Friday, July 27, 2012

Mini Disaster occurred during recent thunderstorm

Unfortunately, I do not possess the great fortunes of having a huge workshop to work on a project of this capacity.  I would be hard-pressed to find any breathing room if placed inside of my woodshop. (laughing) But none-the-less, where there is a will, there is a way.

So most of the build has been constructed outside.  Due to the overwhelming heat and humidity here in North Carolina the past week or so, I could not tolerate sitting in the direct sun while sanding, cutting and ....  So I retrieved my $130.00 festival tent that i use when attending festivals to place over the project, only temporarily.  [One to block the sun and two to prevent resin from being destroyed from the dew fall when working at night.]

I had been watching the weather news and understood we might be in for a severe thunderstorm within a couple of days.  I thought to one's self, "No problem, i will just remove the tent prior to the storm's arrival."  In a perfect world this would have worked. 


I was attending other matters during the time when ol' mother nature showed up.  "Of course"!

The wind picked up the tent, ripping the small stakes from the ground and apparently the legs of the tent aided in flipping the camper upside down and both were propelled against my shelter's 4x4 post.

Good news:  The Nida Core panels were not damaged at all - tough stuff. 
Bad news:  My like-new, $130 tent however was destroyed, of course. 

To reveal just how strong cured out fiberglass cloth layers are, the only seam that is holding the vertical riser panel in place is the butt splice as seen in photo below.   This one seam supported this entire ordeal, that panel never shifted and none of the corners were even lain.   

I did have a slight issue when cutting this vertical riser panel.  I could not obtain the 45 degree angled cut that i needed on this side of the panel because a circular saw's table only tilts one direction.  This inhibited me from obtaining the necessary 45 degree that I needed.  There is no such thing as advancing the blade into the stock while the table is sitting at 45 degrees for to do so creates an arced cut in the material. So I had no way to work from this inner corner to the exterior of the panel.  I decided to go with a 90 degree squared cut and will fill in with fiberglass peanut butter for structural support.

Of course, you can tell the entire camper is now inverted upon this panel and it remains intact and those corners were not even fiberglassed in.  
While the camper's slide in portion was already inverted I went ahead and painted the bottom with white, marine grade Pettit EasyPoxy. I originally wanted to spray the camper but without having a large shop to do so in, I settled for rolling with foam and mohair rollers.  Looks ok, but i must change brands of the mohair roller.

I have found a brand at Jamestown Distributors that supposedly work fairly well with this Pettit Easy Poxy leaving an orange peel effect. I can live with that, so I will more than likely be going that route.

This whole incident eases any concerns I might have had about the overall strength of this camper after being completely built.  That panel never moving or even shifting during this incident has yet again proved to me of the overall strength of properly bonded fiberglass structures.  After all sheets are bonded together to form the entire camper, this slide-in camper unit should be very durable and long lived.

c-ya around, Chris

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