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Old 05-09-2010, 06:11 PM   #181
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Re: Hal The Van

:golfclap:

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8 lugs and glow plugs..

85 E250 Turbo 6.9 vegiburner
92 explorer (well the vin tag and body skins are anyway)
09 jeep wrangler unlimted...for walmart wheelin!!

nothing scares my wife like my boredom and a welder!!
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:31 PM   #182
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Re: Hal The Van

Sofa-bed continued:

After having assembled/disassembled the sofa-bed several times I felt that the 19/32 plywood the End Pieces were made of wasn't sturdy enough.


I looked at 23/32 thick plywood at Lowe's but decided to double up the 19/32 plywood instead. One reason was that a 4' x 8' sheet of the 23/32 plywood was just too heavy for me to comfortably carry around.

Working with plywood sheets means I'll be using my circular saw instead of the table saw. It's too unwieldy to try and maneuver a full sized plywood sheet on the small table saw I own.
When using the circular saw I usually draw a line then follow it using the guide on the front of the saw.


The problem with a circular saw is that when I'm done the cut is never dead straight. No matter how careful I cut there are always minor variations. Then if I measure the next cut off this edge the error is just compounded. Before I started I wanted to see if I could come up with a better method.

This is what I came up with. It does take extra time setting it up but I think the results are worth it.
When I was at Lowe's buying metal stock for the sofa-bed I bought this.


It's an aluminum bar that's 1" wide by a 1/4" thick and 4' long. I ended up not using it in the build but I found it really handy for use with the circular saw. It's fairly rigid but not very heavy.

First figure out where you want to make your cut.


Next measure the distance from the outside edge of the circular saw blade to the edge of the saw's base plate.




On my saw it's 1-9/16". Of course this might be different for other brands of saws.
Now's where it gets interesting. You want to set the aluminum bar so it will act as a straight edge for the saw. But you have to plan the cut so the short side of the saw's base plate is in contact with aluminum bar. This means that on some cuts you have to figure in the width of the saw blade. In my case that's a difference of 1/16". So sometimes the bar is offset 1-9/16" and other times it 1-5/8".

Hopefully this will make it clearer:




After you have figured out the bar offset, stop and do it again. It's easy to make a mistake at this step. After you've done that twice go ahead and measure then clamp the aluminum bar into position.


Using the circular saw with the aluminum bar as a guide is so much easier than having to concentrate on trying to following a line. It's more of a hassle to set up but after I made that first cut I could kick myself for not having come up with this before. You can just breeze through a 4' long cut. When you set the clamps don't let the ends overhang the edge of the bar so that they would interfere with the saw base plate.

Woodworking tip. A garbage can can double as a saw horse. The hand saw is to help clean up the plywood which can splinter at the end of a cut.


Pretty soon that 4' x 8' sheet of plywood has gotten a lot smaller. Make the final cuts for the new end pieces.


Here is the new Left End Piece with the original.


Clamp the two pieces together. Before I removed the hardware from the original piece I marked their position so I'd know which holes to duplicate in the new plywood and which to ignore. Drill those holes now.




Remove the clamps and squeeze wood glue all over one of the Left End Pieces.


Use a brush to spread it around.


Clamp the two Left End Pieces together. Put bolts through the common holes and with nuts and washer screw together.


I let it set for a day before removing all the clamps and hardware. Then I did all the same steps again for the two pieces that will make up the Right End.


continued -
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:41 PM   #183
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Re: Hal The Van

I'm enjoying following your build! I had great intentions of documenting mine, but those went out the window after the first day or so

Anyway, just a quick tip regarding your circular saw guide: here's a link to an easy jig you can make yourself. Eliminates the need to measure the offset. I did the same as you, and I wished I'd found this idea sooner:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/4283497

Good luck!
Mike.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:53 PM   #184
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Re: Hal The Van

yea a 19/32 (.59in) isnt thick enough...Im usin the 3/4 birch trim ply..its plenty sturdy!


you need to write a book on how to teach people PROPER trim carpentry...the guide trick works with a plasma cutter too...(just fyi)...
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8 lugs and glow plugs..

85 E250 Turbo 6.9 vegiburner
92 explorer (well the vin tag and body skins are anyway)
09 jeep wrangler unlimted...for walmart wheelin!!

nothing scares my wife like my boredom and a welder!!
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:50 PM   #185
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Re: Hal The Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjeffrey
That's brilliant! Even the foot on the one end... especially the fact that it's reversible. It would take less time to make this out of scrap then to line up a cut the old way.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:05 PM   #186
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Re: Hal The Van

Sofa-bed continued:

I'm gong to have to make one of those circular saw guides for myself. It will be faster than my method.

In the last posting I had finished gluing the 19/32 plywood pieces together to make the new End Pieces. I need to round off the top front corner of each End Piece. To do this I first must draw an arc. There are a bunch of ways to do this. I picked the easiest.
Find the biggest round thing you have. In my case that would be a garbage can.


Place the garbage can on the End Piece and line it up with the edge. Then trace out your arc.


Use the arc as a guide for the saber saw to trim off the edge.


To smooth out the arc I clamped the End Piece to my workbench using one of the vices.


Then used a belt sander to do the smoothing.


Did the same for both End Pieces. That finished work on the End Pieces for the time being. Start to work on both the Seat and Back Platforms.

When I routed the boards that make up the frame of the Platforms I left the rounded corner.


Time to fix that with hammer, wood chisel and two paws. Use the hammer and chisel to square off the inside corner.


From 19/32 plywood cut two panels that fit into the routed out sections on the Back Platform.


Once I was sure it was a good fit, put down a bead of wood glue on the routed edge.


Drill countersink holes for the screw heads then hand screw the panel into place.


I'm using square headed screws for this project. Just started using them. Really like them for two reasons. They resist "cam-out". Cam-out is when the end of the screwdriver slips out of the head of the screw as you turn it. This is both frustrating and can chew up the end of the screw driver and head of the screw. Since there is less cam-out I'm able to reuse the same screws. Since there has been a fair amount of assemble/disassemble on this project the square drive as definitely saved me on screws.


Back Platform done.


The rest of the photos in the posting are in strict chronological order. You'll soon see why I'm mentioning this.

On the Seat Platform the 19/32 panels are going to be hinged so I can access the area under the seat. The hinge works best if it sits flat with both surfaces even.


The edge of the panel does not sit even with the edge of the Seat Platform frame. I could either notch down the panel or raise the edge of the Platform. Notching the panel would leave the wood too thin so I'll raise the edge of the Platform by adding small plywood blocks.

In this picture you can see the three different heights. On the right is the plywood panel that will be the hatch. On the left is the plywood block that will be used to raise up the level of the platform which is in the foreground.


Since the block and the plywood are both 19/32 thick, their difference in elevation corresponds to the depth of the edge I routed out on the Platform.

Set the table saw to the needed width (depth) and run the plywood block through it.


Cut the block into four equal sizes. One for each hinge.


Figure out where to position the blocks.
Can you see what's wrong with this picture??? I didn't catch it.


Glue and clamp the blocks into place. Let it set.


I'm getting ready to start on the the second set of blocks when Quality Control Engineer Bob comes into the garage to make one of her inspection tours.


She takes one look around and then starts raising a fuss.


I don't know what she's complaining about but she keeps at until it suddenly dawns on me what she's saying.


She's saying "Wroooooonnnnggg".

Wrong? What's wrong? Then I take a look at what I was just working on.
D'OH!!! I've glued the blocks to the WRONG side of the Seat Platform!

I quickly unclamp the two blocks then try to pry them off the Seat Platform. I was just able to get them off the Platform. In another minute or two I think the glue would have set and it would have been too late. Needless to say I wasn't taking any pictures of this operation. No time.

Move the blocks to the correct position on the opposite side of the Platform then clamp and glue into place. Here you can see the blocks are on the same side as the hinge marks for where the Seat Platform is joined to the Back Platform. That's what I missed in the previous picture. The main hinge marks.


Glue on the second set of hinge blocks.


Wait till the glue sets up then add the hinges and try it out.




Add a finger hole to be used to hold and raise the hatch.


All done.


Watch Bob take a victory lap in the van.




continued -
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Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:18 PM   #187
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Re: Hal The Van

Get out of there Bob, you can't anchor a subfloor, you don't even have any screws!
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:39 PM   #188
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Re: Hal The Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaskoda
Get out of there Bob, you can't anchor a subfloor, you don't even have any screws!
or thumbs!!
__________________
8 lugs and glow plugs..

85 E250 Turbo 6.9 vegiburner
92 explorer (well the vin tag and body skins are anyway)
09 jeep wrangler unlimted...for walmart wheelin!!

nothing scares my wife like my boredom and a welder!!
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:35 PM   #189
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Re: Hal The Van

Time to take a break from the van conversion for a Road Trip!

Blackwater Falls State Park


Blackwater Canyon Trail


Douglas Falls.


Today's biking tip.
Let's say you're about to start a long ride and when you go to put on your only pair of gloves you find they are both left handed.


Turn one of them inside out and you now have a right and a left.


Not that this would ever happen to me.
OK, OK, OK, I have a drawer full of biking gloves. It's a easy mistake to make.

PS.
Waking up this morning in the van with the bird songs and the sun shining through the Penthouse Top made every little frustration I've ever had on this project well worth it.
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Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:23 AM   #190
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Re: Hal The Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
PS.
Waking up this morning in the van with the bird songs and the sun shining through the Penthouse Top made every little frustration I've ever had on this project well worth it.
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