs are 4 bolt which seems to limit my choices based on what little research I've done. I do like the look of larger wheels and plan on spacing my axle so that it hopefully won't be an ordeal to upgrade hubs and wheels/tires in the future.

The accountant (read: wife) has committed no funding for this project and so I'm proceeding out of my own small kitty which necessitates frugality. That may help make my decision on what fenders to go with.
Brad

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Postby bbarry » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:39 pm

Hey, great minds think alike! I just looked at your album and saw your Rocketear. That's quite similar to what I'm invisioning from the color scheme to the staggered accent strips!

I may continue to peruse your album for "inspiration."
Brad

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Postby doug hodder » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:46 pm

I should have thought them through more than I did. They were a tough one to spray. An advantage to building your own fenders is that they will be a one of a kind and you can do whatever you want. A couple of little accent ribs on the rear end would be cool on them. Doug
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Postby bbarry » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:31 am

WARNING: gratuitous questioning ahead...

Doug how did you finish your American Voyager? That is a similar finish to what I'm thinking of. I searched through some old posts, but couldn't find any details.

I assume you epoxied the ply (did you lay down glass?) and then painted. Did you spray or roll and tip? Recommendations on epoxy and paint? Also, how did you round the edges? Solid wall and then rout the edge with a roundover bit?

Thanks for letting me pick your brain!

Brad
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Postby doug hodder » Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:06 am

Brad...I used MDO plywood as it has a sealed outer face, epoxy over that, several coats to flatten it all out, sprayed automotive base clear paint. No cloth. I used a 1.25" dia. roundover bit to round the corners, many passes. Insulated ceiling, not on the walls. I use West System epoxy and there are a load of additives that can be dumped into the resin depending on your situation. Whether it be, top coating, fairing, structural gluing etc...

If you don't have equipment and some background to spray automotive paint, I wouldn't recommend it, unless you really want to learn that trade. It can be an expensive lesson. An alternative is to get it done, take it into a local shop and have them shoot it or hit up a buddy.

This is how I did mine....others will have different ideas. Have fun with your build and take plenty of pics! Doug
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Postby steve wolverton » Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:25 am

doug hodder wrote:An alternative is to get it done, take it into a local shop and have them shoot it or hit up a buddy.


I'd also like to add the roll and tip paint method. People who don't know how to spray (myself included) can get some amazing results with this method. :)
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Postby bbarry » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:09 pm

Thanks for the info everybody! Here's where I'm at:

Stripped down frame. Axle, axle channel and tongue removed
Image

Another view of the frame. Note "aftermarket" angle added (not red) down the center. Since this frame is essentially two separate 4x4 pieces I thought it best to beef up the connection between the two. Also, the leaf spring channel helped with this (sat right over the joint and bolted into both pieces). I have removed this, and am moving the axle out and back. There will be a replacement piece of angle attached to each outside rail to help reinforce this joint (dead middle of the trailer).
Image

Basic frame is primed
Image

New tongue. 2.5x2.5x.25wall square tube. That should hold! I'm going to go without additional "A" framing on the front of the trailer for now considering this member is a bit of overkill for this AND I have pretty good bracing for the tongue attachment. It slots into a channel, and is bolted to the channel and to the middle crossmember. The original tongue was simply open C channel with a small flange (1/8th wall) and didn't extend to the middle crossmember. Total length: 8feet. Approximately 52" from frame to ball. That should make it tow smoother and back easier, not to mention give me space for a 15" overhang on the front.
Image

Tongue closeup
Image

My Grandpa is helping on this build. He's 80 now and still in great health, so I enjoy working with him all I can. Today, we enlisted the help of another 80+ year old, my great-uncle. His metal shop was extremely helpful as I don't have much experience working with metal...I'm more of a wood guy. Today, we cut and extended the axle. It was open C channel, so I simply found the exact middle and cut it in two. I slid 1.25" (the interior size of the channel) solid steel rod into the C and after adding 10" to the overall width, welded it along the length. It should be plenty strong.

I cut 2.5x2.5" angle for two reinforcement spots where I'm removing the leaf spring channel to move it back and out. I also cut more angle to create a small sub-frame of sorts to support the axle channel and ultimately, the axle itself. When I get them drilled out, squared up and attached, I'll post a picture.

As always, I'm open to comments and suggestions...

Brad
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Postby doug hodder » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:17 pm

Looks good Brad! What's cool is that you have older family members involved in your project. I'm sure they are getting as much fun out of it as you are. I'll bet they look forward to the rest of the build as well. Doug
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Postby Roly Nelson » Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:36 pm

That frame sure looks like it will handle the load. It 's good to know that us 80ish guys are still good for something............
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Postby bbarry » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:14 pm

Most folks over 80 have forgotten more than I'll ever know!

I grew up close to my grandparents. I moved away and lived in California for 8 years and now after moving home (Kansas) 4 years ago, I really appreciate the time to spend with them. I don't ever want to regret being "too busy."

The teardrop is the latest in a long line of projects, and yes, Doug, I think Grandpa enjoys them as much as I do.

I have to work tomorrow, but hopefully will get a chance to get that axle mounted in it's new home on Tuesday.

Brad
Last edited by bbarry on Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bbarry » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:53 pm

I worked on the trailer frame for a little while today.

Grandpa makes his first appearance.
Image

New leaf spring mount, spread out 5" from the frame.
Image
Image

The bottom of the frame got a first coat of finish paint.
Image

Now that the frame is coming together, I'm thinking of biting the bullet and springing for some new 5 spoke hubs so I can mount a little larger wheel/tire combo. New hubs aren't terribly expensive but I'm challenging myself to do this as inexpensively as possible. However, I'm rapidly running out of free parts!

Total so far:

Trailer: $0
Hitch: $0
Misc bolts, steel, etc.: $0
Primer: $8
Paint: $8
Steel for tongue: $14

Grand total: $30
Brad

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