XenaCommanders Place

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Truck Blog

Christmas Hols 2010 - Week 1 - Hatches Go In

Posted by XenaCommander on December 21, 2010 at 1:50 AM

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.


Categories: Motorhome Building, General

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