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Old 09-27-2015, 07:23 PM   #323
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Looking good. So what is the plan, everyone involved gets to sign the plywood side for posterity?

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Old 09-30-2015, 11:37 AM   #324
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Just a little concerned... the glue doesn't seem to be as tough as I had anticipated. I took my circular saw and cut a corner off of the panel to see how the glue was drying and with some effort I was able to separate the aluminum from the wood... it was still a little tacky.

Bender's, who makes the adhesive, have been pretty helpful answering my questions and such. They think perhaps i stuck the parts together a little too soon before enough of the solvent had flashed off. Their advice was to leave the panel untouched and give it more time to dry. I hope more time is all that is needed to yield better results. It has been cool and rainy for the last 3 days too... which probably doesn't help.

In the meantime... I've stacked some cement blocks up on top of the plywood as it's trying to bow up a bit with all the humidity... and probably the solvent coming out of the glue. I am a little worried about the plywood seams... i don't think it will take much to put a crease in the aluminum if the panel is handled incorrectly...

so for now... just trying to hurry up and wait. Worst case I guess is the glue doesn't hold at all, and I end up with a million rivets in the side wall...

-cheers
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:23 PM   #325
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Contact cement doesn't harden like epoxy or even Elmer's Glue. There's going to be quite a bit of give to it for quite some time - years?

We waited to join the halves until it flashed to the point it didn't come off on our fingers when touched. When the 2 surfaces were mated, that was it.
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:06 PM   #326
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I think you are going to be ok. I like the idea of marking/cutting all your openings/penetrations before. This will give you more hand holds.
I would leave them undersize. Perhaps a couple of inches or more to give room incase it isn't exactly in the same place as the old ones. You can then trim them to final size after it is installed.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:53 PM   #327
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Get some long 2 X 4 or 6 and large c clamps so you can clamp the long boards both front and back to make it stiffer to lift.

The c clamps are now your lifting attachment points and with you being inside lots of small pullys overhead with rope will allow easy controlled lift and hold in place.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:07 PM   #328
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We waited to join the halves until it flashed to the point it didn't come off on our fingers when touched. When the 2 surfaces were mated, that was it.
That's exactly how we did it... I think our timing had to have been "close."

I cut another small piece off of the edge of the panel tonight. It seems like the glue might be holding a little better each day? Not sure if that's true or if it's just what I want to believe. Actually, the piece I tried to disassemble tonight actually was stuck together pretty good...

I went a head and rolled it again. Probably not necessary, but figured it couldn't hurt.

As far as lifting the panel into place... looks like it's probably just going to be me and the wife again. I'm drilling some 1.5" holes in the areas that will eventually get cut out so I can put ratchet strap hooks in them. I'll use the holes to lift. I will do something similar to what TQ60 said, and clamp some 2x's or something across the joints to keep them from flexing while I move the panel from horizontal to vertical. I won't be able to leave the 2x's and clamps on when I place the panel into position though.

That's the plan anyways... I'll see what the weekend brings. If the glue seems pretty stiff by then, maybe we get the panel in place. I'm guessing I'll run into some other issues along the way that will need figured out, so it could still be another week or two.

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Old 09-30-2015, 07:00 PM   #329
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You make something to rest the bottom of the panel on next to rv at correct height.

Next lower panel so it is resting on supports.

Start be attaching bottom of panel in center but not tight as the supports are on top.

Now either press panel to hold in place to allow supports to be removed.

Now you can continue attaching.

Maybe do the total length of the bottom but only screws about a couple feet apart then do top center as lift removed then do zig -zag pattern working out towards ends.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:55 AM   #330
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You are getting some good advice, Piker!! You got this!! Rail!
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:28 PM   #331
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The test sample today that I pulled apart required the use of a screwdriver to get the aluminum separated. Looks like the adhesive really does get stronger every day.

This makes me feel quite a bit better!!

-cheers
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:54 PM   #332
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Maybe you should have a panel hanging party. A case of Bud and a couple of racks of ribs should bring them in like flies!
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:09 PM   #333
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Pics of Today's Progress:

















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Old 10-04-2015, 07:30 PM   #334
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Lookin' good Piker!! You got this!!
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:54 PM   #335
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Lookin' good Piker!! You got this!!
Thanks man...

It went pretty well today... as usual it wasn't perfect, but it went well enough. The good news is, I didn't scrap the panel... and the glue seems to be holding ridiculously well.

I did, however, get some flex in the aluminum at the plywood joints. I figured this was going to happen, but had hoped it wouldn't. All in all, the flex is not that bad, but it did leave a little bit of a witness line at each seam. The original panels had the same thing, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself about it. There is a stud just to the side of each seam... theoretically, I could rivet up those studs and it might make the joint a little less noticeable... but it's really not too bad...

Something else we encountered, was that we weren't able to flex the panel enough to get the end of it underneath the fiberglass end caps at the front and back of the RV. I had to cut the panel top to bottom where it goes over the entry door. The panel was just too weak at the plywood joints to try and bow it out to sneak the ends underneath. This doesn't bode well for doing the other side of the RV without a vertical seam somewhere in the lower panel. I'm trying to think of something I can add to the driver's side of the RV that would break up the siding like the door does on the passenger side.

At this point, I guess I'm done for the year. The weather is too cold to spray any adhesive so I can't reallly build any more panels... besides, I'm pooped from working so much overtime, and also out of funds for now. Now that I know this can be done, I'll try to save up over the winter for the rest of the materials to finish up in the spring... and probably into next summer... who knows... maybe longer. It's a big project... time wise and $$ too.

At this point, I'm not sure I really want to tackle the other side... if I was going to do it though, the winter would be a great time to get it torn apart and prepped for new panels. It's just soooo much work... and I just really want to go camping... If I do tear it apart this winter, I might regret it come spring if I don't have the money to finish...

anyways... it's all good. For now, I'll just sit back for a bit and see what transpires over the next few months.

all for now...

-cheers
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:44 PM   #336
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Great job. And I am with you. Rest. Reflect. Camp in the driveway. You have earned it. And finish the curb side, and rest again. Camp some more in the driveway. This is not a race to see who finishes first. Get the curb side to your liking and rest a spell. If you decide at some time to tackle the driver side, then it also will be done. If not, it will be your decision, and it will be the right one for you. Keep on keeping on.

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