As I am running a three day major championship for the RS dinghy Classes at the end of this week I will not be able to get really anything done until the end of next week so check back in a week or so

Sunday 18th October - Back to work on the van

Seems like ages since I worked on the van but really only three weekends with nothing to show.  Heavily involved in two big sailing events and now Race Officer for our Icebreaker Dinghy event every Sunday afternoon have taken a toll on the amount of work done on the van.  But progress again being made.

SWMBO varnished up the hob unit and the Hob and Fridge are now installed and am pleased with the outcome.  Work on the Sink unit has taken more time than I thought - why did I design so many doors and drawers?  Fitting took a long time.  Now with SWMBO for varnishing and will probably get to fit it next weekend including the sink and water containers etc.

Glad to get that job done as (as usual) I over designed it and therefore made it harder to build.

Finally getting started on the bed/seat units but, as no longer have Sunday afternoons free because of the Icebreaker Series, work may slow up slightly.  Did get the first frame made, minus the hinged lids and the covering panels and picture is of a test fit over the wheelarch.

Sunday 25th October - Grinding

Built the second seat/bed unit for the nearside (forgot to take picture) - so it is ready for the varnish treatment by SWMBO.  

She had been varnishing the sink unit and all the drawer fronts and so on as I finished them.  I wasn’t very happy with the build finish. The original idea was to make the doors on a thin softwood frame with the thin ply covering and hardwood edge trim pieces as I had done with the cupboards above the cab.  Then realised that I really needed them to be as thin as possible so decided to use 9mm ply with a hardwood edge trim.  

Was not happy with the cut edges of the ply as the veneer splintered badly but decide just to thole it - its only a campervan not a piece of show furniture.  The last straw was when I lifted off the masking tape, from where I had drilled the hole for the push button catch, and the veneer came with it.  

After a few expletives and a stop for beer and to watch the rugby I came up with a plan.  None of the doors or drawer fronts were great so I sanded them down with the orbital sander - took off the whole very thin veneer layer to expose the second layer which was very blond.


Sunday 1st November 2015 - Starting the Bulkhead

Starting to come together as a campervan.  SWMBO finished varnishing the second kitchen unit for the sink and water bottles and it is now in the van minus the drawers and cupboard doors.  Have to fit the catches on to these and discovered a small problem.  As I had taken about 2mm off the front of these because of the veneer problem I now have to make up 2mm shims for the back so that the catches sit correctly.  Bollox!

Got the two bed/seat units finished including the three lids each side - off to SWMBO for varnishing.  But just before they came out of the van, I got the measurements all done for the rear bulkhead.  Behind this bulkhead will be a ‘Garage’ area for all the junk I carry around with me for Race Management plus a wet locker for my sailing gear plus the throne - a Porta Potti!

Saturday was spent building the frame for the bulkhead and the central opening door.  Also made a cardboard pattern for the slightly curved bits where the bulkhead meets the side panels.  What a palaver?  I know van panels aren’t straight but this caused me more hassle than it should.  

Van Build Pages Links:
Getting Started Insulation & Flooring
Windows & more Insulation
Solar, Final Panelling & Carpeting

Finishing the Fittings and Cupboards
Infills and stuff
DVLA Photos
Sticky Hints

Wiring Diagram
Starting Furniture and Fittings
More Furniture, Start Bulkhead

Converting a Transit Van into a Stealth Camper capable of carrying all my Race Management Kit


Will now start the build of the other bed unit which is a little more complicated as there is a protruding pillar beside the side door.  Nothing we can’t sort but will probably not get to that job until next weekend.

Two coats of Mahogany Wood Dye and we have what I consider an acceptable finish - its not the same as the main unit but the slight contrast does no harm at all.

Got the frames built and the near side panels cut out and glued on one side of the bulkhead frame.  I have no space and not enough clamps to do both sides at once so this will take the week to glue up.

SWMBO has been busy and, apart from the varnishing, has started to make the cushions for the bed/seats - looking good so far!

Next Installment