Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-08-2015, 06:44 AM   #731
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 9,340
Re: Hal The Van

Amazing creativity. Your new apprentice will no doubt be an ace cat tower carpenter someday.

__________________

__________________
-Eric

2010 Chevy AWD home build
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2015, 09:14 AM   #732
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Thanks All.

Building the third drawer for the fridge cabinet.

Now that I have a drawer locking mechanism designed and tested I can finish off this cabinet. Start by getting the dimensions from the bottom space of the cabinet. Drawer sliders had already been installed in the cabinet. Cut the wood for the drawer.

I used 1/2" thick plywood. Here are the pieces just standing in position.






This is a biscuit cutter. It's how I assemble the drawer pieces.




It cuts out half-moon slots into which you insert wood biscuits.




Brush on glue to the biscuits and along the mating edges then clamp firmly.






Once everything has had plenty of time to set up, do a test fit in the van.







Perfect fit. Such a tight fit the drawer sliders on the sides are gripping without screws.




Prime and paint the drawer. I'm not painting the front since it will get covered with Formica. Used interior trim paint. I like the look of the paint but it has one problem in that anything left laying on it will tend to stick over time. On walls this isn't a problem but quite noticeable when used for shelving and drawers.




To get around that problem I give it a coat of clear polyurethane after it dries. This prevents the sticking.




Find the centerline for the front of the drawer and use that to determine the handle placement.




Drill and mill the slots for the handle then get to work on the latching mechanism. This is the third one of these I've made so continue to refine the design. Cut a section off of the metal slide.




Make the spring adjuster out of the cut off metal piece. Drill the hole for the 3/16" rod.




Add holes for the wood screws then trim the metal piece. It's easier to drill holes while the piece is larger since there is more to grip.




Make a compression spring. Got this one right on the first try.




Add Formica to the front of the drawer and then trim it. You can see Fox in the lower right corner of the photo keeping an eye on things.




Mill out the Formica slots. Used the aluminium U channel as a guide.




Add the handle then the latching mechanism and adjust spring compression.






Screw the part of the drawer slider that detaches to the side of the drawer then install in the van.



Fits and moves nice. Latch works like a champ.




Fridge cabinet is finally finished. And it only took me two years.




Think I'll mess with the fridge next.
__________________

__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 01:28 PM   #733
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

I've a small project for the fridge. When I first installed the fridge I added a small electronic thermometer purchased on ebay. They are dirt cheap but with two main disadvantages. The readings are in Celsius and not Fahrenheit and they are battery operated. The Celsius readings are easy to get used to especially since this is for a fridge and the Celsius freezing point is zero. The batteries are a concern because they don't last long enough.

I'll start with the initial installation.

The temperature probe is on the end of a wire. I ran the wire through the grill then EVER SO CAREFULLY used a screwdriver to create a gap through the foam insulation along side the fridge cooling lines where they enter the body of the fridge. Then carefully side the temperature probe through this gap. The foam closed up and sealed the gap after the screwdriver was removed.







Used foil tape to cover the probe wire inside fridge. I made a slight adjustment after this picture. I moved the probe farther from the side so wall it would hopefully have a more accurate reading.




Reinstall the grill then cover the back of the thermometer with double sided tape and stuck it on the front grill.






How it looked when done.




That was 2 years ago. First problem was the tape didn't hold so I ended using a zip tie to hold it place. Second problem was battery Life. It was too short. Time for an upgrade.




Unmount the fridge from the van and haul into the shop. Remove the thermometer body from the grill. I don't want to mess with removing the probe from inside the fridge so I just cut the wire. Use a diamond coated file to carefully cut through the plastic grill.




Not done yet. I had to cut one more louver after this picture and even up the cuts on the right side.




Mount the thermometer in the grill. Looks good.




Now how to power it without batteries. First off check how much power it needs. I thought the the two batteries in the back of the unit were most probably in series. This takes LR44 batteries so that would give it 3 volts. Checked my assumption with a voltmeter. I was wrong. The batteries are in parallel. The unit uses 1.5 volts.




So I need to convert 12 volts to 1.5 volts. This is a LM317 Voltage Regulator. It has a range of 1.25 V 37 V. It's voltage output is determined by the ratio of the two resistors in the picture.




When hooked up on breadboard it outputs 1.57 volts. Close enough.




Solder wires in place of the batteries.




Build the circuit and test it out with the thermometer. It's reading "Lo" since the probe is hasn't been reconnected.



Install back on the fridge. Here's Fox handing me the lead from the temperature probe so I can join the wires back together. I soldered them to get the least resistance in the splice.




The circuit board has to be insulated from the surrounding surfaces so I'll build it a small box. Keep my left over acrylic pieces for times like this.






Secure the circuit box in place with foil tape. When the LM317 is in operation it will convert the excess voltage to heat which must be vented. Since the thermometer draws just a little current there shouldn't be that much heat in this application but I've still left a couple of vent gaps in the top of the box.



Use taps to get power for the circuit board from the fridge plug.




Mount the fridge back in the van.




Let it run for a couple hours.




Success.
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2015, 06:59 PM   #734
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

This past Saturday and Sunday the power was out in my section of town for around 19 hours due to a snapped pole.

This picture is from Sunday morning. The orange wire is the extension cord that runs from the van's inverter then upstairs to my home's refrigerator. Just got done mowing the lawn and cooling off by parking myself in front of the Endless Breeze fan in the van. The solar panels were still making more power than I'm using.



Have I ever mentioned the fact that Hal The Van RULES!
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 09:27 PM   #735
Senior Member
 
Gatorbait's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Antigua, West Indies
Posts: 117
Re: Hal The Van

I just got done reading from the beginning. I appreciate all your effort you put into this thread for us. It's answered a whole bunch of questions and gave me a bunch of ideas. It was crazy to fast forward through 5 years of your life. Mainly because I'll only have 2 months to finish my build so I need to pick and choose my mods carefully. I'm sorry to hear about your cat. I have a yard cat that I kind of adopted that looks exactly the same. I'm glad that you replaced the engine and kept it alive. I was a bit nervous when I was going through that page. Keep it up.
Gatorbait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2015, 11:34 PM   #736
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Hey Gatorbait.

Quote:
I was a bit nervous when I was going through that page.
I know this narrative has turned into an epic work but hadn't thought about it as suspenseful until now.

Quote:
I'll only have 2 months to finish my build
Yeah I thought something similar back when I started in 2009. I wish you luck with that. Thanks for the comments.


Sofa-Bed upgrade.

This is one of those jobs I've been meaning to get to for a while. When I started with the van the sofa-bed was one of the first main projects. Couldn't weld back then so everything was bolted or glued together. It's held together surprisingly well over the years but could use a upgrade. Here's the back-board and seat-board parts of the sofa-bed removed from the van.



You can see the two hatches built into the seat-board. These were as large as I could make then and still have the frame support my weight. I'm going to replace this with a metal framework that will provide better access to the space underneath. The back-board is still working well so don't see a need to replace it.

Use 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/8" angle iron for the frame. It costs locally $0.62/ft. Measure, cut and weld the frame.



It's nice having the seat-board to use as a guide.



Add 1-1/2" flat metal across the center and pieces at each corner to bolt to the slider supports. The square metal tube that's partially painted is part of the previously improved driving mechanism. It's what connects the seat-board, now the seat-frame, to the linear actuator. I never fully covered the upgrading of the sofa-bed mechanics/electronics from a while back. Have to remedy that sometime.



Next weld on two metal pads along the side for the hinges. The original all wood configuration had four hinges but I'm betting two will now be enough.



Line up and mark placement of the new hinge location on the back-board.



Cut out the hatches from 1/2" thick plywood. They have to be notched to clear the hinges.





Create hand holds for each hatch.





Sand smooth.



With all needed holes drilled in the metal and cuts done in the wood there is only one thing left and if you've been following this van project for any length of time you should already know what's my next step.



PAINT IT ALL WHITE.



Install in the van.







Makes a big difference in ease of access.



Sofa-bed folded flat.



With the cushions installed. In the next posting I'll probably write about the cushion and covers.



That's it, except for some bouncy-bouncy to test my handiwork.
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2015, 12:35 AM   #737
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Rust never sleeps

One of those jobs I've been putting off. Previously patched these parts of the van but at the time the best I could do was use Bondo, fiberglass patches and pop rivets.







I'd obviously left this go far too long but could never seem to find the time. It didn't help that the weather around these parts was near daily rain through the whole Spring and most of the Summer. When the first week without rain finally arrived I took some time off work and started in on this project. As is usual, didn't know what I was getting into.

My tools were a hammer, screwdriver and angle grinder with a wire wheel.











The more I dug the worse it got. When I stopped there wasn't much left between the "C" pillar and the wheel well.



I didn't proceed farther up the rocker panel to see how much more needed replaced since I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed by what was in already front of me. Or more to the point, no longer in front of me.

Never previously having done any real sheet metal work before I wasn't sure what thickness to use. I'd ordered a four pack of 3'x3' sheets of metal from Onlinemetals in thickness's from 18 to 24 gauge. Figured I use whatever felt the right thickness.

I took measurements from the opposite side of the van to see where the lower edge of the wheel well should be used that to created a posterboard template.

Since this was a mostly straight piece I used the 18 gauge sheet for this part since it was the stiffest.





Locate where the bottom edge of the sheet should be.



Locate and drill holes to use two bolts already in place on the backside of the rocker panel.



Use a hammer to bend the sheet so it forms against the backside.



On the front side of the rocker panel I cut off what was rusted and using the other side of the van as a guide made another template. Since this piece will have a curve I'm using the 20 gauge sheet since it should be easier to shape.





Here's where it gets interesting. I have no experience with shaping sheet metal for body panels. The only trick I know is what I used when bending the the shield for the extra gas tank. Guess I try it here.

But first, say hello to my new tool. I finally bought a metal brake. Use the brake to create a bend for the edge that runs along the bottom of the rocker panel.



Then back to my old friends, a piece of angle iron and a ball peen hammer.







continued
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2015, 01:08 PM   #738
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

continued ...

Use hand tools to bend the parts for the inside of the wheel well




Weld the back plate into place. And before anyone else mentions it, Yeah I know I'm a crappy welder.


Tack the front plate into place.


You'll notice Mistake #1 in the upper right corner. I wasn't aggressive enough in cutting out the partially rusted metal. I found out when trying to weld to what was left and the weld just blow right through the old metal. I cut some more out and made a small patch to fix this.



Mistake #2. DON"T OVER GRIND YOUR WELDS! This is the first time I'm welding sheet metal like this and in wanting to smooth out the welds I ended up grinding into the metal. It made a section so thin that I burned right through it when trying to re-patch it. Probably a common newbie problem.


In the photo above you can see lots of little holes in the weld line. I went back and fixed each one of those. Also note that the back and front plates are welded together at the bottom.



continued
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2015, 03:43 PM   #739
Senior Member
 
twogone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Taylor, Mississippi
Posts: 1,648
Re: Hal The Van

always amazed, bro, always amazed
__________________
'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
https://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
twogone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2015, 08:23 PM   #740
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Thanks Twogone. I have to admit when looking into that large gap next to the wheel well where the body used to be I was sure I'd bitten off way more than I could chew. Started considering going to a body shop until I began to think what that cost would be. That got me motivated to see if I could DIY it.

continued ...

With the front and the back plate in place the end needs to be closed off. If you have a Ford van you probably know that the way the body is built that there is a recess just forward of the rear wheel well where the front and back parts of the body are joined. This is a perfect place for water and road salt to collect and cause rust. If you look at enough older Ford vans you'll see several with rust problems in the exact same spot as mine.

This looks like a design flaw to me so I'm not going to bother replicating it. I'll close the end off and try to make it flush with the front and back. Do it in two parts. The first part will be the lower section. I'm making these out of 20 gauge.






Weld in place.


I had help as I worked.


The second piece was going to be more difficult. It had to transition from the recess at the upper part of the wheel well to the flush part on the bottom without leaving a flat spot for debris/water to collect. With the way the inner fender is constructed I couldn't bend it to it's final shape and and still get a tight fit. Bent it as much as I could and still get it to fit in there then used the pointy end of a chipping hammer to keep banging away on the metal till it was formed to fill in the gaps on the inner edges.






Weld it in place.


At this point I grabbed onto all this new metal added to the van and started pulling and pushing on it. It was rock solid. Only then did I start to think I might actually be able to fix this.

continued
__________________

__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×