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Old 10-06-2014, 12:02 AM   #101
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Re: Popping my top

Really like your finishing skills. In my experience is the most deficult part of a build...

Great idea on making double use of your sleeping platform and allowing it to be used for the penthouse base. Building the base as you did, does it end up being lighter and/or stronger than using plywood? (it sure looks better!)

Again, nice work!

Cheers
Mr. D
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:51 AM   #102
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abitibi
Building the base as you did, does it end up being lighter and/or stronger than using plywood? (it sure looks better!)

Mr. D
I experimented with leftover cherry I had laying arround (which is what I ended up using) and the same construction with 18mm Baltic Birch (11 ply). The BB was significantly less stiff, I imagine partially due to the glue layers being in shear loading when you sit on the panel. Plywood strips glued up on edge in a panel may have worked better.

To be fair, the BB plywood strips would have been skinned top and bottom with 1/8" plywood to yield a 1" thick panel, which I did not try, since I didn't want to waste good wood after deciding on the cherry. This skinning would have resulted in a much stiffer panel I'm sure (you would need to GLUE the skins on covering the entire top and bottom of the panel to maximize stiffness), since the stiffness of a beam increases with either the square (2nd power)-can't remember off the top of my head-have to look it up) or the cube (3rd power) of the height/thickness. That's one reason that I went with 1" thick panels that are more air than wood; to maximize stiffness and minimize weight.

The other design considerations here are:

Taller/thicker panels mean less height for cushions if storing the setup with the PH down. There is a possibility of storing the panels on the PH rails with the cushions facing down, but that requires even narrower cushions to clear the PH rails. I'm planning on having the cushions attached to the panels.

Since I'm using AL channel for part of the support I cannot have the wood panels inside the upholstery (like the SMB bed); I need to have 3/4" of panel width beyond the cushions to properly engage with the channel. If the design was not cantilevered in bed mode and didn't require sliding out, then one could use aluminum angle instead of channel and full width cushions and stick the wood inside the upholstery if desired. If I was 6" shorter I would have considered this.

Alternatively, if I could live with the support box on the passenger side sticking forward into the barn door opening about a foot, the design could be all AL angle (no channel required), and full width cushions.
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:57 PM   #103
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Re: Popping my top

Very nice job so far! Love the tires & wheels. I like how there are a 101 ways to build a van, and your interior is definitely unique.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:54 PM   #104
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Re: Popping my top

adding a 110V J-box....

So I've been planning on adding a 110V receptacle on the cabinet by the barn doors, but have delayed this in case I changed my mind.

Well, I decided to install it, and do it a bit anally, if for nothing else than to show other folks a way to cut a hole for a J box other than with a jig saw.

Step 1 machine a hole that fits the box in a template (I get to cheat on this, I have a mill in the garage )

Step 2 fasten the template to the cabinet with clamps

Step 3 Drill the corners with a drill bit large enough to get your jigsaw blade into do a rough SLIGHTLY UNDERSIZED cut with the jigsaw.

Step 4 Use a flush bearing bit, or as I did in this case I just stuck a 1/4" router bit out far enough that the shank would spin on my template.
Attached Thumbnails
template happy place 2.JPG   j box template 2.JPG   j box template.JPG  
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:57 PM   #105
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Re: Popping my top

....the rest of the picture sequence.....sorry for the blurry shots...
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J box done.JPG   j box hole.JPG   laminate trimmer.JPG  
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:17 PM   #106
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Re: Popping my top

Nice clean work.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:43 PM   #107
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Re: Popping my top

Keep it coming!
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:36 PM   #108
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Re: Popping my top

Whipped up some battery cable terminal feed-throughs to get the juice through the van floor from outside to inside. These are what connect my starting battery to the separator/house batts in the back of the van.

I used 5/16-18 18-8 stainless all thread for the posts and machined up some delrin that I had laying around for the beefy insulators going through the van floor......and brass nuts. The nylon shoulder spacers and rubber washers are standard hardware store fare.

I think I'm going to replace the 18-8 stainless all thread with either bronze or aluminum all thread for better conductivity.

The picture with the fuzzy trunk liner is inside my cabinet with all of my electronics/electrical stuff. The shot with the metal background is the outside van floor. (Looking up)
Attached Thumbnails
battery feedthroughs topside.JPG   battery feedthroughs underside.JPG   battery feed throughs 2.JPG  
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:42 AM   #109
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Re: Popping my top

dang, great design and execution!
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:39 AM   #110
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Re: Popping my top

Well, I ended up buying 5/16-18 brass to replace the 18-8 studs that I have now.

Here is a handy chart for electrical resistivity of various metals/alloys. Brass and 6061-T6 AL are fairly similar in conductivity, and both are significantly better than 18-8 (304) stainless. Keep in mind that increased resistivity also means lots of heat generation when big current is flowing, like when starting the van off of the house batteries.......


http://eddy-current.com/conductivity-of ... sistivity/


If I just had the van floor to penetrate, I would have considered the blue sea bulkhead terminal thingies, but since I am going through the van floor and then my plywood floor which is spaced a bit above the van floor I went with these home-brew terminals.
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