Happy Belated Valentine’s!
I had a hot date on my Valentine’s day. She’s hypnotically beautiful. She’s very athletic and she likes to play rough! In fact, my wife even likes her.
No silly goose! We are not the swinger type. It’s the LA Marathon on Valentine’s Day this year. Once a year, I try to do at least one marathon and the LA Marathon is my only choice for now because I like its course. It goes from the Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. I pay a small fee to join the LA Roadrunners. It’s the best money that I have ever spent. For the pittance amount, the club provides training from around September through February or March whenever the LA Marathon will happen. The training fee includes training materials, running coaches for the group, parking during group runs and the LA Marathon admittance fee. All they ask in return is for you to wake up early and be at the Santa Monica pier at 6:45 AM every Saturday and run with your group of choice. What a deal! Did I forget to mention that you have to do “homeworks” by running during weekdays, too?
No, I don’t get paid for pitching the LA Marathon or the Roadrunners club. The reason I brought it up is because this project is fairly similar to the marathon. It really takes such monumental endurance to tackle a project this size by yourself. As you recall in the earlier post of my sense of overwhelming and despair? I knew how big this project may be, but I have way underestimated the scope of the tasks involved. There are times when I’ve taken a look at the next tasks and wondered if it’s worth it to continue.
Building the Roof
Remember this frame plan? In the next frame building phase, I needed to build the upper half of the frame and it was easy enough. Then, I needed to build the roof and the nose cone. This is where a major decision has to be made. Originally, I wanted a roof and a nose cone which will be made out of fiberglass. Each piece will fit into its allotted section as a single unit.
I have talked to a number of local fiberglass making shops regarding fabricating a one-off roof and nose cone articles. Some of the quotes I’ve gotten were prohibitively high. I haven’t given up yet, but I needed an alternative design to proceed, so here’s what I’ve come up with. The roof and the nose cone will be made out of Aluminum sheets. They will not look as sleek as those that are made from fiberglass, but they will work just as well.
So off I went to make the roof and nose cone items.
Here’s the frame for the roof. It’s a one piece frame with a channel in the middle for heating and cooling ducts.
The roof was fully insulated with Styrofoam insulation. I planned to spray expanding Styrofoam liquid to fill in the gap.
Finally, sections of Aluminum sheets were used to fully cover the top. The roof looked rigid and water tight but heavier than I would like it to be. It took a team of seven young guys to lift the roof over the frame structure so that I can weld it in.
I had to make a platform for the guys to stand on in order to lift the roof onto the frame. Unfortunately, I was also doing the heavy lifting so no picture was taken of the roof installation.
Fabricating the Nose Cone
Next up is the substitute nose cone. So, here is the plan for making the nose cone out of Aluminum sheets.
Internally, the nose cone has a rectangular metal frame that acts as its skeleton. I expected a lot of stress from wind velocity so I’ve planned for the worst.
It took quite a bit of effort to fabricate this nose cone due to the sheer size. The overall dimension is 72” x 102”. Although the nose cone looked acceptable, when I do find the right fiberglass supplier, I may replace it with the fiberglass nose cone to get the right looks. Or may be not.
This is what the substitute nose cone looked like when installed onto the frame.
Now back to my Valentine’s hot date. She was waiting for me somewhere at a distance. The lady of sport. So beautiful, so desirable, yet so…painful to reach for her. Here I was somewhere at the 25th mile. My body racked with pain. My mind could no longer think logically. Breathing was heavy and shallow. Pulse rate was in the 150 plus. Sexy as hell you would think. Oh no, far from it. I was on the verge of dying from pain. This is when your training kicked in and guided you. It commands you to take another step and then yet another step despite everything else in your body begged for mercy. My date played rough!
Finally, seconds away from her open arms. As if her appearance wasn’t dramatic enough, she was all shrouded in the mystical coastal fog of a glorious morning.
A kiss on the cheek in the form of a cheap looking medal and we parted ways. I promised to come back and see her next year. I told you, I had a hot date for Valentine’s!
Next post, I will have to tackle the most challenging part of the design: The gigantic slide-outs. Each slide-out runs almost the entire length of the trailer body. The slide-out will be made entirely out of Aluminum. When installed and in the extended position, they will balance at the edge of the trailer wall with half of the slide-out extending beyond the side wall and the other half stays inside the body acting as counter weight. This is where the design departs from the norm. Each slide-out is a whole body section by itself. The two slide-outs are nesting into each other. When extended, each one will balance half way at the edge of the opposing side walls. I am anxious to get started, but for now, I will have sit out for a couple days and wait for my body to heal and the pain to subside.