Friday, March 27, 2015

57 Caravanner 6 of...

I try to practice modesty. In all honesty, I am very self critical and even occasionally self loathing. What you see in the photo above however, impresses even myself. It has been a very long journey to the photo above. It has cost me a great deal of lost time, struggle, unwisely spent money, and many nights of lost sleep. Now that I am here, I would not trade it for anything.

Many posts ago, I waxed poetics about how easy that damaged segment was going to be to replace. If this trailer had been any year besides 1957, it would have been very simple. Unfortunately for me, in 1957 the Ohio factory decided that they were going to show great skill in a simple edge detail. The factory did a full roll over of the edge. This is not a regular detail. It takes special tooling and special skills. I spent many hours seeking out this talent. Even though I visited a lot of metal shops and talked to many old time tin benders, not one could do it. Not one, knew even where to send me. They all kept saying it was a roll over die.

It takes a very special die to make this edge correctly. After three incorrect die purchases(Price them. You will be surprised) I finally found Joe at Hoosier Profiles. He custom made a die just for me. It took him two tries to get it correct. I admire a company that stands behind what they do and will make it right. Hoosier Profiles did a great job for me.
I was trained as a cabinet maker by a man named Mr Fitzgerald. Mr Fitzgerald was a serious hard ass, old school master woodworker. He trained me well and I am forever indebted to him for the direction he gave me. One of Mr Fitzgerald's favorite things to say was "it's either right, or it's wrong" This edge detail became an obsession to get it correct. With perseverance, I got it 100% spot on correct.

The new segment slipped into place as if it was originally made for it.

Such a sexy curve. It amazes me that flat pieces of aluminum can be made into a half circle like this. 

We bucked the new segment in. Copious amounts of Trempro 626 were used. I told Wayne I want squeeze out. I got it.

Once polished, no one will be able to pick this segment out from the rest. It is work like this that sets my shop apart from the rest. anyone else would have said close enough and cut their losses. Not me. It is either right, or it is wrong. 

 I will get a message asking. I have nothing to hide. 
This segment, billed to the client; Materials: $100
Labor 2.5 hrs@ $70: $175
$275 total
Actual materials spent $457
Actual hours spent: 26



  2. Frank, you are one with much karma in the bank. You can sleep well knowing that... but I know you you won't.

  3. think of it as an investmentin peace of mind

  4. I love your old school craftsmanship. You don't see that much anymore. I am certain your teacher Mr. Fitzgerald would be proud. A+