Trailer rebuilding: tools, tiles and more

So I didn’t work on the tiles yesterday as it was Sunday, and as I mentioned in my last post, we were exploring options on how to get the tiles cut. The larger building centers are closed on Sundays, so I needed to find something else to do. This isn’t difficult because we have a list of several pages of things to do 😛

After having removed all of the duct work in the ceiling and covered over the duct vents on the floor, I looked up at the ceiling where the air conditioning unit was located and asked myself, ‘why are we keeping this?’ I couldn’t come up with a good reason, so I took it upon myself to remove it.

First I took out the four big bolts from inside and disconnected all of the wires. Then I went out side, climbed up the ladder and got onto the roof. I removed all of the screws holding on the cover and this is what I found.

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Yes, that is a rather large wasp nest attached to the side of the fan. It was long defunct so I pulled it apart and one of the pipes leading to/from the radiator unit was going right through the nest. These guys had it good with, most likely, a built in heater, provided the AC was running.

Anyway, it turned out that it was only those four big bolts that were holding it on as I was able to remove the unit without doing anything else. After the removal, we had yet another hole in the ceiling to deal with.

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So I pulled out the 6mil vapour barrier and covered the hole. Then I put in 3″ (7.6cm) of rigid foam board and then spray foamed all of the cracks and around the edges. It looked like this from inside when I was done.

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Up top, I put a full layer of spray foam on top of the rigid insulation and then I covered the hole with more vapour barrier. It kinda looked like a well frosted cake.

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I then took a spare piece of plywood, caulked around the edges of the hole and covered it with the wood. I screwed it in using sheet metal roofing screws as they have a neoprene rubber sealing washer on them. I then caulked the edges and ended up with this.

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After that was done, I tried to work on some of the awkward paneling between the big windows at the back. I didn’t get very far as the cutting and trimming of the pieces takes forever. The curved spots around the windows are a pain and the spots you are trying to fill aren’t necessarily square or straight. There is a lot of trial and error with trimming a bit, trying it, trimming more and so on.

So that brings us to today. Today was a good day, not only because I got some things accomplished, but I also bought a new power tool. More on that in a moment.

I looked at the cement board joints I had filled with joint compound the other day and I wasn’t satisfied. You want your floor to be as flat as possible. Any irregularities will cause issues with the tiles sticking properly. So I pulled out the joint compound and did a second coat, making sure this time to make it a nice smooth flat surface. This ensured the fact that I wouldn’t be gluing any tiles today, but I still had some to cut anyway.

Here is the repatched cement board.

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A little sanding tomorrow and it will be good to go.

So, you need to cut some tiles, eh? Well, I considered taking them to the shop to have them cut, but I also want to cut some bricks for under the feet of the wood stove, so I opted to buy a tool instead. I didn’t want to buy a tile saw as it’s a bit more specific than what I want, so I opted for an angle grinder.

Here it is.

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Along with a diamond grit ceramic tile blade, this little doodad goes though tiles like a hot knife through butter.

I got all of my cuts done with no breakage and in no time at all. That’s the 4.5″ (11.5cm) diameter blade angle grinder made by Dewalt. I have a cordless drill, a jigsaw and now an angle grinder from Dewalt and I have to say I have no complaints about any of them.

The only downside to cutting the tiles with the angle grinder is it makes a huge mess. I was covered head to toe with ceramic dust by the time I was done.

It was worth it, though, as you can see.

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Yes, I managed to cut out the spots for the vents. Yes, the one on the right is completely contained in one tile, which made me nervous as the one side only has about 3/4″ (1.9cm) width to it. I was thinking it was going to break when I was cutting it, but I was wrong. It all worked great.

Of course, with the holes cut I had to check if the vent grills would actually fit in the holes. If they didn’t there was going to need to be some more trimming. Alas, all was good. The grills fit just fine.

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With the joint compound needing more time to harden, I switched over to working on the paneling between the windows again. After much fuss, I managed to get them all filled in. In total, I’m sure it was several hours work, which is depressing considering it’s only four small, skinny pieces.

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I also had an off-cut piece that was almost a perfect fit for the first section above the windows so I went ahead and put that in too.

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I also used some wood filler to fill in between the seams. It’s supposed to be mahogany coloured, like the panels, but it doesn’t really match, even after it hardens. That’s okay, Kat plans to paint it all anyway, so all we need it to do is fill in the seams.

With the tiles all cut now and the cement board fully prepped, we should be able to glue the tiles down tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Trailer rebuilding: tools, tiles and more”

  1. Between all the spray foaming and filling in the AC hole yesterday and watching you splat tile compound today – you get to frost the next dessert. I won’t even object if you use a trowel and board to do it. LOL. ~K~

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