Month: October 2010

How to Sandblast a Trailer

Because we bought our trailer used and it was formerly a 1981 (camping) travel trailer it had some signs of wear and tear; namely rust. Structurally it is as sound as the day it rolled off the assembly line. But because it spent some time on the east coast the salinity of the air made it prematurely age and the paint/primer at some point gave way to rust spots and “age spots.” Luckily we own both an air compressor and a sandblaster – the very tools needed to prepare the trailer for primer. Sandblasting is a general term used to describe the act of propelling very fine bits of material (play sand in this case) at high-velocity to clean a surface. A sandblasting setup usually consists of three different parts: the abrasive itself, an air compressor (seen below), and a blaster nozzle. By launching small bits of abrasive at the surface at a high speed, all imperfections are knocked loose and can then be easily washed off, creating an incredibly smooth surface upon which to lay the new layer of paint. Before we can do that though (which will come much later, I imagine) we need to prime. Why? Primer spray (in this case we used Krylon grey primer) stops rust and prevents corrosion. So last week Crystal started sandblasting the tongue of the trailer. We were a bit...

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How to Be Present In Your Life

Originally written for my weekly Thursday post on scissorsanddrumsticks.com. ——————————————————————————————— Everyone has a Eureka moment. Coined (or at least credited to) by Archimedes the moment is one of discovery in which all is revealed at once. Last night was mine. As dinner wrapped up and the twilight hour turned into dark I walked towards the TV room as my habit has become to watch a little mindless television in an effort to wind down and get my mind to slow down. I have always had a problem with slowing down; not physically, per se, but definitely mentally. I noticed that my wife had not joined me as she often did. I headed into our bedroom to find her thumbing through a magazine with just a lamp on. It pains me to say this but I couldn’t recognize at that moment that she wanted to hang out with me for a while. She wanted to turn off the noise, lock us behind closed doors, and just reconnect. Afterall, life has been busy for us the past month or so and it shows no sign of slowing up. But me? I couldn’t recognize that. I misread the signs and I was too self-involved and too preoccupied mentally to notice that while my body was in the room with her, I was nowhere to be found. Some preacher I am, eh? I talk...

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Tiny House Update – 10.25.10

Another weekend gone and another Tiny House project marked off our ‘To Do list.’ When we first purchased our 30′ trailer we knew immediately that it would need new tires, a new jack, and some stabilizers. What we didn’t know was where to get any such parts. The tires we figured we could research and purchase from Sears or one of the Auto Parts stores. The jack we thought we might be able to get a lead on by visiting our local trailer store. And the stabilizers we found by starting at Camping World online. We’ll talk more about tires in a later post as they are much like everything else in the world of trailers – without a standard or even a rhyme or reason. We were right on the money about the jack. After our trip to the salvage yard early Saturday morning we found ourselves about $72 richer and hungry to find that jack. We went to Hooper Trailer Sales on Highway 41 south and found an A-Frame Trailer Jack made by RAM for $22.95. We also purchased a RAM jack foot for just over $10 rather than using a wheel. Our thinking was that if we weren’t going to be traveling that much with our Tiny House we wouldn’t be needing to wheel it a foot this way or a foot that way. So the...

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How to take control of your Inbox

Originally written for my weekly Thursday post on scissorsanddrumsticks.com. —————————————————————————————— Jim Rohn, the celebrated speaker and motivator, once said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” A great quote from someone who earns his living speaking to others about how to take control of life. So what runs your day? For many of us our days are run by our email inbox. We start our days checking our email. We keep it open all day toggling between our work and our inbox. Some of us live for the ‘ping’ that happens each time a new mail flies in. And who isn’t guilty of just doing a “quick email check” before heading out the door or going to bed or having supper? I admit it. Email is all at once the tin-can communicator that keeps me connected AND the very bane of my existence. What I propose is not going to sit well with many for many of us still can’t admit that our work is actually hindered by our inbox. I propose that we choose to live life on purpose and determine for ourselves how the day is run. I propose we quit allowing our inbox to determine what comes out of us. I fully understand the value in a quick response. But offering this service every minute of every day is detrimental in that you...

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Tiny House Update – 10.20.10 or How to Find Money

There isn’t much to report on the build front. However, Crystal and I have gotten busy lately stripping the trailer and the remains of the camper part that were still visible. This included some plywood decking (all rotted, of course), a bit of linoleum, the old gas lines, some rusted out metal bolts, and the camper slide-out “stairs.” There was a bit of an alterior motive to our stripping the trailer down. The first reason is to expose all DOT labels and all weight ratings. The second was to turn the old metal into “found money.” Certainly everyone knows about “found money?” It involves a little time, a few tools, a pickup truck or a utility trailer, and access to a salvage yard. For us, “found money” is turning salvageable metal into money. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. There is just so much of it to be found it’s almost like it comes to you. Just take a walk down your street or cruise around your county and for every few hundred yards you’ll more than likely notice quite a few discarded metal items. Cans are the most common but, bits of wire, hub caps, and all sorts of other things appear as well. Each of these items mentioned have a value. In some cases their value might be small but, remember, it all adds up....

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