Monthly Archives: December 2012



I cut the Pside cabinet doors today, bit of a challenge. I wanted enough material to hold it together. I cut off the bottom section flush to the top of the lower curve. Next I measured where the seam should be to make the height right. I added the width of the bottom section  to where the inner plate should be and cut it. Then I cut out the upper section in 2 cuts, sparks flying as I cut through the nails. It works, a bit of glue and some fillers, sanding will do.



Saturday is vardo day. I met Raven at Barnes & Noble (B&N), Starbucks coffee and checking out the books. We headed to ReStore (RS), good scores there. We found a bunch of cabinet doors that will do. They’re painted and some are not the right length, but the table saw and some glue should fix that. And more paint. Raven found some coving for the floor/cabinet connection, cheap enough and all on sale 25%.
Next stop Joanne’s Fabrics for needles and some heavy twine to sew the burlap coffee bags for the LP gas cover. A stop at TJ’s for some food and headed home for lunch served in the vardo on the new table and benches.
I found a couple scrap 30 degree pieces from the light cover hexagon extension I cut the other day. We experimented with the clamps and fasteners until it worked. Rave took that on with the real hexagon. It needed another side brace, I flipped the end vise on dad’s wood bench, helps.
Meanwhile I worked out measurements for the bench conversion, Raven had a good idea, if we add slats to the bench backs we can raise them to equal the difference of the table, a lot easier than cutting the table thinner, 3/8″ slats, 17″, six of them, plus 2 more 13″ long for the back leaf, 30 1/2″ x 13″. I still need to locate a piece for that, thought, could use the 30″ mahogany ply table stock we didn’t use and add a 1/4″ solid mahogany to each end, tomorrow.
Rave finished the lamp hexagon, I used a round file to allow the two screws clearance. I found a good length screw, we put it up, tacking and drilling one side, adjusting the angle, then secured the other side. Wow.
Raven worked on sanding the gas rack as I cut the pieces to make the bench slats. It works, the table and benches align to make a level surface. Raven tried it out, a full stretch, room to spare.
I set up the table saw and cut the next drawer face off to match the three set P side, sanded it even with the belt sander. Set up the saw to cut the new cabinet doors as the daylight dwindled. The cut will have to wait.


I actually got something done today, part of the benches. I attached the leg to the table first with the new RS $1 hinge, centered and 1″ from the edge. I drilled a partial hole in the floor and another in the leg bottom center, fitted a dowel in the floor, it works, though could use a longer peg.
I broke out the plywood for the bench tops as I have the siding numbers (1/4″). I set up the saw to the bench for wide cuts, 20″ seats and 18 3/4″ backs. Cut in half, we’ll laminate a 1/2″ edge to hide the plywood on the ends. It looks good.
You get to figure out how to cover the gas tanks with the new coffee bags. Stitch’n time.

12/23/2012 A pump!

So Raven’s Christmas/birthday presents got here Friday, just in time. I got up Saturday and headed for the Flying Goat coffee shop in HB to meet Rave as that place roasts coffee beans and may have some burlap bags for the LP gas canisters. The girl behind the counter said she needs the boss’ permission and gave us his card, I sent him an email, waiting. The coffee was good.
With a stop across the street to Shelton’s for lunch soup we headed for HD to pick up some good 1/4″ plywood for the cabinets. As I’ll be off work for the next 10 days I’ll get some done. Raven wanted the birch wood as that is Freija’s wood (Norse goddess of Friday), cost a little more, cool, 2 sheets, enough to start. It even fit in her truck though we had to duck driving home.
We unloaded and stashed the wood in the back of the garage. I handed Rave her presents, one for Christmas, one for her birthday (New Years Eve), crudely wrapped in the shipping box with a ribbon and bow. A new Flojet water pump and a 12 volt power supply to run it. I’m probably more excited than she is, but we need it and it’s her vardo, running water.
As I had cut some 1/4″ x 1/2″ trim stock, Raven worked on trimming out the windows with it. I worked on cutting some 1/4 round stock for the corners on the router table and table saw, gnarly. As I was running the table saw, the rain on the roof over powered the saw sound, wow, turns out it was hail, that loud.
Afterwards I cut the power supply wire and stripped it, wire nutted to the pump direct and turned it on, works good, a bit noisy but no water yet. I’ll need a switch and fuse but it works!
Rave called her Mom then headed home, a good day.
Today I went to town for the Christmas turkey, stopped by Garret’s for some hose (forgot the switch/fuse, oops). I put some water in the  5 gallon jug, attached the hose into the jug on the vardo door step (temporary block of wood) with the pump in the doorway pointing out and plugged it in. Wow, it works Good! It wasn’t full but emptied in less than a minute with plenty of pressure, just like home, 3 gallons a minute. What a great little pump, Ha. I tried to shut it down with my thumb but couldn’t, sprayed everywhere, a valve will turn it off. It’s a lot quieter with water in it. Perfect pump.
I trimmed a quarter round to fit in one corner, angled on top as the laundry finished, enough for today.


Did a bit on the vardo today. I went to town a little after noon, stopped by the Flying Goat coffee roasters, dang they close at noon, but saw a stack of burlap bags through the window, I’ll hit them up Saturday morning to cover the propane tanks. Headed for Garret’s and picked up a couple small barrel latches for the table, went home.
I cut up a piece of 1″x2″ stock with straight grain into 1/4″x1/2″ slats for Raven to use to cover the paneling joints, got 6 eight footers, should be enough. We still need to cut the quarter rounds later for the corners.
I found the table and measured the wall support thickness to the two vertical under table supports. A screw right where they need a cut, marked the lines with the small adjustable square and removed one support at a time, cut on the table saw and replaced them. Fits good, marked the peg hole locations and transferred the line to the back with the square. One inch from the edge to the hole center, transferred it and center punched the start. 3/8″ drill bit and carefully drilled it not to go through. Pulled the pegs from the other table blank and fit them in, tried it, good fit, perfect.
Opened the barrel latches and set them up on the saw horses, drilled, center punched and screwed so the latches are flush open with the lock slots down for gravity inside the vertical supports. Placed the table pegged, held up the barrels to slide and hit them with the hammer to mark center, that worked. Drilled them out with a bit to match the barrel slide. Test fit OK but tight, reamed it a bit with the drill, we’re good.
With the upright leg in place, the table won’t come loose from the wall when the barrels are engaged even if you lean on the outer corner.
I’ll pull a hinge from the boat stock to attach the leg, measured to center of the table close to the outer edge. We need to secure the leg to the floor, either with a peg and hole, FLASH, a thought.
A hole in the floor would collect crud, but a peg in the floor and a hole in the leg would not, much more sanitary. Also true with the table wall mounts, I’ll reverse them too (may need some thinking here as the table needs to fit to the bench). The other option was a couple floor brackets but a peg is so much easier, positive from the floor is cleanable, we’ll do that.

12/8/2012 floor

Another good vardo day. We met at the coffee shop and headed to Whole Foods for lunch stuff then Restore (RS) where I picked up a 3/8 roller and a long solid bamboo handle for the roller/broom. Next stop Home Depot (HD) for the floor. Raven picked out a tan and brown pattern 8’x12′, that and a quart of adhesive.
We headed home, moved the counter frames out and swept it with the new broom handle. Raven vacuumed it all out. Lunch of WF sandwiches. I measured the floor width, 5’8″, and cut the 8′ roll to 6′ with the jig saw around the tube. We unrolled it inside the vardo after removing the cellophane and tape, thin stuff, slightly fragile. We tried several methods to cut it, Dad’s sharp bosun’s knife, good, a pizza wheel, not accurate, oops (under hidden). Ultimately a straight edge held tight with a pen line and scissors worked best. It took awhile to get it fitted right.
We rolled the cut piece up and swept the whole place out with a small hand broom getting the trimmings out and every grain of sand in stocking feet. We unrolled it and refitted it right, sweeping it all again on top. Rolling back the front half I applied adhesive with a putty knife then rolled it out with the extended handle roller to an even consistency. We put the flooring down and rolled the back half up. As I started rolling more glue I had Rave go up front to unroll it so we wouldn’t have to cross the glue. That worked out well, I finished applying the glue with the roller as Raven unrolled it. We smeared it all down, popping the bubbles with a pin and working out the air. It worked out great as Warren had recommended, although one small piece of trim got stuck under it right in the middle. I wanted to cut it and get it out right away, Rave said no, leave it, we can’t cut it as it’s to be a food prep area, OK, one flaw to keep the Gods happy.
It looks good. We moved the cabinet frames back in and took some pictures. Wow!


Darin and I discussed ways to secure the table today. Sterling (and Warren) put in that RVs use a metal slot that you put the table in at an angle and it locks down. Darin and I think a couple barrel latches (like secure the doors together) plus the pegs into the wall support are the simplest way to go, with the latches on the inside of the lower vertical table timbers. I just went out and measured, there is an inch of clearance between the table timbers and the support beam, too much, we’ll turn the table around 180 as it’s closer on the other side and trim it to the correct distance, then add the small barrel latches drilled into the support. They’ll be out of sight and secure, simple.
Standing in there, it’s going to be a nice dwelling or business, comfortable.
Thought, let’s get the floor in one week, then 2 sheets of 1/4″ ply next to fit the benches in and still have enough for the counter fronts. If we use leftovers, we may be alright with just 2 sheets, maybe, maybe 3. Cabinet doors from RS could reduce a sheet. We’ll see what works.

12/2/2012 table

Another productive day on the vardo. Raven made Turkish coffee and we discussed how the table/bed should be. Raven made a list of things we’ll need to get it mostly done, flooring, cabinet plywood/doors, water heater, pump and plumbing. We headed to town window shopping for prices. We didn’t buy anything but have a good idea of what it will cost and where to get it. The pump and heater will be best had online, PEX plumbing, cabinet plywood and flooring at HD, cabinet doors at RS. The forecast called for more rain so we put off the flooring until it’s clear.
We got home and had chicken stew I made last night, really good. Turns out it didn’t rain, good as the river is full to the bank. I cut a couple thin panels to fit the ends of the cabinets with left over panel stock.
We worked on the table, discussing the height decided on 30 inches so large people will fit with the additional cushions. Rave checked the codes as I cut a piece of 2x stock to 30″ (table width) and beveled one edge on the table saw, screwed it to the wall using an old pic to locate the studs at 29 1/4″ high to allow for table thickness. I found some 3/8 doweling and drilled holes in the wall support and 30×30 mahogany table I cut yesterday to match the bench location. I measured the oak banister we’ll be using for a table pedestal 1 1/2″ above the turning to allow for a hinge and cut it slow on the band saw. I measured the required 29 1/4 length and cut that square on the saw, using the roller support sideways both times.
We fit the table in, it works, though we’ll need a hook or stop of some sort to keep the table down at the wall. Rave tried sitting down, difficult to get in at 30″. We have another table top found out back, 26 1/2 x 30 1/2, tried that one instead, it fits just fine, easy to get in. We’ll go with that one. I’ll need to drill new peg holes and add hooks or stops, hinge the pedestal to it. A nice table.
We’ll make the benches when we get some 1/4″ ply for the sides then cut the 3/4 ply top to fit hinged for storage.
In bed mode, the table will lower to fit on the edge of the benches on top with the peg holes to secure. We’ll add a leaf to fill the front section (between the wall and table, stowed in the bench), secured by the bench backs laid flat. The mattress will be split as cushions and back rests. The pedestal will hinge back, either resting at an angle or secured up. It works.


Well I got a few things done on the vardo today. As the door was swelled shut from all this rain I sanded and chiseled the frame, it opens now. It may be loose in the summer but OK as the stop will catch it. I pulled out a piece of mahogany 3/4 ply from the boat stock, squared it and cut a 30 x 30 piece for the table, then sanded the edges with the belt sander. It needs to be routered with a round cove bit. The router is in the table, we’ll get it later. I wanted to cut the bench tops, but we need to attach the sides with 1/4 ply first to get an accurate measure.
I’m thinking to secure the table with a pedestal made of that oak banister and secured to the wall with a horizontal plank and pegs. I pulled up the old pic of the first sleep in the vardo, shows the wall studs. We can secure to that. Up or down bunk needs to be discussed.
I stopped by Luis’. he didn’t weld the counter as the test piece he tried burned through as it’s too thin. We’ll use calk instead.
More to do tomorrow.