Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Back from the welding shop

Here is my old frame, just back from the welder's this morning. He added steel to the outside of both tongue channels, from the coupling right back to the dropped floor.  The sandblasting made it easier to weld, and it revealed all the possible points of weakness.
Here is a view of the driver's side axle mount, with reinforcement.
This view is of the curb side.
Here you can see the rust perforation in the sheet steel.  This area is just below the closet when the trailer is put together.  It seems to me that moisture and debris get trapped in the C-channel frame because it is closed in by the sheet steel.  You don't see this part when the trailer is together because the fiberglass closet face comes right to the floor.  However in this Boler you do see the steel on two other surfaces -- the rise up to the dinette floor, and the "toe-kick" beneath the lower kitchen cupboards.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to cover them neatly and effectively, or if I'll just leave them exposed like they were originally.
This photo shows the slight curve in the frame.  I'm not sure why it's there -- there's no evidence of any sort of collision from the side, and everything seemed to line up properly beneath the kitchen area.

The curb side has a slight outward bow to match the driver's side curve.  One of the reasons why I chose not to have a completely new frame made up was that I wouldn't know if these deviations were necessary for the body to fit the frame.

 And here are more shots of the welding details.  You can see the rust perforations in the bottom of the C-channel, just ahead of the drop floor.  The frame is upside down here.
Before painting, I took some time to grind the welds smooth in places that would be exposed, and where the excess bead was not essential for strength.

Next job: apply POR-15.  I had to buy it at an automotive supply store, and it cost a fortune.  It was $75 plus tax for one quart, and the instructions called for the use of "Marine Clean" and then another metal primer.  I bought the spray bottle of Marine Clean at $30, but took a chance on not doing the metal prep.  The instructions did say that if old metal had just been sandblasted, then you could just blow the dust off and apply the POR-15 directly.  As I was spraying on the Marine Clean, it smelled just like the BBQ degreaser that I used a month ago.  I'm wondering if a spray bottle of that stuff, or EZ-Off oven cleaner would achieve the same results more cheaply.  Well, considering how much money I've spent so far on buying and shipping the new axle, and then on sandblasting, welding and painting, I can't be accused of being cheap!

This is the first blog I've ever done, and I'm really quite enjoying it.  I'm curious about the statistics and the comments: Blogger shows that as of tonight I've had 211 page views, most of which are from the US, but there have been a few from Russia.  I'm wondering what those Russians might have been looking for and why.  But I haven't had any comments yet. Hmmm.

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