Sunday, January 24, 2016

Just call me Ali

Like, for aluminium.  Hmmm, not very catchy.  I think that's the end of the post titles that try to turn construction terms cleverly into people's names.

So, in sequitur, we might think that some aluminium is getting added to the trailer.  And we'd be right!  Look as this snappy looking piece:

I think it's going to look pretty sharp.  And it is sharp, so that makes sense.  The purpose of this stuff will be to protect the outer edges of the doors and the inner edges of the door frames from dents and dings, all the while adding a certain panache to the whole look.

There will be 16 lengths to install in total, around 4 sides inside/outside of 2 doors.  There will be some aluminium in the hatch as well to aid in sealing, but it'll a slightly different approach there.  (Read: not yet fully sorted out.)

It took a bit of finishing and fiddling to arrive at the splendid piece you see before you.  Firstly, I couldn't buy the right widths locally, so I needed to rip wider pieces on the tablesaw.  Sounds easy (and it is) but ripping a long piece of metal like that is a little scary, and little curly razor-blades do tend to spray around everywhere.  It makes for a lot of clean-up, and I had worn a few minor cuts and nicks after I was finished it all.  After the main widths, everything else can be done with a nice clean hacksaw.

Next, cut to length with appropriate angling, sand the rough edges with trusty old 80-grit, and buff out the scratches and imperfections with some #0 steel wool.  Drill and countersink screw-holes, and install with #6 stainless wood screws.  Under a microscope, it winds up looking like this:

"Why on earth would you install the aluminium before painting?!" you cry.  "You'll just need to mask it all again and again, and that just makes more work!!"

True!  But it occurred to me that I was adding quite a bit of thickness with the layers of epoxy of recent memory, and finding out about a door not closing or other nonsense after full finishing would be a little ... disappointing.  Better to install the trim now, test-fit the doors, and do any needed adjustments before the show-room coats go on.  I think I'll put a smear of silicone or something very thin underneath to prevent water creep anyway, so this likely isn't the final install.

"Does this mean we're done hearing about sanding?!"  Well, yes it does ... for now.  I believe the primer will need a quick once-over, and maybe more.  But the real lion's share of sanding for the project is over.  And it feels magnificent!  The plastic epoxy sands smooth and lovely and should make a perfect water-resistant layer under paint.  I'm not sure it's going to look good from 10" away like a showroom car, but it's just a camping trailer.

Hey, this thing is getting done!  Gee whiz, if I keep going at this rate, it might only be a year late!

No comments:

Post a Comment