Monthly Archives: September 2012


So I installed the tank mount today. I removed the front wall paneling first and measured the distance for the 2 lower bolt holes, divided it to center and drilled small pilot holes from inside through the floor plate center using the long bit. One hole came through a bit lower, oh well. I left the bit through and measured outside then the bit, about 3 inches. It came through higher than I thought, the two side extensions need to be 2″ longer. I cut new ones, curved the tops and screwed them in, plus the raised bottom cross braces. I drilled them through from inside, but the cross braces fell out with the short screws, put in long ones and it worked. I drilled inside 3/4″ deep with a 7/8″ spade bit (should have used a 1″, washer size, but don’t have one) down the pilot hole, then drilled the 3/8″ bolt hole. I went up to the corner Mercantile store and bought six 3 1/2″ bolts, locks and nuts. I secured the bottom two, marked the upper holes and pilot drilled them from outside, drilled the inside 3/4″ deep with a 7/8″ spade and drilled the 3/8″ bolt holes. It fits with a nudge, cool. Set the bolts with a nut.
The small piece of plywood we’ve been using as a temporary bench slat is the right size, I found the canning lid is the right diameter, marked it and cut 2 radius curves with the band saw. Removed the metal and drilled four holes, two on the press, two by hand, found the right size wood screws in the birthday bins, piloted them and screwed it down from beneath (loose upside down is easy). I fit it all back on the bolts, added the lock washers, nuts and wrenched it down, perfect. I put in the tanks, measured the upper cross brace location and screwed them in. The tanks fit right, solid.
Problem, just checked it out, no way around it, I’ll need to raise the tank mount 4″ so the trailer jack has enough clearance, must be done. A reprieve on the insulation, which also must be done, but not this weekend. I’ll cut the rest of the table panels tomorrow too in preparation. At least I can get it straighter next time.



We got a lot done, you finishing the paint outside and shopping, RS for cheap panel nails and HD. It’s looking good. I worked on the propane tank rack, an iron project, hot sharp bends with my torch, the gentle curves with my knee. Two tanks and a new auto flip dual regulator. We’ll need a couple more hoses to fit the tanks but the inside is ready for it. I need to mount the tank support before we put the inside walls up. Most are cut and we bought insulation today.  Not looking forward to that, itchy stuff, break out the Tyvec suit, mask and gloves. I finished bending the last piece for the LP frame after you left and drilled all the holes in the iron, including the screw holes to hold them together while they get welded. I saw Luis at the store, he said a torch weld will be fine, I can do that here, found a coat hanger in the closet, good rod. I need to dig out some screws and nuts, countersink the flat screw heads inside and weld it up. We’ll need some strong braces inside to support the tanks and a 3/4 ply base to support the tanks outside. It’ll be fine.

So I screwed and welded it up, cut some bracing stock to hold it in level. It lines up with the window frames inside so it’ll be strong. I’ll need to counter flat the nuts inside so the wall panel fits flush. Something more for Raven to paint.


Well we got quite a bit done today. You went around touching up the burgundy paint, finished the front window except the inside, we’ll need to remove the screen and still not get it all. You also detailed the burgundy on the door. It really looks good.
We tacked up the slats to cover the gap in the fascia and roof ply. I only had eight finish nails, four in each, we’ll need to add more when we get some. We need more for the inner paneling anyway.
Speaking on that, I cut the the panels for behind the cabinets from the old flats I had in the garage, fiber board stuff, tricky as I had to cut out the wheel wells, holes for the plug, gas valve and electric main out. I finished both sides before you had to leave.
After you left I cut the upper paneling between the back door wall and windows. I also cut the panels above the windows. I used the paneling we got for free but turned it sideways so the lines are horizontal.
The P side was a little short and D side a little long so I used the D side leftover to fit the P side, it works. I tried to cut the P side above the window full length to the front with a down panel, L cut. Somehow it didn’t work out as the piece came in low forward, we can cover it with a cove board across the top between the ceiling and walls, needs it anyway. It’ll be a strange angle cut piece to fit the wall to ceiling angle with a hollow round cut on the table saw at an angle, hard to explain but it’ll work. Make an even curve wall to ceiling, take a lot of scrap cuts to get it right, it’ll be cool.


Well, another productive day. I started with that old loft frame we pulled out. I pulled all the screws from the bottom but couldn’t get at the side ones as they’re plugged. Pulled out the really big sledge hammer and they came right off, BANG. The plywood is really good stuff, not warped and very aged, I slept on it more than 20 years ago. It was a ships berth, pirate booty. It’s 3/4 plywood 4’x6+’, perfect for the bench tops, backs and table leaf. The real table top we’ll make from ChrisCraft mahogany plywood, I checked it out, there’s enough, more pirate booty.
I finished fitting the back door wall as the glue was dried. It didn’t fit quite right so I chiseled away some of the thin ply backing, still not right, turns out there is a peted loose screw I’ll need to grind down, be fine. I want to add a backing board behind the  wall panel where it meets the counter top to keep if flat. I cut a bit more around the electric so it’d fit, it’s good. The top fits now, but will be hidden with a ceiling.
After that I measured and cut a piece for the stove counter from the 2’x4’x3/4″ I’ve been saving as we have enough 3/4s now. I also cut the hand sink counter. That one doesn’t quite fit, it’s cut square, but that vardo corner or the frame isn’t. It’ll be alright once we add the panels and 3/4 round coves.
I added a couple pieces of 1×2 to the main sink frame next to the stove double screwed each side. As the 2.5 screws were too long, I screwed one (marked beneath), then the other with the short big box screws, it works. I cut out the chunk for the stove gas clearance, it fits. I added panel sides and finish nailed them in, with a 1″ diameter cutout to fit the gas line. It fits perfect but the stove won’t come out once the main sink counter is in. I may need to cut a bigger notch in the panel so we can remove the stove if need be, or put in small screws instead of finish nails so it’ll come out. I cut a 5 1/2″ shelf behind the stove, added a 1×3 cut in half to each side to hold it up, works good.The D side counters are in, awaiting metal, sinks and cabinets.
I had a thought, it would be cool to put the fresh water tank beneath the hand wash sink, it just fits if we move the electric cord in back or on the side vertically. The sink drain just clears it. If we add a hinge or just some 1xs to fit the sink counter so it lifts to pull the tank, it’d be cool. We’d still need a pump but it would reduce the head distance (less wear on the pump) and we could have a simple hand pump back up for hand wash. It would keep the fresh supply tank clean, not underneath. We’d plumb it to fill from outside, use those gate valves. It’d use up quite a bit of under sink storage but it would be nice and clean. We can use the side port to fill it and the top plug to tap it in deep. It’s a thought, but it’d work.


Well, we got a lot done today. You painted second coats of black trim, even finished the trim around the inside door window. It looks great.
I worked on laying out and cutting the front and back wall panels.
The front wall (nearest the truck) went in OK, though they all needed a bit of trimming to fit right, to be expected as I’m working with measurements and the parts aren’t square, the walls slope 3″ on each side. But it’s cut and ready to go in after we get some insulation in.
The first cut on the back (door D side) wall got messed up on top as I missed the outer measurement by 3″, oops, I cut another piece from the original stock (glued it up after you left with backing stock but room for the nailer beam). If we put in a ceiling it’ll be hidden anyway. I made the correction on the other side and cut it, fits well enough. The fuse box isn’t straight as it’s near the slope wall, so I had to fudge cut it in. I’m planning on framing those two switch panels with mahogany anyway so it will disappear. I cut an additional piece for above the door, square cut first, the notch for the ridge pole, then scribed an arc with the trammel point and cut it, slight trim on the D side and it fits right. A good day.



Regarding the sink counter stainless fabrication:  Once the drawing is complete I’ll get together with Rob to discuss it. I’m hoping he can cut and punch it and get the one back radius bend (I hope his roller is long enough), then I can get the 3 sides bent square upstairs on the brake, square is easier. I don’t know how much work it would be to cut out the main sink, if he just punched the corners I can cut it.

I just checked the radius of the corners, pretty cool, open the door, turn the outer lights on, go in and turn on the table light. It’s a 1″ radius on the sink corners so anything smaller will do to square, we’ll use the same radius as the faucet holes.

Just had a thought, I’m not sure if the faucet holes have enough clearance for the nuts that hold them down, but if I clamp a scrap piece of 1×2 to the back frame, I can use a hole saw to cut a radius, that works. With the additional extension behind the frame to keep it square with the sloped wall it’s plenty strong. A bit confusing to explain in words, but it’ll be fine. Guess I’ll have to take a picture when I do it.


As it’s dark now getting home, I turned on the vardo lights, just took a pic,  looks cool.
I turned the gas pipe supply to the stove in flush with the wall to tighten the connection and to aim the flex hose toward the stove connection. I’m thinking to cut the paneling there for an access port in case you need to change the hose or just get at the gas lines, a screwed panel cover to the studs, simple. It would also give inspection access. We’ll cut a ‘D’ hole in front where the flex hose comes out of the wall and up to the stove.
We need to build the gas tanks bracket for up front above the hitch tongue. I’m thinking 1/8″ flat stock iron, bent to fit 2 tanks on top with two flat vertical straps formed to hold them up, with a center flat upright to hold them in. May need another lower horizontal strap. Bolted and or welded. Bend flats and drill to hold it to the wall. Salvage yard stuff.
With the regulators, that should complete the gas system, less the hot water heater, TBD.
It’s coming together. As you finish painting out side we can install the panels, I’ll cut them, you nail them up with finish nails (ring shanks?) and a nail set punch (lightly).
Plenty to do.


 So I did some more on the vardo today, lets see, I moved the sink/table e-plug down beneath the sink. At first it was too high, behind the sinks, so I lowered it some again, should be good now, rewired and functioning. I checked out the stove, thought it better if the gas in line bent 90 degrees down, went to town and bought an elbow plus the 1/2″ to 5/16″ hose barbs (1/2″ to 1/4″, then 1/4″ to 5/16″) qty 2 to connect the black pipe to the gas tank out front and to the stove. I put in 2 supports for the stove shelf, just screwed them in to the hand sink and main sink uprights, all one connected and simple. If you want them removable I can add a couple wooden ‘L’ braces underneath attached to the legs. Once the shelf is attached to the supports we can remove the screws and it will be removable.
I need to know where you want the stove located, up front with a raised level shelf behind it or in back with a lower shelf in front. I need to know where as I will need to cut a slot for the gas line in the sink support, adding additional stock behind to maintain the support. Knowing you, you’ll want to look before you decide. The stove is sitting on a temporary partial shelf.
Up front, it’s right there with a nice shelf level behind (wasted space beneath). The over hood will need to be out further and the metal shielding will be complicated to build, most difficult if it’s stainless. Benefit is it’s away from the wall with above storage behind, also takes bigger pans if you clear the storage behind.
In back, one shelf with room up front for storage. Simple, easy to build, smaller over hood, much easier metal construction, less wasted space beneath. Closer to the wall will need insulation behind the metal wall covering (I have kiln insulation), less room for big pots.
It would be a whole lot easier to build with aluminum, I can cut and bend it and it costs less, $35 to $12, not to mention beer bribes or actually paying for the work outside depending.
I did a little work on the screen for the service window, just chiseled out the last end  grooves for the screen. I need to cut some small pieces for the extra cut outs to glue in, then wood putty a lot to fill the gaps. It fits OK, it’ll be good. I need to pick up a cloths line at the $ store to pack the screen in. The piece of screen I got at Sally’s won’t be big enough for two, we’ll need a bit more.  See you Sunday.