August 11, 2014
Removing the Floor
The unexpected project, aka the trailer floor, has so far gone smoothly. I have the most awesome horse husband! My in-laws have been out visiting the past couple weeks and Mac helped Steve with removing the floorboards. The trailer did have an opening in floor channel/groove in the tack room to remove boards.
It wasn't wide enough to get them out easily since we wanted the front boards intact to use as a template for the new floor. Steve used an angle grinder to open that top lip, then started prying out the boards.
It's hard to see below with the rust stains but you can see right at the end of the boards near the top of the picture a white piece of metal. If you follow it you then see rust color and then near the right lower edge you see some whitish metal again. That is our gap where we will be able to slide boards out and then slide the new ones in.
I was the stacker and hauler, so I took the pieces for the tack room floor and stacked them in the garage. You can see the curved edges we'll need to replicate. After Steve removed all the boards he needed for templates he took a skill saw to cut the rest in half to speed up removal. He was careful to not hit any of the braces. Mac and Steve still had to work on some boards because the floor groove/channel had a lot of debris and was not exactly smooth. It will be better once it's treated to get boards in since there won't be rough areas hold the board edges so tightly.
I wonder if these were the original floor boards. That would be surprising since they are tongue in groove which is not the best idea for horse trailers. You want to place new wood into the trailer nice and tight so when it shrinks a little there will be gaps to allow for drainage and circulation. The tongue and groove collects debris and can accelerate rot.
These boards were actually in good shape, and very hard. Several were suspicious hence the reason for redoing the floors. Perhaps I'm a little over cautious but this is my baby I'll be hauling!! I' pleased to address and treat the frame with rust converter and prevent further erosion. The frame and braces are actually in excellent shape! I like being able dissect this trailer and then know that when it's done it's as sound as I can make it.
The welds are good and strong and there is only surface rust. Take a look under your car and you'll see the same thing. Rust is not something to be overly scared about and anyone with a steel trailer would be fooling themselves if they thought they'll never have to deal with rust. Even aluminum trailers corrode but I think sometimes people forget that and don't take the time to really check things out before the situation gets bad.
I have some work to do this week, cleaning up the floor grooves, treating them and priming them. It's not a lot, I don't have to fix any braces or cross bars. I've seen pictures of trailer remodels that needed whole sections redone since they looked like Swiss cheese! Glad this trailer is very much structurally sound.
My hubby is also looking at wiring diagrams to get working on that project soon, he used to work on the wiring of helicopters so this trailer will hopefully be a piece of cake. We've discovered that after we took the running lights off the brake lights didn't work correctly. That should not be the case so he's going to get that fixed after the floors are done.