Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Giant lights

6AM - Giant clearance lights
Yesterday I asked you to solve, "The Giant Clearance Light Mystery!" Well, it turned out that the mystery was easy to solve. Reader Diugo reminded that during our recent California trip, we had posted a pic of all the stuff bought in the USA. In that pic we showed our new giant clearance lights.

For several years I pondered how clearance lights should be mounted on MsTioga. The problem is that the under-layment [material to which the exterior fiberglass is bonded], is too thin in the area of the clearance lights. A thin under-layment barely holds the screws which secure these clearance lights. Also, the screws provide a path for rain water to enter the RV wall.

Over time, I became more experienced with fiberglass repairs. It occurred to me that plywood could be fabricated into a base for clearance lights. That plywood base could be fiberglassed on to MsTioga to form the secure clearance light mount that I wanted.

And that is what we are doing at Panchito's Body Shop to mount our new giant cab-over clearance lights!

Panchito gives the OK!
Last week I presented to Panchito my plan for installing the cab-over clearance lights and asked for his approval. Panchito gave the OK! So, off I went to a lumberyard in Tequisquiapan, and bought the 1/2" plywood which would become the clearance light bases.

It is amazing how fast my suggestions for work at Panchito's are implemented. Just a word from me, and off Pancho [Father] and Panchito [Son] go to do what we talk about. Really great working with these two very talented and hard working men.

Fabricating and installing the plywood bases
Using the giant clearance lights as a pattern, I marked the size for the bases on the plywood. Then using my saber-saw, cut the five bases from the plywood.

Yesterday, Pancho and Panchito setup a stand for installing these plywood bases on to MsTioga's cab-over. They did not mention to me that the time for installation had arrived. I wondered what they were doing as the big boards were screwed together. And then, suddenly, there it was! A stand for Pancho to use for installing the plywood bases! Wow!
Pancho ready to begin the installation

It got too warm doing the installation in the sunshine. So, the platform was moved into the shade of the shop's building. Then Pancho began the process of clearing the fiberglass with a disk-sander.
Sanding the fiberglass

After the shoe-shaped plywood bases were in place, Pancho determined that there was too much clearance at the rear of the shoe, and he decided that a heal-like spacer was required. Pancho figured out the size of this spacer and I cut the spacers from plywood using the saber-saw.
Pancho laying out the heal-spacers
As his grandson Gordo looks on]

[Spacers with heals attached
almost ready for fiberglassing

1PM - Pics
All of the pics above were taken yesterday [Monday July 9th] at Panchito's Body Shop. The pics below follow the work being done today, Tuesday.

At the close of work yesterday, Pancho [the Father] had all of the clearance light bases fiberglassed to the cab-over roof. This morning the first thing to do, is sand the fiberglass smooth.

After the fiberglass is sanded smooth, comes the application of "DuPont NovaLite". This is the same as the product called "Bondo" in the United States. NovaLite is applied little by little. Between NovaLite applications, the NovaLite is sanded and then more is applied until the desired shape and finish is achieved.
Pancho and Panchito begin sanding fiberglass

Pancho and Panchito begin applying DuPont NovaLite

3PM - Painting time!
We have finished lunch in the little kitchen. Frijoles, tortillas, ensalada from the Two Pancho's garden. Now it is painting time.

I made the decision earlier to paint MsTioga's entire cab-over roof because the paint was somewhat weathered. This meant removing the "Tioga-George" decal. There is a decal store here in Tequisquiapan from which a new "Tioga-George" decal may be purchased.

Lots of clouds