Total: 1773.5 hours
doors total: 47.7 hours
Since last time: 38 hours
Making good progress on the doors. Not nearly as difficult so far as I expected. Certainly the initial fit is terrible and the plans are simply awful as many others have shown before. My take on it is basically as a builder, you’re on your own when it comes to the doors. Alignment holes don’t align between the door halves, the scribe lines are joke, etc. But no point complaining any further. It’s coming along and it’s looking pretty good.
Much of the work indicated here has actually been done on the cabin-top rather than the doors but because it’s being done for the doors, so I’m considering the work as part of the doors.
1… glue the doors together. This went fairly well. I drilled holes and clecoed the doors directly to the cabin top thinking I would get a better fit to the contour of the cabin top. I think this is probably the case. The fit is really, really good. There are a few areas that will need some body-work attention, but not a lot and not too bad at all. However, I was under the mistaken assumption that the clecos would hold the door halves together sufficiently and this proved not to be true. Several areas became separated after final trimming. Though the bonding of the halves was perfect int he immediate vicinity of the clecos, after those areas are trimmed away, several spots appeared where there was separation. These spots were all glued together properly after the fact. All’s well that ends well, but I could have saved myself a lot of time had I also clamped the door halves together much better in the contact areas between the door outer edge and the window frame. I did think to put some weight on the top and this prevented any separations up there. On the right door, however, I ended up deforming the door a bit which will have to be built up with some filler at a future data. The deepest area of the depression is about 1/32″ so not too bad all in all.
2… After the doors were fit, I began the work of trimming down the gutters. The door seal I’m using requires a 1/4 inch gap between the door and the door frame. The seal will mount to the frame and the compression bulb will contact the door as it closes. There is a, acceptable range for this gap, but 1/4 inch is the target. If the gap ends up +/- 1/16 in any given spot, I’ll consider this acceptable, though the target is 1/4″. I first created a little jig for a pen in order to mark the door frame to where it needs to be trimmed. Then I got out the belt sander and went to town. This required many hours and several belts. In hindsight, I probably should have used a cut-off disk first to get an initial cut on the frame and then finished it off with the sander. But it’s done now and the gap is pretty consistent for both doors.
3… The seal also requires 1/4″ of material to grip when installed so in many areas where the gutter was trimmed away the back side will have to be built back up to 1/4″. I’ll use glass cloth to accomplish this rather than just filler in order to rebuild some strength to what was sanded away.
4… The gas struts that hold the doors up when opened require a bracket on the door frame. This bracket must come down and around the seal. I bought an after-market bracket that looks lice and will accommodate this seal. To make sure I would have it installed properly, I built up the door frame to 1/4″ in the area where the bracket is installed only (the rest will be built up when I remove the cabin-top). I was then able to fit the bracket to the cabin-top/door frame. No issues at all with the build up. In fact it went easy and quickly (aside from waiting 12 hours for the epoxy to cure).
The last thing to note is that we’re getting some colder weather now. So I’m only using the slow hardener on pieces I can bring in the house to cure. Most of the aforementioned build-up will be done with the fast-hardener which will cure properly in temperatures as low as 35 degrees. The slow hardener requires at least 60 degrees. And even with the fast hardener I’ll be using heat lamps just to keep the temps up as high as I can when the temps outside plummet – especially at night. Other than mixing less epoxy at a time and trying to work a little faster (because of the reduced working time of the fast hardener) I don’t expect much difficulty. Time will tell.