We got a lot done today. We met for coffee and drove straight home as I already have a sate lunch ready to cook. I marinated the chicken tenders in oyster sauce with my not hot curry powder, garlic and mustard powder, in the fridge. Last night I made ketaput rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves I found at the Mexican store. They turned out edible, not fantastic but tasty. As the wraps let loose at first without string they didn’t compress and turned out a little soft. They did hold together well enough for dipping in the sate sauce, so experiment 1 works. That, sate sauce and O cucumber ready to chop.

I set up an appointment with Luis to weld stuff. When we got home I pulled the wheels as the vardo is still on blocks. I prepared the front hitch for welding and set up the boat cushion to keep our knees dry. I expect it will get burn holes, that’s OK, it’s a tool. Raven is working on power brushing the rust off the fenders. I pulled out the drier to access the 220 line. I called Luis, he’ll be here in 20 minutes. Rake the gum tree pods away as he shows up with welder in the truck bed. We haul it out and check the 220 plug against my dryer plug, it won’t fit. We need to go to town, Ace for a plug, with a stop at Napa for his next job. We get the 220 L plug and a gold pen for Raven. Back home I change the plug on his welder to fit my drier. We’re on. He test welds the upper seam on the extensions easy to get at. My breaker blows often at 30 amps while the welder draws 50. I flip it back on with the welder off then on. We get it done.


The suspension needs a bead to hold the axle flat in place in a couple places. I can’t watch with the arcs.


He gets both sides done with me flipping breakers. We move the welder out enough to reach the front, plenty of room. Luis welds the extended front square tube secured temporarily with cheap bolts. We swap out the bolts for high grade 8 bolts, new hitch and cinch them down tight together. This is good, strong enough to pull the rig.


OK, last thing, we need the new fenders tack welded thin. I have the leftover sheet out for Luis to try a practice weld, settings good, he tacks the four points on each fender inside and out, perfect.


I swap out the 220 plug for his original as Luis collects his tools. We load his welder in the pick up, paid with thanks for a perfect job, he heads home.

I’m hungry, Raven cooked and ate while I helped Luis. The chicken is great, cukes in sate peanut sauce, rice cakes not bad for a first try, dip able. Raven finished brushing the fenders as I ate.

After a late lunch I set up the wheel well sheet metal sections I had removed for fire safety, then asked Raven to screw them down as I cleaned up the welding tools, ground and sanded the fender welds. We need some fender caulking and chip brushes, a trip to the corner mercantile, Harry has what we need. Across the street Raven wants to check out the antique store, this place is cool. I find a bottle for curry powder for a coworker for a buck.

Home, Raven paints the fenders with Loctite rust stuff in a thin coat, works perfectly turning the rust black with phosphate. I calked the wheel wells, repaired the broken electric tail light wire. I put the wheels back on, perhaps futile as the fenders need attaching after final painting. Leave it on the blocks for now.

We are so close to done. Final painting and secure the fenders. Verify the running lights, may need an adapter for that. We looked on line for decent trailer tires. Registration at the DMV is the next major step. Perhaps a 12 volt system. We are almost done.

I may build a smaller lighter tear drop trailer next as I have axle, wheels and springs. A few pieces of metal, some wood, “it’s just wood”.

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