Sunday, April 12, 2009

Trailer Modifications

The plans call for removing roughly every other board from the deck. This helps reduce weight and prevent water from pooling under the floor framing. The screws that hold the deck to the trailer require a square bit instead of flat-head, Philips, or star (also called torx). We only had one suborn screw, probably because the trailer is new.

Sometimes a quick way to get a screw unstuck is to use a small, flat tipped, metal chisel. Place the tip of the chisel against the edge of the screw at about a 45 degree angle from the deck. Tap the chisel until you have a good dent in the side of the screw head. Keeping the chisel at about 45 degrees from the deck, rotate the chisel - keeping the tip in the dent you just created - so that tapping chisel will tend to turn the screw counter-clockwise. A few taps may loosen the screw enough so you can use the square-head bit to remove the screw.

Of course, if the head is stripped out it's better to just drill the screw out.

In the front of the trailer there is (was) a low bar. We needed to remove this, otherwise we'd have to figure out how to build the walls around it. Arlene used a rotozip, which cut through the supports quickly. Then she smoothed the edges with a grinder. Arlene is always telling me she likes metal, but all I see her do to metal is hack it, cut it, grind it, and otherwise turn it into dust.

Another thing you might notice from the pictures is that we have a set of jacks under all 4 corners of the trailer. The jacks will stabilize our work surface. Now if the trailer were perfectly square and level, making level floors and square walls would be a snap. Unfortunately, the trailer is actually bowed such that the highest point is above the wheels. But we have a plan...

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