Saturday, April 19, 2014

In the shop: new porch for the travel trailer: wrap-up, finally!

OK, after a hiatus from this project, one I'm going to claim was caused by a 4 day camping trip I took over to Pedernales Falls State Park and had nothing at all to do with the fact that when I bought the 5/16's bolts and the 5/16's washers I needed to actually assemble the porch, I also managed to buy 3/8 nuts.

I don't know what happened, I guess I just found the nuts I needed then proceeded to happily dip my hand into the next bin over. (I'll bet it's these damn bifocals!)

Anyway, got that sorted out and did a test assembly of the porch yesterday.

But before that; before taking a vacation from my vacation (If you don't understand that it tells me you didn't follow that link I left up there in the first sentence and I'm hurt! -  OK, not really, - but a little guilt is good for the soul. At least that's what they tell me.) I had gotten all the metal bits wire brushed, primed and painted.

I wasn't too keen on the open ends of some of the square tubing, those that would be exposed to hands, so before priming and painting I cut a few blocks out of scrap oak just the right size that I had to lightly, OK, moderately, hammer them into the offending tubing ends.

After the finish coat was dry enough to handle I carefully stacked the bits into the utility trailer to cure for a few days.

Once I got back from my trip and got that whole nut and bolt thing sorted out it only took a few minutes to assemble the steel parts

 The steps were put in place then lag-bolted through the vertical angle-irons which had been placed at the ends of the two center stringers. These lags don't actually hold anything up, the notches in the stringers sitting on a horizontal angle do that, the lags are just there to make sure the steps don't slide back and drop off the supporting angle. The lower upright of the step railing is bolted in two places through the outer stringer with the same 3 1/2 bolts that hold everything else together.

While I was working at it this guy dropped in to check the progress. He wasn't very friendly though and as soon as he saw I was moving into a better position to photograph him from he took off and left me all alone again.

The final step was to cut some hand grips into the bottom edge of the deck joists to make the deck easier to sling around.

To keep the deck where it belongs two more lags go up through the horizontal steel tubing and into the bottom of the joist.

After climbing up, jumping around, grabbing the railings and trying to flex them, All without falling off or bending anything, I declared the project a success.

Now the whole thing has been disassembled again and is waiting inside the utility trailer for the travel trailer to be delivered on site. Maybe in another week or so.

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