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Refurbishment Of Caravan Part 3, 2011

Posted by ProDev Administrator at 5:31pm, Monday 25th July, 2016
We now have the caravan back from the blasters & it is looking good.  We discovered  that the blaster had  hit one of  the panels, so it proves our point of not painting before you sand-blast,  unless you really have to, as it is an easy fix at this point.  While it was up on stands we were able to see that it was obvious the water tank will probably need replacing  at some stage.

The door is now pulled apart & rebuilt to better than new as the original outer skin was made with three left over pieces. Our one is made in one piece so it shouldn’t twist over time like the original.

 We now set about the task of final sanding the entire caravan for paint. The repaired areas were blocked with 220 grit with our dustless  sander to help straighten the panels. Then the  rest was sanded with  320grit with our dual action dustless sanders .Finally all the nooks & grannies’ were hand sanded with  scotch bite pads.

The unit was then  blown down & cleaned with wax & grease before being put into the spray-booth & masked ready for paint. The bare aluminium needs to be cleaned with degreaser until the cleaning wipes stay clean as any black on the wipes show that it is not ready. Generally you need to clean a minimum of six times.

 This done we are now ready to seal any final bits that we have missed when resealing  all the mouldings.  We also apply all the 3m roofing tape just before we paint so it stays nice & clean as this doesn’t need sanding. If you lay this to early the edges get all dirty & the final result is not as good.

We use only Dupont paint that is part of the fleet-care system.  Dupont  are a research & development company which is always striving  to give us the best  possible product with the latest innovative  technology.  The product we use is a commercial grade 2pack polyurethane which is very flexible & is used to paint approximately  85% of all brand new trucks world wide. The only difference is our paint is manufactured  specifically for Australia & NZ with added UV ray protectors, as our sun is 4 to  5 years stronger than anywhere else in the world.

All the paint materials were  supplied  by Resene Automotive & Light  Industrial coatings who are the importers of all our dupont products. 

They back us with the  Fleet-care “ LIFE-TIME  PERFORMANCE  WARRANTY”,  & there technical  support is second to none.
 
We lay down  a 2pack Epoxy primer first. The whole unit is then wiped with a special tack rag once  the epoxy has tacked off. We are now ready for the top coat which is applied at a constant 23degrees. The correct film build is got with two coats.  This is very important as to much paint will void any warranty that we give .( The old saying, the more paint the better, is not the case with paints of today).We never bake these units at 60 degrees either, as the aluminium moves at a different rate to any filler used & creates bubbles  & cracks  in the paint. 35 degrees is the maximum that we would bake at.
 
We then masked off the section that was to be painted orange/red. This area was flatted of with our dual action dustless sander, to eliminate any peel effect from the previous colour ,  before  cleaning & top coating. A couple of  minor defects were cut & polished before unmasking.

All the final little bits were then  refitted .

Mark from Kerry’s upholstery was called in to measure & make the new front panel cover which finishers the  extremely smart  look.

Darren & Bevan from Glassworks  Ltd arrived to refit the front & rear windows & replace a side window glass. This left only the lights to fit which are only a temporary fit as new LED lights are to be fitted.

The unit has now left for it’s next stop to have a new axle  fitted by  Trail-com the Trojan supplier, before heading of to leisure-line to have the interior resurrected. Come & view the finished product ,  next to the Marty’s Panel & Paint Ltd stand in the leisure- line innovative area at the Hamilton Expo.

Costings  vary from unit to unit depending on our much panel damage each unit has.

This unit was at the worst end of the scale but now looks better than new.

Refurbishment  of  RV Lifestyle Camper Part  2

Posted by ProDev Administrator at 5:29pm, Monday 25th July, 2016
We have now sanded all the paint off  the roof, which has uncovered a few nasty holes along the edge of the roof. These we will seal with sikaflex 227 & then cover with 3m roofing tape  before we paint. All the roof joints are suspect so they will all be sealed & then covered with the same tape.

We  removed the rib panel at the rear & panelled it on the bench .This uncovered more rusty frames which were rust treated before putting the rib panel back on. The lower rear panel was also repaired with some filler. Both top & bottom window panels were replaced due to corrosion. We are adding a new moulding  to the rear to cover all the ripples that the rivets make from the  previous repair. You would never know as we will use the same moulding that is around the whole unit but it will make a huge difference to the finished article.

The front window upper & lower small panels were also replaced due to corrosion.  We have discovered that extremely thin gauge aluminium was used over the entire unit when manufactured from new, which creates  a lot of movement in the panels, but does make it more light weight. It does however dent much more easier than the thicker gauges.  So as to keep the tare weight the same we decided to use the same gauge aluminium. We would normally use a thicker grade than this.

The lower door frame was replaced with zinc coated steel for strength as the old one was made from light gauge galvanized steel. The two panels behind the door had there frames rust treated  before the newly made aluminium sheets installed.

Even though we found a lot of surface rust in behind all the panels that we removed all the frames were structurely still very strong & sound. This is generally what we find on all steel framed caravans. Only occasionally do we need to weld a new frame brace in.

 We have put all the body mouldings back on with sikaflex227 as well as rivets. This will help to strengthen it as well.

Although the side windows will have to be pulled apart to have the internal linings replaced we need the frames in to be able to tow the unit  to the sand-blasters around the corner as the unit is now ready for  its under carriage to be resurrected.

The sand-blasters lift the caravan with two forklifts  & set up on 4 high stands so they are able to walk around underneath.  As we are not sure what is to be replaced underneath in the way of tanks etc. we have left them all in . Ideally it probably would have  been  better to have them out so the blasters had an easier task but  these will have to  be replaced at a later date if need be. The whole unit was wrapped in plastic to try & keep out as much sand as possible ,as we had no windows in at all. Once blasted they then put a sprayed zinc coating over the top. The drawbar is sprayed with a 2pack primer as this gets sprayed to match the caravan.  When we get the unit back, all that is needed to do is make & fit the door ,then it will be time for the final sand & paint.

To Be continued in the next issue...
 

Workshop Article

Posted by ProDev Administrator at 5:25pm, Monday 25th July, 2016
Marty’s Panel & Paint Ltd started  22 year’s  ago simply by word & mouth, as my hobby turned into a profession. After building a very radical custom Escort Van that won 23 trophies including the N.Z  Super-van title in 1987,I was alway’s being asked to modify vehicles.

After working for a boss for 13 odd year’s  & having  a small network marketing business   I decided it was time to call it a day & went apple picking 5 morning’s a  week. This enabled me to work on my hobby a bit more often at home. It wasn’t long before I had to give up apple picking as there wasn’t enough Hour’s in the day,& so Marty’s Panel & Paint was born. To start with I just did panel-work but soon realised I needed to paint as well. Thing’s went well for three year’s  ,even adding an employee for awhile until a couple of my neighbour’s( who are now long gone) in Manakau decided  they would get the council on my case. It was easier to move premises than it was to change, to suit their requirement’s.

This is when I moved into the old modern freighter’s paint shop that was semi pulled apart to house Central automotives engineer. While they moved him into another part of the work-shop I operated out of the old tyre bay for 3 or 4 month’s, until  finally I was able to move in. My first job was to put  the old spray-booth back together &  modify  the filtration set-up, so it didn’t suck the dust of the floor. At a later date & after my first couple of winter’s of having no heat in the spray-booth, other than hiring a gas burner every time I wanted to paint, I invested in a Kroll heater that ran on waste oil. This gave me a maximum of 20% on a good day.

I then set about building up clientele in the trucking industry as our booth was now 12 metres long,   doubling the turn-over every year for the next 5 year’s, creating all sort’s of cash-flow problem’s  along the way .By this time I had on & off 4 staff.

IN 1997 we became a ltd liability company  making even more changes.

Seven year’s ago I had a visit from mito talking about me taking on an apprentice. I kindly pointed out to him that I was a self taught panel-beater/spray-painter. His  reply was well you must be doing something right to be still in business after 15 year’s. So  Patrick was started  & is still with me 7year’s later . He has gained  momentum with panel & fibre-glass repair’s, & is now keeping the workshop flowing as the workshop Foreman. A second apprentice was started as soon as Patrick finished his. He has since qualified & has since moved on.

In 2007 I decided that I was sick of working in a work-shop that was old, had no front office or foyer with a spray booth that was 25 year’s old. I either had to move or change job’s.

It was decided to build for retirement so I started looking around for a work=shop to buy. To no avail!

The next step was to find a bit of dirt & build from scratch,  but the only bit of dirt I wanted was next door which my landlord owned .I decided to pop the question ,did they want to sell it? The answer, No!  but we will build you what you want. So after a lot of planning  a deal was struck which would enable me the right to buy at a later date.

This enabled me to have built, one of the most sophisticated 16 metre downdraught spray-booth/60%bake oven’s in the south pacific,  capable of catching 99% of all atomised  paint  emission.

My paint supplier Resene  Automotive also set me up with all the latest technology in Dupont Automotive Paint, which is a commercial grade & is used on 85% of all manufactured truck’s world-wide. We can also back all our resprays’ with a lifetime performance warranty .

Part of my marketing strategy was to target the motor-home industry as this is the fastest growing industry in the south pacific .This also  has been a blessing in disguise as  with the trucking industry taking a huge economical nose dive & it being 85% of our work we wouldn’t have survived.

However  we are gaining in momentum  in the motor-home industry &have done a complete turn around with 60% of all work now being  motor-homes.  Our work-shop very rarely doesn’t have a motor-home in it & our yard often has a motor-home parked in it when we arrive at work, as we offer it as a  park over property for registered motor-home member’s. This is our way of returning the support we receive from member’s. We hope one day that when the economy pick’s up we can support them even more.

We are also waiting for the trucking industry to gain momentum as well, as our workshop has the potential to double the work-load that it has now.

Marty Jarrett
Director of  Marty’s Panel & Paint Ltd
 

Latest News and Blog Posts

  • We now have the caravan back from the blasters & it is looking good.  We discovered  that the blaster had  hit one of  the panels, so it proves our point of not painting before you sand-blast,  unless you really have to, as it is an easy fix at...

  • We have now sanded all the paint off  the roof, which has uncovered a few nasty holes along the edge of the roof. These we will seal with sikaflex 227 & then cover with 3m roofing tape  before we paint. All the roof joints are suspect so they will all...

  • Marty’s Panel & Paint Ltd started  22 year’s  ago simply by word & mouth, as my hobby turned into a profession. After building a very radical custom Escort Van that won 23 trophies including the N.Z  Super-van title in 1987,I was alway’s being...