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Old 02-18-2010, 12:15 PM   #91
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Re: Hal The Van

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Originally Posted by WVvan
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Thanks Blkjak,
Haven't we met somewhere else?
http://www.ford-forums.com/ford-econoline/ LOL
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:28 PM   #92
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Re: Hal The Van

This was my basic idea. Of course it needs supports through the middle, especially below the hinge. Although the seat sides sit on the box edges, I think for people in the middle you want more support through the middle.

The gist is that a hinged seat is held in place by blocks inside the front of the seat, and when you lift these blocks can go over the underseat box and the whole thing stretches out into a platform, with the red blocks now outside the box. The seat an back are not attached to the seat box in any way, but sit on top of it in one of the two positions.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:42 PM   #93
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Re: Hal The Van

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Try to remember to have adequate ventilation when using contact cement. The fumes can have consequences.
That's good to know because Carl (the Evil Floating Brain) keeps telling me about voices he's hearing but I don't hear them. Must be the fumes. I was afraid this project was making one of us go crazy.

On to the sofa-bed design.
Since you guys kindly showed me your designs it guess it would be rude for me not to show you mine so here goes. I'm not an engineer so my terminology might be all wrong. Hopefully it makes sense.



The sofa-bed will sit length wise in the van and when extended into a bed, what I'll call the "open" position, there won't be much room between it and the cabinets on the other side. That means that trying to open and close it would be a pain, especially in the lower back, so I decided to go with a powered design.
I'll be using an electric actuator to open and close it. Probably this one with the 18" stroke. Won't need the full 18" but that can be adjusted with an exterior limit switch.


The main problem I'm trying to overcome is that I want the left edge of the bed as close to the wall as possible when in the open position which leaves more room to the right of the sofa-bed.. That's so I can still walk through the van with the bed fully open. I might have to turn sides wise and shuffle to get around it but passage won't be entirely blocked. This turns out to be harder than I originally thought.

Here's the main parts of the design. It uses what I call an "escapement" because it reminds me of one. The yellow squares are the foam padding. The two long blue rectangles I'll call the "back board" and the "seat board" since that's the position they will be in when the sofa-bed is in the sofa, or "closed", position. These two boards are attached with a hinge where they meet. In this diagram the escapement is in it's "rest" position beneath the back board. On the seat board is a "cam" that lines up with the escapement. The escapement is attached to the side of the sofa-bed only at the pivot point.


In this diagram the electric actuator has been energized and the sofa-bed has just started going from the open to the closed position. Actuator, not shown, has pulled the seat board to the left. This causes two different actions. It also pulls the back board to the left but at the same time it pulls the cam into contact with the escapement. This causes the left edge of the escapement to raise pushing the back board upward. Notice the escapements pivot point isn't at the center point but offset to give a leverage "height advantage" so one inch down on the right end of the escapement gives more than an inch rise on the left end


Since the escapement is putting pressure on both the back and seat boards I need a way for the seat board to stay down so only the back board will rise. To hold the seat board down I have it running in a track on each side of the sofa-bed made from metal angle. The edge of the seat board is reinforced with metal u-channel.


As the seat board is pulled to the left the escapement has reached the flat spot on the cam. At this point the escapement has raised the back board to a position where it is now in contact with the "back plane" on the board's left edge. This is actually a ridge that's attached to the sides of the sofa-bed frame.


The upward motion of the back board is now caused by it moving up the back plane as the seat board is pulled to the left. Escapement starts to drop away.


Sofa-bed fully closed. Escapement has returned to a rest position. Because of the "height advantage" the pivot point afforded the cam is able to fit inside the escapement space.


I know of two problem with this design.
1.)The ridges that make up the "back plane" must be large enough to support the back but allow the foam pad to squeeze past them as it rises. I might have to provide extra support using the van wall.
2.)The "height advantage" also means a 2:1 mechanical advantage against the cam. I don't know what kind of weight will be pressing against the cam from the back board and the foam pad but with this leverage setup it will be doubled. I might have to have two escapement/cams. One on each side instead of a single one in the middle. The only way to fully test the weight issue is to go full scale.

A couple more considerations I didn't mention but affected the final design..
My battery bank will located behind the sofa-bed and I need access for maintenance. With this design I can remove the foam pads and fold the back board flat against the seat board for access to the back.


The seat board will have two doors so I can access the storage space underneath.


I know this is a long explanation but trust me it could have been much longer.
I've been thinking (obsessing?) about his for some time.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:05 PM   #94
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Re: Hal The Van

It's not radically different from my SMB dinette/bed. Except, instead of a hinge the SMB back cushion is loose and the seat bottom is on drawer slides.

When it is closed, bumpers on the underside of the seat bottom keep it from moving. The backrest is captured between the seat bottom and van wall, with small guides setting the angle of the backrest. Lift the seat bottom, slide it forward and lay the backrest down behind the bottom to complete the bed. No support other than the drawer slides for the extended part.

The drawer slides can pivot from the back for access under the seat.

Quite simple and reliable.

If that is not clear, I could take some pictures.

Mike
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:58 AM   #95
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Re: Hal The Van

Thanks Mike,
I hadn't considered using draw slide. Guess I didn't realize they made them for such heavy duty uses. Just thought of them for, ya' know, drawers. I found some on line rated for 500 pounds.
Hmmmmm. I'll have to ponder that one.

Dave
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:13 AM   #96
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Re: Hal The Van

My rear pickup seat is power actuated and the back folds down manually, so you can power it forward to the limiter, then release and fold the seat back (flipped releases on a metal frame I believe) so it is flat, and then, if desired power it back to snug it against the wall. I can access from the sides, but also over the top when the seat is forward with the seat back up.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:04 PM   #97
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Re: Hal The Van

Hey Jage,
Hadn't thought of going all manual like that. If my Rube Goldberg doesn't work out that's always a fall back means of operation. It just won't be near as nifty.
It's actually been above freezing the last couple of days. I may be able to get started on the sofa-bed.

Dave
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:06 PM   #98
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Re: Hal The Van

Covering wall panels.

By now I have insulated and test fitted some panels. Time for the next step.


When I was at Sportsmobile in Indiana for the Penthouse Top installation they sold me a roll of fabric that was the same as they used on the inside trim work. The receipt has it at $10 a yard and it's called Encompass blue velour.


Installation is easy enough. Cut the fabric so you have enough to wrap around the edges.


This material has something similar to a "grain" where the velour is in lines. I took great care to position the cloth on the panel so these lines would be vertical when the panels were installed in the van. After I got it just like I wanted it I used a socket set to weigh down one side so the material wouldn't shift.


Then carefully roll back the half that's not weighted.


Apply contact cement to the half of the board that's exposed. The fiberboard will soak up part of the first coat you put down so usually I had to do two coats but be careful and don't overdo it or the contact cement will soak through the front of the cloth. Before I got to this step I used a scrap piece of fiberboard and cloth and tested it so I'd have a good idea of what was the right amount of cement to put down. I suggest you do the same.


Carefully roll the fabric back over the now contact cement coated fiberboard. Use your hands to smooth it out. I then moved the socket set to the glued side.


Roll back the fabric on the unglued side. Glue this second half like the first half.


Roll the cloth back over the second glued half and carefully smooth everything out. Cover with some scrap plywood and let sit overnight.


continued -
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:15 PM   #99
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Re: Hal The Van

Covering wall panels continued.

Next day. Flip the panel over. Be sure to remove the plastic covering off the foam where you will be gluing.


Paint contact cement along the edge of the panel then on the back. Use plenty of masking tape to pull the fabric tight against the edge of the panel.


Worked my way around the panel. Since this is the back of the panel I didn't worry about using too much glue. If it showed through the fabric no problem. This edge is curved so to get the fabric to fit I had to make several cuts. Be sure to dry fit the material before you put down the contact cement.


That's it. I let the panel dry overnight before mounting. Since all the masking tape was holding the fabric in place I didn't use anything else to hold the fabric down while it dried. I removed most of the masking tape after drying. Some was glued down so I just left it.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:35 PM   #100
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Re: Hal The Van

looks good; nice job...blkjak
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