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Monday, December 19, 2011

Dinette is DONE

It's been a while since I have had a chance to post. Lets say its been a busy month with the birth of my second son Jacoby. Another happy camper joins our ranks... lets hope he stays happy. On top of that, a car accident, a leaking roof, and a Thomas themed extravaganza for my 2 year old.  Even during this busy time I was able to sqeeze in a little work. With a little help from my in-laws, I finally I got the dinette cushions recovered. I have had this material for about a year! I went full on with sewn corners and the whole deal. I posted the rebuild of the frames in a previous post if you are interested in seeing that. The rubber hallway runner from home depot worked great!. I used hog rings to hold it on top of the springs and then a layer of foam on top of that. The rubber really helps to distibute the load of you butt! Very comfortable.

I was trying to go for a modern take on a Retro look with the material... I have no idea if I succeeded in this but I do think it looks fantastic. It was about 20 degrees in the barn when I put these in last night. Peppere B,  being a bit of a veteran in this kind of stuff, was checking out my first attempt at upholstery work. His rump seemed to think I did well.  

The scrabble table is ready. I am looking at you Derek and Julie!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting Closer to the Finish Line

Well I made some great progress again this weekend. Whenever I think I am almost done I fine yet another item that needs to be checked off of the list. This weekend some big items got the DONE stamp. First the bumper. She is in, painted and I have incorporated some very cool stabilizers. I get this idea from Jen's (my wife) uncle Dick he did something similar on his Airstream, Thanks Dickie! Looks like its going to work well. Have a look. You just drop the two pipes down the welded on tubes, tighten the pinch bolt, and crank the front up. DONE

This is what it looks like with the pipes out.

Also all of the trim for the windows is made and urethaned. Ready to be installed. Looking forward to getting that done. The trim alone took a whole weekend to cut to size and make. Tedious crap.

Finally the Dinnette cushions... OHHH the disgustingness of it all. The mouse urine was thick that day my friends. I think these photos show some of the damage. I tried to salvage the frame. I found the best way to get mouse pee out is to burn the piece of wood that has pee soaked in it and make new frames from scratch. They are done and I am very happy with the results.

New frame next to old frame. The black marks are the stains from the mice... my whole garage stunk

I used rubber hallway runner as the backer for the springs instead of burlap. its cheap and I think it will work great. I was able to reuse the upper frames as they had not been invaded by rodents.

OHHH but thats not all. I also made new screens for all of my windows. They sell all the stuff at Home Depot. Its not very costly and once you get the hang if it... its pretty easy. They look like they might be original to the camper, very happy with the final product.

I also restored the original dealers metal cast name plate. Shasta owners like to keep and show these on their trailers as they originally were, its kinda a thing. Pretty cool, tells you where the camper originally came from.... not too interesting for me in this case, it came from 40 minutes away from where I bought it. I was hoping for Albacurky, or Kalimazoo.... anywhere more interesting and perhaps where Bugs Bunny might have frequented.

The Floor is also all done... think I might have shown this on some previous posts but oh well. Here it is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Barn

In a previous post I promised to add some pictures of the barn that I am working on the Shasta in. Well today I received some good pictures from my favorite (and only) sister-in-law. Thanks Jess. Enjoy... and to my fellow Shasta restorers, try not to be too jealous.

The first floor has 12 ft ceilings... you could fit 4 Campers....... hmmmmmm

The sister-in-law and I upstairs in the wood shop. These are the old woodworking tools from my grandfather who build wooden boats. The machines are 40's and 50's vintage, great stuff, all cast iron.

The assembly table and work area. Most of the items I made for the trailer were done up here and then carried down stairs for assembly

They didn't care much about safety back then. Nothing has guards... nice exposed belts to get your hand caught in.

Work bend

The whole barn was made by my father, it even has some homemade lumber in it.  He has a home built sawmill next to the barn. The Shasta has some of that wood in it as well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wings, Progress, and What-not

I am going to start off this post by talking a bit about the Vintage Shasta Trailer Forum . If your restoring or renovating a camper, this is a fantastic resourse. I will be adding a link to the site on my blog. The administrator Brian does a great job with it. I have been posting quite a bit lately on the forum about the Shasta wings. I need to make the set for my camper, and I know there are so many people out there that need wings for their trailers as well. This got me to thinking if I can duplicate the factory wings... and do it well, I can offer these to others. Well the respose was quite good. I have some generous folks who are willing to donate damaged wings so that templates can be made. I am looking forward to getting this going... should keep me busy this winter. That and my second child which is due in November.

So now to the progress on rhw Nasty Shasty. Sorry to say I dont have any pictures to post this week. However there has been a ton of progress. The floors are finished with three coats of poly and look fantastic. Really happy with how these came out. Also the drawer under the bed is done, just two coats left on that. The bathroom door is complete. I used an old latch that I found in the barn for it. Looks great and was my grandfathers, I love that. The decals are on! Like adding a cherry to the sunday. Oh and how could I forget... got the toilet in today.... like the pit of the cherry!

The wife and I went antiquing the other day to find decor items for the interior. We found some awesome items. Old tin signs, a 50's coke bottle rack (that I plan on converting into shelves). Some really great stuff.

Also went with mom to pick out curtain material. Needed a ladies touch for this. We found some great green material for the curtains that I think is going to really match well.

So how does the TO-DO list look:

First the good news:
Install Dimmer for exterior lights
Poly Floor..three coats
build drawer for under the bed
install all pulls and handles on cabinets
Install toilet and plumb
Plumb LP for hot water heater

Restore and recover dinette cushions.
New bumper
Build new wings
Mount wings
Make and install trim for all windows inside
Make curtains and mount rods
Shower curtain and head
Interior decore items
matress for the bunk
Run cable tv connection
Battery and Battery Box

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So Whats Left

So its been a  while since I last did my "To-Do" list. I have started feeling good about the state of the camper and my progress. So now is the time to look at all of the things that still need to be done and return to a state of depression and loathing over why I took on such a huge project in the first place. Let the tortuous lashings begin!

First the good news:
- Fix the skin
- Mount skin
- Install all exterior items that will be painted.
- Wire and mount exterior lights
- Rebuild and polish windows
Prep skin for paint
Rebuild door
Make floor boards and install
Mount all windows
Install all running and brake lights
Install all handles and other exterior unpainted items
Mount new tires

Now the reality:
Restore and recover dinette cushions.
New bumper
Install Dimmer for exterior lights
Plumb LP for hot water heater
Poly Floor..three coats
Build new wings (damn you previous owner who removed them!)
Mount wings
Make and install trim for all windows inside
build drawer for under the be
install all pulls and handles on cabinets
Install toilet and plumb
Make curtains and mount rods
Shower curtain and head
Run Cable TV connection
Battery and Battery Box

Ok so I was wrong, that list actually had the opposite effect, that looks better than I thought. Well I think its safe to say that it will be ready for next season.... like the Redsox

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A New Floor

Here are some shots of the new floor. The dark wood is 2 1/4 wide Mahogany and the light is 3/4 wide birch. in order to keep the weight down all of the boards are ripped down and planed to 1/4 inch thick. Its glued and face nailed. These shots show it with no Poly. The hardest part was making the bull noses for the step up in the bathroom. But I have say I am very happy with the result. It kinda reminds me of a bowling ally... which I think works given that its a vintage camper.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Shasta Gets Painted!

Well its a major milestone in any restoration. This past week I was able to get the Shasta painted. I decided on Colonial white for the top, and Sage green for the bottom. It was a long messy week of prepping, painting and assembling. Not to mention hurricane Irene decided to come by in the middle of the process.

I have added photos that show the full process from prime, to paint, to installing the lights and windows. We used self etching primer for any bare aluminum spots. The Z stripe was polished with steel wool and then clear coated prior to being masked. Then it was time for the Sage green on the bottom. This is Dupont automotive grade paint... if you are doing one of these and go the same route expect to spend a few bucks ($400 for the paint alone!) This green is as close as I could get to the 56 T-bird color I wanted. It was crazy trying to get the right match at the store.

You can see the greenish self etching primer on the roof

This method worked well... mask the stripe and use clear plastic to mask above the stripe. Once the green was dry we just rolled the plastic down to cover the green and spray the white. I used frog tape to mase the stripe, worked well and left a clean edge

I got a couple of runs in the green... cant see them here. the white came out perfect. Going to have to wet sand and buff out the runs I think

The white walls are actually Port-a-walls... look great. Just needs the baby moons

I put the badge back on it first... maybe it should have been the last thing I put on it but I just could not wait.

Windows back in and tanks on!

all polished windows and visors back in!

you can see the vents are in on the roof and the new water inlets and electrical portal are in.

New teardrop marker lights from VTS.. look great.

New Fan-tastic in the bunk

Fan-tastic in the rear too, new full size mattress and the skylight are in.

Enough said!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The New Roof

Well it wasn't easy but I have to say it went very well. The new solid roof is on the Shasta. It is a far cry from the pin-hole filled flimsy panels that were on it before. This is a solid .040 thick sheet that is normally used on tractor trailers. Its a harder aluminum than the original which means its a bit more difficult to bend and form. But we finally got that.

The small panels were eliminated at the rear window so now there is only 1 seam at this point instead of 2. the union was made out of the end of one of these panels. This connects the new roof to the original lower rear panel and sealant keeps it leak tight.

Have a look: