Saturday, December 29, 2012

Florida, here we come

The Teardrop repairs are complete, the lights are all working and it's inspected. Bam.

Packing it up and leaving for Florida on January first or second.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mind the gap

Alright, time to address the gap between the bottom of the galley and the hatch.

I ripped a few pieces of wood to 3/16" thick and laminated them together creating a shim to fill in the ridiculous gap at the bottom.

The gap is at the last 8" of the hatch and increases from 1/2"  to  1-1/2" at the bottom.

The curve is very slight so it was quite easy to bend the wood to shape. You just attach it to the hatch itself, let the glue dry, then take it off. This is what it will look like:

I primed and painted the shims with marine-grade paint. Did I mention it was exterior grade???

There were still some gaps, so I ripped a few more pieces and glued them in.  This is what it looks like:

I made graduated steps to fill in the remaining gaps, applied exterior caulk, then screwed it down with exterior grade screws. Notice the theme there: exterior grade everything.

Now I need to install the weather stripping on the hatch, and I should have a pretty tight seal.

I need to figure out how to keep the hatch closed now. Currently I'm using a hasp and it's not lining up anymore.

Yeah, what the hell is a hasp, right? I didn't know until 5 minutes ago myself.  It's that piece of hardware in the picture on the right. It swings over the other piece (which isn't there) and locks. Hasp. I learn something new and trivial every day.

Anyhow, the male part can't go on the hatch where it used to, so I bought a gate hinge. Let's see if I can MacGvyer something up.  I'm betting that I can.

Time for a cocktail!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Paint, paint and paint

Time for some Rust-Oleum Topside marine-grade oil paint. I applied five coats.

This stuff is great. It goes on thick and acts as a leveler for uneven surfaces.

This stage is complete.

Next up: dealing with the gap at the bottom where the hatch and galley meet.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rain diverters for the hatch hinge

Now that the hatch hinge is sealed on the ends, it's time to make a rain diverter.

It's really easy to make, all you need is a piece of aluminum angle iron and a few tools.  You cut it with a band saw, hack saw, or tin snips, and then smooth it with a metal file.

I shaped aluminum angle to the side profile of the hinge then cold-welded it onto the hinge and side. You want zero water infiltration at the sides, and this is one way to prevent it.

The better way is keeping your hinge long enough to overhang by about 1/2" on each side - but, I'm way past that point!   -insert swearing here-

Again, it's not pretty, but it's not going anywhere and water shouldn't get in.

I used JB Weld. It's an epoxy that's incredibly strong in every condition you throw at it, at least any condition a Teardrop trailer can throw at it.

It feels like I might be in the home stretch of reapirs now.

Progress is good, progress is good (repeat).


Friday, December 21, 2012

Fix the hatch hinge

Well, this looks fantastic, doesn't it?! Not.

I'm not really sure how this happened.  There should be no hole there. It looks like I made the cut for the hatch 1" too soon.

However it happened. It's bad - very bad - and it's like this on both sides.

My answer was Bondo.  I blocked the inside with a piece of plastic and filled in the hole.

Bondo is an incredibly stable filler. If it works on vehicles in every climate, it'll work on the Teardrop.
Not the prettiest repair in the world, but the hole is gone.

Making a rain diverter is next. It will function like a gutter on the ends of the hatch hinge.

Did I hear someone pop a champagne bottle? I'll be right there...


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time to prime and paint

The galley and hatch having been drying out for 2 weeks now. 

Today I sanded and primed the bottom and sides of the galley interior.

Next up: Marine grade oil paint, more caulk, and addressing the gap in the sides where the hatch hinge is, which I've been avoiding.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Water damage repair

I found more water damage on the bottom of the hatch.  I chiseled out the rot and let it dry for a few days before filling it in.

I keep coming back to the same thought: What the hell was I thinking not finishing bare wood?

What. The. Hell?  -sigh-

The good thing about building something from the ground up is just that - YOU built it.

You know how everything goes together and how everything could come apart. You get too see all the flaws and all the successes of your build.  So when something goes wrong or breaks you know how to fix it.

I know exactly what to do and not to do next time I build a Teardrop.

I patched the hole with exterior grade filler. I'll cut a piece of wood to fill in the remaining void. That piece will be primed and painted on all sides and then epoxied in.

Time for some champagne, because I like bubbles.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More hatch repairs

Here we have our major offender: the hatch hinge that was cut too short, and a gap rivaling the size of the Delaware Water Gap. Time to scrape and sand. What was I thinking? This is a HOLE!

Are you judging me? Well, it won't be more than I judge myself, so bring it on!  :)

Our second offender is the bottom of the hatch where it just doesn't have a good seal; there's a gap at the sides.
I started laminating thin strips of wood to fill in the gap a bit so this is phase one.

Live and learn, live and learn...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Teardrop building tip 1,129,989

Building a Teardrop trailer?

Seal every single wooden surface really, really well. This means end grain, too. Seal, seal, seal. You want to make it waterproof inside and outside. It's not impossible; you just need to be thorough.

Use paint on the galley side walls, floor and hatch interior. Use a thick, oil paint. Water will most likely find its way in at some point, dripping down a wall and puddling on a flat surface so make sure it's all waterproof.

Caulk every single seam, anywhere two pieces of wood meet. Seal it up.

That's my speech of the day.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Water damage be damned!

Well, I'm dragging my feet on this and we're leaving for Florida for a one month trip on January 2, so it's time to get my rear in gear.

I moved the Teardrop into the shop to assess the water damage in the galley and it's been raining ever since, so good timing on that.

At first I thought I might get away with doing a "little" repair, but this is like washing one spot on a dirty white wall. You just can't do one spot. There's no easy fix here.

First, I let a fan dry it out for 2 days.  Then I got out a scraper and some chisels. Fun times.

Water is getting in on the bottom of the hatch - gotta fix that.

The top of the hatch is leaking, too! Boo, leaks, boo!

I had to let it sit for a week and stare and think and stare and think some more before I moved forward.  I've removed all rotten and wet wood. Next steps are filling voids with Bondo or exterior wood putty, and sealing every crack and every spot where two pieces of wood meet, then painting the galley sides and floor with marine paint.

I also have to address the lower half of the hatch not making contact with the trailer when closed; There's a gap of about 1/2".

More soon -