Sunday, July 19, 2015

Slow and steady as she goes

By now, we've all likely guessed that this little gizmo won't be quiiiiite ready in time for camping this summer.  In truth, this was part of the plan all along: it was originally considered a 2-winter project.  There was a brief and ambitious period where I thought I'd be able to have something on the road for 2015, but I had a little sit-down with the build committee (I sat down) and came up with this:
  • At the current pace (manic) the project would be tow-able by about late September.
  • Camping season is almost over by then.
  • That wouldn't make sense.
  • Also, work got really busy, and though I still have the same number of hours after Fin's bed-time, I'm more tired now.
So, we're on a little break, the trailer and I.  Oh, no, we still have feelings for one another, it's just that we each need a little ... space.  Actually, as it turns out, a half-built trailer requires quite a lot of space.

We've still spent a few hours together on weekends and evenings and so forth.  Just when I feel like it, not on this accelerated schedule.  I don't really enjoy being busy beyond a certain threshold.  Despite all this, a few small things have been accomplished in the last few months:
  • I got the inner skin on the hatch.  I've also spent a lot of time smoothing out the little buckles and dips on the interior and exterior of the same.  Nearly done, I believe.  I'm going through Bondo like it's Wall Street cocaine.
  • I've got the troublesome and fiddly outer hatch ribs all gapped and ready for what I hope will be a nice outer seal.  I've got a plan for the inner seal, but it might involve a lot of aluminium cutting, which I'm coming to terms with.  It's overcomplicated, which is really the only way I'm comfortable doing things.
  • I started the doors, which is fun and easy compared to the hatch.  I've hung up the frames, built a nice little surround, dry-fit the handles on the doors, and installed the foam core.  Today, I even glued on the inner skin on one of them.
Unfortunately, some of the photos of the door construction didn't make it off a cell-phone that suffered a bit of an incident at work.  Oh well.  On the plus side, the photos from here on should be of a significantly higher quality that those of old.

Here's where those handsome doors are at now:

Lovely, fine work as always.  The little cut-outs will house the handles, and will be routed flush to the inner skin as well.  There will be some type of plate cut to hide the ugly mechanical workings from the fair passengers, but that can wait until closer to the finishing stages.

Here's the inner skin on that hatch.  Look at that beast:

I'm struggling with 2 things to do with the hatch besides sealing:
  • The "holding closed" mechanism.  I feel as though it needs to provide some kind of pressure to compress the seals so the hatch doesn't "flop" and leak on the road.  I might be wrong.  I think that'll need to be evaluated on install.
  • The gas springs to hold the whole guillotine open.  These have been a bit of a pain to find in the right size and tension, though I think I've found a supplier in Vernon.  There was already a failed install with a pair that were the wrong of both variables, but I've learned from the experience.
Here was today's project!  The inner skin is hidden under the template which is used again as a clamp-up stiffener.  You can see a bit of the lip that will overlap a future bumper to form the door seal:

Here's to another summer of tent-camping!  If I was stuck in the garage all the time, we'd have done nothing, but as it is, we've been out for 3 trips already, and another 3 weekends and 2 weeks of holidays on the way.  I've been mountain-biking regularly, which is much better than being in a hot garage all the time.  I'm almost coming to the conclusion that this whole work-life balance makes sense!

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