Sunday, January 4, 2015

Installing the floor so we don't fall through

Well, this marvellous Egg will need a place to sit, so I thought I'd better bolt some kind of flat, smooth surface to the top.  Just for kicks, I decided to use the carefully joined sheet of Baltic birch I made specially a month ago.

I started by marking the positions of the bolts, avoiding the welds and awkward places.  There are lots of attach points in the middle of the floor so the plywood doesn't flex and rattle when it's weighted:

Meanwhile (well, it was at a different time because there is only one of me) I cut the floor to size, being careful to angle the edges to fit the final trailer profile.  Then I turned the thing bottom up and put a couple of coats of a fibre-reinforced roofing tar on.  This stuff is sticky and thick, but it'll make a nice self-healing waterproof membrane between the road and the camper body.  If you were to spill a can accidentally, you'd probably wind up needing to move:

Flipping the whole mess over onto the trailer frame was no small task!  The sticky stuff, even when dry, tacked to the trailer and made it impossible to place precisely.  I wound up wrapping the bottom in cling wrap, placing it on the frame, drilling the holes, bolting it, then sliding the wrap out one side at a time.

I dry-fitted the bottom plates as well, mainly to get the positions for the major anchor bolts.  These photos were taken before the rest of the holes were drilled, but the floor will wind up being peppered with T-nuts as well.  I'm not going to get carried away with hiding them or doing a really show-quality finish on this floor, because, like a dirty magazine, it will spend most of its life under a mattress:

These bottom plates will come off the floor to become an integral part of the wall assemblies.  They'll be pinched in between the interior and exterior skins, and surrounded with building foam.  That means I won't have access to these nuts when it finally comes time to install the walls.  The wood is too thin to use T-nuts like on the plywood, so, after tightening, I epoxied the nut and washer to the bottom plate.  It dis-assembled just fine, and my hope is that it'll bolt together again just as smoothly:

To date, I've got the thing sanded and ready for finish.  I'll let the dust settle overnight, and tomorrow I'll start putting on some polyurethane floor finish.  In between coats, I'll try to get going on the wall assemblies!

Off to work again on Monday after a nice 2-week break.  We had a great Christmas and New Years celebration, and events will be settled down to a dull roar quite soon.  I won't continue quite the pace I have recently, but I hope to continue with regular, small forays into Thunder-Egg land!

Happy New Year!

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