Monthly Archives: April 2012


We got a lot done today. You got to sleep in the vardo for the first time. Tasty breakfast of eggs, onions and garden flavors. I ripped frames for the door, you helped cut them to length and put them up. The battens got cut and installed on the back door wall. Good lunch of soup and cheese rolls. You went out back and pulled more boards off the stack, de-nailed while I worked on the door.
I needed to cut the doors to fit so I used the work bench as a table to the saw. I attached a clamp to the leg of the bench to hold the saw in place with a 1/2″ piece of plywood clamped to the bench side to keep it from moving. The heights were different so I used a piece of 3/4 ply left over from the floor on the table, a little too high, found a cut piece of 3x the right thickness to match it. I screwed a short scrap of 2×3 to the end to keep it in place on the saw as I pushed it through. I needed a fence on the far side, laid the door up to the blade all the way up and square. I found a long 2×3, laid it along the door on the plywood square to the bench edge but in a bit, marked it and clamped the free ply end. I raised the far end and clamped it to the mark, moved the door, turned it over. I screwed the 1×3 to the ply from the bottom and sunk the 2 screws flush, good fence with the ply parallel to the bench edge. A really big table saw, cool. I moved the ply/fence in a kerf (width of the blade) cut, clamped the free end, drilled and sunk a screw into the bench on the far end. Took the cut with the door hard against the 2×3 fence, clean. Readjusted the ply/fence to the correct final width, still parallel to the bench with another separate screw hole (outside the fence) and re-clamp on the free side. Took the cut. I carried it out to fit it in the jamb, a little more. Reset the ply/fence on the original screw hole, free end clamped, took the cut, it fits, excellent. Repeated the process on the upper door. I needed to trim the top to fit, took the measurement, set the ply/fence parallel to the bench with an 1/8″ of clearance for swell and cut it, perfect fit.
I wedged it in place about the time you showed up. Looks good, we took pictures. I took it down and you put up the frame and battens as we cut them to fit.
Next we’ll need hinges. I need to cut a piece of scrap to match the door frame to mount the hinges to the door and transfer the holes to the real frame. We’ll need to chisel out the frame, gently as it’s thin, to fit the hinge. Add a latch to attach the 2 doors together and a handle/deadbolt. Should be good, a door. Lots done.



So we need to pick up some tanks Saturday, check the salvage yard so we’ll need to take your truck. See what they have, something will fit. They have a lot of plastic barrels from olive cans to 55s, we’ll make it work. We could hit up the RS on the way for fittings and maybe a nice overhead light if they have one. The salvage yard has a lot of plumbing parts, but full price, maybe we should check RS first. I’ll need another $2 box of 1″ finish nails for the door, Harry has them at the Mercantile. Need some seeds for the garden there too. Hinges, time for them, check all. I’ll finish the outside door panel, caulk it, cut the door down to fit. I’ll need your help on that to draw the lines, maybe fit it first, lighter that way. And we need more wood from out back, a bunch to build the interior. I’ll help you pull it off the pile, you get the nails out while I get the door cut, sound OK? Haul it up on your roof rack? A flexible plan.

4/22/12 earthday


I glued down the inside door panels today, tacked with finish nails. Need another box of nails to finish the outside, they’re cheap, couple bucks. We still have a partial tube of caulk, may be enough to finish the door, have boat caulk too, it’ll work ++. I checked the size to the door frame, I’ll need to cut a 1/4″, 1/8 each side plus a tinny bit for clearance. The drive side has a bit of curve down low, need to sand that out with the belt. May be worth removing the jam again to get it straight so the hinge works correctly. Trim it with the multi-tool. We put the 2 GFIs in yesterday and took out some excess wood on the inside lower door, researched the health codes. Egads.


So I left work at 4 (8 hrs) and made it to the post office in time. WE HAVE A SINK!!! It’s really nice, measures as stated in the add. I opened the big light box and slit the plastic wrap in one basin enough to check on the drains. All very nice, three drains with strainer plugs and a rubber sink stopper too. Maybe I should take one to work to ask how to set it up, eh we can google it but I’ll ask. We’ll need 2 elbows and a tee to fit the 3 sink drains together, then one S trap, plus the threaded fittings (?) to the drains. Actually, thinking, we’ll need 2 tees and 2 elbows to tie in the hand sink, unless we need a separate tank for the hand sink (?). Did you get the specs yet?
The faucet is still in it’s box, installation instructions inside, we can figure that out, although thinking we should install that first after cutting the sink hole so we have room for wrenches. I do have a wrench for after but it’ll be much easier before the sink goes in. Mind you, this is after we build the sink counter. I held it up to the window, looks good, it’ll fit perfect.
So what needs doing Saturday, recap from last night. I need to get the lower door done, cut out some excess wood to lighten it up, glue and screw it with caulk to allow for the weather. We could meet in town to get the GFIs and hinges at RS. ‘I don’t want to leave early although I may be able to head down and back for them, let you know tomorrow eve, check email. (delete)’ The GFIs need to have the grounds tied to the following circuits as they measure ground current, 2 grounds, before and after. (may have already said that, edit) We’ll need more wood from out back, no nails. We also need to wire the last circuit to side of the door with the dimmer. Another GFI preferred there. Kenny said the florescence may die out on the dimmer unless we get a dimmable  florescent but if we attach an incandescent with it it’ll dim after the florescent dies out. We’ll see. So we need a few more ceiling light fixtures and boxes, cheap at RS. You’ll need to be there to pick them out.
So you’ll do more electrics ( I’ll help guide) and get more wood for the cabinetry frames (stay away from the wavy connectors, they bite) while I work the door and help you. It’s a plan, flexible.


Good days work, we got a lot done. Most of the electric is in including the main box and 30 amp in wire. I still need to wire the switch and plug near the door, also the two GFI plugs, but we have four sockets fully installed. The door is pretty much all filled and sanded, although I need to finish assembling the lower door, it’s still not glued and screwed. Those holes will need filling and sanding. I checked the two florescent lights, the one with a plug works fine. I moved the other bulb over, it’s good too. I opened up the cut cord one, easy fix with a dollar store extension cord, one solder and a twist tie (in it), we’ll tie a knot inside for strain relief, simple.
Thoughts on the table/bed, it might be good to have a leaf on the table so its half size but full length benches. That way, when you’re working you have a full counter space for the drain board and serving side with the bench backs up. In tarot mode you put the bench backs down, small table, wide benches so you can get in around the sink and serving side. In bed mode the bench backs come up, pull the whole table out on a doubled slide attached to the front wall and insert the leaf between the wall and table. The table could be a little bigger than the leaf, but we need to allow enough room to fit a (large) human to sit between the counters.
Looking into Formica for the counters, it’d be good to find the raw stuff, not laminated yet, everybody has the laminate on particle board, rather use the plywood, more research required.
So plumbing is next, with the new sink coming in this week. We got a great deal on that, a 3 basin for a $100, legal. Thoughts, can we do with just 5 gal of water? (check the code when you get it) If so, we could just buy a 5 gal supply tank and a 7 gal grey water tank (15%+) for less than $25 each at West Marine. Stash the 7 gal grey under the sink (secured). Else we need to spend more for the grey tank. I’ll try to swing by the boat yard tomorrow for better deals.


Yea, we got a 3 basin sink. Did you look at the details? ~10x12x6″ each basin with faucet and drains, we’re on the road to legal. They shipped it today free shipping. Probably get here Monday or some time next week (14-21st), cool!
So yes, we need to proceed with the electrical install and no we don’t need any more stuff this week that I know of. Well we may need some calk to get the door finished but I think we have that here somewhere in the boat supplies or one of the taped open tubes, we’re good. Hinges may be soon, but they have them at the Mercantile.
After we get the electric installed we’ll work on the plumbing (new sinks). I talked to Darin about it this evening. He mentioned some new fangled plastic tubing with expensive connectors to mate with the normally copper ($$) hot water lines. We’ll look into that.



So I talked to Kenny today, he said we could legally use the switch connectors to attach both wires to allow the wiring in series. I was concerned about that. So we won’t need so many twist ties, but the ones we have will be useful for the lights. Also, I asked Greg and Bob what side the plug should be on, both said the driver side as that’s the way they set up the RV parks. Also, Greg said he has a door on the driver side of his RV with the cord in it that goes across to the other side where his fuse box is. We could rig it that way with the main under the floor, Kenny suggested using a grey PVC (electric is grey, semiconductive) pipe to shield it from road flack. We won’t need the expensive plug if we do it that way. We can just cut a square hole aft driver side and a small door boxed in under the hand sink to stash the cord. Two elbows on the grey pipe to bring the cable up from under the floor to the breaker panel. Also, we can use the breakers we have, just don’t hook up the big amp ones. As long as you are only drawing less than forty, it’s OK.. He said the breakers only connect to the black power lines from the main to the black hot lines then return to the white neutrals, also, if you’re using 220 volts, join the 2 in lines so if the breaker throws, they both shut off. Not sure about the setup on that but could figure it out. We shouldn’t need that, just FYI. Also we need to ground all the metal boxes so if there is a loose wire it doesn’t hold a charge, circuit breaker blows. There should be a threaded hole in the boxes to attach the ground lead, we’ll need the appropriate screws to fit that or tie them to the stud screws, but it needs to be grounded. That’s important. So the parts we have should be enough to do most of the electric, a grey plastic tube and 2 elbows from RS, build a small outside door and cabinet, we have that, just a cheap tube to go under the floor, done deal. We have the electric circuit supplies. Plumbing is next.


 I got some stuff done today. I got the breaker box dismantled, we’ll need two new breakers as the box is rated to 40 amps and the breakers in it are 75 amps, a bit much. The cable is a trailer cable rated at 30 amps, plenty for our needs. I’ll need a few feet of it to get to the external plug. We also need to get an external female plug that installs in the wall, probably the kind with a spring cover and a male mate to attach to the rest of the cable.
I also went after the doors, mostly putty and sanding with the belt sander. I learned a new thing, simple really, but on the screws that weren’t sunk I put the screw driver in and hit it with a hammer as I turned them in beneath the surface. That way the putty covers them, cool. So it’s taking a few coats to fill them all in. I also sanded the beveled slats with the belt sander first, then hand sanded them sort of smooth. They shrank a lot, lost a quarter inch total. Oh well, more putty, actually we should use some flexible hardening caulk so it can swell when it gets wet again. It’ll be fine as latex paint bends too. I puttied all the slats to fill the dings and nail holes and both sides of the doors, they still need a final sanding. I’ll need to finish the lower door assembly next week as it’s still not secure.



today we made some serious electrical shopping, first at ReStore, then Home Depot…purchased a whole box of boxes, faceplates and electrical sockets, plus some sink fixtures for under $20 and scored a couple over the sink/counter lights for free.  ReStore is a sweet deal!  HD, on the other hand, wasn’t so thrifty, but necessary romex 12/2 wiring was purchased, as well as wire caps and staples for the wiring.  got home and installed the boxes, a little tricky sideways screw-in action, but complete.  prior to installing the actual wires, i needed to punch out the bottom pre-punched hole in the bottom of all the boxes (wow, didn’t realize how handy that is), all it took was a mighty hammer tap on a punch instrument lined up with the circle.  so now they’re prepped.  we have two boxes along each side wall flanking the sides of the windows, a light fixture over where the bed/table will be, and a switch/socket at the door, passenger side.  we have yet to decide how to install the two outdoor vintage lights on the outside rear wall.  dan worked on gathering free wood from a wood pile out back and ripping this wood for embellishments on the door.  next we lay down the electrical wire and staple it in!

wall boxes installed