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Outriggers Cut and Done

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Using plasma cutter to put curve into Airstream outrigger frame pieces

The new shop got a workout yesterday. The first new steel project to go through the doors of the new 1200 square foot location was plasma cutting the outriggers for the outer frame of the Safari. Paul and I cut off a couple of the outrigger ends – left and right – so I could have a jig to follow with the plasma cutter.

The thing about plasma cutters, if you haven’t used one, is they are super agile and responsive to your hand movements, like a hot knife cutting butter except the cut doesn’t melt back together again. So what we did is cut the driver side (street side) curve off an outrigger, and clamp that one on the curb side pieces to follow the curve with a clean plasma cut. Then the opposite for the other side. One thing you want to do is get the jig a little way off the piece you are cutting to avoid having the plasma cutter slipping offline and cutting the jig (you can see I learned that on the job). Put some thick washers between the jig and the piece being cut, then C clamp it down. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it is to slip off and cut the jig (like butter).



Airstream outrigger curve recreated in 11 gauge custom C channel steel

Original Airstream outrigger sitting on top of new 11 gauge C channel steel custom made for A&P Vintage Trailer. There’s no need to cut the oval holes in the new 11 gauge, and the custom C channel will be stronger and easier to hit when the time comes to bolt the decking down to the frame (C channel is part of the framework).

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