Laying the Groundwork

Hi again!

With our subfloor insulation installed in all its pink glory, Josh and I were real excited to start actually attaching some boards to our Tiny House trailer this past Saturday! Our Tumbleweed Trailer plans called for a fascia board to be attached around the entire outside edge of the trailer, framing it, hugging the hurricane rods for structural integrity and giving us four extra inches of interior space (which of course is a huge huge deal for a supersmall house like this)!

What we didn’t expect were the trailer brake lights to be bolted to the place where the fascia board was supposed to go on the hitch end. Luckily our host Jack had a grinder on hand last weekend, and I got to try my hand at grinding the bolts off. Thankfully no hands were lost in the process!

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Four bolts gone and still 10 fingers!
Four bolts gone and still 10 fingers!

I’m not sure what other people have done about this… but Josh and I just figured we could easily screw the light brackets back on to the outside of the trailer once we’re done building.

Now, on to the fascia! With the boards all ready to be attached, Josh and I were rarin’ to go! I was thrilled to see the first screw going allllll the way through our 2×4 fascia board and into the metal trailer frame!

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Whoa! We’re not screwing around now!

Driving screws through wood and metal and seeing the boards go on really felt good. I could feel the sheer power behind the teeny-tiny impact driver we used (thanks again to Jack for letting us use this little gem)! For this tough job we used 2 3/4″ self-tapping screws; basically they have like a mini drill bit on the end so they can bite through the metal. I understand they don’t go through wood so well, though, so we pre-drilled the 2×4’s before driving them in (thanks to Don in the Home Depot hardware department for fielding my 1,000 questions about different types of screws! So appreciated!).

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And TA-DA! here’s the first board on the trailer!
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Marking pre-drilling locations
Josh was the master pre-driller... check out that focus!!!
Josh was the master pre-driller… check out that focus!!!

And now comes a tricky part of which I’m especially proud. Get a load of everything going on in this photo!:

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Big thanks to Jack who hung out with me on Thursday night patiently helping me cut the correct wheel well curves into the side fascia boards! His scroll saw really came in handy for that and he didn’t even judge me for messing up once… errrr, okay… a bunch of times. ๐Ÿ™‚ With a little caulk between the board and the wheel well, we’re in business. In this picture you can also kind of see how we had to cut grooves in each board where it had to go around the hurricane rods. We did this by clamping a piece of scrap wood to each fascia board and driving a 1 1/4″ bit through the middle using Jack’s drill press (bless his heart for having awesome tools). Each time it left us with a half-circle to fit snugly around each rod.

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Josh and I were so happy to see the fascia boards come together smoothly! The trailer looked awesome with the new frame!

I should mention that before attaching the fascia boards, we also cut some 3 1/2″ wide, 1/2″ thick plywood strips that will be attached outside the fascia later. We wanted to get them ready while we could still trace and cut the wheel well curves without having to struggle to cut them correctly later. Not a super exciting step, except that Josh and I both got to try out our fancy new circular saw for the first time to rip through the plywood sheets!

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At this point another wood frog hopped over to congratulate us for doing such a good job.

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Spurred on by our new cheerleader, we decided to get started on the subfloor! For me, this is where the project really started feeling real.

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The 3/4″ plywood sheets hang over the side by 1/2″… that’s where the plywood spacer sheets mentioned earlier will come in. Here’s a close-up of the 1″ hole for the hurricane rod:

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It’s been a surprise to me how each little part of this project has fully captivated my interest. Something as simple as drilling a hole through a sheet of plywood was fascinating, just watching the layers of different colors chip away under the spinning bit. From light tan to dark brown, to reddish, it was really cool to watch!

Chillin' with the impact driver and some self-tapping screws
Chillin’ with the impact driver and some self-tapping screws

No need to pre-drill before attaching the plywood subfloor sheets, so Josh was driving them in like a madman.
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With some crazy moody weather and dragging our big tarp on and off the trailer all day, Josh and I were pleased to have finished the whole fascia and to also get on half the subfloor which involved some precision notching around the wheel well… stay tuned for photos of that when we finish the subfloor in Part 2 next weekend! Yay for future floors!

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4 thoughts on “Laying the Groundwork

  1. Bonnie Vance September 23, 2015 / 7:31 pm

    Love it. but I cannot understand the brake lights on the tongue end of the trailer??

    Like

    • joyleisen September 24, 2015 / 1:03 pm

      Hi Bonnie! Thanks! Maybe they are just reflectors? I haven’t taken too close of a look at their function–for now they were just an obstacle in the way of progress! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

    • Dad September 25, 2015 / 12:52 am

      It looks like you guys are doing a great job on the Tiny house floor construction. The documentation is excellent and fun to follow. Keep up the fun and exceptional work.
      Dad

      Like

      • joyleisen September 25, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        Thanks Dad!! And thanks for talking me through some construction questions… definitely helpful to have your advice! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

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