Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bringing home "baby"


Mr. Aluminum came rolling into the shop with the following:
Minus the woman in the doorway (that’s me).  It is a 1962 24′ Airstream Trade Wind with a rear bath, a bad axle, a dent in the front endcap, lots of duct tape and a very happy owner.  I was love-drunk. Now I know what mothers of wrinkly red newborn babies must feel.  Just look at all that potential.  All the mouse nests in the world wouldn’t dull my shining aluminum heart.
Now that I have seen the mouse nests the Airstream has to offer, I am still as googly-eyed as ever.  The trailer is coming along slowly but surely, with the first major task thinking about possibly trying to become nearly complete.  Polishing.
I was appalled by what it cost to have a trailer professionally polished (about $3500) and decided to do it myself.  (I have a feeling this is going to be a theme).  Let me tell you, the pros earn every penny of that whopping sum.  50 hours into it, I am surprised they don’t charge more!  I have spent over 2 whole days worth of my life covered in black gunk, listening to the drone of wheel on metal and wishing I was at the beach.  Tomorrow I will start on the roof, then only two more steps to go!

These are the tools of the trade:
DeWalt Variable Speed Polisher - $170 on e-bay
a gallon of mineral spirits from Lowes – $15
Cyclo Polisher - $250 (on sale from VTS)
clean white rags – $5
lots of elbow grease – priceless
Bringing the Grand Total to $597.
On the one hand, that seems like a lot to pay to see yourself at half your regular height with a smooshed head in some old aluminum.  But then you pull your trailer out into the sun and realize that you now have superpowers that allow you to blind other drivers as you burn beams of sunlight directly into their retinas.  Not to mention beams of jealousy into their hearts.  They are all wishing they were you.  Now $597 seems a small price to pay for the instant respect and awe of everyone else on the road.

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