Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I got the message...

I have been thinking of the following song in conjunction with this post for a number of days. I have been getting a number of calls asking the very same things asked in the lyrics. Perhaps you will click on it and listen as you read. It is being brought to you as music should be heard; a needle put to vinyl, turning at 45 rpm.

I have heard the phone ringing and so here comes your update of a very little bit of what has been going on at FTW.

Two jobs have been the main thrust on the shop floor. We have been going back and forth between the two trying to keep everything flowing while parts arrive, things dry so on.

Michele and Larry's trailer has had all the pre wiring completed and we moved right on to the second layer of reflective insulation. Here you see the front end cap. This is post repairs, sorry no photos of that step. I know some of you are curious about every aspect. I meant to document it, but sometimes I just get rolling and forget to snap any pictures.

Here is said end cap after it was installed and primed. Very crisp and clean. You might note the Vista Views have also been primed in this photo too. What primer? PPG K36. It is two part, high build urethane primer. I have grown very fond of this primer. It preforms very well even though it is over $125/ gallon. The savings of material and labor more than makes up for the cost.

Looking to the rear you can see the areas that we painted with a high gloss paint. Once again a two part PPG paint was used.

All the plastic parts were painted with the same color urethane paint.

Next we installed all new aluminum in the forward areas.

We used every single cleco I had and still could have used more.

We also installed this bamboo floor. Just you folks wait till we start building the interior next week. This interior is going to blow some minds.
Also under way we have Toaster...

In 1961 Gary Wilkins built all the interior cabinets. Men took pride in their work back in the day. They signed their work and that is why we are able to still use it to this day. Gary even left his finger prints behind.

In 1971, someone else took a little pride in their refinishing job. Unfortunately time has not been gentle to all the wood work.

A wee bit of new veneer was required. Here you see a whole roll. I always use an all wood type veneer. Once again, it cost a little more, but works better than the commonly available paper backed veneer which has given me trouble in the past.

We used yellow glue rolled onto both surfaces. It was then clamped down to a melamine cull. The glue will not stick to the melamine if any was to squeeze out.

Next is a mater of trimming the excess and sanding it all up. There are a few items that we will still rebuild from scratch. I will try and get you folks some shots of that real soon.

We have also been painting the interior of Toaster. Mary and Rick went with Zolatone. I got an excuse to purchase some new tooling and was given the opportunity to learn something new. The pressure pot system you see is by CA Technologies. All those of you who know, are drooling, those that don't, are saying "huh?" CA Technologies is the Airstream of paint equipment, a true tool for life. (Sorry, the tool whore will go away now)
So, Zolatone... We first shot two coats of primer. I am a firm believer in using the total system by a manufacturer. I was however far from impressed by the Zolatone brand primer. At $144/ gallon I expected perfection. It was just some white primer. I called up tech support and was told any good quality primer was fine. He wasn't happy when I asked why their brand was included in that group. I now wish I had just used the white PPG K36 that has proven to be stellar.

Next we moved on to the top coat. I want to say I have been spraying material for many years now. I am more than proficient at it. I have never encountered anything like Zolatone. The second I popped the lid, I was sent chocking for the respirator. The fumes from this product are beyond anything I could have imagined. My friend Scott warned me, but I still am astounded. Lesson number 1; if you do not have a make up air unit to breath through, don't spray this product. You will be so high by the time you are done that you just might fall out of the trailer flat onto your face. You might just find it easier to lay there for a while until your brain also falls out of trailer and back into your head. Do not ask me why I know, but I do. Even if you have a top of the line 3M face mask, it is far from adequate.
Lesson number 2; When you mix the product, mix it slowly and methodically. Then do it all over. Next mix it twice as long as the first two times. Oh, yeah, stirred not shaken unlike like James Bond's martini.

Here you see the new directly next to the original Zolatone. My pattern break up is much finer than the original. I wish I could show you the entire interior, but it just does not capture on film.

Here are some of the colors and patterns you will be seeing in the coming weeks. Disregard the Marmolium you see to left. The one to the right of it is going to be the floor.
Much more of this project to come...

I was asked about the paintings on the wall as seen in a reflection photo. Well here is my collection of very bad art. I am hoping to find some more black velvet landscapes soon. So bad, they are master works.