Friday, November 4, 2016

Forget the wall, we're gonna build a bed.

And it will be the cushiest bed ever to be installed in Annie. That I can tell you...bigly.
Any bed needs well defined borders. Otherwise, it ceases to be a bed, and just becomes a collection of lazy stuffed cushions. It also needs to be framed with good old American support. But the frame itself can be from China.

So we started off following the suggestions of folks who have used Harbor Freight 'cycle/ATV ramps as the bed frame, which will be proudly supported on the walls of the American made Transit.

The plan is to support the frame on some angle bracket bolted to the walls
Test measuring:

The frame itself is just a bit short. The frame's tailgate brackets are a bit long. What to do? What to do?

I decided to make some inserts that would fit in the frame and extend out the right length.
Something like these:
 OK, exactly like those. But with mounting holes to bolt to the angle bracket.

And placed the the frame with VHB tape and pop rivets.

I'm using 2 " aluminum angle bracket (1/8" thick stock) sandwiched between the wall coroplast and the wall. I'm using the existing coropalst mounting holes, but stuffing them with 1/4-20 jack nuts.

Drilled out the holes in the channel, and bolted it up.

I need the frame to be 74" from front to rear. Each ATV ramp comes as 3 hinged sections. 74" works out to 5 sections, or approximately 1.6666666666666666666667 ramp assemblies. I removed one ramp section by having it watch this election cycle on TV, until it became partly unhinged. (I used the left over section in the test measurement photo.)

The ramps now fit on the support channels, so I drill out the channel, and bolt them together. Using 1'4-20 bolts and nylocks.

The frame is installed.
As you can see, the label on the frame reminded me that I had to ramp up our efforts by adding support slats for the mattress. We will want to provide adequate air flow to the mattress bottom, since a camper is a small enclosed, often humid environment.

I cut 2" wide slats from a sheet of 1/2" ACX ply, sanded and varnished them. Then I pre-drilled them to screw into the frame

Busy screwing up:

Using 1/4" thick cedar strips and 3M 90 on the remaining exposed frame members. That gets all the slats at a common height.

Frame is done:

It's time to make our bed so we can lay in it.
We got a 7" memory foam mattress. It comes very squashed.

But the head of the aesthetics committee quickly determines that it will be an excellent embedded firmware/software solution.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Simply Adoorable

The doors of the bathless bath are built and installed.
There are 2 doors, each approximately 1 foot wide and just under 6 feet tall. The height of the door frame and doors is set by Annie's roof slope over the cab.
The frames are box jointed, and covered with maple ply as the outside wall and birch ply as the inside wall.

Internally, they have 2 center crossbars, one at 36" up and the other at 42". These will act as reinforcement points for things like towel bars (or possibly towel pubs for English or Celtic themed towels).
I forgot to take pics of the crossbars.

The doors are edge-banded on the verticals, and hung with piano hinges. Thus the doors could also be used in piano bars.

The doors are "latched" in the closed position by magnets. I mounted 2 strong magnets in the top of the door-frame, each at 2" in from the frame's centerline.

I had hoped that these magnets would hold onto the doors with just fender washers in the doors, but the hold was way too weak.

I ended up routing a slot in the door. and mounting 3" bar magnets. No pics of them.

Hanging a falsely accused door, and testing the magnetic latching.

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Here are some pics of the finished doors.
From the outside:

And from the inside:

Friday, September 2, 2016

We're gonna build a wall

It'll be the greatest wall ever. We're gonna build it to keep those nasty drivers out of the bathless bath...and we're gonna pay for it!!! Trust me.

In fact, we're so great, we've already built it.

We made sure the studly frame members would appeal to our base by boxing (box jointing) them into it.

We continued to frame some innocent, legal 1x2 strips. We put them under a lot of pressure, but they didn't break:

Test fitting:

We cut the the bath side wall panel to match the ceiling curve and accommodate the styrofoam airbag actuator. This wall is maple.
We then glued the panel to the frame, and screwed the frame to the floor and ceiling, making sure that the door opening spacing was right.

Added the door header. 
There will be 2 12" wide doors. They will mount with piano hinges to the instrument wall and the driver wall. The current plan is to build them with very strong magnets in the frames that will hold the doors in position when closed

We cut the driver side wall panel to size, and screwed that to the frame. No glue on this side because it would be difficult to properly apply the glue and then clamp the panel. This wall is birch bead-board.

 Views with the door header installed:

Now to build the doors. Hopefully, they will be absolutely adoorable.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Overhead? No, over sink

We built and installed the overhead compartment (minus door).
The frame is made from 1"x.5" maple strips.
I made 3 axis box joints for each corner.

We also made wall coverings for above the window, above the cabinet frame, and for the hollow floor in the cabinet.
The floor is hollow because we are mounting a surface mounted over-sink light on the cabinet bottom.

It's still way to early for drinking, but all those pieces are really getting shellacked.

Got it all mounted up:

The door still needs to be built. It will swing down on a piano hinge, and have magnetic latches to keep it closed.

A better view of the panels above the window"

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sinking to new lows

It's been a while since the last post. We've been building the half bath's sink and cabinet, and enjoying getting interrupted by spending almost a couple of weeks trying to get the old stuck clutch out of my motorcycle.

Anyways, here's what we've gotten up to in Building Annie.

We took the panel previewed at the end of the last post, and mounted it:

Then we built a windowsill. First leveled out the sloped sidewall with a ripped 2x4. Glued and screwed to the frame.

Then made and mounted the maple sill.

We found a nice piece of melamine covered counter at a recycled building supply. Cut it to length. Dry fitting it:

It leaves a bunch of space behind the fridge. We decided that we could use it for a storage compartment, without screwing up adequate ventilation for the fridge compressor.
Starting to fit pieces of this jigsaw:

With the curvy window frame and van wall, nothing was straight. It took an excessive amount of time to cut and build up the odd shaped box walls.
We made dato'd corner trim pieces, and glued stuff together.

I was getting really frustrated with the slow progress, and was beginning to not give a hoot.
Fortunately we have a friendly neighbor who did give the hoot I so desperately needed.

With courage restored, I finished up the compartment. Eventually I'll be putting shelves in there.

Next, we built the rear wall of the area under the sink/counter.
An important goal here is to allow everything to be disassembled if we ever need to remove the furnace. Since it sits under a weight bearing support for the fridge (necessary to minimize wasted space), it's not possible to pull the furnace straight out like the manual suggests. Instead, we'd have to remove it via the bathroom.

Then we built a cover for the furnace and the cabinet's kick panel.
The cabinet will have sliding doors.

We cut the holes in the counter for the sink and faucet.

We had a piece of material left after cutting the counter down to size. So, after mounting the sink, we turned that remnant into a sliding shelf. We also incorporated the upper glide for the cabinet doors

The shelf has a push/push magnetic latch and some foam weather stripping to keep it from rattling around.

Made a cabinet shelf:

And installed the counter.
The counter shelf is closed:

And is open.

Reinstalled the throne:

Finally, the chairperson of the aesthetics committee checked out and approved the new chair.

Next up, we will put a small overhead cabinet over the counter, build the wall behind the driver's seat, and build the bathroom doors.