Monthly Archives: August 2012



Well we got some work done today. Raven painted more trim black and detailed the door, it’s looking good though much will need another coat.  I worked on installing the back lights, one works, the other needs to be rewired as the motion or dark sensor isn’t working. I’ll wire them direct and just use the inside switch to turn them on, simple, but I’ll need to take them down again. Looks good.

I fitted the inside end walls with 1×2 stock in the corners, cut and fitted some redwood scrap Joe gave me above so we’ll have something to secure the end wall panels to. We need to cover the upper side edge of the roof (facia?) with something so I ripped a long 2x I have from an old boat trailer for parts. We’ll need to pull the nails on the passenger side to fit it.

We talked about a porch, I pulled out another piece from Joe, 2×10?, and set it on the folding stools to see, could work. Maybe bolted or hinged with chains or angled wood to hold it up, chains would be stronger.


Thought, a long all thread drilled through the wood or piped over would work well as we could adjust the tension and double nut it below. Bend it above with torch heat to fit square through the wall but angled out close to the outer edge of the plank, a triangle, strong. We’ll need to add a backing horizontal 2x plank inside secured to the studs. That would work well and be adjustable for the right angle tension.

As Rave had the door shut for painting, I worked on a new window frame for a screen window for the serving window. It gets really hot in there and the wasps try to get in, needs a screen.  Tongue and grooved the ends square on the table saw with the jig I made, fits. I’ll need to cut a groove around to pack the screen I got from Sally’s in with a cord to hold it in, clothes line should do, silk screening technique.

A good day, Rave’s off to see a movie, the new Dark Knight, as I write this.



Thoughts on the drain ramp over the stove using the left over SS foot we have: We add a couple ~3/16″ ID SS tubes to the sink counter (stove side), could just use small U-bolts into the wood instead of welding. Get a long SS rod that fits it and bend it into a square U with down angles to fit into the tubes running the the rod close to the outside edge of the ramp. Use sheet clamps like on the stove ( flat ~1/2″ left over stock with a curve to fit the rod with a flat and hole) and secure it with a nut and round head Philips bolt on top, maybe 5, two on each side, one (or two) across the far end. So the ramp is long enough to fit into the first sink edge (note: soap sink nearest the stove for several reasons) at a slight angle to drain for the dirty dishes. Could add small neoprene and steel washers to the through bolts. Bend  the ramp edges up to drain. That works.


I met Raven 15 minutes early at Barnes & Nobles for coffee and we headed for the salvage yard. We picked up a ball valve for the gas line for $6, they’re $15 at Ace, good deal. They also had new stainless steel sheets 2’x4′ for $35, perfect, we bought one for the sink counter and detachable drainboard planned. I also picked up a router bit and tap for $5 and change, all good deals. We also stopped at the Restore where I found a good drill for $5 and the Home Depot for 3 – 4×8 sheets of luan paneling at $10 each.
Raven painted the door wall trim in black as I worked on the service counter. I got the cupboard frames in and modified some boat drawers to work, taking off the face boards with the table saw as they were damaged and shortened them to fit at 12″. We’ll put new face plates on when we know what they’ll look like. As Rave headed home, I finished cutting the drawer lower cross brace and cut rabbit joints to fit it flush. I’ll secure it tomorrow. A good vardo day.


So where we going to meet? I’m thinking it would be cool to pick up more pickle stuff at the FM, get some work done while it’s cool, then go shopping. Mind we’re low on materials, but I should have enough to frame the stove shelf and prep frame for cabinetry. Just looked, have 3 and 1/2 – 8 footers, could pick up a few more by then. Plus paneling and some 3/4 counter stock, plenty to work on.
Question: Is the stove counter a separate entity or connected? Thought, connect it to the hand basin, save 2 legs but add 2 legs so the main sink is totally removable as per spec. Dilemma, the stove gas line needs to pass into the sink area, not sure how to resolve that, maybe an elbow on the gas line, but still, hmm. Looking, I’ll need to tear the stove gas line all down to see, not tonight. May fit or a backed covered notch in the sink side panel could work, with 1/4 rounds for cleaning. Doable, and the backing would keep the sink frame strong. We’ll need a gas elbow, plywood and metal.



Inside framing and a makeshift table

Raven’s painting the batten’s black, first coat, looking good, half done.

A close up view, the window will be black framed with burgundy inside to the glass/screen, that’s the plan, we’ll see. Too bad we didn’t get a shot of the back door, it’s looking good, but it’s too dark now for pictures. Ready for the out door lamps to go in, that’ll look good. Next week.


I talked to Darin today about cabinets and counters. Counters are usually 3/4″, 5/8 minimum. The sides are usually 1/2, though with the frames I’ve built we could go to a 1/4″(Darin), probably better with 3/16 (me). The stove sides if you choose the oven should be 1/2 at least or add support 1x2s (my thoughts, not Darin’s). He said the front face is usually 3/4 (let’s go to 5/8 there for weight). The back can be rabbeted in or left off. Use biscuit joints, dowels, special angled screws or mortise and tenon. The first 3 need a jig, the last (M&T) is tricky but doable. I’ll look into the jigs. Another way is to glue and nail the face boards to the frame. We’ll figure it out. I should add some flat 1x2s to secure the counters down from the inside.
Stainless can be difficult to drill according to my friend Mike as it work hardens as you drill it. He said get a nail set and re-cut it with square angles. When the drill won’t go, hit it with the punch to give the bit something to grab into beneath the work hardened surface, good tip.


Well I got quite a bit done today on the vardo. I finished installing the P side counter frame, that took some doing. I had to adjust the lengths of the fridge frame as it was too short to the wheel well, added another longer piece, had to pull the fridge to get the right numbers. Also lowered the fridge to door timber an 1/8″ to square it up. It was necessary to screw the fridge counter down as it needs the wall for support where the legs are cut so the fridge will fit. Before I could do that I had to attach the long wall support to the back of the fridge frame and balance it all as I put it back in.  3 screws hold it for now, maybe more after the walls are in. The long service counter  went in OK although I had to cut another piece from the well lower wall forward, bad number crunching, oh well. I screwed the long upper wall support down to keep it in place. Under the forward side wall I cut a 3/8″ raise in the cross brace to correct last weeks oops. It’s fairly square now.
I cut the pieces for the benches but ran out of lumber for the long parts. I assembled one bench frame less the lower supports to get an idea of how it will look, looks good. We’ll need 3 more 1x2s to finish both benches, plus more for cabinetry and the table. Maybe a dozen, but I’d like to pick them for straight, $10 cheap at HD, I’ll pick them up this week after work. So the bench frames are 39″ L x 19″ D x 16 1/2″ H, they’ll get a little bigger with the ply facing. I’d like to hinge the top for access storage.
Last thing I did was cut a 45 to fit between the fridge and service counters, perfect after a little nudging into place with the table saw, screwed it in. Looks good.

Passenger counter frame

Bench frame (still needs supports)

Little black stove, needs new knobs


I got home this evening to find a package on my door step, the new 3.5K shocks are here, cool. They’re 4 ply but thick stiff plys, not very springy and that’s good. I opened the hanger box, 2 wide brackets, 2 narrow, plus 4 swing brackets to take up the movement, six bolts and nuts. Hefty metal, nice and the brackets have 2 holes each so we can bolt them to the frame strong. They’re big 5/8″ holes, it’ll be tough to drill 8 holes that big in the frame upside down, we’ll need to pilot drill them small then the big holes. I’ll need to get a bit with a reduction to fit the 3/8 drill and not at HF, this needs to be good steel. As I need a drill anyway, I should get one with a key instead of a hand tight model so it holds tight. Reminds me, the battery for the hand drill is way done, unplugged.
The springs aren’t as long as the old ones, I think 25″ instead of 36″, so plenty of room to fit them with good metal. I’ll need to leave the forward old bracket in place as we used it to tie a cross brace. The aft one we could just put in bolts to keep the metal strong or just leave the old bracket. As the new springs only have one swing arm way, we’ll need to locate them carefully as they’ll shift the axle that way on a bump, don’t want to hit the wells. And they have to be true fore and aft. I may need to trim the wells for clearance, good thing the fenders aren’t in yet.