August 5, 2012

Trimming out the doors

When we framed out the door openings in the side walls, we knew that they would eventually be covered with some sort of aluminum trim to provide some protection to the exposed wood edges.  We also figured that it would cover any imperfection in our cuts and framing too!

 We purchased some simple aluminum flashing from Home Depot which usually comes in 10’ or 50’ rolls.  From this Darrell was able to fabricate custom bent c-channels using a press brake he had access to at his work (which he did way ahead of time before he left).  Each of these c-channels had a short ½” long leg that would be on the inside of the trailer, a 1½” bottom to span the width of the wall, and a longer 1” long leg that would be on the outside of the trailer.  He also made sure to hem the edges of the strips so there would be no sharp edges along the sides.  The c-channels could only be 4’ long – the length of the press brake – but that gave us just the right amount of length to cut down for each side of the door.

For each door opening we used three individual lengths of c-channel on the straight sides and then had to hand cut pieces for the arched top.  On the straight lengths, we decided to leave short ‘tails’ so that we could wrap the pieces over or under each other to help protect against water penetration.  After a quick test fit, we trimmed the ‘tails’ to length to give us even corners. 

For the arched top we couldn’t use the c-channel since couldn’t bend along the curve.  So to trim out the top, we decided to use three separate pieces of aluminum – one on each side of the wall with a strip to cover the top.  Darrell hand cut a strip of aluminum 2” wide following the curve using tin snips.  The top 1” would be left alone, but all along the bottom 1” he cut small slits so that it could be folded into the trailer.  He then repeated the process for the other side of the wall.  This made for an unattractive detail, but I really wanted to cover the edge of the wood and we could cover it over with another strip of aluminum later.

After everything was cut down, folded around and fit into place, we were able to glue it all on using construction adhesive.  Since we had a limited number of clamps, we used a whole bunch of blue painters tape to secure everything in place.  We then let it cure over night so we were sure it was completely secure and dry.

The next morning the tape came off and it looked great!  There were a couple of spots that didn’t adhere quite as tightly as we wanted on the outside, but that was fixed with some evenly spaced twist nails (the same we used to finish out the galvanized trim in the cabin).  Unfortunately I didn’t take a close up photo of them, but they gave it a really industrial look we ended up liking a lot

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