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Robert Johans 09-05-2014 04:41 PM

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Hello everybody!

Yep, it's been a while since my last post, but that does not mean we haven't been working everyday to bring Nest to reality.

Fact is, we had some unforeseen production problems with our plugs that put us way behind, but those issues have been resolved and we are now making some real progress.

Because of the several automotive styling details inherent to our design, ironically, a tremendous amount of hand work is required to give the plugs a "machined" look. All of the lines need to be absolutely clean, true and consistent.

Here is a look at the top shell plug as it nears finishing form before the mold is built around it.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 04:53 PM

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The lower shell is also nearing completion. It is now in the middle of final primer coats and "blocking" where the surface is repeatedly re-sanded with ever decreasing grits of paper.

These shots show the shell upside down, giving you a good view of the "frameless" design. You'll see channels upfront that provide anchoring points for our towing "delta." The torsion axle, of course, spans between the wheel wells, and is mounted via custom brackets through the shell body. (Unlike most other FG trailers, ours features a floor nearly 2" thick built up with a variety of composite materials, including structural foam and "hard" panels for the attachment points.)

The close-up shot of a wheel well shows the various engineered surface "joggles" that accommodate the custom axle brackets, as well as the wheel flares.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 05:01 PM

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The Nest shell body consists of three main components: upper and lower shells, plus our rear "cap" which accommodates the entry door.

Here are a couple images of the foam cut by the CNC machine of the rear cap. These, obviously, get glued together and then get sprayed with primer and worked with sand paper to a finished lustre.

Also shown, is a CNC test mold that we'll prepare to use for our wheel flares.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 07:05 PM

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Just got a sample wheel flare pulled from the mold to lay up against our lower shell. We also placed our wheel/tire assembly into place to check for fit. We are featuring a 16" wheel in order to better match the scale of a typical modern tow vehicle.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 07:10 PM

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Here's another look at the rear "cap" plug. Again, this gets primer and lots of sanding and polishing before the mold is made. (Sorry, this is upside down.) Also, a look at the entry door plug. (Right side up.)This shows the finished product, polished and ready for the mold.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 07:14 PM

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The top shell plug is now encapsulated by the mold. A steel armature, or in our case, a "rotisserie" will be built around the mold to facilitate the FG material lay-up and infusion process.

Donna D. 09-05-2014 08:29 PM

Thanks for checking in Robert! So many of us were wondering how the NEST was coming along. Lookin' GREAT

Hot Rodders are very familiar with a "rotisserie" :wink

War Eagle 09-05-2014 08:57 PM

Looking great! Really coming along nicely! Please don't make us wait so long for the next update and photos.

Jim Bennett 09-05-2014 11:30 PM

Great to see the progress, Robert. Looking forward to seeing it develop further.

papa-t 09-06-2014 06:35 AM

Can't wait to see the rest and finished egg.

honda03842 09-06-2014 06:49 AM

Thank you for sharing, it helps make us part of the birth.

Robert Johans 09-11-2014 02:54 PM

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Here are a couple shots of the top shell plug, and followed by a few of the actual mold suspended within the rotisserie armature.

Robert Johans 09-11-2014 02:57 PM

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Top shell mold...

Donna D. 09-11-2014 06:31 PM

Isn't this fun! We get to see how everything comes together and those that are thinking a Nest are in their future... will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY love to follow along.


FRED SMAILES 09-12-2014 08:56 AM

Robert! thanks very much for the blow by blow of the build!
Enjoying every pic

David Tilston 09-12-2014 08:58 AM

just out of curiosity, does the plug survive the creation of the mold?

Nate R 09-12-2014 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by David Tilston (Post 482300)
just out of curiosity, does the plug survive the creation of the mold?

In the work I've done in this field, it does. (Hand layup carbon fiber.)

Robert Johans 09-12-2014 10:15 PM


Originally Posted by David Tilston (Post 482300)
just out of curiosity, does the plug survive the creation of the mold?

Yes it does. In fact, we'll keep it stored and secured in case we need to build another mold someday.

Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

ruscal 09-12-2014 10:26 PM

I was worried the plug would not strip out of the mold due to the recessed sides! Now I can rest easy. Looking good!

Robert Johans 09-13-2014 09:31 AM

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We were very careful to ensure that there would be no negative "draft" issues with this design.

Though the window chamfers imply a possible sticking point, the geometry of the shell form actually mitigates any problems with those angles.

That said, there were some concerns about removing the plug from the mold due to its sheer size and associated surface tension, et al. But it slipped out with just a little coaxing which bodes well for us when we get to removing the actual parts.

This image shows the intact plug in the foreground, with the mold in the background, suspended at 90 within its "rotisserie" armature.

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