XenaCommanders Place

"Participating in Life"

Truck Blog

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)

Deckhead Panels Go Up - Jan 2016

Posted by XenaCommander on January 10, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Prepping the Ceiling

The last post finished when I just finished putting the strapping on the ceiling frames..  I put all the edge bits up as well for when I put the wall panels in.  This is easier done before I put the ceiling panels up.  
Of course I needed to locate the exact spots for the lights...  I didn't know if 4 lights would be enough... or if I would need 6...   so I wired the lights in place temporarily and waited till dark..!!!


Hmmm question answered...   these lights are fantastic..  so I only need 4..   Note the panel strapping in corners and along top corners..   I am ready for ceiling and walls now.    Rear panel first.... 
Now being a solo builder and nobody around at moment I can call on for assistance...  I needed to devise some way I can hold the panels in place while the glue dried...  Sit down and ponder that one...


Solution...   I spent some time and fabricated some props...   Being the holidays the local timber store was shut..   so I had to fossick among my own timber racks and came up with enough for 7 good props...   I raided TK's foam supplies and fixed some over the top of the props...    Result...!!!!

Panels Go Up...

The first panel measured... and cut..  Very tricky...    here I go..  how the hell do I lift it up there... and then get a prop under it..!!!    Well being tall helped...   but another couple of arms would have been good..   But I managed it ok after a couple of mishaps...  Pic is of first panel dry fit...  which I had to do many as it needed trimming a few times to get as near perfect as I could get it...

All glued up... and after a lot of running around to get the props in enough places to hold it firm I think I got it...!
I left it overnight... 
Next morning I came out and removed the props...  Hoping like hell that the panel wasn't loose anywhere... Fingers crossed...


All good... Panel looks good..  first finished surface outside of the bathroom...   I am pleased with that.
Now do I continue with the ceiling... or as I was doing the bed..  go to the rear wall and then the bed...  Hmmm decisions decisions...   Since I am in ceiling panel mode..  I think I will continue with the ceiling...  However I need to finish the strapping for the front of the bedroom where it slopes down...   Tricky...


View facing forward...   Strapping clamped in place..  talk about weird angles..  the ceiling has a curve... and the slope meets it on the top and the bottom of the slope..  Oh well.. it doesn't need to be perfect but enough for the panel to glue to.  Now that is done... I can put the second ceiling panel up...


Second panel glued up and props removed..  I had one corner that refused to stay stuck.. but that was fixed pretty quickly...  


a view from the front looking back..  the ceiling looks great...

Now comes the hard part..  cutting the panel to go on that slope...   To tell the truth I wasn't keen to do that one..   My friend procrastination came by and I found a few excuses to avoid starting on that one...  but after a day!!   I kicked myself into gear and tried to figure the best way to do it...

I know..   a pattern..    After all that is why I bought some core flute...   So measure... cut.... measure...  cut.. measure... cut...  dry fit...   measure... cut....measure.. cut...  fit..  more measure.. cut... measure... cut.. .fit.. cut.. fit... cut... fit...cut...fit...   ad nauseum...!!!!

There...  pattern in place... duck tape holding it up... Close enough...  Now to cut the bloody panel.. not one straight edge on it..!    I started with a jigsaw but the blade ripped the paint off the ply on the edges..  not that it would really mattered but I didn't like it..  so reverted to Festool and did many small cuts with panel saw.  Of course I needed what felt like 50 dry fits and trimming to get it right...  but I got there in the end...


These props are great...   panel all glued up..  and props to hold.   Leave overnight to dry...  must be Med time.


All done..  Not sure I am totally happy with it..  from this angle it looks a little unbalanced.   but I figure it is because of the sliding door straightening the curve across the top of the door and on the right.. It will be great after the cupboards go in..  it will cover it all anyway....   All good..   I temporarily fixed a piece of ply I had lying around across the join..   I am going to fabricate a joiner to glue in across the gap between panels.

Thats it for now...  next the rear wall..  then back to the bed which I have deconstructed and put in the shed.

Stay tuned.

XC

Bed Base Begins... Deckhead Strapping... Dec 2015

Posted by XenaCommander on December 24, 2015 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Bed Base Begins...

I spent a day working out how to stow my fresh water hose somewhere near the tank filler...  I didn't want to carry it inside the truck so I put the thinkning cap on...     There is room in the air tank cupboard above the filler taps... but the clear space is difficult...  So I somehow managed to fabricate a box to put the bag that contains the food quality hose for filling.   Fixing it was tricky but got there in the end.   I also managed to find somewhere for the black hose container...  I built a couple of cradles and strapped it down on top of the chassis rail.    I haven't taken a pic yet but will do so.

I next wanted to make some progress in the bedroom...   I had picked up all the ply required to build the base a week or so ago so I made a start.

I decided on good birch 17 ply 24mm..   I was going to use a lighter eruo ply but decided the weight didn't matter and would make the construction simpler...   Cutting it was easy with good Festool tools...


Head end and sides cut and dry fit in the truck...   I had an idea how I wanted it to look..   I wanted a toe space rather than making the base the same size as the mattress..     I had the mattress already... made for me specially at Waikato Bedding.. I spared no expense since this is likely the last bed I buy...  and will likely die in it.. :o...
Next was to join the pieces...   Out with the great Festool Domino tool....  Boy heaven...!

Dominos drilled and loose fit..   This will be a very strong joint once glued up...  later.

Angle pieces cut...  but not for the foot piece...   I wanted to dry fit again and work out how long they should be...  I am still winging it here...  home made clamps holding it in place..


All done..  Domino'd and dry fit together...    I put the mattress on the top and wasn't happy...  the kick space I wanted was hardly noticeable...  So back to the drawing board..  I cut 100mm off the head board end... and adjusted the width of the other panels...  and re-domino'd it back together...

All done..  I put some dividers in the middle to cater for the different things I wanted to do with the space...  I haven't glued it all together yet as I figured I wanted to be able to build the frame and slats once the bed is in place.    and to do that I wanted to line the back of the truck first...   This job is always changing.. .  I worked out that before I can line the back I needed to at least put the strapping on the ceiling so I can put the lining against batons I need to glue it to...   So change of plans..

Deckhead Strapping...

Half a day just sitting and looking at this stage...  how the hell do I do this... and what with...  Then looking at my stash of timber and ply I see I had saved the floor that I had taked out and replaced...  Some of it had lead in it and too heavy to remain.. but the remainder of the floor was good 14mm ply which was perfect to be recycled to ceiling strapping.

First 3 boards up...  not very easy to do on my own but managing with props...

More than half way...  I went around the hatch...  I had not thought how I was going to finish the hatchway but now that I have done this I can see it is not going to be too difficult...   Props doing their work while I fasten the plank.


Strapping all done... or mostly done..  I have to work out now how to transition down the rear wall... I spent half the day today working it out but not making much progress...   Some days are just like that... Tomorrow is Christmas Day... Not that I do Christmas but I might take a day off for a self retreat.

Merry Christmas

Stay tuned

XC

Switchboard Refurb and 2nd Panel.. Dec 2015

Posted by XenaCommander on December 5, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Switchboard Refurbishment...

Rain kept me away from going under the truck and fixing the tank fitting...  so I decided to proceed with the switchboard upgrade...   I needed to add a second circuit board panel so pulled off the existing one and cut the spaces for the panel and other instruments I wanted on it...


I cut the spaces out with the oscillating saw...   they are amazing tools for this sort of work.  I want to put a white ply over the top of the backing...  and using that as a pattern worked perfectly....  I used one CB as a guide to hold it all in place.


Holes all cut...  A first fit... again using the Master Switch as a guide.. and an amp meter to hold it square.

Now the tedious part of wiring it all up...  at least the first panel for now...   Lights back on again.   I noticed I have a faulty temperature reading on the bottom of the tank monitor.   I will talk to Pierre at AA Solar and see what he can do as I need to go and see him for 2 circuit breakers for the solar panels.   I have already cut the holes.

A trip to Auckland to collect bits for the build... including a visit to Silverdale to see Pierre at AA Solar..   I got the circuit breakers I needed for the Solar Panels..  and he also gave me a replacement temperature sensor for the monitor...   I mounted them into the switchboard.


Looking good..  with the monitor on you can see it is 18 degrees C today...  Note the switch on the bottom of the monitor which switches the top monitor of fresh tanks...  47% showing in the left tank. Just throw the switch and see what is in the right tank.  I have a space for a remote monitor for the solar controller... yet to be purchased.

I cut the lining panel out for the doorway...  I decided to use coreflute to make a pattern as there were too many tricky angles... then jused the coreflute as a pattern...  after a few dry fits it seems good...   I put on a coat of undercoat before taking this pic.


Looks ok...  I will glue it on once I get more glue... I may put on a handrail so I put on a couple more nogs to attach it to..

Thats all for now...   More soon..

XC

Fitting the Fridge Space - Nov 2015

Posted by XenaCommander on November 25, 2015 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Fridge back in Fridge space...

Time to get the fridge back where it belongs...I wired the cooling fans to a switch on the same panel as the other two controls under the fridge.  Cleaned up the base the fridge stands on...  which is sloped back so the door will shut easier...
The hard part was to get the fridge in place to slide into the space..! 


TK and I managed it between us..  without damaging anything... or ourselves...
I picked up some perforated sheet from Monaghan Sheetmetal in Avondale..  Nice people...
I cut it to size and fixed it below and above the fridge.    Presto...  with the fans on full you can feel a breeze coming over the top..  Perfect..
Next i want to put the second circuit panel up and I also need to fix the base of the right hand side fresh water tank..  The ply has burnt away...  so I am fitting some fibrolite to reduce the risk of melting my tank..!

Stay tuned..

XC

Hang Doors and HWC Cupboard Nov 2015

Posted by XenaCommander on November 13, 2015 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Finally I managed to track down some piano hinges that would do the job...  Man they are expensive...  Probably cost more that the whole cost of the door....  times 3...!!!    oh well...


So I needed to set the doors up so I can get this hinge on the ends...   Jury rig a clamp and away we go... This hinge has 72 screws...!!!   I didn't put them all in this time...  as I will want to remove the door again to paint it... so I just did enough to hold it square and firm..


Copious amounts of test fitting...  measuring..   cutting a smidgeon off one end...  trying again... more cutting... wedging in place... then fitting the other hinge to hold the door on...    all done with two hands..!!!   sometimes it would be nice to have a helper... but managed it ok...   Looks good there...  now will it open..!! 


Seems to do the job..   opens with out sagging...   the beauty of piano hinges pays off...

Now I put in the jambs (sp) and the door surrounds... very fiddly but it makes it all look tidy...


Just like a bought one..  I needed to put a piece of wire on the door to hold it closed...


Closer look at the finish...  I am happy with that...

Fridge Space...

Now the door is done I need to think about door hardware...  how I keep it latched given it is a folded door..  I am thinking of using a magnet system...   More thought required...
So I wanted to work on something else...   The fridge space next door was calling to me as I want the fridge back in place...   So I decided to work on that..    I put batons on the external frames enough to glue a ply panel after putting more fibreglass batts I had lying around..  Figured the more insulation the better for that space...

I then want some extra fans to circulate the air behind the fridge so fabricated a frame for a couple of fans so I can screw them easily in place...


I love using the router..  I have had bad experiences with router years ago but this festool setup I have is very good...   I just ran some pine through the router and hey presto...   a slotted frame for fans..  Still to work out where they should be placed...   I also need to source some perforated sheet for a nice looking grille under and over the fridge..   Google is my friend..

Next I wanted to cover the Hot Water Cylinder space with doors...  I was just going to board it up but there is space next to the cylinder which would be good to keep shoes... so I fabricated removable doors...  the left hand side won't be moved much and I wanted the LPG detector and HWC switch to go on that side...


It took a while as I had to get them looking square even though the slot they sit in isn't exactly square...  I made them of ply with a pine edging...  I am getting good at doing that now...   easy with a router..   This is a dry fit with wedges holding everything in place... Now I need to put in the latches which I had just arrived on my door step from Nelson RV World...


Lots of measuring..  cutting...  test fitting...  and of course the catch is in the wrong place... Damn Murphy..  move them over 5 mm... and Done..


This side was a little easier fitting the catches as I learnt the measurements required when doing the first side... I shaved a piece off the side and it all looks pretty square..   Of course it all went out the window again when I drilled holes in the bottom for the studs that held it in place... so more puddling about with drill and ruler.. and fingers crossed...


All done..  Looks ok..  but will fine tune it a bit more when I tidy for painting..

Thats all for the fridge space..   I am going to wire those fans to a Parallel / Serial switch so I can have them on two power settings...   so need to get a DPDT switch...     I will also put some ply on the ceiling to make it tidy.

I ran the Solar panel wires from the room to the switch board..  It ran over the top of the fridge space so needed to get that done...

More thought required to work out next step..  I am taking friends motorhome back to Auckland this week so am planning to take trailer up and get another load of ply for lining and bed construction.

Stay tuned...

XC

Door Construction Oct 2015

Posted by XenaCommander on October 13, 2015 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Never having constructed a door before I had to give it some thought..   I could of course go to a door manufacturer and buy one off the shelf but the size for a stand  house door would not suit the truck..  So I thought I would have a go at building one.  
A simple frame with an inset of ply would be light and rigid...  I mocked up a practice one...

Hmm...  it should work in principal..  now I just need to upsize it.   The hardest part was to get straight timber again so off to ITM again and got some 4x2 and milled it down to 20mm..  and cut it the size I wanted...


It seems the only way to get straight timber is to mill it myself... 

The main door cut to size...  with the frame done I figured it will need some cross bracing to keep it reasonably rigid..    So I added 3 cross braces..   Using the Festool Domino system made things easy to get tight and secure.


Time for a dry fit...   It is slightly oversize..  which was planned... once it is finished I will cut to exact finish size.  Now to rebate the insets for the ply...    I love using a router now...

All rebated...  Now the messy job of glueing it together...   Once it was glued..  I cut out the extension door..


Extension cut and dry fit..  Tomorrow I will rebate and glue it up before heading north again...  Work is calling.
Mumble...    I need to buy some piano hinges...

A week or so later...

Back from trip to Gympie in QLD...  Time to continue with doors... this next bit was tricky...  I had to cut the ply exactly to size to fit in the rebate..  easy to say..  not so easy to do... but I cut the sheet slightly oversize then fit then trim..  then fit..  then trim.. then fit...  then trim.. until it fit..  of course nothing is exactly square even though it was intended to be... but Murphy doesn't allow exact right angles..!!!


Hey presto...!   They look pretty good...  a very slight bow is appearing in the large door but that will be easy to remove once I hinge them together...  ( I hope....!)

I still have to get piano hinges...  I am off to Taupo on Friday so will hopefully pick them up there...
In the mean time I am lining the frames around the fridge space with ply before installing the fridge for final time.


Very fiddly but looks better with them on... I have decided to line the outer wall of the fridge space and the ceiling..  I will leave the wall of the shower just in case I have plumbing issues...   I will panel the other side in the cupboard space and make a removable panel so I can get to the back of the fridge.

Stay tuned...
XC

August to October 2015 Update...

Posted by XenaCommander on October 6, 2015 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Tiling the Bathroom...

With the completion of the bathroom cabinet I wanted to tile the floor before installing it...  So I removed everything from the "huge" bathroom and made a start...   Talk about fiddly...   There is a hatch I needed to tile first...


Hmm a reasonable start...  Laying the first tile is always the trickiest part... I think I got it wrong by about 10mm... Oh well...  A skirting will cover that.

The decision to tile around the toilet...   or tile underneath the toilet...   I figure it would look nicer to tile under and have the toilet sit on the top of the tile..   As long as the toilet outlet would seal still.. I tested it with the vacuum and it sealed ok...  decision made.


Looking good... Pic taken from in the shower...    Now to fit the cabinet and plumb it in place...  This is now all done but I haven't got a pic..   Maybe I will take one and post it... 

Milling timber....

Now the bathroom is pretty much done I need to do all the fiddly job of framing the doorways... of which there are three in the area of 1 square metre...   I hate this part...   I tried a couple of times to buy straight dressed timber from big suppliers...  but they were pretty warped or bowed...   so I decided to invest in a Thicknesser and mill my own to the dimensions I wanted...


I even fabricated a through ramp to keep the timber flat...   It all worked out well...  I love working with power tools.

Framing and Lining...

Framed the toilet doorway...  and the inside of the kitchen frame...  Pics not easy to take..  too close... but I wanted to get the correct dimensions for the side frames so I thought it best to line the wall and have it in place to then frame flush with the outside.


The first wall lined...  and framing going on...  The hardest part was making the commitment to do it..!   But now it is done..  Bring it on.. 

Framing complete on the Kitchen side..   Next the Bedroom side...

A day lost yesterday because I washed my iPhone...!   so had to run around finding a place to potentially fix it and get a replacement..  Mumble.

Back into it today...


Left hand side done...   I glued the sheet down with staples around the edges where they will be covered up...  Clamps to hold it firmly in place.


The right hand side I decided to leave the doorway until I had got the side cuts done..  then drew the door cutout on the sheet while it was clamped in place...   Seemed to work better.


Right hand side glued and clamped late in the day..  The sun dropped low to get in the way of pic.

8 October Update

Clamps off and now time for more framing...  Its like doing a bloody jigsaw puzzle...   I ran out of milled timber the size I had chosen so I had to mill some more...  all good fun.


A view from the back towards the front showing shower & door framing...


A view from back toward toilet side...  I must tidy up those wires..   They are the controls for the ventilation fan.

A view from the front through to the back... Staple holes all filled and sanded...  Not sure I will paint it just yet...  Maybe leave till doors are finished.  I have covered the tiles with foam and cardboard to protect from my clumsiness... I have already broken one tile by dropping tools...  and had to replace it.

Thats it..   up to date...  Tomorrow I will figure out how to construct a door...
It is great to spend constructive time in the truck..   I will try and keep this up to date..

Stay tuned

XC

July Progress

Posted by XenaCommander on July 9, 2015 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Chasing a Leak...!

This month so far I have been concentrating on sealing a leak in the rear roof hatch..  I have been chasing this for ages but still had not worked out how to track it down..    A few weeks ago while I was meditating I had an idea to use the air compressor and soap bubbles..      When I first went to have a go at this trick I found that the aircompressor had a busted valve...   So a new one had to be acquired..

So earlier this month I rolled out the air hose and started the compressor... and got some sunlight liquid solution...  I knew the area where the water was likely coming in...  near the hinges of the hatch.  so I brushed all around the area with soapy solution and then got the air hose nozzle and burst air around the edges of the inner rim...

Hey Presto...!!!   I got bubbles in three different places..   ( I love it when something works...!!!)   So all I had to do was clean it all up..  dry it out and as I had a tube of grey Sikka left over I used that to seal where I saw the air bubbles coming through..   Now all I need to do was wait for it to dry out and test it.     I left it for the week with buckets in the usual place to see if any drips come through.

During the next week I knew it had been raining hard and was hoping when we got back down to Turangi and into the truck that the buckets would be dry....    No such luck...  one drip...!!!    So I flashed up the compressor and soapy water again and sure enough I had missed one spot with the Sikka..    So I have sealed it up again and this week we will find out if I have got it all...   It has even been snowing down there so I should have a good test.  Fingers crossed.    No pics though sorry...!!    Will update.

The rest of the time I have been sorting the workshop out..  I am sick of buying warped and twisted timber from major shops like Bunnings and Mitre 10 for lots of $$   so I have invested in a Thicknesser so I can guarantee good straight timber...    But I needed to get a good flat surface to put it on...


I fixed up the top planks of the table I have "borrowed" from the deck..   and put a sheet of MDF on the top.  You can see the Thicknesser on the Festool table at the back..  Also a dust extractor to remove the chips as they happen... I am looking forward to getting some good timber to work with now.   Note the covert pumpkin store that snuck in under the table...  They will go to make soup for the local food bank by TK.

more to come..

XC