Thursday, February 26, 2009

Get your weld on.

This weekend was dedicated to the frame. Looking at the before and after of two and a half long days, doesn't look that impressive. We did a on of work, but it doesn't look much different than when we started. Ted, my father-in-law came to help. HUGE HELP! He cuts, grinds, marks, helps set up, tickles the grandkids, drinks coffee and has a big smile the whole time! Carol came too to help with the grand kids. Always great having them up.

Friday night started out with some planning. Also some cutting and grinding on the front end. I had assembled some parts over the week. Sometimes I think ordering and collecting supplies during the week is harder than the work on the weekend. Planning and calling around during work breaks and lunch hours can be a chore. For this weekend, I needed new steel pieces from the sheet metal shop, angle iron for the stabilizer jacks, new tongue jack with backing plate, safety chains with the weld on bits for frame attachment, flat bar to reinforce for the new axle and parts to make a spare tire carrier. Along with getting all the welding supplies from home and setting up the 'metal shop' I was tired before we started!

Saturday morning, Ted started cutting four rusty outriggers off with the angle grinder. I started out working on the tongue. Drilled holes for the new jack and got it mounted up. Next, welded on its new base plate on the bottom side of the frame. Safety chains went on next. I'll grind the old bolt studs off and detail it out later. Tongue is almost ready for paint!

neat... sparks.... Emmett never gets tired of watching them.

Next, I turned to getting mounts welded on for stabilizer jacks. I had a pair left over from the old trailer. I mounted the rear pair to the 18 footer, but never finished mounting the front ones. I used them to make mounts on the frame. Both front and back are ready to be covered up. It's hard to see from this picture, but we plan on running the propane line between the jack ends. There is about an inch between the jacks to run a jacketed 1/2" copper line.

Ted cut out a few of the center steel supports so we could weld in frame stiffeners. 1/4" x 4" steel was added to the frame to make a box section centered on the old spring mounts. My technical adviser Hugh convinced me to make sort of a fish mouth on both ends of the stiffener to encourage frame flex at the ends of the added steel. "It works on racecars," he said. Good enough for me! Even my Jr. welder Emmett approved the design.

'Bout time to get things wrapped up, it's Sunday morning and we're all getting a little tired.

Leon is in his car seat taking lessons on how to drive a floor jack from Big Brother Emmett.

Georgia turned thirteen this month! She didn't want a cake, she wanted something else to nibble on. "Mmm. Smells like big boy!"

"MMMmmm! Tastes like a big boy!! This is the best Birthday present ever!"


  1. Awesome progress, thanks for taking the time to document.


  2. Man you do great work and do it fast! I wish we could work at that pace.