In this week’s video Paul deviates from his usual pallet wood projects, and uses a kit to build an incredible teardrop camper for Arbortech Tools. These kinds of kits are geared towards amateur boat builders (such as Paul himself ;) ) and anyone starting out in boat or camper building.
The primary technique used in this build is one widely used in boat building, known as the stitch and glue technique. This involves aligning and holding pieces together with copper wire or zip ties and a CA glue which is used to create a tack weld. Then comes the Thixo! Paul uses Thixo Fast to make structural fillets on most interior part connections, and where they might be visible he thickens the High Performance Epoxy with Slow Hardener with wood flour (wood dust works, too) so it’s tinted to match the plywood sheets used to build the camper.
Making the fillets in all the corners and edges will help create structural integrity which is vital to any camper or boat build. Once the fillets dry he can remove the wire and then fiberglass ‘tape’ and more epoxy is applied to all the seams to give one final layer of strength to seal the deal.
Be sure to catch the special appearance by our very own crew members, Kristin and Mike, when it comes time to fiberglassing the body of the camper. Between the three of them, they efficiently fiberglassed the entirety of the camper (catch our handy dandy Electric Cordless Scissors in action during this step). Thanks to Kristin and Mike, Paul was able to save valuable hours in completing this project in time for its first appearance at an Arbortech show.
In the final weeks, final touches were attached with Thixo Fast Epoxy Adhesive, and the body was brought to life with several coats of Gleam 2.0 Marine Spar Varnish. Applying several coats inside of one day without sanding between them was another TotalBoat assist - meaning Paul could varnish in a few days instead of weeks. The carvings in the new panels really popped when the amber tones of Gleam soaked in and glossed up, accentuating the plywood’s grain and the intricate pattern made with the Arbortech power carving tools.
Arbortech tools will be using this camper as a home to demonstrate power carving tools across the country. Tune-in and enjoy watching Paul share his entire three month journey of building this ‘upside down boat’ as he works to maintain confidence and pace to get it complete in time for the big show. Enjoy and don’t forget to throw Paul a “Like” on the video and then subscribe to get more of his very entertaining content delivered right to your inbox.