Friday, December 28, 2012

Exterior Painted

As many of you know that are reading and following the blog posts, the weather here in eastern North Carolina right now is a touch on the cool side for ideal working temps for working polyester resins, epoxy resins and for painting.  I have managed however to work with or around the elements I should say and gain some progress, none-the-less. 

A couple of days ago, the day time temps rose to 56-62 for a couple of days but the evening and nighttime hours were really getting cool (cold).  The camper exterior had been primed a few weeks prior with the Petit Undercoater.  I began painting the exterior at about 11 am because I needed at least 5 hours of 50 degree temps for the paint to cure properly.  At around, 545-600 pm, I heated up the inside of the makeshift workspace I have for the camper build with a propane, forced air blower heater.  I must say I was pleased with this type of space heater's performance, kept the workspace temp approximately 50-55 degrees until the paint completely dried around 11pm.

I painted the camper with Marine Grade, Petit Easypoxy - white, using a short nap 3/16" Mohair roller cover.  Past experience of working with this type of paint provided me with some ease.  For, I knew if the can of paint was approximately room temperature (68-72 degrees) and if I allowed the camper surface to warm up to the touch prior to painting then the air bubbles introduced through roller application would work themselves out.  The brush 'tipping' did not even have to be used in order for me to obtain a professional looking "orange peel" effect.  Those air bubbles all worked themselves out perfectly.  I was pleased with the end result. 

now I am having to work on the camper door next, so i can heat and warm up interior in order to paint.  

see you inside, Chris

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Onboard battery compartment box

Building a battery compartment box that will hold one of  those heavier marine grade deep cycle batteries.  Will fasten it to the front end of the camper and provide a vented door to ensure ol' Harrell boy lives to share some more blog posts with you guys.  Basically just built to accommodate a typical size deep cycle and to provide me with enough clearance for incoming and outgoing cables and for connection accessibility.     
Cutout for the battery compartment
Battery Compartment storage box
  Now that the box has been built and glassed, time to install.  I laid out for the hinge location and will be removing some of the polypropylene honeycomb to create a cavity that will accommodate fiberglass structural compound to be poured into.  When cured out and hardened, this region will then readily accept drilling and provide structural support to hold fasteners.
Laying out for hinge and bolt locations
chisel out comb to accommodate compound mixture

  Removed comb down to approximately 1-1.25" deep, then scraped the bonding agent off the fiberglass skin.  The bonding agent (green liner) is an agent that allows bonding of the glass skin to the polypropylene comb during manufacture.  Removing this, will allow bonding of the compound that i will pour into this cavity, to bond to the fiberglass. 

Removed enough comb to create a cavity conducive for accepting enough compound to structurally support 4 fasteners.
You can see that I added quite a bit of 1/4" fiberglass strands to the mixture, a good glass to resin ratio is imperative to prevent brittleness and cracking.  Also contains 1/32" milled fibers (are homogenous in mixture), and cabosil.  Preparing to apply glass cloth over this region and also the raw edges of this cutout.
Ok now the battery box has been installed.  Needing to glass cloth over the corners after the fill-in cures out and is ground accordingly.  Turned out to be very sturdy after glassing the box to the interior of the camper wall.  The protruding box sidewalls which protrude below the bottom of the box (see second photo from top) serve as support legs. 

now all sanded and prepped for primer
** update**
  The camper has been painted and the battery box has been completed.  Not the most aesthetically pleasing but it should work for me.  Upper and lower vents installed to ensure hazardous vapors can find a means of egress.
The compartment door was crafted from a piece of 3/4" plywood and covered in a coating of clear epoxy after which it cured thorougly, I painted it with marine grade Petit-EasyPoxy paint.  Thus, It should fight off the water and rot for awhile.  Mounted me an aluminum hinge and pop riveted a battery tray onto the fiberglass skin...should be in business

Hopefully no shifting in transit.

 For closure, being the surrounding region is composed of thin skinned panels, I made a little reinforcement strip out of aluminum to ensure the door latch, does indeed stay latched.

Priming the camper for painting...looking good!

Been priming the exterior of the camper preparing the shell for the Petit EasyPoxy paint.  Using the Petit EasyPoxy undercoater primer first then will apply Petit EasyPoxy with a roller.  Decided against spraying with air gun and will settle for a roller application.  The close nap roller will leave the 'orange peel' effect which I have no issues with.  I have painted a few other things in this capacity with this paint and was pleased with the results of the roller application. 

The 'orange peel' effect created by the roller hides the imperfections better than a flat paint facing from a spray gun.  Plus, cleanup takes significantly less time as opposed to lengthy cleanup times associated with air paint guns. 

One coat of undercoater primer (white) looks really good. I purchased my Petit EasyPoxy Marine Grade Topside paint from Jamestown Distributors.