Hello, my friends. Welcome back to Bedlam.
If this is your first visit, I’m in the process of giving myself a long, hard lesson in humility and patience, (and taking a correspondence course in do-it-yourself spleen transplants to enable a friend of mine to be able to, once again, enjoy dirty martinis). Actually, this is week thirteen of a TTT, (Tiny Travel Trailer), build that I have lovingly and painfully erected from the bottom up.
First off, I’d like to thank a friend of mine, Dan W, (alias Super-Tech), for his encouragement throughout this project. Dan has suffered through the blog every week, giving me ideas and opinions, and has convinced me that those runs in the epoxy I was so worked up about last week will just add character to Nosty’s Nook and make it unique. You’re as full of it as a Christmas goose, Dan, but I do appreciate it. They sanded out pretty well, by the way.
(Friday) Well, the third coat of enamel went on today. I’m watching it dry as I write this. I need to get a life. When the highlight of your day is watching paint dry, it’s time to rethink your priorities.
We are not happy. The plexiglas-like finish I’d hoped for just isn’t coming to fruition. Considering that there’s four full coats of epoxy and, now, three coats of urethane enamel on the outer shell, I had hoped for more. I’m rethinking the use of the foam rollers I’ve used throughout, for the epoxy and the paint, and thinking that I might add one more coat tomorrow using a roller with a nap to, hopefully, fill in some of the little “Oh Craps,” scattered about the skin. Not that the finish is hideous or anything like that, but it just isn’t what I want to settle for after all the sweat equity I’ve put into this project to date. Stay tuned for film at 11.
(Saturday) For a break in the doldrums of watching paint dry, I went ahead, threw caution to the wind, and made reservation’s for Nosty’s Nook’s maiden voyage. Nothing like adding yet another deadline and more pressure to an already rattling pressure cooker. This Thanksgiving weekend, “Da Nook” and I will be parked just over the South Carolina/Georgia border on Lake Hartwell, soaking up the ambiance and enjoying our first weekend in the woods in a very long time. Of course, I’ll be taking pictures, (hopefully none of them will be of Nosty’s Nook broken down on the side of the highway), catching up on my reading and working on the blog. To add to this weekend’s festivities, I’ve got three massive tree limbs in my back yard that look as if they may make great firewood for that weekend. Time to break out the chainsaw. Pray for me!
The fourth coat wasn’t a miracle cure, but the 3/8″ nap roller did make a difference. I can live with it. I’ve got a little touch up and body work to do next week, but, for the most part, I’m fairly satisfied with the finish. While I was in a painting frame of mind, I went ahead and got the first coat of primer on the galley walls and on the inside door skins so I can, God willing, get the windows in tomorrow. The local radio station was having a “Flashback Weekend!” (which they do every weekend so I don’t know what all the fuss is about), but the 70’s and 80’s were oozing from the boom box and I was two-steppin to the oldies with my paint roller. Did I mention that I need to get a life?
(Sunday) Whoo Hoo!!! Houston, we have liftoff!! The past three years have finally come together well enough to make me believe that I will soon be enjoying quiet weekends by the lake, mesmerized by the crackle and pop of a roaring fire and returning to a hobby that I have loved since I was a boy, but have had little chance to enjoy in many years.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Damen und Herren, boys and girls of all ages, I give you the, “outside almost finished,” Nosty’s Nook!”
I know! Pretty cool, ain’t it? *laughing* Forgive me for gushing, but for me, this is a milestone; one that I’ve been planning and hoping for these last three years.
With the exception of the right side door window, everything today went extremely well. I must confess to using a few words that would probably get my mouth washed out with soap if my mother were here to hear them, but, tongue in cheek, I finally got the booger to cooperate. Either the internal ring that came with the window was bent, or I cut the hole a little too small on the inside door skin. For the sake of argument, let’s just assume the ring was bent or otherwise deformed, and go from there. However, after I ran the Rotozip around the hole in a few strategic places, the ring finally went in and the window and ring aligned properly and cinched up.
I’ll have to write a letter of complaint tomorrow. Unfortunately, It’ll have to be addressed to me. Fortunately, it was one of those screw-ups that’s easily fixed. Confucius say: It is much easier to make a hole bigger, than it is to make one smaller. I don’t know whether he really said that, but it sounds like something he’d say.
I’ve still got some touch-up painting to do around the outer skin but, for the most part, with the exception of the rear doors, all that’s left outside is to install the trim around the doors and add the door hardware.
I can taste that grilled turkey breast, mashed taters and pecan pie I have planned for Thanksgiving dinner by the lake already.
Here’s a shot of the front. All that remains is to install a locking garage door handle to the top front of the box to make it secure. I’m having a hard time finding one in gloss black. I may have to order one online. The box came out better than I expected and I’m sure it’ll really come in handy given the limited amount of storage space inside the TTT. In the previous picture you can see the roof vent. I was really concerned about there being a big leak potential there, so I ran two congruent runs of butyl tape, two deep, around the inside lip and caulked all the screws before I drove them in. If that leaks, I’ll either be booking package on the ark, or reevaluating my woefully overestimated woodworking capabilities.
Another milestone today was when I said goodbye to that 5 gallon bucket filled with concrete, (my redneck, pool deck, umbrella stand). I had it sitting inside toward the front of the camper, glaring at me every week, to stop the camper from popping wheelies. The added weight of the box seems to have solved the problem so, once I’ve installed the remainder of the bed frame and the plywood bed platform, that worry should be a thing of the past. Have I mentioned that things are finally starting to come together? *laughing*
Thankfully, the weather has been phenomenal throughout the build. I think I’ve missed three days due to inclement weather. Now if it’ll just hold out for a few more weeks, we’ll be ready to rock and roll! Now, with everything in the dry, I can, probably, squeeze inside with the camper under the big top to do small things. Unfortunately, the big top isn’t big enough to set up power tools or maneuver sheet goods around, but painting shouldn’t be a problem.
“Dear Santa, I know I’ve been a real stinker this year, (same as always), but if I promise to make you a batch of cannoli, would you please bring me a garage? Thanks, your most “interesting” friend, Brian,” Hey, he sure didn’t get that fat eating tofu. It’s worth a shot.
This is the last of the pictures for this week, (the crowd cheers!). You can see the left door window installed. I had a picture of the right side, too, but the sun was at just the right angle to provide a great reflection of the idiot photographer emblazoned in the side of the camper. I buy a better camera and I still can’t shoot good pictures. Oh well, my sister got the photographic skills. I was cursed with the brains and good looks. *laughing* That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Well, my friends, next week it’ll be a combination of interior work and the outside door trim. I’m hoping that things will start moving along faster now that I won’t have to wait a day between epoxy and paint coats. Those steps have been a real bottleneck in an otherwise smoothly flowing process. I’m using Kilz primer on the inside, which has a one hour re-coat time and water based latex paint which usually dries enough to be re-coated in a few hours. Now that the windows are installed, and the inside is, basically, sealed off if the windows and doors are closed, I can work on the cabinet faces without fear of flying sawdust infiltrating the wet paint; so I’m optimistic. I still have to dig out the old Coleman stove and lanterns to insure they’re in working order. With all the time that’s passed since their last use, I may find them with families of insects, mold and whatnot living inside.
I’d like to thank you all for stopping by each week, and for your great emails and comments. It has really been fun talking with you, both via email and on Facebook. I’d also like to thank the folks from the Teardrop and Tiny Travel Trailer Forums who have given me so much help in the areas where I was either unsure, or didn’t have a clue, on how to tackle certain parts of the build. Keep those cards and letters coming. It’s really a pleasure talking with you. You can contact me via email anytime at email@example.com.
Until next week, I wish you peace, happiness and success in everything you do. Life is wonderful. Live it to the fullest.
©Brian Greenleaf 2010. All rights reserved.
And, if you’re looking for a great read for the cold weekends ahead, order a copy of my latest book, Born Bent Over: Flashing the Vertical Smile at Middle Age. I guarantee a chuckle in every chapter. You can find it at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, or through my website, bgreenleaf.com where you can also read some of my short stories or hear the, quickly becoming famous, Born Bent Over Theme Song.