Friday, April 10, 2009

What a Jerk!

For those of you that have tried my jerky, I thought you might like to see how I make it.

Those of you that haven't, I do send out samples when I can.

First, I start out with a good cut of meat. I don't think you can make a silk purse out of a sows ear! Like Airstreams, start with the best and hopefully, with enough hard work, you will end up with the best!

This will end up as less than one pound of jerky.

First step is to sharpen your knives. One of my other odd quirks is sharp knives. I have about six or seven different knife sharpeners. My current favorite system is called "Edge Pro". There is nothing like trying to slice raw, wiggly meat with a dull knife.

After trimming off all surface fat I slice the eye in half length wise then male 1/4 inch thick slices.
I lay them out on a baking sheet in a single layer.

I then sprinkle them with a mixture of curing agents and a homemade Cajun mixture. Then flip them over and do the other side. It then goes in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours for the cure to work. I also make other flavors.

This is a Cajun spice I made for Marc in Washington. I ship this stuff all over the US. Some has even made it up to Maryland!

The real secret to good jerky is the proper refreshments while making it. This one is for you, Marcus!

Then it goes into a dryer. I don't smoke it anymore as it is difficult to get a uniform taste. Every piece of meat absorbs smoke differently. Some tasted great, some tasted like we had a forest fire in the kitchen. I get the flavor from the spices.

A close up view. The hardest part is to dry it enough to preserve it but not so dry that it is like eating ceramic tile.

I then vacuum seal it and put on a label.

As usual, this is all done under the watchful eye of the "Boss". Believe me, if anything falls on the floor there is no 5 second rule. The boss gets any accidents, plus any trimmings.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fixing Broken Glass

With the tub removed and placed in my shop I thought I would do a little work on it. I am always amazed at how many holes people can put into an airstream. I decided to start out with a clean slate and fill all the holes.

I started out by covering all of the holes with blue painters tape. Each piece of tape is at least one hole, sometimes two or three!

Then the holes were brushed with resin, fiberglass mat was placed over them and the mat was soaked with more resin.

After this cured I fliped the whole thing over and drippled resin into each hole to fill them. Each one was then sanded smooth.
The cut seen in my previous post in the bottom drain was filled with Marine Tek epoxy and sanded smooth.

I couldn't resist leaving a little souvenir for the next person that tears this trailer apart. A business card embedded in fiberglass!

Next I will move onto the sink. Meanwhile I will continue to research painting these. I don't think "Tuff as Tile" will work because the whole thing will flex during re installation and crack the coating. I am leaning toward using the flexible bumper paint Frank used in Anna.

The required Toby picture. My wife snuck into this one.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Continuing with the tub-shower-sink removal.

After removing all rivets and running a putty knife between the tub-shower combo and the end cap, I was able to pick it up and move it forward in the trailer. This is where I learned something else. When lifting all of this fiberglass by yourself, you can't see a damn thing. The drain for the sink is a really tight fit. In my case, it caught and broke off the drain line that I worked so hard to save. Oh well, it broke so easily that it must have become brittle over the last forty years so I will add one more thing to the list of repairs. If you are going to remove your combo, I would recommend that you cut the drain line at the same time you cut the water supply lines.

The next step is to drill out the rivets that secure the sink surround to the tub. The unit , when assembled, will not fit out the door. The faucet must be taken off and is almost impossible to get to while assembled. Besides that, my sink is really messed up and will be replaced with one I got from Scott Goranson. Thanks Scott! Here is a photo of the mysterious "Hidden Rivets". The yellow area is the back side of the tub.
This is the area behind the tub where most of you folks post pictures of rotten or missing plywood. I guess I got lucky. Moisture but solid wood.
After all of this, this is what you end up with.

The final step was to remove the end cap which is pretty straight forward. I drilled out the rivets and replaced them with "Clecos". After getting all of the rivets out I started removing the Clecos and balancing the end cap till it dropped. It then goes out the door. The final picture shows one last surprise. More farking Olympic rivets!! More water leakage. There are about 100 of these holding on the end panels. Accepted repair method my ass. Everyone of them leaks as you can see in the photos.
Next step is to drill these out and replace with bucked rivets. Then I can continue sealing up all the leaks and run new electrical. The fun just keep happening.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I didn't die, I just took a break.

Well the weather finally cleared up enough to get a little time to work on the trailer. I decided to finish the removal of the insides. All I had left was the toilet sink tub shower combo and the rear end cap. I had researched the tub removal and knew that there were hidden rivets but never could find much detail. So, armed with my trusty tubing cutters and a Sawzall, I went to work. The first item was to disconnect the water lines to the sink. In the 66 Safari the water lines feed the sink faucet as well as the shower wand. There is a small access hole that is so located that you can't get in to disconnect the lines so I cut them.

As you will see in the below photo, it was a good idea! I don't think there is anybody that could have snaked their hands around in there to get these lines disconnected. Keep in mind that in this photo, the open area facing you is actually riveted to the tub/shower surround. There is no access to this area until later. The only access to the connections are thru the opening at the lower left of the photo, so just cut it.
The next step was to remove the drain lines to the sink and tub. You do this with a tool that I found at the big box orange store that has an "X" on the end. It engages the X in the bottom of the drain and it unscrews. The sink was a little tight so I applied a little heat to it and loosened the sealant and it came right out. Next was the tub drain. First attempt and the X tore out and fell to the bottom of the drain.

I used the sawzall to cut the sides and an air operated grinder to get the top flange cut in half.

The tape was applied to protect the bathtub but, I ain't that good kids!
I then put a punch on the cut lines and broke that sucker in half and removed it.

Oh well, a little Bondo and it will be good as new. I have to paint it anyway! The cuts are really shallow.

I will continue this in the next post, I have to get up and get a beer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finger in the Dike

A few days ago I got a PM from a friend, Steve Hansen (Blues Safari blog). He and I are both working on 1966 Safaris. We are also at about the same stage in our repairs. He asked if I had any suggestions for keeping water out of the trailer. Well it just so happened that I had started doing that very thing the day before. I wrote back to him that I would put that process on this blog so here we go!

First, these are the products I plan on using, along with the vulcam which is not pictured.

I found this at a local auto parts store. It will be used on all of the interior joints, just like the stuff airstream used on the end cap segments.

This is the area along the front street side window. Its between the window and the skin.
You can see in these photos that I got some special rivets. They cost a lot more money but they are spares left over from the Wally Byam gold trailer. I know the salesman would not lie to me, would he?
This is the same area with Acryl-R applied.

You can see in some of my previous posts that almost the entire street side was repaired with Olympic rivets. Every one of them leaked. After replacing all of them with bucked rivets, I hit it lightly with a wire brush.

I then gave the area a light coat of the "Mar-Hyde" rubberized coating. I really like this stuff. It was about 6 bucks a can and I think 3-4 cans will do the entire trailer.

This is an area above the entry door. I am not sure how I got moisture in this area but I wire brushed it clean.

I used the Alcoa Gutter Seal on it. This stuff looks the same as the Acryl-R but costs more.

Finally, Toby was getting an attitude since he did not get any "Face time" in the last few posts. Santa came by a little early and brought him a squeaky squirrel.

As you can see, He is not in the mood to share!
Merry Christmas my friends!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dometic Vent Repair

A few months back I took some photos of the ABS vent for my Dometic refrigerator. The vibration cause by the bad axles had caused the vent plastic to crack everyplace a rivet had been placed. Old age was a factor also!

One of the PO's had also drilled a 1 1/2 " hole in the front of it. I assume it was there to help dish towels to dry. My vent is enclosed in a cabinet and there is a towel rack inside the cabinet. Of course, this also allowed combustion fumes into the living space which is really stupid!!

I have outlined the repair in previous posts so I will just give a quick summary here. I placed clear shipping tape over the edges to hold the broken pieces in place during removal.
I then removed the vent and opened up the cracks with a Dremel tool.

I had spare window screen left over from replacing the screen in the trailer and the house. For the trailer I used aluminum. For the house I used the dark grey fiberglass.
I found the aluminum a little better as I could cut a 1 inch wide strip, fold it in half and slip it over the edge and it would stay.

Then I applied ABS cement from the big box store. I let it dry over night then reapplied a second coat where needed. The cement hardened up to the same as the original plastic.

I finished up by spraying it with a coat of Krylon Fusion paint for plastic.

It will not be seen when installed but I didn't like the black glue on the off white vent. I think this method works very well and I would not hesitate to use it for any other ABS repairs. If it were to be visible I would apply a thin coat of Bondo, sand then paint.

In summary, would I recommend this?

Absolutely! A well known vendor sells a replacement vent for almost $400.00 plus shipping. My cost was some some scrap window screen, $3.69 for a bottle of glue and half a can of paint I already had. Oh yeah, I have to figured about four bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Trailer of Doom

Continued replacing the Olympic rivets this weekend. This brings the total so far to over 250 rivets. When I look at the trailer with all of these Cleco's sticking out I am reminded of a scene in the Indiana Jones movie where he is going through a cave and these darts start shooting out of the walls at him!

After seeing the inside of the walls I know that I will never install an Olympic rivet without covering it in vulcam or some other sealant. You can see that everyone of them is leaking. The orange paint is what I added to help my bride find the areas of rivets we were going to buck. These shots were taken after I put in the bucked rivets.

A few hundred more rivets and I can move on to the next stage!!