XenaCommanders Place

"Participating in Life"

Truck Blog

Console and Kitchen - Jan - May 2017

Posted by XenaCommander on June 6, 2017 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (2)

Center Console

Time has got away from me again...  I have been a bit tardy at keeping this blog up to date...  So now I am bed ridden after some surgery it is the opportune time to catch up.    I will have to use the pics I have taken to remind me of the order of things.
Looking at the end of the last post I finished lining the cab ceiling in January ish...   After I fit the ceiling to the cab I wanted to fit a console in the center of the shelf to house the radio and satelite controls.    Of course I only had a vague idea of what this console would look like.    So I thought I would mock one up...


Core Flute is good stuff to do templates etc... so I cut and taped what I thought would look ok in the center with cutouts for all the bits I wanted in the console.   Should do the trick...  Now using the template I fabricated the console pieces...  I have decided on highlighting birch ply throughout the truck so console construction was finalised...


With all the curves and angles it took a bit to get it right but it fit ok...
Console done...  Now I wanted to put some vents on the side...   The radio will generate a bit of heat and needed to circulate out... 

Router is my favourite tool...  Looks pretty cool I thought...  Now to assemble the console.


One side...

Other side..  with shelving edge added...  Radio on bottom left...   Satelite finder above it..  on the right bottom is USB power outlets and cigarette lighter output...  and above that is a slide drawer for an iPod.

Pic from below looking forward...  Cab lining edging done.  Happy with the finish.   Now I have to figure out how to wire it all up...


I think I have worked it out... So many wires...   I wanted to retain radio settings even when power was turned off at the master.    So I put in a small battery to keep power to the radio. A diode in the right place to allow charging of battery when radio is on.   Hook up all the wires and away it goes.


iPod plugged in and working through the radio..  Very cool.   also charges through the usb ports.


I put a voltmeter above the iPod drawer so I can see what the voltage on the radio backup battery...   Note also the speaker under the shelf.  Nice sound with speakers in each corner of the lounge...

Pantry goes in...

Now the console was in I wanted to start work on the kitchen...   First step was the slide out pantry...   Not having ever built a sliding pantry I had to sit a bit and do some planning...    I have learnt that planning time is very important...  So sitting and looking...  thinking...  looking... thinking... looking is time well spent...

First I needed a wall to house the pantry...   of course nothing was square so it was measure..  cut template and then cut a sheet of ply to fit.


Fixing it was interesting but managed to get it reasonably square.
Now to fabricate the slide out...    So onto the tools.   Festool comes to the fore again...


XC on the tools...   That domino machine is a handy tool giving accurate and strong joins every time.


I based my measurements for the slideout on the width of a Systema container.   I am using wheels under the slide out to roll it in and out.


Slide out going together...  The side of the truck being angled inwards makes it a little tricky but I think I got the measure of it.   Lets hope it fits in the slot...


There...  a little tricky given I built it to fit snugly...  it required a bit of adjustment to get it to slide in and out easily but for now it is good.    Once i put the floor down I will need to adjust the top.

Extra Circuit Panel

After putting in the center console I realised I needed more circuit breakers for appliances yet to be installed so got another block of 3 from Pierre at AA Solar.


I wired up the front console to this panel and also lined the cupboard and mounted the Solar Controller in place ready for wiring up.   I won't do this until I get the final batteries.  (soon though)...

Stove and Gas hookup... 

My next main goal was to get the gas hooked up...   So the stove had to be put in place.   The gas pipes were already in place and hooked up to the hot water cylinder...    but not to the gas bottle or stove of course.   Scott Wilberforce of Force Gas and Plumbing ran the gas pipes earlier in the project so I wanted him to come in and finish the gas install.

Ok so first I wanted to mount the stove in place...  It needed some final numbers on how high the kitchen sink was going to be etc.    So decisions were made.   Drawings drawn up...  and a stand fabricated.


I put down blue tape for the kitchen layout...  made the stove stand out of 18mm birch ply and put a sheet of fibrolite on the top...  Install instructions say it might get hot....   go figure.  Note the space on the right of the stand.   I wanted some room on the right as I hated pot handles hitting the wall on the stove hob...  plus the gas hob required some space between the gas ring and the wall...   I though more space is good.    But what do I put in there..?    I decided on a slide out with wire  basket shelves...   for what I don't know yet but will figure out what it should hold later....   Before I mounted the stove this unit needed to be in place.  (I know its like a bloody jigsaw....!)


I went to Mitre 10 and found a slide out unit that I could make fit into the small space...  and built the cabinet to fit it.   Now I am a novice at cabinet building and have to figure it all out as I go... 

This slides needed to be rebated to fit the basket into the space required..   The router made reasonable job at this so it should work.


There...  dry fit... and it all slides in nicely..  now just need a front panel on front of the basket slide out...

With this done...   I wanted to get the gas cupboard all ready for the gas bottles..  I wanted the be able to have at least two 9kg bottles and one 4.5kg spare that can be used outside for BBQ etc...   I had previously welded rings for these bottles to sit in..  Now I wanted some harnesses to hold them secure....   TK had promised me she would whip them up for me so I "organised" them into her production queue....   She is busy making sox these days so had to hold the production line up for a weekend.


Caught her with head in the cupboard measuring and riveting finished harness in place...  there was a couple of tricky bits but we got them all in the end.


Now to get the gas man...   I rang him and found that he had moved over to Hawkes Bay...    But he agreed to come over one week he was back in the area doing some work for his mother.

After a couple of false starts I finally managed to pin him to the calendar and he finally came and hooked up the gas.   I haven't taken a pic of the work in the cupboard...   will do that when I get home.
But we hooked up the bottles with simple hose connection...  which I could swap to either bottle.
And hooked up the Stove...   tested the pressure in the pipes...  All good..  no leaks...  
And fired up the stove...


With the stove now fixed in place....  the hot water cylinder started on the second attempt...   so I can now have hot water...  Hot showers..!!   luxury...

I forgot to put in a pic of the gas install..    Here it is..  Nice and simple..  I can swap bottles easily.  The small bottle is easily removed for BBQ etc..  I am ver happy with install.  Thanks Scott Wilberforce from Force Plumbing now from Hawkes Bay.

Kitchen Cabinets...

Now the stove was in place and going well...   It was now time to put in the rest of the kitchen cabinets...    I did actually cut out all the bits before the gas man came so the order of things here are a little out of sync...
First though I wasn't happy with my table saw...   It wasn't easy to get a square cut... and for cabinets it is imperative that they are accurate...    So I went onto youtube and did some research...   I found a common denominator and fabricated this...


A top that fit over my Triton...   and a saw fence that I was able to clamp square for panels even larger than 600mm...   Happy XC...

Now I drew up some plans...  not being a kitchen designer I wanted to incorporate mostly drawers..  with a cupboard under the sink...   Talk about bespoke build...


Tossing up wether to create separate units..   or join them all together...  I decided to join together and have only one partition panel...  Lets see if it works...   First panels cut...  note the wall slopes at 710mm so had to account for that...


I wanted a return on the left that allowed a narrow opening going into the lounge area...   so big sheet shows extent of the return...

Another view of return from front of truck...   should be good...

Panels showing toe kick cut out...   Now that was done I wanted an exposed ply edge on the fronts and this Eurolite ply is poplar and very light...   so I rebated the fronts and put birch ply edging on them.. 

Of course the cabinets were pretty big and I couldn't build them in toto in the workshop so I had to build them ..  then assemble in the truck.

First cabinet being assembled in workshop... 

Joined up with the second cabinet...  Floors keep them square...   You can't see the ply edge in this shot.. 

Assembling in the truck...  Note the stove is not there..  this was done before gas hookup..   you can make out the ply edging..   I also started to prime the insides....

More going in...   I had to do a lot of work getting the plumbing from the grey tank...  up through the floor..  then under the cabinet ..  then up into cabinet to where the sink is going...   A lot of decisions...  so bit the bullet and glued pipes into the right place and cut holes in cabinets to accommodate.


The kitchen cabinets all flat packed... lol..   waiting for gas man to do his thing...   once done it was ready to assemble in the truck.... Of course I had to cross fingers that they would all go together again...   Murphy does make things difficult some times...

Commitment time...   Stove in...  ready to fix in place.   I was going to make kitchen removable but decided not to in the end..  so if it has to come out..   things will be broken..!!  oh well...
Note drawer runners in place for drawers..

Second cabinet going in...  With the insides painted white the ply edging stands out..  Getting all the bits glued and domino's in place and all clamped up to dry is a "quick" job..   stress and lots of running around no matter how much I prepare everything beforehand...


This next cabinet I will be having a roll out rubbish bin on the bottom... and a couple of small utility draws above that...  Note the plumbing coming up from below...   a lot of fiddling to get that there...


The corner cabinet is interesting..   It is pretty much dead space as I didn't have room to make fancy corner cupboard...  so I made it accessable from the lounge side...  To store whatever..  (yet to be decided.)  Note the hatch on the left...


Last drawer cabinet in the return...  All glued...  screwed.. and clamped down.. 
I am happy with how it looks...   Note the black round thing on the floor..  That is a Whale Pump that is foot operated...  I can pump through a filter direct from the right fresh tank...  without using power pump..
The piece of timber next to cabinets is a sample of the bamboo flooring I am likely going to use for the floors.


My mssion was to get to this stage before I had to go to Auckland for surgery...   So Mission accomplished..
Surgery done....  Now I have to recover and get back onto the tools..   I have ordered the stone bench top..  Not sure how long that will take..  Next I will make the drawers...

Stay tuned...

XC




Christmas Break 2013 - Partitions Start

Posted by XenaCommander on January 30, 2014 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Time ticks by...  End of January and I still haven't updated this with what I have been doing over the summer holidays.

Seat Backs Finished.
The last update I was finishing the seat backs...   I removed them to cover with ply and paint..   I also finished the last of the foam insulation while they were off...


This pic is taken before foam was finished... But all in place..  I will find a friendly upholsterer to make cushions and squabs for the seat...  It is a great day bed.

Satelite Dome Installed
Before I finished the foam insulation I needed to fit the satelite dome onto the cab roof...   I had debated with my self as to the ideal position of the dome...   In the end I decided the cab would be good.


We tested the antenna before putting it up and of course it didn't work...  so had to take it back to supplier..  All they did was tweak the ballum or whatever the little thing is on the end of the stalk thingy...!!  and away it goes.
We tested it again once we had it back in Turangi..  It has a GPS chip on it so knows where to look for the satelite..  Clever gizmo.


XC caught in the process of bolting the dome to the cab and fitting the cover.

Foam Completed... Partitions Start.

I finished off the foam insulation..  Man that is a hot job.. It can only be done on a hot day with a protective suit and mask on...  Nightmare..  But it is done now and I am not spending any more money on insulation..!!!
Of course as soon as you finish the last of the foam you find spots you have missed..!!  mumble... It will do.

With the foam insulation all done I want to get on with the few partitions I will need for the bedroom and bathroom etc..   so a trip to the boys shop and got the requisite lumber..  and ripped it on my bench saw to the required dimensions...


First partition going in..   Man it is a nightmare trying to get everything square..  right angles with the floor.. the sides..  etc..  in the end I figured that the whole truck is not going perfectly square and moving all the time.. So as long as it looks ok...     Note the foam squab in the shower tray...  I dropped an electric screwdriver onto the tray and dented it...!!!!  mumble grump..!!!  typical...!!!   so I will have a memory reminder of that moment..


More partitions going into place... I am cutting the frames in the garage so I am getting fit running from the truck to saw and back...!!!   so many times..!!!


Progress..   I am now in the process of doing the wall by the door which will hold the circuit breaker panel and electric guages and stuff like that... more thought required.
Friend Wayne came down for anniversary weekend so was a weekend of mainly planning as we sat in the truck and discussed different options..   An important part of the development...

More to come...
Stay tuned..
XC

Tow Bar... Awning and Cover... March 2012

Posted by XenaCommander on March 12, 2012 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (1)

Since my last update I have been pottering along with smaller jobs in the truck...    things like drilling holes in the frames to run electrical cables from the battery compartment to where the switch panel is going to go...   Also running plumbing from the temporary sink to the grey tank.. and plumbing from the pump to the sink...    All mainly to keep the truck useable and able to be used for the odd weekend camp.


It was tricky devising a way to get pipes turned around to go into the back of the tank but with the help of local ITM guy got fittings to turn in a tight corner...   Works well...


XC hooking up the water to the tap in the temporary bench unit..   This will all be replaced when final cabinetry is done...   At least we now have running water for our weekends away...   should we find time to do them..!!

Tow Bar Goes On....

I had some time owing so I took a week off to do some work on the truck and I wanted to get some bigger tasks off my checklist...   So I drove the truck to Auckland  (always fun)...   and took it into Acker Bilt's the tow bar people in Penrose...


Here she is in the Acker Bilt workshop...   Great guys here and they know what they are doing...   They even provided a step down from 24 volt to 12 volt to connect to the trailer I have...    It also has electric brakes so they wired in a brake controller in the cab so it can be adjusted while driving..    Very cool...


Nice shiny tow bar and ball....    Excellent service from Acker Bilt.   (Tick...)

I also wanted to get some seat belt mounts welded in for the lounge seats...  not yet in but easier to do now than later...  Acker Bilt suggested some guys down the road so I got that done the following day...    The welding of the mounts was reasonable as expected $$$$ wise... but the inspection and certification cost $450...!!!  Mumble... I hate regulations....

Awning Goes On...

The other major I wanted to get done before I sprayed foam insulation on inside walls was to get the Awning mounted...    So after I picked up the truck from the seat belt people I fuelled her up... and early on Thursday morning I drove it down to Mt Maunganui...    Making Shade make the Shade Maker awnings..  I talked to Ron at a motorhome show a couple of years ago and decided I would get a shade maker..   We had been emailing measurements and requirements for a little while so I used my recently acquired iPad to draw up some measurements and send him...   Of course making some assumptions...


A great way of communicating...    Ron was happy with the measurements and had a plan...    I drove the truck into the workshop mid morning...


Ready for the install...


Ron (on Right) and Lance measuring up...   I found out that they required three upright supports..  I was figuring two and wasn't sure where the third would go but the guys managed to find a spot...


Lance fitting the first upright...


The extra upright went in front of the door between the two cupboards...  It didn't obstruct the door opening although it did cover the slide..  I hope that doesn't bite me in the future...


Third upright behind the door...  note also they had to bend the upright to follow the truck side which tapers toward the top.   Awning can be seen on trestle in foreground...   looks good.


The boss comes back to give Lance a hand to slide the awning onto the track...


In place...  now bolt it on the uprights... 


the colour match is very good...   Not sure if I will get the bottom of the uprights painted to match the colour scheme...   I will think about it...   Now the big reveal....


Out all the way...   Just enough room in the workshop...    Looks very nice...


Final touches...  Putting on the latches etc...


All done...  a view from the rear before stowing it away and heading back to Turangi.     A great job done by the guys at Making Shade check them out if you want the best motorhome awning available...    Thanks Ron and Lance.


The truck back in Turangi on her pad...  It was a beautiful day so opened the awning and tried it out...   Looking good.     A great addition to the truck...    (Tick...)

Cover is Finished...

TK had texted earlier and said she was not able to get her VTR motorbike going this morning and wasn't able to ride south on it...    She wanted the keys to my V-Strom DL650 but I had them down in Turangi with me...  so she was stuck as the car was already down there..   Things seemed to go quiet on the texting front so I ended up ringing her to find out what she wanted to do...   No answer...???
Then a couple of hours later I get a text from her..   She is in Gordonton and is riding her Daelim 125cc "Thingy"... It is called "The Flash" because of its blistering speed...   (not)...  She is crazy... but determined...  She turned up in the evening..  tired but in one piece...


Saturday she took a pic of her favourite steed...    Amazing little bike this..  and unique in New Zealand...

She wanted to get the truck cover finished this weekend so while I was pottering around with small jobs in the truck she finishes the little bits that needed to be done...    Then on Saturday afternoon we put the cover on...


I had just washed the truck and had pulled it forward a bit so we could get right round it...   Now you can see that this cover is no small project..  It is HUGE...!!!    the truck is 11.3 metres long...  2.4 metres wide..  and 3.6 metres high...    So we have to work out some easy way to get it over the top of the truck...    Yeah right..!!


She figured if she put tennis ball on end of rope and tossed it over the top of the truck then go around the other side and just pull...!!    Hmmm  should work..    but we kept getting caught up in something on the roof... and wasn't easy at all...   so decided to do it the hard way.. 


getting onto the roof and pulling it over...


Pulling down over all the angles...   note how she even made the cover custom fit over the humps...  


Of course I had to clamber down the ladder...    It would be good to devise a way to get down again.. maybe a flap over the hatch I climbed up...  then pull the flap back down..
TK up the ladder making some adjustments on the closing front left...    We then tied down the cover through the loops you can see on the bottom...

The cover was not on my construction list but I wanted a light one to protect the paint work a bit..   A great job done by TK..    Thanks Sue...      (Tick....)   She should go into business custom making motorhome covers...  any orders..?

Next I need to pull through conduit and wires before I do the insulation...   Maybe even get gas fittings done.  Anyone know a good Gas Fitter...

Stay Tuned for more...

XC

External Transformation Starts March 2011

Posted by XenaCommander on March 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (4)

In the last post I did over the Christmas and New Year holidays you noticed I was getting frustrated with chasing rust on the outside of the truck..   I kept finding signs of the cancer and made desparate attempts to cut it out but being the amateur I am was not confident that I was doing a good job....      This cancer needs to be dealt with... By professionals.    So I made enquiries from people I know and on the motorhome forum to get opinions as to who was the best at the job..  

I remembered meeting Marty from Marty's Panel and Paint in Levin a couple of years ago and the Hamilton Motorhome Show so I gave him a call and arranged to take the truck down there for him to look at.   He gave me an estimate cost to get a good job done..   This would include all the rust work.. and a total re-paint of the truck..    So we are talking here about a full transformation...    After serious consideration I decided to go ahead..  That way I can then get on with the construction inside the truck...  

The truck was booked in..   Marty said that costs can be reduced by me going down and spending some time working with them...  That week was the week of the annual Rusty Nuts Motorcycle Clubs Southern Cross Motorcycle Rally...   Sacrifices have to be made for the sake of the truck.

I drove the truck down to Levin on Sunday 6th March loaded with supplies to keep me in the basics for the week.


The truck parked in Marty's yard..  Satellite hooked up for TV...  Filling bucket with water for a portable shower that TK had purchased but I had not yet worked out how to use..!  That should be fun..!

The next morning the workshop opened and Marty arrived.    I backed the truck into the workshop to begin work...


After a walk around with Marty..   Making decisions as to what best to do...   The decision was whether to remove panels to get at the worst of the rust...  which would be better than just treating the parts where rust was visible from the outside..    That way it would expose the full extent of the rust...  It would cost in steel but would save it preparation time.    So it was a swings and roundabouts decision with a better outcome if I decided to remove the panels....     the decision was not difficult..  Just scary..  I had to deconstruct my truck...!!


Not having done this sort of work before but open to new experiences..  Marty gave me a quick lesson with the Air Chisel... or hammer... not sure what you call it but an amazing contraption it is..   I ground off the rivet heads with my grinder and took the chisel to the panel...  Result is above pic..   Peeling the truck.!


The aluminium panels that were put over the old window was removed..   It was a badly done job that I was never happy with.  I was glad to remove it.


Another panel off..  exposing some nasty brown stuff... Every time I remove a panel and see the hidden cancer I am pleased with my decision..  Interesting that the window mistake I made earlier and decided to make a larger window on this side is now redundent as I can now use the original window if I want.  But I am going to keep the larger window now.


I was somewhat distressed when it became necessary to remove the windows that I had just installed over the holidays...  But.. Needs must..  It was not easy..  That Sikaflex is good stuff and I got blisters using a fish fillet knive to cut it out....  Above you see the hole and the aluminium door panel cover coming off.


Panels off the left hand side..  Likely I will be back to remove more...


Around to the other side...   Again the windows had to come out... Except the rear bedroom one as there was no sign of rust around that panel...  we shall see..

Starting at the front...  Another horrible aluminium panel bites the dust...  Very rusty underneath that... I will be removing some of that framing to fit the round window flashing.

The air chisel makes short work of the rivets and spot welds holding the panels in place..Every panel I removed I exposed the cancer...  so it was motivation to remove the next panel.. then the next.


We decided to remove the lower guttering..   We figured that the purpose of the guttering was to take water away from any windows and doors..  and it was superflous to have two.   It would clean up the look of the truck a bit..  I did think that the lower gutter was to move the water from the centre section to the front or the back..  Not sure why as the water can go down the sides as well as down the front..   It will also avoid the main cause of the rust which was likely water sitting in the gutter channels...


My nightmare for the day...  Removing the round flashing.  It was difficult to get a knife behind so I cut the panel out first..  then got more leverage...   After much sweat and a lot of cursing...  it finally came out...


The pile of panels grew and grew as the truck got lighter and lighter....note the brown edges on the panels. The dreaded cancer...


I had lost track of time but the above pic must have been on Thursday...  As the boys masked up the insides before taking the truck out for some sand blasting...


A fine day...  Ideal for sandblasting...  Sand goes everywhere!!  Pic shows Tee on the sandblaster..  I was working on the round window frame on the other side...


The following morning I continued to fabricate window surrounds for the round flashings.  Pleased I took the welder and steel channel to finish the job..  It was essential before they repanelled and painted.  The job had to get done..   I was on the welder at 0530 that morning and didn't finish until after 1800!!  a long day..  I haven't done this much manual labour in a week for ages...  The old body was starting to protest..!


Finally completed..  The right hand side frame was the hardest..  I had to cut out a lot of the frame that was used for the hatch previously in this position...   A nightmare to cut out but with good power tools and a bit of muscle it came out.  Lightened the truck again..!


This is the final shot I took of the truck before coming back home... 

It was a very busy week..  I lost track of what happened on what day...  A great time.   On Saturday I tried to remove more panels from the left side along with the lower channels...   I managed to get the channels off but the air chisel stopped working.   Not an easy job without that so left it for the boys to remove the remaining panels I wanted to come off..  (which was most of them...)

After a final walk around with Marty and a discussion about colour schemes it is very apparent that the truck is not going to look anything like it is now..   He has come up with a proposed four colour scheme with my favourite colours in them...   The graphic is very different ..  a big up sweep the length of the whole truck..

It is a shame I have to go to Australia to work for the next 4 weeks but Marty has promised to keep me updated with progress and pics...    I will post them here when I get them...

It will be so good to have it finished.  Then I can get back to construction on the insde...


Martys Update Pics... 15 Mar 2011

Got an email from Marty with an update...   Tee & John have now removed all sheets & parts.Tee has been around entire unit with the sand-blaster & rust gobbled .  Tomorrow they will sand all frames to remove excess sikaflex ′ with sika primer ready for new electragalv sheets.The upper roof section will also be started. Lower panel-beating should also be started.


Left side all stripped...  Looks like door is removed too... Marty is going to have a go at fixing that too..  It will look better without the lower gutter channels.


The ding that I attempted to fix is exposed again..  I am sure Marty will deal with it properly...


Rear panels off...  and the bumper totally removed...   those round light mountings are also going to disappear... My truck is totally naked...!!  Not much more to come off..  so now the clean up of the frames and the reconstruction with new sheets...  Exciting..


Marty's Progress Pics 17 March 2011

Another email from Marty with some update pics...   The boys have been busy cleaning up the frames.  Etch and 2 pack primer... 


Looking cleaner already...


Corner ding getting some attention... Great to see the back without the bumper...


Great to see progress..  Shame I can't be there to help but I am sure Marty will keep me updated...

 

Progress to 2 April 2011

I rode Xena down to Levin from Turangi this morning as I decided to remove the final window and the panels remaining under it...  
I got a shock seeing the truck all stripped down..  The guys had removed the rear as you can see above..  but also the front panels had been removed and even the passenger windscreen..  Work had started on the roof and the framing was primed.     Sheets had been cut and were in the truck ready for installation I guess when Marty gets back from his trip to USA.

Window was removed...   Panels removed..  I tried to take a pic but my camera wouldnt turn on...  mumble..  I tried to take one on my phone so might be able to get it here...   Will post when I can..


Hah..  Managed to do it..  Not a good pic but you can see the rear window frame and panel now gone...

I didn't have my welding gear so couldn't weld the frames to the window frame on the outside..   I hope I can get the guys to do that before panelling.


More to come...

XC



Christmas Hols 2010 - Week 2 - Windows at last!!!

Posted by XenaCommander on December 28, 2010 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

After a week of not so good weather...  I did manage to achieve the first goal and fit the hatches...  and even had some down time...  All good.


Goal Two:   Windows Next...

Sunday 26th December:  Boxing Day was a slow start although the weather was fine and going to be hot... I wanted to get up on the roof of the truck and seal the joints that I had uncovered and rust treated a week or so ago.  I had noticed while it was raining the other day that water was getting in through the seams.   Time to remedy this.


You can see here I am applying 3M Extreme Sealant tape...   Amazing stuff (and expensive!!)  but you have to be careful applying it.  Once you have stuck it down it isn't going anywhere.



Once it is stuck down you run over it with a roller and crush it down to seal everything.   Then remove the backing paper..   Amazing stuff should do the trick.


Now it was time for the windows...  I can do maintenance all summer but I want to make some construction progress..   Maybe I have been finding excuses to avoid  making that first cut in the side of the truck...  I don't have an issue with commitment...    really...!!!   no really...!!!

So it was decision time..  Well lets do the bedroom window drivers side so you can't see any mistakes from the road side..!! 


I turned the truck around on the pad and used the hydralic levelers to get it horizontal.   That should make the measuring easier.


Ok..  My dad said always measure twice and cut once..   I think I measured ten times....


The first cut..!!  I hope I got it level...  Too late now...



Around the corners with the jigsaw... 


TK taking pics...  It looks good from this side...  Now to cut the frames still holding it on the inside.


Frames cut..  Now to remove the panel...


XC feeling pretty good...  A milestone reached...

Now to smooth the edges and see if the window fits..   The moment of truth...


Ah hah..!  It all fits..  looking good...   Now the hard part..  to fabricate the frame around the opening...  XC is enjoying the welding and cutting of the metal frames..  great fun...


Frames al lglued in and being held in place by the clamps...  There was no rain forecast overnight so I left them in and will weld them together tomorrow.


Monday 27th December:  This morning I removed the clamps and got set up for welding...   Only to find that my mig wire was nearly out...  and it was a stat holiday and no chance to get a new roll..  Mumble..   So I knew I was going to run out.    Sure enough after welding half of the frames in place the roll runs out..!!    So I spent some time planning for the kitchen window placement..   This means making some final decisions as to where things are going to be located in the finished motorhome..!!        All done but I decided to postpone the cut for another day.    TK and I went for a ride on Xena over to my cache at Adventure Headquarters stopping in to say hi to Annie and Paul...   When we got back I decided to have a quiet afternoon and a break from the truck..  I put the window in place temporarily to keep the forecasted weather out of the truck.


Tuesday 28th December:  Rain...  Rain... Rain...  Another big front went over the whole country so I was relegated to clean up duties...  sweeping up steel filings... and rubbish...  and I even tidied up the garage.. TK will be pleased..!!   The rain was useful in that it showed up a couple of leaks around the hatches...   I will have to add more sikkaflex around the edges to stop water from getting in.   I spe nt the rest of the day measuring up the rest of the windows...  Measuring each one about ten times...  All set for tomorrow with a better forecast.


Wednesday 29th December:  Up early for a run...  Weather fine and clear...!!  Yaay..!  First job today was to ride Xena to Taupo to get supplies..  I needed more welding wire and cutting discs...   I was back by 9:30am and was loading the wire into the welder and it all unravelled off the reel!!!  talk about a birds nest..   Took half an hour to get back together and loaded.   A coffee to calm the nerves...   Then I finished welding the bedroom window frame..   Then the major step..  Glueing it in.



All in place..  looks good..  I need to tidy up the edges of sikkaflex.  This is best done when it is all dry..

Now on to the next window.  I decided to do the kitchen next..  I had already marked it out yesterday so cut it out.


Kitchen window cut..   Note the hatches and bedroom window open for ventilation... It makes such a difference in the truck with the extra light and it is not so hot with the flow of air through the truck.

The rest of the day was spent cutting the existing framing back to allow new framing to go around the opening...  This is laborious cutting and grinding...  Then cutting the new framing to fit around the opening and glueing and welding it to  the wall and existing frame.


By the end of the day I had glued and welded the frame in place... 


I just hope it doesn't rain tonight as I have left it open.   Fingers crossed.

Another fine day forecast for tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get the other bedroom window in.


Thursday 30th December:   Another nice day although cool early morning when out for a run... In the truck by 8... I removed all the clamps and tidied up the window frame and primed the bare steel...   Then the hard job of sikaflexing the window in place..   This time was much better than the first one...  I didn't smudge it so much so not so much of a mess.   By the last window I will have it down pat...!   Yeah right...



Two windows in..   three to go...   plus the round ones..  It is much lighter inside with each window installed.

Xena even made an appearance..!!   She has been banished from the garage while the work is going on...!

Now for the other bedroom window...   And I have a confession to make...!!!  


I stuffed up the measurements...!!!!


After going on about measuring twice and cutting once..  I must have measured about five times... again...  but somehow I must have transposed some numbers or had 600mm in my head for some reason... instead of 500mm..    So on I go merrily cutting out the opening and even trimmed up the frames inside..  then I looked at the piece of panel I removed which was sitting next to the other one removed from the other side..   Hmmm that looks bigger..!!!   Aaarrgghh..!!!!  I had cut the hole 100mm bigger than it should be... 


After cursing and swearing for a while..   Ringing TK in Auckland and venting some steam....  I realised I couldn't do much about it..   I couldn't patch the opening and start again..  It would look awful.. 

The only solution would be to get a window the size of the hole I had cut...   So in the end I had upgraded..!!  lol..  I did actually think to myself after putting in the first window that it was a bit small...    Now I will have a picture window on the left side which will likely be the side the view is on...   Very cool...


So I continued with the framing...  I will order another window from Lotus when they get back in the new year.



All framed up...   I think this size looks better and will have a great view from bed.. lol...   I had to cover it up to keep the weather as the window won't be made until next year..!!   or a couple of weeks at least...

Oh well..  I have made my mistake for the summer...  Learn the lesson and continue..  and be glad it could have been a lot worse.. 


 Friday 31st December:  Rain...  Rain... Rain...   Mumble...  a clean up day in truck and garage...  so much steel grindings...  Just as well I am not magnetised...

Friends Allan and Marge Salmon arrived for a few days in there motorhome...  a great example and an inspiration for XC to get to the end of this project...   One day..!!!.

Saturday 1st January 2011:  Today was the day to put the big lounge windows in...   or at least prepare them for installation.


I got the measurements right..!!   It was good to have a mate check the measurements... Allan seen here filing the edges...


We framed up the right hand side and left it to dry so I cut out the final window.   Progress...


Allan started cutting the frames inside and I cut the last bits I could reach from outside.


Removing the panel... 


So much light in the truck now..   Nice view of neighbours back yard...


Last window framed up and braced in place...


The right lounge window went in last thing in the day and I used the suction cups to hold it in place with weights on to give constant pressure...   Allan is outside cleaning up the sikaflex from the frame... messy job...


All done..  time for Happy Hour....


One more week to go...

Christmas Hols 2010 - Week 1 - Hatches Go In

Posted by XenaCommander on December 21, 2010 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

XC has finished work for the year.   After so much travel this year I am looking forward to being in one place (Turangi) for three whole weeks working on the truck.   I have some goals set for myself over this summer...  Mainly to get the hatches and windows in.   Lets just hope the weather doesn't delay things.


I finished work and picked up the hatches and drove south with TK saturday morning.    Weather forecast is not good and it rained most of the way south.


Goal One:  Hatches first

Saturday 18 Dec: The weather was horrible..  Heavy rain so I was not able to cut holes in the roof.   So I worked in the garage removing the rust from the steel that had been sitting on top of the car since I picked it up last week..   It was fine until it rained but of course rust doesn't wait for anyone.     It wasn't difficult to remove..  Just laborious.  

Once that was cleaned up I treated with rust kill.   Before I primed it I noticed that the C channels weren't bent over 90 degrees and I needed to have them correct so I will have bend them.


Sunday 19 Dec:  Weather still bad and no sign of let up...   so it was into the garage and folding them with the vise 100mm at a time..  Mumble... Not a job I enjoyed... But essential

Once that was done I got the spray gun out and primed them ...   At least that could be done in the truck while it was raining...   Hope this weather clears.


Monday 20 Dec:

Another wet day.. . So decided to have a quiet day.   I took the steel back to the garage and checked the paint and hand painted the bits the spray gun missed..   That all done the rest of the day was for R&R.


Tuesday 21 Dec:

Up early for a run between showers...  Rain looked like it was trying to clear so decided to get up on the roof of the truck and cut the middle hatch hole.



The most important step..  Measuring the opening.   627mm x 627mm  I hope there is a couple of mil tolerance...  What did my dad say..  Measure twice...  Cut once..   I think I measured three times.!!



Measurements done it is time to cut it out..  Using the angle grinder with cutting blade for the straight bits I am careful to follow the lines.  Note the leather apron..  I have learnt the hard way..  Those sparks hurt.   I cut the curves with a jig saw.  The rain was still around but I pressed on between showers and covered up when it rained.



Nice tidy hole...   I used the grinder to smooth off the cut edges...  I just hope the hatch fits.


Yaay...!   I had to slightly enlarge rear left corner but not by much..  then it fit in nicely..  Test fit only as I now have to glue/weld the frame around the edges. 


I knew I would get to use these clamps...  I bought them when I was going to build a boat...  But they work just fine for truck building...  The C channel frame is already on front and back..  Here I am glueing them on left and right.   Once glued in place I weld the edges to the cut frame to make the whole structure strong enough to bear my weight.


Hatch back in place temporarily..  I will let sikaflex dry on frames before I glue in the hatch tomorrow.


Wednesday 22 Dec:

Today I had a big day...   I cut the front and rear hatch holes...  And framed them all up.   A full day.. I didn't take any more pics as they were pretty much the same as the middle hatch..   Some of the framework for the front hatch was a bit more complicated than the middle hatch but I managed to fabricate a reasonable frame on both.  All in all it was a busy day..  Weather looks doubtful for tomorrow so I put the hatches in place temporarily and hoped for the best.


Thursday 23 Dec:

Rain... Rain... Rain....  Mumble...!!   I decided to take the day off the build, jumped on Xena and did a trip to Hamilton to drop off presents.   No progress was made on truck. 


Friday 24 Dec:

Christmas Eve...  The day I normally do my christmas shopping so I was out early to do the food shopping hoping I was early enough to beat the crowds.  Looks like everyone else had the same idea..  lol..!!

Once the shopping was done I was back in the truck and primed the frames before finally glueing in the hatches.   That Sikaflex 221 is amazing stuff..  as long as you don't touch it while it is wet.!!


Saturday 25th Dec:  Christmas Day

Being Christmas day I should be doing other things but what better things are there than building a motorhome...   I spent the morning cleaning up the hatches...  The sikkaflex had set hard and the hatches opened well. . I took off the protective coverings and opened them up for a pic...


Yaay..!  Goal one accomplished....

The rest of the day I did some more maintenance..  On the rear I cleaned up the panel joints with isopropal alcohol and primed them ready for taping.    I will do that tomorrow once the primer has dried.

In the afternoon TK dragged me away from the truck and we went and had some fun shooting...  I wanted to try out my latest acquisition..   Check out the report on Shooting Fun:

All in all a great first week of holidays..  Weather hasn't been the greatest but I managed to get the hatches in.  Next week I will start on the windows..   Scary..  I have to cut holes in the side of the truck.!!!

Stay tuned for more.

XC

Pipes Lagged - 1/8/2010

Posted by XenaCommander on August 1, 2010 at 3:49 AM Comments comments (3)

A weekend trip to Turangi on Xena was combined with some more work on the truck..   TK had driven the car down earlier with a load of supplies..   She had found a place to get pipe lagging tubes which was my next task and I went to Lighthouse Marine this week and purchased the Toilet that I wanted and Vacuum generator to drive it..   So the main task for the weekend was to fit the foam insulation on the water pipes.


When the truck is finished and I am living in it full time it is my intention to spend plenty of time in cold climates so the pipes need to be well lagged to stop them from freezing.  


So  I was under the truck early on Saturday morning...   Brrr..  temperature about 1 degree if not colder...  but clambering around underneath and between the chassis rails was enough to keep me warm...


First I installed the two stop cock taps before the pump which will allow me to select what tank the pump was drawing from...  Pic further down once I had lagged pipes...


Next it was under the truck and wrestling with silver snakes....  measuring... cutting...   tieing down.... I finally got them all done..



Looking good... all tied down..  I will lag the flexible pipe to the pump when I hook the pump up.



These are the shut off taps for each tank..   I colour coded them port and starboard and corresponding colours.  I also put a directional arrow to remind me which way to turn them on... 

Another tick on the task list...


Next I wanted to figure out where I was going to place the toilet and the vacuum generator.. 




This is the Dometic Sealand Vacuum Generator..   I found the only place to put it was between the chassis rails under the floor of the bathroom area..  Close to the toilet and only three or four metres to the black tank.   Now I need to fabricate a bracket for it and then plumb it in.   I started welding the tray that the ply wood will sit in.  I will finish it next trip.


Stay tuned..

XC