Monday, December 28, 2009

Hanging out my shingle

I made it 100% official today by hanging out my shingle. Frank's Trailer Works is now my full time job. Trailer Repair is what we do. As many of you know, I have had a successful cabinet making business going for many years. I have always made a healthy living making saw dust, but have aluminum in my blood now. I have had a hard time giving up the wood working for many months. For Christmas I gave myself a new lease in life and decided that Frank's Trailer Works is my one and only job.
I received a very nice gift in the mail just before Christmas. Well, I paid for it, but the need it filled and the way it was packaged was truly a gift. The box was like a fortress. Once opened it was like a puzzle as to how to unpack it. I am telling you, the packaging was bullet proof. I had been contacted by Wally himself as to what I needed for my 1954 Safaris. Yes, Wally himself contacted me. He had a 54 Flying cloud that had been rode very hard, put away wet and ridden even harder the next day. Just about every panel had been beaten to hell. Wally was buying it and looking for people who needed the good stuff. I jumped all over the offer and I am more than happy with what came out of Pandora's Box. Wally, I cannot thank you enough.

There were five Herh Standard windows. They are complete windows even with the operators and screens. Even though the amount of air coming through them is minimal, I love the lines of those double windows.
The windows came with drip caps. They call them eye brows out west.
but the real gem in the box was the entire center section of the rear. One of my 54's had the entire center of the rear removed so a chest freezer could be put in the rear. It was a hunting camp trailer, a man needs to keep his meat cold. The entire rear was in the box. The inside panels, outside panels, ribs around the window, and the window too.
Even the wall outlet is there. Wally sent me everything I need to put my trailer back together the way it should be. Thank you so much Wally. If I still wore a beret, I would be taking it off to you.

Now that I am no longer being distracted by making cabinets, I can focus in full time on LuLu. I am so glad to be able to get rolling full time on my clients projects. Bet I have the best night of sleep tonight. Stress keeps me up at night and I am so relieved that I might even sleep till 5am tomorrow.
as I posted earlier, LuLu had a major rim malfunction. It tore her skin very badly. I need to make the damage go away.
The first thing I did was create a template of the patch.

I then cut them out with the shears.
A little shaping on a 120 belt in the belt sander
The belt takes out all the wobble of the shears and makes the curve smooth and graceful.
Next the trim was fitted into the wheel well edges. This is a very ridged extrusion and requires a very patient persuasion to negotiate the inside curves.
A little dry fitting...

I think this is going to be a fine solution to patching over the tear in the skin. Almost all the rivets can be bucked without too much effort.

Stay tuned for more updates....


  1. Congratualations on the new shingle - I know you will do well.


  2. Frank:

    Congratulations on your new focus! I hope you find much enjoyment in your full time Airstream business!


  3. Removing stress is a good thing and adding aluminum is even better. Best of luck to you on your new venture.

  4. Good for you Frank. Hang out that sign with pride and lets hope you can make a good living with aluminium (sorry, aluminum) shavings and sawdust.

    Nice festive present from Wally Claus ! Christmas has certainly come for those 54s.

    Have a great one & a prosperous 2010.


  5. It's official. I wish you the very best in your business venture, Frank. It is awesome to see the pictures of the panel you have for the 54. It will be a perfect match.

  6. Congrats Frank! Wally's a great guy, has helped me tremendously, glad he could help you too! Look forward to watching your progress on the 54. Used your belt sander trick the other day working on my water heater cover, in fact got a new belt sander for Christmas just for the occasion.

  7. Frank, Wally sent you the 1954 motherlode! And congrats on the new shingle. Here's to a wonderful 2010.

    Lulu looks to be healing well.