Thursday, July 7, 2016

Meet My Pod-Husband

Hell has officially frozen over.  Start betting on the Cubs because they are definitely winning the World Series this year.  Pack up the kids and head to the country because the zombie apocalypse must be close.  Andy is REUSING old material.  He is using NAILS.  Seriously people.  The world is ending and this project has broken my husband.

Andy and I use holidays to jumpstart new projects or make leaps of progress in old ones.  (See the kid's bedroom remodel of Christmas break 2014).  Andy had 4 days off of work for the 4th of July so we decided to buckle down and work, work, work on our vintage canned ham trailer.
Our helpers ready to celebrate the 4th!

After finishing replacing the entire floor over Memorial Day weekend, we were ready to move on.  Cue in three weeks of discussions over what part to do next- walls or roof?  After much discussion, we decided it made most sense to tackle the walls next.  These old trailers are like jigsaw puzzles and I don't really think there is a "right" or "easy" way but depending on what you have to replace, you need to just make a decision and go with it.  Andy leaned toward replacing the roof first to help with the overall structure of the trailer but I convinced him the walls were the way to go so we wouldn't be nailing a new roof on top of the walls which would later be replaced.  After the weekend, we both agreed that we made the smart choice.

To replace the sides of the trailer, we first needed to add some interior support so the whole trailer wouldn't fall over when the side was removed.  Andy added 2 support beams to hold up the roof and several triangle wedges to hold up the other side of the exterior wall.

Next step was to remove the exterior skin which is made of thin aluminum held on with a variety of million-year-old, rusty screws and nails.  Like really mean, nasty nails that have a screw-like spiral shaft.  Whoever thought of those didn't consider or care about someone ever having to remove them.  Similarly to removing the metal on the front of the trailer, Andy and I used a catspaw, hammer, screwdriver and paint scrapper to remove most of the nails/screws. The catspaw is my new favorite tool, so much so that Andy had to run to the store to buy me one for myself.  Flowers and chocolate aren't the way to this girl's heart... just bring me a catspaw and I'll be yours forever.

Most of the screws/nails came out with a variety of these tools.  Each metal piece that came down was carefully labeled and set aside to later clean and put back on.  Extremely stubborn nails were cut with a sawzall then pounded down or pulled out.

It took us about half a day to remove all the metal and windows on one side of the trailer.  Once removed, Andy looked through the existing framing and declared he was just going to patch in the worst spots.  People.  This is pure insanity.  I mean, this man has never saved a piece of anything during a building project in his entire life.  "Patch it in"?!? It's seriously crazy talk.  I murmured a "sure, sounds good" as I stared at my new pod-person husband.  I mean, he looked ok.  Still blond, big nosed with a constant whiff of lumber smell around him but he was NOT my husband.  Heading inside to get my new pod-husband some sugar water, Andy spent the evening replacing a few boards of the frame, the worst of which was on the curved back bottom of the trailer.  To get wood to curve, Andy cut framing boards down with the table saw into thin, long pieces then used a chop box to cut slices along the area that would be curved.  This provides relief to the wood, allowing it to bend.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Heading to bed that night with my new husband, we were suddenly awoken by a large gust of wind followed by a metal on metal crunching sound.  Rushing to the window, Andy looks at our now bald trailer.  Metal roof totally gone.  Andy headed downstairs to survey the damage.  Waiting upstairs, all I heard was chuckling.  Cursing is one thing, but chuckling from Andy means things are really bad.  Somehow, the entire metal roof was swept off the trailer, made a summersault in the air and fell directly into the pile of metal pieces we had painstakingly taken off the entire day before.  Metal was strewn throughout the yard with several window frames crushed.

After spending months worked up about how we were going to get the roof off and how/where we would store it, a kamikaze gust of wind did it for us.

The next day, I was on metal-bending duty while Andy continued on the side of the trailer.  With a metal brush, I cleaned all the small metal parts and window frames.

To rebend the frames that the roof had cruelly bent to hell, I used a hand seamer then a mallet to bang the frames back into shape.

Andy's tool box was the perfect shape and size to use as a template

Worked like a charm!


All the window frames then got 2 coats of silver spray paint.

That done, Andy and I took the interior paneling down, only one section at a time.  The paneling was removed carefully (see my now claw hand after 4 days of using that catspaw and hammer to remove millions of nails) so we could trace the old panel onto new luan.

Here's where stuff got real weird.  We started using a stapler attached to an air compressor to staple the luan into the framing.  The thin luan just wasn't attaching to the framing so next thing I know, Andy has a hammer and nails in his hand.  Perhaps to most, this isn't a sign that your husband is now a broken man but I'm tell you... Andy is now just a shell of his former stuff.  Andy's hatred of nails rivals my hatred of rubber bands (just work in an archives and you will come to hate the nasty, rubber things that look like dried up worms stuck to paper after a short year or so).  Any time I bring home a "new" piece of antique furniture, he grips for DAYS about the nails.  So to see him now using a bucket of nails and a hammer is pure insanity.

Who is this man?!?
Four day weekend complete, we have a finished wall and are now about half-way done. with all the exterior work.

And I have a new pod-husband.  Please help.

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