Friday, February 5, 2010
RAIN/SNOW/COLD/CAPUT WELDER DELAY: in lieu of grunt work:BRAKES! AMAZING NETWORKING and LEARNING!
Early in the week I used my friend the engine hoist to maneuver the aft sections of the chassis (15' of 4" x 6" rectangular steel tubing) into position to true it up to the front sides, scarfed the ends for the weld prep and was all ready to weld... when it started raining, and it has been raining all week long. So, I started this blog, I sent out a mass email about the project (and another newly inaugurated web site for an amazing storytelling troupe I make the costumes for!), and finally, I posted an ad about this project, referencing this blog, on the Atlanta area Craig's List. And let me tell you who responded, and I want to share their links with you.
To the mass email one of the responses I got was from Lizzie Zucker-Saltz, the curator of the contemporary art gallery, ATHICA, in Athens.
She referred me to the work and vision of Holt Webb, a GA photographer who has been traveling the country for years in an RV that was tricked out to run on veggie oil and powered by solar! He is traveling around the country using his skills as a photographer and writer "to promote conservation and raise awareness about what we are losing – our culture, our wildlife, and our landscape – in hopes that some of it will still be around for future generations to enjoy." He is also the nicest and most open and friendly man, and I was able to ask him nearly 20-30 questions all about living on solar, how he manages his power, what he runs off it, how the battery compartments are build.. yadda yadda yadda!
To the CL posting I got a response from another amazingly nice man named Ryan Bush, who runs a mobile home moving company. He noticed that my axles came off of a mobile home, and they take special rims, and he offered me five rims for FREE! All I have to do is go pick them up in Winder, a town just a short distance away. He also offered networking help when it comes time to put some rubber on them! WOW! What amazing people there are out there! Here are his business web sites! However, it is not the free rims that were the biggest help.. but realizing that they won't work and that the brake flange plate on the axles themselves will have to be modified to accept standard 12" x 2" brake hub assemblies. The backing plates are welded on to mobile home axles and the brakes are only intended for one time use... while the 7000 lb axles are still quite serviceable. So I snooped around for more info and experience people have had converting and using mobile home axles and I found several amazing links! Obviously part of the work to come will involve buying the brake hub assemblies, making a new flange backing plate to mate with the bolt pattern of the brakes, removing the existing plate, and assembling the hub with the new plate in place. We orderd out new electric brakes and hub drums on-line from All Basic Component Trailer parts (www.abctrailerparts.com).
There was also a lady who was recently given a new travel trailer and offered to give me her old one to dismantle at will for parts, hopefully I will hear more from her this weekend! Keep your fingers crossed, and I hope there is sun this weekend so we can get some welding done!
My faith is the altruism and basic unity between people is re-affirmed everyday, and I am only so privileged to be a part of the dance of inter-relation.