XenaCommanders Place

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Kitchen Extractor - April 18

Posted by XenaCommander on May 1, 2018 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Kitchen Extractor Cabinet

Next task on the list is to get the Kitchen pantry in and secure...   It was just sitting there until I got the floor in ..  Now the floor is down I had to trim the top to allow it to slide in...  then paint the front and fit a latch to stop it from sliding out.



I didn't take pics of every step...but in pic above you can see I used that curtain wire to stop stuff falling out...  Paint applied to front...   Handle and latch put on ...  then tested...    a bit of adjustment and all looked good.

Next was to build the kitchen cabinet above the stove to attach the extractor fan I had already purchased.
Some measurements... fingers crossed and away we go...    again I didn't take pics along the way but here are a couple of finished product.


Here you can see the pantry in place...   all paiinted and tidy with handle and latch...  it is so easy to unlatch and pull out...  
The extractor cabinet is finished...  I wanted to again highlight the ply edging and after going to the Covi motorhome show and viewing a trailite motorhome...  I noted how they finished their cabinets...     they have a trim top and bottom and a lift front...   So I did the same with ply trim.


I used the same lift front hinges from Fullie...  I attached the extractor and hose..  wired it in and it all works great..   One less dangling wire.


Thats as far as I have pics for...   I have gone on and built the bedroom side cabinets... and installed them.. I am now working on the over the bed cabinets...   This flu has knocked me a bit so haven't progressed far with that.

Onward...   Not far now..   I have the truck booked in with Marty's Panel and Paint in Levin to get some rust attended to..   that is later in the month..    Hopefully I will have progress done before then...

Stay tuned.

XC

Self Containment, Lounge Seat and Floor Down - Aug 17 to April 18

Posted by XenaCommander on May 1, 2018 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Self Containment - at last..!

Well it is about time I decided to get this done...  I had done an inspection a year or so again but hadn't followed up after fixing a couple of things that needed attending to...    But now I have the kitchen in and working well I thought I would do it..   I rang Bill over in Taupo who is the local NZMCA Inspector and made an appointment.

As expected the truck passed with flying colours...   and Bill did the honours...


Up a bit... 


Perfect...   Now I can legally park over at designated NZMCA park over places...   Not that I have done so yet.

Window Frames and Hatches...

Next I wanted to start on the trims around the windows and hatches...  considerable thought is given to the methodology of every step given I have never done this sort of thing before...   So I had to figure out how best to do this...


First I needed to put a lining on the window ledge...   I decided to use the same acrylic that I used for the shower lining...  I had some left over from the shower so I could try it and see how it looked...    I ripped strips the right width and glued into the grooves in the window frame and proud of the wall lining....


Then the idea was to use ply to frame around the window...  I cut 90 degree corners first then attached straight bits to make the frame....


The tricky part was to get the frame groove on the back exactly matching the sill acrylic...   some fine tuning with the router made things fit where needed...   Note the flashing on bench is the top flashing which I put on after frame was glued...


I think it turned out ok...   I varnished them clear...  to highlight the ply again...


Bedroom frame complete...


The bigger lounge window was the most difficult..   but I got there in the end...
Now the hatches...


I didnt take pics of all hatches...  but they were tricky to line..    By the time I got to the lounge I was getting better... I had to get more acrylic to finish them...   Pic shows lining glued in place...


Frames were tricky to get perfect...   but I managed to get close... 


Pic of the finished hatch frame...  you can see the kitchen one too...  I think they look pretty good..   But I'm biased...  :)

Lounge Seat/Spare Bed...

Next was the lounge...   I wanted a lounge sofa type seat that also doubled as a spare bed...  I know Wayne.. He will say it is his bed...   OK...   a sofa / Waynes bed...   (and maybe other guests)..  lol...

I had researched the web for ideas and found a pic of one that I liked...    of course there were no plans so I had to figure that bit out myself...    Fingers crossed.


I mocked up how I wanted it to look...  using a foam sofa bed we have for emergencies...  it served the purpose well...    The foam on the end I wanted to have a cabinet that acted as an arm rest and doubled as set of drawers for stuff...


To the workshop...  I decided to make this cabinet very substantial...   I used 18mm birch ply...   God it's heavy..!


A dry fit...   looks like it will work ok..  two drawers slide out..  One could use it as a wine bar... not that I drink but thought it would work for that..   The hole on top is for a USB socket.


All finished...   again I painted it with the ply edge exposed and varnished...   The top lifts up to keep TV remotes and chargers etc..
Now to work out how to build the seat.


With a plan sketched out in my plan book..   I cut out some framing...


Put them together ...  to create a frame for the seat.


I had to commit...   and screw things down in place...  I hate that bit..  I hope I have thought of everything...  Note the wide planks on top of the frame..   I had some maple so milled that down to right size..  Purpose will be revealed...


another view...    Now I had to stop construction of the seat as the next step I needed to have the floor down so I could measure accurately the next step...    So I had to make the commitment of what floor to use..
TK has a Placemakers staff card...  So that helped when buying the floor...


Of course I had to work out where to start laying the floor...  which was the kitchen...  I lay the underlay foam first..  then lock the bamboo planks on top...


I love doing jigsaws...  but this did get a bit tricky in parts... some very fiddly bits around doorways etc...


I had to lay the kitchen to get around the return into the lounge...


Typing this it seems easy... but it took a lot of time to get right..  Kitchen down and now into the lounge...


The floor buts up against the seat frame...  So I had to lay floor to get that right before making the front of the seat.


Floor down...  Now to finish the seat...


I worked out how to attach the slats to the lifting front...   Soo many slats..  74 of them...  hundreds of screws...


Finally all screwed down...  and hinges on...   note the black seatbelts...  Now I am legally allowed to carry 5 people in the truck.   Not that it will be necessary..

Now this is how it works...  


The seat is made in two parts...  both of which can lift up and access storage underneath...   "SHE" has laid claim to one half...  :)


Each of the seats can be pulled out...  to make a double bed width bed...   Cool huh..?


Closed up it is a couch..   The blue squabs are not what is going to be there in the end..  They are too small.. I will get some made to fit.

It took a while but I finally got the trim I wanted for the stair well...   Next job...  Fit them to look tidy...


I didn't take many pick of the fiddly things I had to do to get this looking nice...   I put bamboo on the second step as well..


I think it looks pretty good..   I put a bamboo beading on the back of the step as it was impossible to get it perfect without it...


Final entrance....  I like it...  especially with the blue lights on.



Kitchen Done... Fire In

Posted by XenaCommander on October 11, 2017 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Fire In....  


Pic of truck with flue installed...    will update blog to fill in the details soon...

Stay tuned...   (Update 2 May 2018 )   Ok ok...  I have been tardy,,,   I have been busy making progress on truck build but haven't got around to updating this blog...   I am a bit crook with the flu this week so thought I would to an update here...  Last post was the kitchen going in...  I will update from there...

Some pics of kitchen progress...


Drawers are not my favourite chore but they have to be done as there are lots in this kitchen...  Note the bamboo floor sample under cupboard...   it will look good...  Note plumbing for sink waiting...


Big drawers next to oven for pots etc...


More drawers under construction..   I use eurolite ply....   a poplar ply which makes it light and strong,


I know I know...  drawers crossing over..  so I had to measure them carefully so they don't collide when finished. Fingers crossed...  Note waste pipe plumbed in and waiting.


Another non favourite job...  painting..!  


Done and dusted....


They are starting to look like a real kitchen...   now all is required is the drawer fronts..   I decided to run with the theme of exposed ply edges..   so used good ply fronts...


Quite tricky to get them on straight and even...   I love air tools...   staples through to hold them in place easily.


Ok...   looking good...  decision to leave them with wood finish or to paint them...  I wish I was better at internal decorating etc...  


I continued with these great push button latches...  fiddly to get on perfectly but with patience and a template made the job tolerable.


Looking more like a kitchen...  drawers work perfectly and cupboard looks good.


Now for the bench top...   I was going to get a stone top but the cost is outrageous...!!!   so decided to have a go at making one myself and laminate it with formica...  all things I've never done before..  Fingers crossed and some study on youtube...


I decided against using MDF...  There is no MDF in my truck..  so used good Birch ply...  and doubled thicknessed two 18mm sheets...   Used template to pattern it up and cut to fit.


Using the same pattern I cut the formica sheet oversize..  then glued it onto the top..   I didn't take pic of this process...  just to say it is a nightmare that has to be done quickly ... 


Laminate glued on...   now was the fun part..  to run the router around the edges to make it look finished.


Bench top in place..  sink inserted for dry fit...   Now I wanted a nice bullnose..  I decided to do it separately so the top came flush with the laminate...


Old sailor using his favourite tool...   routing the bullnose..   I am determined not to lose another finger in this build..  so concentration was high... 


Bullnose being clamped in place..   I used Festool domino's to secure them in place.


Bullnose in place..  looking good...  Now to fix the bench top in place.


Looks good..     Decision was to paint the kitchen cupboards..    another chance to learn from YouTube to work out how to get a reasonable finish...    Again I didn't take pics of the process but it worked out ok...


I reckon it looks ok...  


Cupboards painted...    Next job...   Put the fire in...

Fire Goes In...

 

This is a job that I have been putting off for ages... but wanted to get it done next... The reason I procrastenated on it is because I knew I had to cut a hole into the roof for the flue...   and there is a 6 mm steel plate I had to cut through...
The first trick was to find the exact spot to drill the hole..  I drove the truck to a level parking spot around the corner...  But in the end I used a pole and my eye to line things up...   Once marked the hard part commenced.


First a pilot hole...  up from inside through the roof..   I got up on ladder and cleared some tape off the spot,  Now the hard work..  


I had bought a 150mm hole saw quite some time ago for this job..  I started the hole and committed to just taking my time...  get comfortable and go slowly..   mineral oil to lubricate... slow speed..  mind the catches...  One hour went by....  Two hours went by...  I still had not got through the 6mm steel plate that was used before to mount an awning on..    I decided to try and speed things up so tried a grinder with a metal cutting blade..  But all I did was to start a fire...   so gave that idea up.    Back to the hole saw.
Another hour I was through in one spot and it became easier...  In total it took 6 hours to cut this hole..  but was happy it was done.


Hole from inside..   note the insulation I cut away from hole...  cleaned up the burnt bits..


following the installation instructions provided by Tarlan Technology...   I put batts around the sleeve and inserted the outer sleeve...  and the inside flashing to finish it off...


Now fingers crossed..   I put the flue in place and measured it up to cut to length.


I riveted the cap in place and glued the flashing ...   all looks good.


Looks pretty straight inside too...   just have to put the heat guard on the flue.


Looking good..   I couldn't light the fire straight away as the glue had to dry on bottom of the flue.  Tomorrow.


Success...  The Little Cracker is an amazing fire..    SO MUCH HEAT...!!!   and can be controlled to use very little fuel.


The fire works great..    I used it a few times but it was the end of winter so it hasn't had a lot of use..   Now being May I am looking forward to the cold so I can use it again.

Next...  Self Containment Certificate...   and Window Surrounds.

Stay tuned

XC

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




Lining and Painting - Sept 2016 - Jan 2017

Posted by XenaCommander on January 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (3)

Lining Continues... 

I am hopeless at keeping this up to date...   But I thought it was high time that I did something about it...  Its Jan 12th 2017 and lots has happened since I last posted...     I said in my last post that I was to ride the NI 1600....  Well I did that successfully...   a great ride..  I wrote a separate blog for that if you want to read about it...   Click here if you want to read...  

Once I had recovered from that I continued on with the lining of the truck... 


A pic of where I was up to ...   Lounge LH side second panel all glued up...  Now onto the other side...
I measured up and drew up the pattern for the RH front panel....  Before I cut out the round window hole it was easier to locate the location by dryfitting and drawing on the panel from the outside...


Done...  Now to cut out and fit the panel..   of course once removed it was difficult to get it back in the exact same position...

Glued and propped...  Of course the story behind this one came out later...   I forgot to drill holes for all three seat belt mounting bolts...  and couldn't find it...    story to come...

All glued up for now...   The next couple of panels were easier as there wasn't so many cuts to make...


Panel 2....


Panel 3 propped...


Lounge RHS all panelled...  Kitchen next...

Kitchen Panel Propped... Seems I forgot to take a pic of the rest of the Kitchen panels...  my bad...  I didn't want to do the other side near the doorway as I wanted to fabricate a wall to protect hands going on the hot stove if they came in while it was burning...    So off to the metal shop I go and out with the welder....


WInging it without predrawn plan...  I welded up a frame...   I wanted this to be extremenly strong...  Strong enough for me ( or anyone ) to put their full weight on it...   So likely I over engineered the whole thing...


Once I knew how the was was mounted I needed to finish the lining before I could mount it..  Note the bolts on the floor that the Little Cracker woodbox is bolted to.


Another angle of the panel going on...  Those props were my greatest innovation...  They do a great job while the glue dries.  Getting them all up is sometimes a challenge.


Once the wall panel was up I could finish the wall construction...   Of course I got it wrong... (again)  welded sheet to mount the handrail mounts too low...  so had another go...    This time I got it right...


I wanted a feature design in this truck finish...   I have decided on a utilitarian finish using stainless and ply finish.    I fabricated this handrail my self out of ply with my favourite tool...  The Router...   sanded it smooth and varnished gives it a great look...    ( in my view anyway )....


Final wall panel going up around the door... 

Painting Time....

Now all the walls were lined it was time to paint...   I hate painting...  but it has to be done..   Clear the decks and out with the roller...


View from the doorway looking forward..  The colour is Resene Concrete..    A warm light grey.   Maybe boring but the colour will come with the curtains and the lounge upholstery... 

View from the front towards the kitchen... Now all the paint is on the walls I can finish off the light switches and power points seen here hanging out of holes in the wall..!


I bolted the entrance wall in place...  Man its strong...  I think 5 people can swing on it and it wouldn't move...!

Windows finally going in.....

I have been waiting for this moment for years...    I bought these great windows soon after I started this project way back...   I couldn't install them then as they are mounted from the inside..   Now the lining and painting has been done I can put them in.... Lets hope they fit.


This one went in reasonably well..  but of course Murphys Law dictates not everything is going to go smoothly...
Clamped up with Sikka to hold them in place...   God I hope I don't have to take it out.


All dry and looking good..   I love that they open...  and even in the driving rain the water won't get into the inside.
Very happy XC

Now of course the second one didn't go in so easily...    The flashing I had made and installed from the outside when the truck was re-skinned must have warped a bit as the window refused to go in...     So out with the grinder and ground a bit off the flashing and in she goes..   the corrrection was not visible once the window was installed.

All sikka'd in place..   Note the holes on the bottom right for the seat belt mount...   I forgot to locate all three that are required and after drilling holes and failing to locate them I took the whole bloody panel off and re-did it with the other hole located...  Mumble...  good practice at repairs... but I didn't really need it...  lol....  nothing goes smoothly in this build.

One of my favourite part of the truck design...   Very messy to put in but once cleaned up they look great.


I remounted the seat belts...   and refurbished the reel cover...  Now I had the requisite number of mounting holes the job was simple.

What next..?     I wanted to finish the lining and I only had the power cupboard to do..   So I got on with that.   I wanted to make the panel removable so I could get access to the back of the fridge/freezer.

I put a substantial piece of ply on the top so that I could mount the solar controller...   the rest is thin ply screwed in place...    I will design a cover for the 12 volt panel once I have finished hooking it all up.


Now the fiddly bit....   framing the doorway...


A coat or two of paint finishes the job..   I still need to make a door..   its on the list.

Steps Renovation....

For a while I have been considering what I should do with the entrance way...   It is functional but it is a bit knocked around..    I decided that now was the time to deconstruct it and make it look nicer...


Of course as with everything in this truck..  it has been well constructed..   So of course it is difficult to deconstruct..    Its like a bloody jigsaw puzzle...   So I started to take pics to remind me the order of assembly.  I thought the stainless is good although battered over the years so I thought I would ring Monaghans Sheet Metal and order a replacement.   I also got some brushed stainless for the wall behind the cracker and the entrance wall.


All disassembled...   Now to clean up the rust... and repaint...
The next visit to Auckland I picked up the Stainless steel sheets..    They didn't have the same guage for the steps lining so did it in thicker sheet..  which is great...  more robust...

All cleaned up..  first sheet sitting on LH side...   It all fits great..  just needed to tidy some bits up which was difficult to do with their big press...    I took the wire brush to the checker plate steps...  and reassembled...

All in place...  just need to take off the protective wrap...


Covers removed...  looks all shiny and bright...   can even see my skinny legs in the reflection.    Note I have lined the wall with ply...  and installed small stair lights.    I wanted to feature the entrance so searched for leds that will do the job.

Of course you can find anything these days...   Check this out...


I mounted a 500 mm led strip under the step and rigged wire so that it moves in and out when you close the step to travel...   Looks great.

Little Cracker Mounted....

I have had the Little Cracker in a box in the shed for years too...   waiting for this moment...  Time to install it...
First I glued the Stainless Steel sheet on the wall behind and the entrance wall...

Then I bolted the woodbox to the floor and bolted the Little Cracker to the woodbox...  Presto...  Looking great..   Note the wall has brushed stainless..  and the entrance I put ply on the top and front..  exposing the edges and varnishing...   The blue is masking tape to keep varnish off the SS....


Another angle...   but the sun on the cracker made contrast weird..  Will do another.

Cab Ceiling....

I had been pondering how I was going to line the cab ceiling and incorporate a shelf...    Friend Wayne on a planning visit gave me the idea to integrate both..   So a trip to Auckland to get ply supplies.

I knew this was going to be tricky so I got a sheet of MDF to use as a pattern...    I cut and fit that and then cut the ply...   of  course it is never the same...   and needed some help to get it in place...


TK was in residence on her holiday..   so I conscripted her help to nudge the panel in place...    I caught her in action...   don't tell..

It was a minor nightmare...  but it looks great now its done..  a few scrapes which I can fix...    Note the shelf which is where I will build a spot for the radio and satellite tuner.    The last bit of lining to be done is the sloping ceiling...     of course the last is the worst and most difficult.

Again the only way I saw to do this was with a pattern...


Even one large pattern would be too difficult..  so I did four...   and joined them all together with duct tape..


Getting the pattern close..   I made note of the adjustments I needed to make..   taped it all up...  and cut the final panel...  Making holes for the wires for power and speakers... etc...


Copious amounts of glue and propped in place...     Overnight I realised I did not pull the coax cable that runs back to the bedroom for the TV there..   Mumble..   I need a solution..   or I will have to rip it off and do again.

I will let you know what I decided to do..  Next post..  soon...

Stay tuned...

XC

Lounge Ceiling and Walls - Aug - Sept 2016

Posted by XenaCommander on October 5, 2016 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Its time I updated this...   I have been working for the man...  Traveling...  Which took me away from making progress..   But some progress has been made.     Last post I said I was going to continue with the ceiling..  I thought I might as well as I had the momentum up and was in the mode..  so to speak..   First I had to finish the wires for the lounge lights and get them ready...


Testing the lights in their place...  These lights are very bright so I put in an extra switch that will turn on only one middle light on dim..  For times when I want subdued lights...

Now to measure up for the first panel...   Cut... dry fit...  make sure light holes are in the right place..  adjust..  and then the fun part...   Get the glue on and put the panel up on my own..   yaay.....!


Glue on..  first props up... run around adjusting...  more props up...  make sure all aligned... more props..  Man it is a bit stressful but I got it up...   leave it overnight to dry...


Next morning...  remove props..  looks good..  pic taken from front of truck..
Now the front panel... measure and cut...


Second lounge panel up...  Props in place...
While that was drying I wanted to fit the Awning light on the outside of the truck..  I wanted to finish all the switching for the 12volt lights..  so needed to fit this external light..


Got the light attached and waited till dark before I took pic.   It is pretty bright...   Will do the trick.

I spent the rest of the day tidying up the panel...  connecting wires to circuit breakers etc..   and switches in place..   Next I wanted to fit the lights and the sloping panel at rear of lounge...   Those sloping panels are very complicated...  not one square angle to it...   so I used a pattern to get it right...


Panel up and glued...   Note the switches on wall...  all done and working..  Lights up and working well...  Switches for dim lights on each side wall.   I am pleased with the light grey walls.   Makes the place light.
Now decisions needed for next step..  Front sloping panel..  or side panels..  I need to fit an aerial for front radio and run coax through roof to satelite dish..    So I decided to do the walls first.
First I need to take out the perspex plug I had in my large round window...   Not an easy job as it was well siliconed in place...

But persistance pays off..  only one cut with fish knife I used to break the seal...    But it finally came out...   I thought I would take the opportunity to dry fit the window to make sure I didn't need to "cut" anything to make it fit.


Clamped in place...   it fits great...  I love these windows..  Will be a great feature...   Remove it again to line the inside...
A real tricky panel this one..  lots of measuring... cutting..  checking... dry fit...  adjusting...  etc... etc...
Glue up the frames...  and  COMMIT...!!!


Props in place...  So tricky...    Overnight to dry...


Props off..  Looks good...  Time for second panel before I have to fly to Aus again..


All in..  I won't be able to do the next panel on this side as I need to weld a frame up and make a wall near the entry to stop any people from putting hands on hot fire when they walk into the truck..

I am back fro Aus trip now but haven't done any more yet..  I am prepping the wall on Right for panels...  And also trying to get ready for big ride this weekend...  North Island 1600.   will write a different blog entry for that...

Stay tuned..

XC

Kitchen Ceiling - Lounge Strapping - June/July 16

Posted by XenaCommander on July 12, 2016 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Kitchen Ceiling

I wanted to get to the kitchen next with a view to getting the stove in..   Of course there are a number of things to be done before I could do that...
I worked out the approximate design of the kitchen but specifically the stove location.   I cut the hole in the roof and put in the vent outlet for the range hood.
Next running the wires to the place the lights will be.   How many do I need..?   I ran wires for an extra one that I can turn off if not needed.


Running wires...  I decided not to put strapping on the kitchen ceiling..  it would lower it too much and the frame would good enough to glue it to..
To measure the edge of the ceiling panels I had to know where they would go..   So I had to put the strapping on the lounge ceiling and sloping panel.


Strapping around the hatch is required as the central part of the roof is higher than the surround.  The removable plug causes this so I need to cater for this.


Strapping up.. Now the sloping panel..

First ceiling panel up and propped...  I had a friend staying this week and he was very productive on the job.   He went on and did the strapping while I glued up the ceiling.

Friend Jan tackling the forwared sloping ceiling panel while I did the kitchen. 


Second panel up.   Props are so handy.

Props removed and ceiling looking good...  Now I need to hook up the lights.

Lights in and tested..  The big one abovr the doorway is 230v LED..  only used when on shore power.
The two center ones are LED on a switch..  The one showing red is an extra one I put on this circuit that can be touched to turn it off or light 7 red LEDs.   Another circuit will have a strip of LEDs under the cupboards once built.

I decided to continue with the ceiling so am running light wires at moment.

More to follow

Stay tuned

XC

Gas Struts on Bed - Doors Finished - May 2016

Posted by XenaCommander on May 24, 2016 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Gas Struts on....

Bed now done I needed to get gas struts to hold up the top to get access to the storage below...   Emails and phone calls to the gas strut man..  Trip to Auckland to pick them up...   Peter did the calculations of weight and distance from the hinges and gave me the attachment points for the struts...     I thought they would be a bit bigger but he said they would do the job...
Back to Turangi and lets see if I can get this right..     I anchored the struts at the points Peter gave me...  they worked really well without the mattress on...  but when I put the mattress on they wouldn't hold up..  :(

Emails to Peter to explain the problem...  he gave me directions on how to fix..  Move them further away from the hinges...    Fingers Crossed...


Hey presto....!    perfect...   well just about..   the power in the struts pushes the top away from hinge line and screws are not strong enough...   and the top won't fit in the channel..  I have to get new stronger hinges.. 
Always something...

Sliding Door Fitted...

That is the bed now useable..   I want to leave the cupboards till later in the work list...  Next I wanted to move forward...   to mount the sliding door and the folding door...
I fabricated a jamb that I could put a latch system on....  First on the closed side..  Once I had done that I thought it would be a good idea to put one on the open side too so the door wouldn't slide back if the truck was parked on a slope.


Door mounted...  latches on..  and handles on..   and it all works well..   Of course the truck is not perfectly square and nothing is perfectly square so I had to bodge some parts to "make" work.

Folding Door Finished...

I removed the folding door which I had fit temporarily to ensure it would work..   I took it into the shed to remove the hinges..  to paint.. and put the piano hinges back on...    So many screws...
Now the challenging bit..  to hang it again..     Of course I had holes already drilled so I used them...   But when I tried to shut the door I couldn't...   Aaaarrrgghhh...!!!     Murphys Law..   I hate it..    The paint had of course made the door thicker and the holes were too close to the jamb.   So I had to remove 72 screws and shift the hinge over 2 mm...   and rehang...   Fingers crossed...

Whew...!!!  Fits perfectly... thank goodness... a job I thought would take half an hour took 4 hours..!!!  Mumble.

View of door from the bathroom side..   Not sure about the dual colour..  but they way the door folds out when open makes a grey door on one side and white on the toilet side...  Will live with it for a while...

Next I have a couple of things to tidy up in the bathroom and want to put the switches in for the bedroom and bathroom lights..  (You can see wires hanging in the pic above)...   Then I thought I would make the bed head before moving into the kitchen.

stay tuned

XC



Bedroom Painted and Bed Finished April - May 2016

Posted by XenaCommander on May 9, 2016 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Bedroom Painting...

Last post I said that I would assemble the bed next...  Well that was the plan...  But I figured that it would be easier to line the rear wall and paint it without the bed in place so I changed plan...   I debated not lining the rear wall as most of it will be covered with the bed and cupboards..   But there will still be some wall showing so I thought it would be better to line it all rather than line just the bits that were showing.

I also had to work out where the electrics were going to go so I could pull the wires through at the correct place... Not having finalised my design for the cupboards etc I had to make a decision.  Fingers crossed I get it close...


Looks nice if you like a lot of wood..  But I don't like too much...  I want to paint it a light neutral colour and use wood as a trim feature...   So off to Resene I go to get undercoat and final coat...


Painting is not one of my favourite pass times but with a good roller I made short work of getting the undercoat on.. 


The room brightens up with the undercoat all done..  Now for the final coats.


All done...  I was going to to with a blue..  but in the end I decided on a very light grey called "Concrete".

View looking forward... Looks ok.. and the space is starting to feel like a room now.

Bed Construction...

Being such a large piece of furniture I couldn't build the bed base in the workshop and carry it in..  which would have been my preference so I had to assemble the bits in the truck....  All the pieces were already cut out so I carried them all in and started assembly.


I found some pipe clamp attachments in a tea chest so I walked around to the local engineers shop and got some pipe..  These made the job much easier...  The ply base all glued and assembled.   I left it overnight to dry.

Once dry I varnished the base... I was going to paint it but the light birch ply looks so nice I decided to varnish instead.   Now to assemble the frame on to of the base.


Frame together and hinges going on.   I bought these hinges for something else but never got used... They are perfect for this job.


Frame on and varnished.   looking good..  I also assembled some internal compartments... Not sure how functional they are but they brace the sides.

Now for the slats...  This was going to be interesting...


To get them all centered I made a template but of course nothing is perfectly square I had to check placement of each slat.


So far so good..   from here I used the foot end to work out how to place the rest of the slats.


All slats down except for the last one..  I will need the rail to be on to place that one... Note the first part of the rail is on top left...


All rails glued together and clamped in place...  Now to screw them down..  So many screws..


Rails all screwed down.. Rails varnished and looking good.

The bed top all assembled and working well..  I have orded gas struts that will make it easier to lift to get access underneath...

Bed all finished..  while the varnish was drying I jumped up and fit the LED lights..


Mattress on the base and it is ready for use..  I will likely leave the protective plastic on until bedroom construction is finished...

Next the sliding door for the bedroom.

Stay tuned

XC


Workshop Mishap...! Feb 2016 and Onwards...

Posted by XenaCommander on April 21, 2016 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (2)

Bed Construction...

After doing the wall lining I was going to do the rear wall...  Friend WS suggested it wasn't necessary given that I was going to cover the rear with cupboards and the bed...  So I decided to get on and construct the bed top.
First the frame that I am going to screw the slats to...

The frame is cut and dominoed together for a dry fit.


I propped the frame to show how it will work once complete with gas struts...  So far so good...
Now for the rails that will go on the end of the slats and holds the mattress on.  I had it all worked out in my head.   I figured I would use the router to rebate the rail to take the slats...
So I set up the router for the first cut..   I was so sure I had it all worked out right..

Then just a millisecond before I fed the rail into the router bit I had a dreadful thought...  This is not right....   Then

Wham...!!!

The router pulled the piece into the bit along with my hand.....  It hit hard...
I looked down at my hand and the top of my middle finger was gone and blood everywhere...   Hmmm Buggar...
Neighbours took control and got me to the medical center...  They patched me up and told me to get to Rotorua Hospital...

I won't post the bloody pics I took but here is the result after surgery was done and stitches were out...


So it could have been a lot worse...   The finger has healed ok and after 6 weeks including a month on a retreat construction has recommenced.


XC gets back on the horse... so to speak...  I set the router up again and ran a piece through...  More for my own sake than anything for the truck.. .  All good... I won't let this router beat me...

Rails and Slats next...

While away on retreat I thought of a more efficient way to cut the rebates into the rails...  Using the table saw.. then the router to tidy them up..   So I set up the saw and ran them through...  Carefully...
Things went so well with the saw I didn't need to tidy them up with the router..   Just rounded off the corners..


Rails all done...   Looking pretty good..   Now onto the slats...    A quick visit to the local ITM and we are set..
The trick is to get them the right length.. Lets hope I got it right...

Once cut I ran them through the router... (see I can do it...!)  to round off the corners..  They look pretty good.
Next I will finish the base...  sand it ....  and varnish it ... then put it together in the truck.

Stay tuned...

XC   (touch typing is a little different with a short finger)


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