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Monday, September 29, 2014

Buck Rivet Report: Under Construction

In January of 2012 I bought two Spartan Royal Mansions, 31 foot long mobile homes built by the Spartan Aircraft Company. One was a 1951 model at a North Florida second hand store about 50 miles away. It was missing an entire axle. It was not in good shape. I paid $900 for it. 

The other was a 1949 one about 150 miles away in the Florida panhandle. I paid $2000 for it. It had both axles and seemed structurally sound despite a lot of bullet holes. It had been kept under a pole barn. Unfortunately the man that bought it to restore tried an acid wash on the skin and made it look terrible. It will have to be completely polished to make it nice. I had the men that brought it put it in my shed and I haven't touched it.

1949 Spartan Royal Mansion on delivery day. Partial acid wash means it needs a complete polish.
They backed it into my shed. It sits there to this day, untouched.
I had a backhoe come out and build a ramp up to the old slab where my childhood home burned down in 1984. Then the people from 50 miles away on backroads delivered the 1951 Spartan Royal Mansion. They pulled it up the ramp, disconnected the trailer hitch, and drove away across the brick front porch, breaking the steps. Worth it. This Spartan came with one of two axles, and the wheel on the right side was only held on with 2 lug nuts. I am constantly amazed by the bravery/stupidity of the locals when it comes to mechanics.
1951 Spartan Royal Mansion on delivery day, January 2012.
The inside of the 1951 looks salvageable, but on close inspection it's very nasty. I saved
most of the cabinets in the shed just in case. (In case anybody wants them? You can have.)
 I ended up reusing only one cabinet in the whole thing. And I had to paint it inside and out,
even the part against the wall to cover the stink of old plywood and mouse piss.
Here's the 1951 after I finished the exterior in 2013.
Here's the interior the day I finished putting down the floor. That black cabinet at the front
is the one I reused. I call that part up there the melon, like whales and dolphins.
The Beachton Buck Rivet Report is going to be my documentation of how I converted this old trailer into a permanent structure, serving as my laundry room and lab. I took thousands of photos as I worked. I will create posts for each logical step and fill out the blog and probably release it all at once. Blogger requires you to work live, so if you see stuff appear and disappear, trust it will all get organized at the end. I have to publish things to test how it works.

Start at the beginning and click Newer Post at the bottom to go to the next step in the restoration.

And if I get my energy back enough to start working on the Shed Spartan I will document it here as I go along.

Happy Riveting!
Barbara aka Beachton

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