Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

One year of blood, sweat, and a few tears is being rewarded with what is turning out to be a FABULOUS weekend in Milford at the Tin Can Tourists fall rally.  I’m reminded again that without our great friends, none of this would be possible.  Many thanks to Mike and Cheryl O’Conner, Mike and Cortney Greene, Butch and Pam Starner, Jake and Tami Moomey , Kirk and Donnell Brown for assistance, and all our TCT friends for support and encouragement.  Kim and I couldn’t have gotten so much done so fast without you.  
Without further ado, behold, the ’47 Spartan Manor:

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See that guy, with polishing compound in his beard, ears, eyes, reflected in the trailer?  That guy, yup, right there, the one who said he wasn’t going to polish another trailer, that this one would be painted.  Looks like he’s polishing a trailer, doesn’t it?

I was going to simply acid wash the trailer and call it good for this fall, but after I got done with the wash, I didn’t like how it looked.  I had bought a new buffer, pads, and Nuvite polish from Vintage Trailer Supply, so I had everything on hand, and started in.  I bought some 3M Super Duty rubbing compound, which I’ve used in the past for the first cut, but it’s SO messy, greasy, flings all over, that I tried the Nuvite G7 I’d bought, and it works MUCH better!  Not nearly as dirty (although you wouldn’t know that by looking at me!), cuts better, and doesn’t fill the bonnet with greasy left over compound.  It’s a winner.  C grade compound after that for the 2nd cut, and it’s as good as I can get it with a rotary buff.  I’ll have some residual swirl marks, but it’ll be fine.

I realized both of my step ladders, and the planks I use as scaffold to get up on the roof and polish are at our sons house in Dexter, they  used them painting and a little kitchen remodel in their new home.  The steel ramps on sawhorses are great for doing the sides, I can’t get up on the roof to polish.  Darn.  So, I’m going for a tu-tone bare metal scheme, only the sides below the drip rail will be polished (for now), the roof and back will be left the dull white acid wash.  Later, when I recover from polishing the sides, and I have my ladders and planks back, I’ll get ambitious and do the rest.  For now it’ll look interesting, and much, much better than it did.

Tomorrow I want to get the 2nd cut completed on the curb side (shown), I still have to do the upper panels between the windows, and then move on to the street side.  It should go faster than today, since the wash is done, I should be able to polish the rest in about 4 hours.  Then, I’d like to get started on the screen doors and get the curtain rods up.  Kim is finishing up the curtains tonight, so it’d be nice to see the interior with the barkcloth curtains in.

In other news, the Zip-Dee awning arrived today, my buddy Jake Moomey is going to stop by Saturday and help install it, he put one on his Spartan this spring hours before they left for Camp Dearborn, so he’s experienced!

That’s all until tomorrow, time to take an Aleve and pass out…

I’ve gotten lots done the last couple days.  All the Spartan’s window garnish trims are polished and installed, accent lights on the display shelves in, bulkhead cabinet lights over the bed are installed.  The dump valves are on the black and grey tanks are on and I replaced the leaking seal in the Dometic “Sea/Land” toilet.  Not very glamorous but needed.  

The new Zip-Dee awning should be done this week, the screen doors need to be built and I have get the new center front window in.  The upholsterer needs to get busy, my work is almost done!

More progress on the Spartan.


At this rate it may get done.

IMG_9435Finally, I got varnish on the interior of the Spartan!  Two coats on the forward 1/3rd, and one coat everywhere else.  The cabinet doors, drawers, and all the other little parts also have two coats.  I got two coats on the part of the interior, shown above, because I put the second coat on while the first coat was still a bit “tacky”.  You can see the break at the piece of trim over the counter top.  Everything beyond that is just one coat, and is visibly duller than the forward panels.  Now, sand everything with 220, then another two coats, and I can start putting this thing back together.

We’re ordering the foam for the cushions, and Marmoleum for the countertops this week, once the varnish is done Kim will make the cushions (we have the material for them and the curtains) and I can finish up the hundreds of unfinished chores yet to be done, and hopefully it’ll be so we can use it this summer.

Following are more photos of the interior, the first are of the paneling just stained, a mix of Golden Pecan Minwax oil stain, and a bit of yellow paint, and then with varnish on.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

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Todays project was to rebuild and lengthen the Spartan trailers tongue and install the power jack.  Why I haven’t used these on every other trailer we’ve done is a mystery, this thing is the bomb!   Instead of cutting the tongue off and making an entire new one, I simply “sistered” a length of 2×5 mild steel tubing onto the existing tongue, lengthened it about two inches, didn’t have to change the angle or alter it in any way.  I’m happy with the result, it’s long enough to use the Reese load level hitch bars, and the power lift is really, really nice.

IMG_9095I assembled and welded the new legs onto the new coupler before I welded anything on the trailer tongue, which was a bit of foresight I usually don’t have.  The bottom has strips of 7 gauge steel strips welded to the new legs, which I welded (from above) to the inside of the original channel.  The top is welded solidly, as well as the ends.  I’m proud of the stick-welded job, it looks good, and the ancient coupler/jack is headed for the scrap pile.

IMG_9091I temporarily wired up the thermostat/control for the roof mounted A/C-heat pump, and like everything else, it fired right up and works AMAZINGLY well.  The A/C is ice cold, the heat works, and it’s all controlled by the wall mounted ‘stat.  Pretty high tech for me!

12670494_10209728838480345_1409778006787131956_nI had gotten the fridge vent stack installed as well, and wired up the 12V feed to it, and started it.  It cools down as it should, and while I had no doubt it would, it’s nice to verify it works after all that effort, and trading a really nice vintage camper I bought last winter for it!  The water heater is also vented, the cap is on the roof covering both vent stacks, all that remains to be done is to plumb the 3/8″ soft copper line to them both, and the kitchen stove.

I’m getting close.

On the ’34 Roadster front, some progress too.  I put together the body cradle I’d made for the ’36’s body, and got the ’34 body safely setting on it instead precariously perched on jack stands and a jenga-like stack of 4×4’s.  The rear end is mocked up, and I decided the flimsy looking hairpin radius rods that came with the project weren’t going to cut it.  Instead, I started making a set of really beefy, and traditional looking, hairpin rods from a seat of ’36 front wishbones I had.  I like how they look, and once I get the spring clamps I ordered from Mac’s Antique Auto, I can mount the rear axle and set the chassis on it’s wheels.  Big step!

Stay tuned, summer is coming, I want to get the Spartan done in time for our July 4th stay at Gun Lake, so I’ve got a lot to do!

IMG_8821.JPGIt seems like a long time since I worked on the trailer, in reality, it’s only been a couple weeks.  I’ve decided that the goal of making Camp Dearborn and the Tin Can Tourist Spring Rally isn’t going to happen, so I’ve slowed down a bit, but I’ve still gotten quite a bit done.

IMG_8799The new axle is under the trailer, and the Dodge 17″ 8 lug wheels and Michelon 24575R17 10 ply rated tires are on.  The trailer now looks like ours, it looks good and feels good having that chore done.  In addition, both waste tanks are under the trailer and the plumbing is 90% complete, so there are three things (almost) checked off the list.  Most of the trim is done inside, I have to steam and bend a couple pieces of quarter round, and cut the hole in the roof for the fridge and hot water heater vent, finally get the interior varnished, and a thousand other little jobs that I haven’t even thought of yet.

IMG_8800I’ve taken advantage of the lack of a rush on the trailer, to finally start organizing and working on the ’34 Ford roadster project I bought last fall after selling the ’48 Pontiac convertible.  I lifted the body off the frame, and made a (sort of) frame table/jig using two Stanley Work-Mates and some steel rectangular tubing.  I have the frame leveled, squared, tacked together, the engine mounts are in, and the front axle is hanging from the crossmember.  I’ve started welding the center section in,  and will get the  ’40 Ford rear crossmember flattened and in tomorrow.  At least, that’s the plan…

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So, that’s what’s happening here at Cool McCool’s Garage, progress on two fronts!