email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Trailer Re-Siding

Before I can get the pipes, bulk chicken wire, and then additional compost/soil for the garden enclosure, I have to have the trailer renovated.  I started on that back in last Summer with pressure-treated plywood to cover the sides and base, but the plywood layers separated and warped on the sides, was too high, and too thin for good stability.  All around, a seemingly good choice of material that didn't work. 

Well, "almost" didn't work.  It did fine screwed down onto the boards that make up the bottom of the trailer.  I covered those with plywood because the original individual boards have gaps between them that let sand/dirt/compost fall through unless I covered them with a plastic tarp.  And when you shovel the contents out, you tear up the tarp.  At $10 per tarp, I got tired of that fast (and repairing tears with duct tape isn't free either).

So last week, I decided to go back to what DID work; T1-11 Exterior Plywood Siding.  The previous sides lasted 15 years before starting to rot, and the stuff is very stable and strong.  I should have just stayed with that last Summer.  I guess I figured pressure treated plywood would last even longer.

So last week, I started planning for T1-11 plywood.  I went to Home Depot and they didn't have any of the T1-11 in the thickness I wanted (it comes in basically 3/8" and 5/8" thick) and I wanted the thicker for strength.  Three days later, they also did not have it.  Today I went and I was annoyed enough to find a helpful employee to ask.  He said, that if the plywood wasn't on the shelves, they probably didn't have it in stock. 

I suggested that maybe there was some "in the back" or newly delivered.  But as I said that, I looked WAY UP at the top of the stacks, a good 20 feet up an saw a carboard-covered box that suggested it was the stuff I wanted.  19/32nds thick (seriously, who would make anything 19/32nds?  It must actually be metric).  Then a look from the side showed the other dimensions I wanted.

I won't say the senior lumber guy wasn't exactly upset to have to get that stuff down from the top, but he didn't thank me for the opportunity either.  Well, he got to use a BIG DAMN FORKLIFT and most guys would enjoy that.  Other employees gathered around to watch (they don't get to use that cool stuff).   I don't want to spoil any "guyness" here, but I'm not impressed.  He had only 3 controls:  A steering wheel, the fork up and down, and a slight forward adjustment to the fork.  My mouse is that complicated.  And he screwed it up the first 2 tries!  And he was the senior person...

OK, eventually, he got the pallet of the plywood I wanted down to the sales-level bin.  I told him I wanted 2 sheets and I wanted them cut.  I should explain the cutting.

I wanted the sides of the trailer 18" high.  But that's tricky with T1-11 because it has a tongue and groove edges  (like half-laps depending on your familiarity with terms). 

I had the lumber guy use the coolest saw I ever saw...  Its a circular saw on a pipe grid that works both vertically AND horizontally, with rollers at the bottom so the large plywood panels slide smoothly. 

I ended up with four 8'x18" pieces  and 2 scraps I will find a use for later.  I was initially worried about securing the pieces on the trailer, but then I realized the could fit corner to opposite corner.

Back home, I set the 2 long sides of the 8' plywood strips along the 8" side of the metal frame and drilled holes through the wood to attach them with 1/4" bolt and fender washers on the inside, and lock washers and wing nuts (for easy re-tightening) on the outside.  That took care of the sides.

The front and removable back will take some more exact cuts.  It will be important that the front and back make good contact with the sides so I can't lose material at the corners.  Fotunately, when I put the old back in place, it fit perfectly, so I know what size to cut the new T1-11.  The front part will require so detailed fitting.  Well, the last part always needs details work.

And the forecast is for 2 days of heavy rain, so I brought all the side pieces into the garage.  I'm guessing Tuesday is when I can bring the pieces out to the trailer for correct fitting.

Then I can use the trailer to get the pipes and chicken wire for the enclosed garden.  I always say
something else has to be done first" on any project, and this is proof.  LOL!


Katnip Lounge said...

Photos please! I love "guy" stuff...and it figures that the sales staff in lumber "forgot" there was something way up high. I've had that happen to me too...


Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

Will be showing pictures soon. When I find my camera... Its LOST! I've looked 2 days for it.

Its around "somewhere". Just "where" is the question. It will show up in some "obvious" place, but where that will be I do not know yet.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

One job leads to six! Still sounds like it's going to turn out good. You'd think the store guys, any of them not just the senior guy, could have looked on their computer to see if they had what you wanted and where it was.. Most places have their inventory on their computers now.

Megan said...

Your usual thoroughness at work I see Mark. Good on you.

Sydney, Australia