I can say old because I have had this beast, I mean delicate flower, for nearly two years. That is precisely one year and six months longer than restoration was supposed to take. The good news is that it should be done by the time my kids grow up, go to college, and buy a home so I can park it in the front, Cousin Eddie style. I digress. Finally made it out to work on the trailer today which is no small feat. I haven’t been logging any work hours on her the last few months since I went back to school full time. Psssttt, I’ll let you in on a little secret. . . taking full time college classes does not get easier with age. Turns out I really have to study, like a lot. So, Molly has to take a backseat. Today though, the sun was shining, homework was done and the kids were at school! Perfect. I remembered where I was in projects, I demoed some shit (always feels good) and then I used a super grinder sander thing and made some progress on a totally not related to anything necessary right now project. It was a win . It felt good to be back at it. Now all I need to do is replace two corners of frame, rewire for electrical and propane and I can put the siding back on!
I’ll keep it short today because when you have a piece of perfection it doesn’t really need words. In case you forgot what the oven and stove top began as here is a reminder:
This is what love looks like.
No matter the hole in the floor or the side panel yet to be put on, I have this now. Possibly the most glorious thing in existence.
I meant to work on the floor today, I REALLY want a floor. This is a project that requires my FAVORITE brother’s supervision, and he was laying concrete. Lest I be recruited to do that (it was raining and looked like torture) I thought I should find another project I could handle on my own. I decided I had stared at that gigantic useless water tank long enough.
It was time to go. Beat it asshole, you’re out of there. Like a boss I pulled out the bench supports, twisted off the outside spout and then called my Mom because god damn it I could not for the life of me undo the thingy (that’s actually the technical term, look it up) underneath the trailer. My Mom is a rock star and twisted it off like it was nothing. I started to try to yank the stupid thing out of there but no dice. What in the heckfest? Ahhhhh that’s right, there’s that underneath thingy!!!! So I sawzalled that B off, and the tank popped right out. One more project crossed off. Of course if you’re keeping score I did add an additional two holes to the trailer taking out the tank. I guess it’s still a win, right? I actually don’t know.
I had this nasty patch on the side of Molly that I couldn’t stand to look at, last summer I took it off. This year I thought it might be nice to have a plan to replace it so, you know I could have a side to my trailer. Crazy, right? I YouTubed how to take off the skin and I thought “why the hell not, couldn’t get worse than a huge gaping whole.” Miracle of miracles, the divine light of Science shown down upon me and I didn’t damage anything else!! Of course that’s the good news, there’s always more though isn’t there?
***Side Note***You know what’s funny/sad looking at the second photo of the patch I hated so much? It doesn’t look that bad. Of course it was rotting out the bathroom/closet and would have destroyed a whole lot more if I didn’t address it but I can see now why I ignored it when I bought it. Okay less funny, more sad.***
First thing was to find a metal fabricator that could make me a new piece. At a little over thirteen feet this is no small task, especially when I want the same break pattern in the aluminum. I took my disgusting 55 year old piece of aluminum into Seattle to see what could be done. Let me tell you what makes you really feel your suburbaness: pulling up to a cool ass metal shop in your SUV that is only barely not a minivan and hauling out your piece of vintage trailer to fix. The shop was super kind and did a bunch of research into what it would cost, bottom line though is either i take it as two pieces or no break pattern. I passed. I can do better. I’ve found a shop outside of Portland (of course) that has like 12 different patterns, so it may not be the same but I can get close. They specialize in trailers so they can also give me the length I want. Just waiting to hear back to see if I can afford it!
Next item this project put on the agenda: replace all the rotten wood pieces in the frame that I had just exposed. This wouldn’t be hard, except I really want to do the two on the outer most sides. What does this mean? It means I am taking off the rest of that side. Cross your fingers for me. This piece of aluminum is perfectly fine and if I screw this one up it is totally a big deal.
So there we are. Major project started, no I still don’t have a floor, or a solid roof but at least I’ve got coffee and in coffee all things are possible.
Winter hiatus is over. Super over. The dark and depressing malaise of the last few months has finally lifted and out of the gloom I’ve rediscovered my grit. I needed to start out with a win and I needed a for sure win. I was not interested in my normal “win” that turns into a fucking avalanche of disaster but a real tangible win. So obviously I shopped out a little work. I sent my hideous (although functional) stove top and oven door to the Powder Coat guy and although I have not seen them yet, they could hardly get any worse. “Deuce Brown” has it’s place and I’m sure, at one point, it was a lovely color choice but instead I opted for teal with a fresh coat of “whatever the eff powder coat is” on the hardware and vent. It takes every bit of my grown-up reserves to not call every day to see if it’s done yet just so I can have something done and accomplished. To be fair to my awesome Powder Coat guy I did tell him my time line which may or may not have included a finish date of 2025. So he can pretty much take his time. I just really need to have this one pretty thing.
Something I’ve learned over the winter, my Fireball is actually 16′ long, not 14′, I should probably know stuff like that. The Fireball FB group, who are such an amazing resource, had some cool original Fireball Catalogues, it was looking at those that I discovered my new piece of comical idiocy. Comical idiocy is probably the best way to describe the way I feel and operate while muddling through Molly, everyday. Anyway, I’m also not changing the name on the blog, what would I even call it? “16′ of sass?” dumb, or maybe “16′ of sexy” ewww or how about “16′ of sparkles”? Actually I like that. So maybe that or I’ll keep it 14′ of Fury, who can know these things? I may just go back to calling her Ass Face and call it a day.
I realize that last post was a teensy bit on the dark side and then I ghosted and left for a couple months. I haven’t given up or lost hope, not yet. I did however put up a beautiful canopy over Molly that is probably the nicest thing about her right now. I haven’t done any more work on her though, I’m a big baby and it’s cold, really cold and rainy, really rainy. I’ll get back to it when it warms up a bit and with any luck I’ll have her ready for summer. . .of 2020.
My previous titles for this entry “How F*cking Stupid” and “Come On Now, Get the F*ck Out of Here” were both vetoed by Phil, perhaps because originally they didn’t have any *’s in the them and he was worried I could possibly offend everyone everywhere. Phil is also forcing me to put in a warning here that there is a major Sons of Anarchy spoiler ahead so stop reading now if that’s a deal breaker. Anyway, let’s get to the tears. I’ve been pretty diligently working on Molly a few days a week for three or four hours a stretch each time, I kind of just want to call her FuckFace right now. However, every night instead of writing about old FF I’ve been binge watching Sons of Anarchy instead. **Spoiler: Everybody dies. EVERYBODY.**
So here is where I stand with FF I’ve got all of the windows stripped, half of her sanded (some mothereffing idiot painted one or maybe all five layers with a brush so there are drips everywhere). I took off a big side patch that was moronically tacked on over existing sliced up aluminum and growing moss in the seams (oh thanks for the water damage in the bathroom A-hole). I removed another mystery patch on the front to discover it was covering some weird ass hole in the aluminum there. Basically every place there has been a chance of this project getting ahead I get slapped in the face like some rookie bitch with another five more projects that I need to do first.
Inside I’ve removed one cabinet (thanks bro) where I need to replace the ceiling veneer and taken off all the lighting fixtures. I’m trying really hard not to get distracted with too much inside. I really need to get the exterior “done” before the weather changes.
After each of these projects piled on top of each other I did a slow sad walk around the trailer kicking rocks and feeling pretty shitty about my progress. Nope that’s it, no happy ending today. Everybody dies here too (metaphorically of course).
I took a break from my ceaseless stripping (you’re welcome everyone) to spend a little time with my big bro, the Duke of DIY, the King of Project Creep (just ask how a bathroom remodel took his whole house down to the studs), Captain Fix It All, my brother Andy, he came to help me lay out a plan for all Molly’s electrical needs. I’m replacing everything because what’s currently there is crap and will likely kill us all. So my original plan was to spend twenty bucks on a five pack of those click on click off sticky lights (the ones from the old infomercials) and just paste those everywhere, I’ve been told by pretty much everyone I know that this plan is the dumbest ever. Whatever. My brother’s plan is slightly more involved, more invasive and will be fucking amazing when completed. We spent three hours going over details and the West Marine catologue (boats and trailers have very similar needs) and I’m still googling what Andy was talking about because I understand like 3% of what he said. New skill in the works for me here. It’s a solid plan and now I have a budget so I can make it happen, once the exterior is completed-ish of course.
And then Andy got more Andy, so we also planned out a new propane system, and a new water system and even costed out putting a bathroom back in (no promises on a toilet Phil). Holy guacamole dude. This trailer might have a shit roof for another year but with my bro’s help (yes it’s only help, he’s not doing it himself) it is going to be SICK, and also very safe.
Andy also showed me the two most life changing things ever. He is kind enough to let me keep Molly on his property so I can use his shop to get her going. On this day he gave me a tour of some of the newest features of the shop, I now know where the music is and where the beer is. Best bro in the world. For really reals, thank you Andy.
I’m not generally a glass half full kind of a gal. I’m a straight shooter, if it’s shit I’ll call it shit. That’s just my cross to bear, along with my ridiculous good looks of course. (insert winky face here) So it’s weird that I keep seeing this old girl in such a positive light. Of course this could be due to her status as a time bomb. Phil purchased Molly for me conditionally, our little lady had to be at Weekend Warrior status by the end of summer or I had to sell her. Well shoot. I will say that I find “functional” to be a very ambiguous term. I find her plenty functional right now, just don’t open the closet and you’ll be fine.
This is where my new found positivity comes in to play. “Look honey it’s that glorious water damage that I said we should really be grateful for!” I ripped up the floor of the “honey bucket” room that we will all call from this moment forward the “CLOSET.” Truthfully not that bad of a demo. I got to feel like a bad ass carrying two super big kind of rusty old crowbars and then I ripped shit up and all told not that much actual rot. I pulled out one non-supportive piece of wood and sort of exposed the outdoors in one teeny tiny place but I feel like I can totally fix that, no problem. So bring it on Molly, I’m not scared.
There’s no turning back now. I had to see just how bad my “good kind” of water damage was, all things considered, not too bad! Kind of. I started digging into the layers and layers of gross goo on the aluminum roof to see if I could get down to the actual skin. It has two possibly three layers on top of the aluminium of this nasty shit that I had a hell of time scraping off with a putty knife. I was able to peel a bit off around the leaky part and around the front patch.
Did I mention the ginormous front patch? It looks like someone ran the poor front of the trailer into a tree and then slathered on a bunch of black tarish stuff then slapped on a piece of aluminum and then used some sheet metal screws to jam the whole thing together. The screws aren’t even screwed into anything so there’s a growing space between the patch and the original skin, it’s cool though cause they covered it in EXTRA weird goo so it’s definitely solid (have we agreed on a sarcasm font yet?).
I also found two other rando covered over vents as well, those are not leaking currently but it’s only a matter of time right?
With all of these atrocities going on over just 14′ I think I might just replace the whole damn roof. Not actually that difficult if I can just figure out where to purchase the aluminium (if anyone knows the answer to THAT holla atcha girl). Or I can always just patch, patch and patch and re-slather with more weird goo (that’s what she said).