Monthly Archives: May 2012


We’ll need a gallon of finish, good for two coats. I’ll pick up a 3″ brush at HF, decent grade, as it will paint faster, you have to keep your good brushes clean, good tools. The ones you bought will be great for windows and door work. We’ll need tape and news paper to cover the windows tight. The door still needs a bit of putty fill work and minor sanding. We’ll pull the hardware off to paint it, easy, and paint or patina the hardware same time.
So you’ll work on the painting while I cut the framing for the interior. The outside is done, ready for paint. I’ll need to keep the saw dust away, but primer is forgiving with sand paper. The finish cuts should be done in the garage if possible to keep the finish coats clean.
Maybe we could pick up some more $1 1x2s (or 2x2s, but could laminate 1xs for straight strength) at HD for framing the interior as we’ll need strong stock with no big knots. I’ll need to figure out the measurements first, sketch it, drawers and all. A bundle or 2 should cover it
The last outdoor and overhead lights wiring need to go in and the switch near the door. The plumbing is the big head scratcher, we’ll get it. Tanks hosed and secured below, a pump and tubes to code, definitely a challenge. BTW the gas lines need to have teflon tape (have some) installed in all the threads to seal it, just a reminder.  Much to do, in time.

exterior wood complete!


today i purchased primer paint and brushes, excited about starting to paint, but one last touch needed to be done…the final battens along the top ridge of the door’s wall.  this meant measuring, cutting and sanding wood, caulking the ridge seals and drilling/screwing the battens in–which pretty much took all the time i had for the day.   next week for painting…Image


On paint, $23 should buy a gallon, Ace has a Royal interior exterior tintable primer for $22. We need the interior exterior stuff and tintable means they can color it, that’s good for our needs, although that’s a lot of burgundy inside and out. As it’s primer, we can cover it with different shades. I don’t know what the tinting costs, you’ll have to ask. We’ll still need exterior grade finish paint to go on top. Yea, they make primer/finish paint, but this is new wood, first coat, we want a primer to soak in and seal it up, rough cut, flat finish primer. Something we can add putty to, once we can see the flaws, sand a bit, make it right. Then put a finish coat on it, that other stuff is for already done once, this is first time. You might thin it a bit on the first coat, probably with water (latex), just a little so it soaks in, then another coat full strength a half hour later. If you like you can test it on a scrap piece, plenty of them. Find a coffee can to mix it down, another to clean your brush (on the back garage porch, rinse them first).
On brushes, I have a really cheap 2″ and several 1″ chip brushes (also cheap), looking on HD (better search engine than Ace) they have a decent 2 brush set for $8, an angled 2″ and a flat 3″ (you need a decent 3″ brush and a 2′ angle for trim work), looks pretty good, something like that. You have to wash them each time, and rap them on a post (left garage corner works) to loosen the paint, then wash and rap them again, 3 times minimum, then wrap them up in a paper towel a bit tighter on the bristle tips to keep their shape as they dry clean. A brush is a good tool, to be taken care of to make the good finish. I bought a bunch of paper towels today, use them.



It’s a nice door! Needs paint to cover the putty fills, and a bit more putty sands, but dang, nice door. What color are you going to paint it? It’ll be good. Darin suggested a shim to bring the upper door up a bit, attached to the lower door hinge side. We can try that, though it may change the fit, experiment with it. Once you finish the arch the exterior will be done, except for gas and water tank hardware. Remind me, the gas line needs to be sealed with Teflon tape, we need a shorter nipple fitting.and a tee for the water heater plus additional lines to fit it . Part of the interior, next. We’ll need to finish the out side lights to finish the electric and mount a small door for the plug on the driver side, covering the cable across below. Thoughts on the water tanks, baking soda may neutralize the smell of Dr Pepper, I’ll get a box. We’ll need some strong straps to hold them up, 120 lbs each. Thinking get some heavier gauge metal stock with a bend and a bolt to release them for cleaning maybe. We’ll see.

5/20/12 Door in


Hey we have a door!

We did a good job today. The door is in place. It opens and closes, it locks solid.
We installed the door together, I held it up while you screwed in the hinges. The lower door needed some major trimming so I set up the bench/saw, had to move the 2×4 fence twice (should have cut the width first). It fit after re-chiseling the hinge flats, we attached the upper door, close fit, I sanded it with the block sander by hand as the belt sander blew a belt, need to get more of them.
After you left I sanded the fit some more and added the hardware. I drilled holes for the latches to fit into the jamb, had to chisel the upper lock a bit to fit, it’s good. I chiseled out the stop flats curved into the frame and filed a curve for the knob latch. The deadbolt doesn’t need a curve, so i chiseled it in, it works. The lower door has a screw pin to lock it from the inside, problem, if you lock it and close the door from outside you can’t get in without crawling through the window, may disable that. The main upper key lock works great, but we’ll need another handle to pull it shut inside, just a simple D handle, cheap. The barrel latch is in place to keep the two doors together, works, but needs a wack or filing to line up better, just a little.
I made a door stop for the upper door, angle matched with the bevel gauge and attached to the arch rafter, cut on the band saw. Works well, thinking to add a hook to secure it open.
We have a secure door. The two keys both work, same cut, cool, no need yet for another one. Once the arch is finished the exterior is done with wood, still need gas and water tank harnesses, plus an electric line door, but the woodwork outside is pretty much complete. On to the interior.



No other plans this weekend. This could be better. I can get the door finished Saturday, caulk the other sides, drill the lock above. Much easier on the bench. I need to chisel the flats for the latches too, also easier on the bench. Get it all ready. Then we can hang it together Sunday morning as I’ll need your help to hang it. Perfect. I’ll leave the latch hardware off until after it’s hung, though may test fit it on the bench. We may need to take it back down for trimming to fit right, don’t know. In which case the chiseling will need redoing, hope it fits the first time, we’ll see. Light trimming on the latch side, better to trim more on the hinge as the latches depend on the hole tolerances. Let’s just hope it fits, should.


Saturday morning a royal home grown feast. Then a quick half hour door hanging and you’re off. To where ever. Sound like a plan? We can open the door and see where the lights should go, I’ll hook them up and wire them later, finish the electric and more door work.
Quick glance at the archives, next week you’ll be finishing the arch and painting out side, good fun. 1-2-3 primer, tinted would be good. It’d be cool to start paint on the front hitch end so it looks good driving by. We need to repaint the hitch too, get the rust off, I have good rust stop formula left from the boat, we’ll use that later. Onward to the interior.

5/13/12 Mothers Day


No work on the vardo today other than the window film research, though I did soak the lock in lacquer thinner over night, whew, strong stuff. I put it in a tupperware bowl and sealed that in a baggie outside. I pulled out the outer cone this morning, tried scrubbing it with a plastic brillo sponge, it dissolved the brillo, blue on my fingers. The thinner crinkled the plastic coating enough that I could scrape it off with my nails. I soaked it in vinegar all day, that didn’t work except a small ring around the top that was exposed to air turned a little green. I just suspended it over the vinegar on chopsticks with the stainless cover over it, seems to be working, couple finger prints so I washed it with soap and put it back after another dip. All this is experimental, I have stronger methods available, nitric acid and copper sulfate is supposed to work, I have both here (A to W, as in acid to water (like a to z), never add water to acid as it boils and explodes, not good). Liver of sulfur works too, much darker, but I’d need to order that. Good fun, chemistry. Can always buff it off and try another method.


So I did a bit on the door, sanded the lower outer plate lap flush, taped it up and calked it. That stuff does dry fast, nice really (capped to keep it). Taped the upper inner door window cove and calked it too with gloves on, nice round cove, easy to clean. Stripped the tape off immediately on both. Got a little feathering on the lower seams but not bad. Once it’s painted it’ll be fine. The hinges are chiseled into the doors and attached (did that first). Finish off by drilling the door knob holes in the lower door with the jig, it’ll fit.
I still need to chisel in the bolt flat and drill the deadbolt in the upper door, chisel that one too, calk the other sides. I’ll hang the doors before I attach the hardware, but may pre-fit them to see. Also will need to drill and chisel in the jamb catches, finish it off with the barrel latch to secure the 2 doors together. We may need another barrel latch to secure the upper door to the roof fascia while it’s open, maybe add a 2x stop, angle cut to accept it. That should finish the door.


Of course I’ll work on it, I want to get the door done. Maybe not as hard as you’re not  here, but it’s the project. Finish the front panel, calk it, cut in the hinge flats and knobs, hang it. May need to trim it again on the bench/saw to be sure of adequate clearance, but not too much, just a smidge for swelling. Or maybe just sand it smooth instead.
For you, the arch battens, more out back wood(?), buy a cheap bucket of latex outdoor primer paint, a cheap wide brush and paint it. Stay away from the plastic windows, masking tape and newspaper them as we can’t scrape them. Peal them clean when your done, don’t leave masking tape on in this heat. That should keep you busy. If they have primer in red, that would be easier to cover later than white. That’ll be fun, you get to make it pretty outside next. While we start finishing the inside, cabinetry, fun for me, well, after the plumbing, that’s a challenge. We’ll get’er done.