Hi all.  Greetings from among the falling leaves, (which, along with the multitude of bugs, I’ve been picking out of the epoxy finish all weekend).  Fall has finally come to South Carolina.

The one that got away

Welcome back.  If you’re new to the blog, I’m in the tenth week of building a tiny travel trailer and sharing my experiences, good and bad, with those interested in teardrop and tiny travel trailers.

Well, there’s good news and bad news this weekend.  The good news is that the epoxy work has been going along quite well, (result-wise, not time-wise),  For a first-time attempt, I’d have to say I’m doing a pretty darn good job. *patting himself on the back*

Unfortunately, there have been some pratfalls along the way which are costing me precious time.  The picture on the left is the result of my not working fast enough.  The intense heat I felt in my hand, coming from within the container, let me know that I might have mixed too big a batch that time. *laughing*  So far, that’s the only batch that went off on me.  I only lost about 4oz, so nothing serious.  That “souvenir” is now a paperweight on my desk.

For starters, I bought fiberglass tape with a selvage edge to reinforce all the seams.  That’s a fiberglass material cloth tape with a seam sewed along one side to keep the tape from fraying while you’re glassing it.  Excellent idea; one downfall.  That selvage edge leaves a ridge of about a 1/16th”.  Until Saturday morning, I did not know that?   Not conducive to hiding the tape under the subsequent coats of epoxy.  Because of that, instead of getting out there Saturday morning and applying a first coat of epoxy over the entire camper in time to be able to let that dry sufficiently to apply the second coat later that evening, I spent all morning sanding that selvage edge off of all the seams, (and I so love sanding!).  By Saturday afternoon, I was able to apply one complete coat.  The temps have dropped considerably here in SC this week, (that’s not a complaint).  Unfortunately, the curing time for epoxy is directly proportional to the ambient temperature.  Anything below 60 degrees F drastically retards curing time.  It’s was forecast, and was, in the high 40’s Saturday night.  There was no chance of getting a second coat on, which meant I had to start the second coat Sunday morning.

Once all three coats are applied, I’ll have to allow the epoxy to cure completely before painting.  That’s usually about a week.  Of course, while the epoxy is drying, there’s little else you can do.  You can’t sand anything within a 10-mile radius or you’ll get the dust in the drying epoxy, (I’m having enough problems picking the bugs and leaves out of the epoxy).  It’s difficult, at best, to get inside and do anything in the interior given the wet epoxy surrounding the small doors and, even if I could work inside, you can’t cut anything with the saw or you’ll create sawdust which will stick to the epoxy.  A conundrum to be sure.

As Robert Burns said in his poem, To A Mouse, (and Steinbeck reiterated in Of Mice and Men), “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew.”  They said a mouth full!  In as much as I hate to admit defeat, I’m afraid that my deadline is going to have to be changed.  It certainly hasn’t been from lack of effort or poor planning, so I don’t feel too badly.  But I am chomping at the bit to get her camp-able and try her out.

The new, self-imposed, deadline for taking Nosty’s Nook on the road is Thanksgiving weekend.

Roof and front two-coated

On the whole, things are coming together beautifully.  Nosty’s Nook now has a glassy plastic finish that, I’m praying, will take the finish color beautifully.  As you can, hopefully, see from the picture, the front and roof have two coats on them.  The sun shining off the front gives you an idea of the sheen.  The rain started as I was finishing up for the day today, (Sunday), so I couldn’t get any pictures, but the whole camper is now sporting two coats and it all looks like the front.  Unless I’ve really missed my mark, I don’t foresee any water finding its’ way through the, now plastic, finish.

I also managed to get the seams taped and a first coat on the tongue box and lid today.  Next weekend will be spent finishing up the epoxy, filling all the remaining screw holes with body filler and getting everything ready for paint the following weekend.  Between my “exciting” moments, watching paint dry, I’m hoping to get a little more done on the interior and the galley.  In all honesty, I’m beginning to hate painting almost as much as I hate sanding.  I must be suffering painter’s malaise, due mostly to painter’s shoulder and painter’s elbow.  I haven’t found anything to blame the rest of my aching joints on, but I’m working on it.  It doesn’t matter.  The aches and pains brought on from doing something you love are almost always tolerable.  Ten weeks later and I’m still having a ball.  The epoxy coating was a new experience for me and I’ve learned a great deal, both from my personal experiences, and from the great folks on the Teardrop and Tiny Travel Trailer forums. I’m living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I just hope that my impending dementia doesn’t cause me to forget everything I’ve learned before the next opportunity to use it comes along.

I had hoped to have more to report after this weekend but, alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.  It’s a little frustrating, but that’s all part of the adventure.  I’m a lot further along than I was last weekend so life is good.

As always, feel free to send any comments or questions to me at doc@bgreenleaf.com

Until next week, may your days be filled with love and laughter.

Adio,

Brian

Belly laughs on every page.
Born Bent Over: Flashing the Vertical Smile at Middle Age.
And don’t forget,  If you’re nearing 40, past 40, or concerned about the changes you’ll incur when you get there, and would like to laugh til you cry when you find out the answers, stop by the book store and order a copy of my latest book, Born Bent Over:  Flashing the Vertical Smile at Middle Age. It’s available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com or through my website, bgreenleaf.com .  I can guarantee that, if you have a sense of humor, and love a good belly laugh, (snorting optional), Born Bent Over is just what the doctor ordered.
©Brian Greenleaf 2010

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