I have to do a mid-week report of the progress as we have reached a really big milestone, the removal of the shell! Phil did a great job getting the structure stabilized with a 2×4 structure that kept it 100% stable as it was removed. He also removed all of the lower rivets that were holding the outer skin to the c-channel. We are moving into another shop in a month that has incredible steel beams that you could lift a car on so we tried to get by with the bottle jack solution for this trailer, but boy oh boy I will never do another one with bottle jacks again. A hoist system is an absolute must for ease and safety.
The frame of the ’67 was supported with a combination of some small bottom jacks and some jack stands. This kept the frame from moving while jacking from the top. Also, I would highly recommend only taking out the bottom inner skin and then using a hoist system as you don’t have to go through any of the extra trouble that we did for the way we did it, but again we did with what we had since the rafters in our current shop are not strong enough to handle lifting the shell we were dealing with.
Bottle jacks and 2×12-2×10 blocks were used to do the jacking, while using jack stands in the floor of the trailer to keep things secure. The side panels of the ’67 are also interesting in that they go down another 6-7″ below the floor, so getting the entire structure lifted high enough so that it could then set down on the 4x4s which were sitting on saw horses was an interesting feat. There was a pretty scary bit and all I will say is if you are doing the bottle jack method take your time and make sure you have a solid and stable foundation for your bottle jacks.
The shell was then blocked up from the 4x4s and attached to the 2×4 rib structure and it is rock solid. The frame pulled out perfectly and is now sitting in the yard waiting for the welder to come repair the rear section tomorrow.
It is so great to have constant progress being made and Phil is doing a terrific job. I think he will get the Airstream bug at some point! There is still a busy week ahead as the rest of the floor will be removed and then the actual restoration will begin on the frame with preparing it for the POR-15.