Replacing the ceiling had gone pretty darn smoothly. After a break to work our real jobs, we were back in the barn, ready to remove the rest of the rotten frame boards. In some places, just a board or a section of a board would need to be replaced. Other places, like the streetside rear, would need major reconstructive surgery. We sketched out the frame of the trailer from all sides and marked the boards that needed to be replaced, with rough measurements. After adding them all up, there were 23 boards that we’d need to cut. The frame boards were 3/4 inch thick pine, and ranged in width from 1 11/16 inches to 2 3/8 inches.
Since we wanted to keep the interior intact, we needed to remove the bad frame boards carefully– true to Shasta form, they were stapled and nailed to the finished plywood veneer. But, praise the trailer gods, they weren’t glued (for the most part). The pine frame boards were stapled to each other, sometimes with a quarter inch gap in between. Clearly, they hadn’t been concerned about the boards fitting exactly together – this made us a little more relaxed. Again, we were confident we’d probably do a better job than they had!
The boards in the worst condition were the easiest to remove, since the staples rusted and the wood crumbled away. We had to use a lot of force on the boards that were only partially rotten and employed an assortment of pliers, hammer and chisels, and prybars to ease the pressure on the plywood paneling.