Monday, April 18, 2011

Update on The RainCrow Writing Cave

We've had some really nice weather for working on my office trailer project. We definitely need rain badly, but it would not necessarily be a good  thing while the wall of the trailer is wide open. However, I could put up with some.
Anyway, I've been moving right along.

Shown is the front end of the trailer. (Front being where the hitch is.) This end will most likely wind up being more for storage eventually. It may look as messy as before, but actually it has been cleaned up. What you're seeing is my scavenged building material ready to use in re-building. The end window was really not fixable. I have to totally re-frame the area around one window on the wall to our right, so I re-located that good window to the end. The (also scavenged) extra windows I have are of a different size. Since I'm re-framing anyway, I will frame it to accept the different size window. I'll have to finagle the exterior skin some, but that will be minor.
 This next series shows what remains after demolition of the bad wood and removal of the outside skin and insulation. A lot of the insulation is still usable. The door has also been removed, as the supporting board running beneath the floor has to be replaced as well as one of the jambs. The metal pan looking area is a sort of fender well for the wheels below. I assume it was to keep the wheels from throwing water and dirt up onto the floor above. I left it intact.
Outside view of the same area with the outside floor joist and rotten portion of the floor removed.

 Another exterior shot of demolition. Rotted wood and bad paneling are piled on the ground outside. Here you can see where the door was removed.
I replaced the outside floor joist 2x6 along with some judicious splicing. Here it is already attached.

 An outside shot of the new floor joist 2x6. This acts as floor frame and also supports the wall. There are metal braces below that attach it to the steel trailer frame.
Here is some of the new floor framing. 2x4 cross pieces were cut and inserted at about two foot spacing. The old flooring was cut even with the next existing 2x6 floor joist. A new 2x4 was added as a cleat against the existing joist to give something to attach the new strip of plywood to. In the upper right corner you can see one of the new floor pieces. I suspect you give up a bit of strength doing this. The floor was originally one sheet of plywood continuous across the width. That continuous piece gives it a membrane effect. To replace the whole floor would involve rebuilding the entire trailer from ground up. I don't have time, energy, or money for that. This will have to do.

Here both new sections of flooring have been attached and screwed to the floor joists. A note here, I've done this sort of thing on several mobile homes now and I've never once found one with a "standard" thickness of flooring. Fortunately, I had a piece of floor decking (also scavenged) that was pretty close to the same thickness. The new wall framing is also visible in this picture.

 New wall framing in place. To be consistent with the existing style of framing, a 1x2 runner was added along the top of the floor edge and new 2x2 verticals added to duplicate the original locations. One vertical stud had to be slightly relocated to accept the replacement window that, again, is of a different size.
 Verticals are notched on the outside to accept the horizontal 1x3's as well as the existing wiring. The skin will attach to the horizontals, while the inside paneling attaches to the vertical studs.
All the new framing for this wall is done. We're ready to screw the skin back on, insert the window, do insulation and inside paneling.

I'm not sure how feasible this project would be without having all the scavenged lumber available. So far we've only been out the moving fee for the trailer. All the lumber has come from scrap piles at other vendor's booths out at the Sherwood Forest site. The windows, paneling, and other material came inside this free trailer or the portable office building we were given that we now use as woodworking shop. (See previous post.)

More to follow soon!

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