Monthly Archives: October 2012

10/27/2012 sink

I did a few things on the Vardo today, not the ceiling yet as I wanted to get the sink in place. I trimmed the back of the wood counter to get it to fit right, had to move it over right so trimmed the left side, took a few cuts to get it right but it fits. The sheet metal was still an 1/8″ away from the window sill so I took that off the front on the band saw, perfect fit. It leaves a short ledge up front for the cabinet, we can either get 1/4″ plywood or I can trim a bit off the back spacer, maybe both.
I drilled the side of the wood counter for the gas line by clamping a scrap piece to the counter and used the 1″ hole saw and a chisel. It still wasn’t deep enough so I used a rotary rasp on the drill to round it deeper.
I raised the stove counter 9/16″ and trimmed the side panels to match, reattaching the back stove counter supports. I increased the depth of the gas line cut out on the side panel to clear the nipple. It’s still going to be hard to get the stove out as it’s tight. Thinking toggles under the sink counter so the sink stays put, but release the toggles so you can get the stove out if need be. The stove is high enough now not to burn the counters.
The extra support on the sink frame where the stove comes in was too wide, interfering with the sink so I trimmed it down to 1/2″ on the table saw, good now.
I marked the faucet holes and sink cutout to the metal, found the 7/8″ hole centers with a ruler and drilled them mostly through, flipped it and finished the bore on the other side to prevent splintering. I did the same close to a corner of the sink cutout to start the cut with the jig saw, cut it out, and fitted it to the vardo. I fit the faucet in, good fit but the back frame interfered with the faucet nuts. Clamped a couple scraps to that and 2″ hole sawed a relief into the frames, chiseled them out. I’ll still need to hole saw another smaller relief for the water supply nuts. The back spacer is good enough for additional support there.
I secured the faucet and unwrapped the sink, fit it in the hole. unwrapped the drains and fit them in, it looks good. Just temporary as we need to glue down the metal counter, putty the drains, secure the faucets after cutting the reliefs, glue and caulk the sink in. But it looks good.

10/21/2012 panels

Vardo day, Raven called from Home Depot on her way back from Sacramento. Get one roll of insulation and 2 sheets of luan paneling for the ceiling, and some lettuce.
She showed up as I was putting more of Dad’s found finish nails in the fascia board. I explained how I planned to put the ceiling panels up flat on top with the curved edges, but she said no, she wants to keep the arch all the way up. That’s a tough challenge as I’ll need to cut each panel arch individually with a cutout for the cross braces, maintaining an overlap on the beams so we can nail it. Plus we’ll need to add 1×2 stock on the cross braces so we can nail the arch. We can use the sliding square to gauge the 1x2s. We’ll also need more blocks on the end walls to hold the arch and that’s blind as panels cover it. It’ll take a lot of figuring. A couple hours flat or several days, damn. I went out to the garden. The ceiling will wait. Let’s get the paneling in.
We suited up in bunny suits, masks and goggles. The end panel edge screws I bought were breaking off, not going well. Lets leave them off, use molding to secure it. I searched for the bigger screws, found them hidden behind the panels in the vardo, put a few in to secure it as they’ll be covered by the corner molding. I tacked up the panels in the order they were cut, turns out he side panels hold the end edges in place nicely. Raven secured them down with more nails.
We took a break for Gyro lunch, was better with lettuce, then finished the rest of the paneling. Raven vacuumed it out as I figured how to make the arches work. It’ll take some time. I moved the counter frames back in as it may rain tomorrow.
The new stainless sink counter wood will need trimming to account for the panels, it’ll be perfect. I saw Luis at the corner store, he’ll pick up some stainless welding rod to secure the corners.
Ultimately a good day, though frustrating in places. Good gyros though, and the wall paneling is in.

10/19/2012 new tank etc

So today I went in early, called Tim on my cell phone in the parking lot and picked up a new LP gas tank 3/4 full, $45 worth for free, Thank you Tim! He said “Good luck on your project”, indeed. It even has a quick connect, that will be a challenge getting off so it’ll mate to the new regulator hose, I’ll get it with a vice grip left thread. Nice tank with OPD, easy to exchange. I stopped at KFC for lunch and hit OSH again. They didn’t have the right roof goop but they did have 3M 77 adhesive, bought a can, we’re good for the new counter and all of them as it’s a big can.
Talked to Darin some, we can use a clamp after its lightly stuck using the work bench with the metal down to secure it in place. Thinking maybe a towel on the clean bench too so it doesn’t scratch. We’ll need to get Luis to weld the corners first, trim the plywood to fit and round the ply corners on the drum sander, metal corners too. Comet should clean it up fine, that’s what people use to clean sinks, anything finer would be overkill. We could use fine sandpaper on the corners after welding first. I still need to cut the holes for the faucet and sink, should do that before we glue it to avoid any scratches, and we should get the counter frame installed before that to make sure everything fits tight. Panels next, fit the cabinet frame, check the fit, trim the extra 1/8 inch off with the band saw, cut the gas line notch and move the stove up, grind any clearance needed after welding, sand and polish, cut the holes. Then glue it down. A lot of preparation, such a beautiful counter, lets get it right.
Then we add the faucet first, plumbed to the shut off valves, then the sink gets installed with drains attached. Plumbing will be a challenge indeed.



I talked to Darin about the counter, he recommended 3M 77 spray contact adhesive to stick it down. He suggested we line it up with sticks under it (me, we can use the sink cut out area), and pull the sticks to lower it gradually into place. We won’t need to glue the edges, though thinking some calk there would be good as it settles down to seal it, wipe it off flush. Thinking I can sand a slight bevel on the bottom of the plywood as its a bit shy on the metal bend, really close but it’ll be fine. Also, where I was concerned about the stove back counter block and side panel, that’s not an issue as the SS counter will be above that and no problem. Does that make sense? The counter sits above the frame so no interference. I may need to trim that back stove shelf to account for the extra metal, lets see how it fits. Here’s a pic of it in the garage, nice.


I forgot to mention, we can use the adhesive on all the other counter tops too, Formica or steel, just need to keep the nozzle clean.


Hey, very cool! Rob called me today just after I got to work, wanting to know if it was OK to lower the gas line hole in the counter as it would mess up the bend, I said sure. Half hour later he called, it’s done! I met him halfway by the cafeteria, it’s perfect. We have a stainless kitchen sink counter! It’s in the garage, beautiful. He brought up the scrap too, brought up the sink cut out (11 1/2″ x 30) and a long piece 3″ x 37 1/2″.
We could use the 3″ stuff behind the sink on the window, it’s not the 6″ code, the big panel should be good for the drain board over the stove, also not quite to code, 1/2″ shy, but we could move it back a half inch. BTW the scrap is not de-burred, still sharp, careful.
The counter is perfect, the gas hole is 1/8″ lower but I haven’t set the stove height yet and can always sand it deeper with a rotary drum on the Fordom easy. I’ll need to trim the plywood an 1/8th” off the front, I knew that, I’ll use the band saw, and round the edges with the lapidary drum sander. We should probably get Luis to MIG weld the two front corners to seal it, they’re tiny, an inch and a half total. We can smooth and polish any burn marks out, that’s easy too.
Of course I still need to cut out the plywood for the sink, drill the holes for the faucet, its just wood. I’m excited, we have the perfect sink counter, Wow!



Well we got quit a bit done today. Raven  arrived as I was waking up late,(swing shift does that), with coffee, cool. She worked on the paint details as I removed the service counter uprights from below as the counter is loose and cut the additional lower rabbet grooves 6″ up for the cabinet doors. I cut the horizontal to fit from new stock using the upper one as a guide and screwed the uprights back in, I’ll get the horizontals attached later. We did lunch, provolone sandwiches with tomato and stuff, tasty.

Time to suit up for insulation, bags on our feet taped,  full bunny suits with hoods, masks and chem goggles (no holes) over that (hood first, then the face gear). Gloves masking taped and sleeves taped over that. The masking tape wasn’t enough, duct tape, a bit of extra tape on the forehead and collar, sealed tight. The bunny suits breath better than the slicker last week, much cooler but still hot.

The vinyl gloves didn’t like the duct tape, tore out, put on another pair. I took measurements and cut the insulation on a door blank as Raven stapled and duct taped it in. I had two tape measures one inside, one out, but kept forgetting to leave the one in.  Got all the walls done, ceiling needs more, another roll of insulation and 2 sheets of paneling, next week.

We started installing the paneling, oh no, the front center needs an upright below the window and a couple horizontals by the door to keep it flush with the counters. I cut them on the table saw and installed them as Raven tacked up panels.  The front panel corners were difficult to install as the slats I added were short on screws, kept flexing with the hammer blows but went in eventually.  Getting way hot and uncomfortable in the suits. Time to quit.

The walls are insulated, ceiling next, more panel to cut for that and finish installing the wall panels. It’ll be tight, warm and cool.


Vardo day, I cleared everything out of the inside, vacuumed it all out, no spiders or webs, spotless (ish). Raven bought more black paint and worked on the stuff still needing it, fascias and infinite detailing.
I donned baggies on my feet, Tyvec suit, respirator, safety glasses, gloves and a slicker with the hood up, taped everything tight. Proceeded to install paper backed fiber glass insulation, two and a half rolls, until I ran out of staples. I finished the major big sections, just need to add strips where the wider sections are and do the ceiling next week. I’ll need more staples and a bunch of duct tape.
When I pealed off the suit my shirt was totally drenched in sweat. I should have wrung it out just to see. I hit the shower after chugging a Pepsi. Then had some cantaloupe melon with Rave, yum. Enough for a day.



So on Sunday I raised the tanks 4 1/2 ” to clear the trailer jack, plugged the holes with dowels, good, it works. I also cut the panels where the table/bed will be, had enough to cover it all the way down, though the last 11″ on the D side is vertical but won’t be seen behind the bench.

I made a bracket tonight at work for the regulator to fit over the center batten. It’s a little crude as the second bends out wouldn’t fit the brake, did them in the vice with a couple crescent wrenches to make the bend, that works. Checked it when I got home, it fits OK, with 2 holes to secure the regulator and 4 more to tie it to the wall. The screws that came with it are pan head, not flat, may dig for some or put a couple shallow holes in the batten but it’ll work. The gas system is nearly done as the hoses came in last night, though we’ll need a ball valve from the salvage yard for the water heater but can use a cap for now. Besides, that’s plumbing, yet to do.