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Monday, 23 April 2012

Caravan Rebuild - Part 11

On the evenings of this week I will be attempting to make the new curtains for the caravan.  I started by using the original curtains as a template, as they fit and they fit well.

I have decided to use black out lining, mainly because I had a large pair of blackout curtains in the airing cupboard from my son's childhood.  I spend Sunday evening measuring the curtains and cutting the black out lining exactly the same size.

I then gathered all my tools together with my fabric to start work.

I then laid out my material and put wrong side fabric to wrong side lining.

I then marked a 2.5cm hem allowance around the lining using tailors chalk.  As so...

After I had cut out the first curtain I did check that the allowance worked well with the lining to ensure they were the correct width.  I put right side to right side and pinned a 2.5cm seam allowance down each side, I then folded it inside out so the curtain fabric was the right way and everything measured up nicely.  I may have left the hem allowance a little tight on the side curtains but I can adjust the allowance at the top of the curtains to give me a better hem - so shouldn't be an issue.

Here you can the lovely terracotta fabric which has an honeycomb effect.
This is the curtain fabric next to the upholstery fabric on the seat cushions, I was hoping the curtains would bring out the terracotta stripe in the seat fabric....not sure if it does.

It took me about an hour and a half to cut all the curtains out.  Here they are ready for pinning and sewing.

Now it was onto covering the buttons on the pelmet, this is a fiddly job but one you can do sitting on the couch watching television, which is what I intend to do.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Caravan Rebuild - Part 10

Well after releasing some of the one shot, the next task was to remove I had to get this off...

Which I did with a saw!  It took some doing....phew, finally removed my brother's boss had kindly lent me a decent sander, so out I went this morning, opened all the windows and started sanding.

Once that was done, I let the dust settle and returned an hour later to hoover up the dust.  Now I could start laying the floor tiles.  These vinyl floor tiles were bought from B&M and cost me £1.99 for 7 tiles, I bought 8 packs to do the job which would be more than enough.  I decided to start over the centre axle mount that is bolted into the floor to ensure good coverage, I used the grid lines from the delamination for a straight edge and then started in a stepping pattern from that point.

I didn't take any photo's as I went along as this is really messy job with the tiles being self hands were covered and sticking to everything I touched.  All in all it took me just a couple of hours to cover the whole area, and that was mainly because there was some fiddly cutting with scissors around some of the areas.  

Once the floor was down, I then cut the door bars and secured them with screws onto the floor.  What a difference...

The rest of the floor does look a bit busy, but I guess that's because the seating isn't back in yet, so once that is back hopefully it will look a lot better.

This is the door opening.

The terracotta curtains should look lovely against these tiles.

The great thing about the self adhesive floor tiles is that you get a really neat finish around pipes and flexes because you can just cut them with scissors.

Now the floor was down, and it had had a good hoover, I decided to tidy up a little bit.  I cleaned the hob, grill and cooker...

Struggling to removed the black from the hob rings...any ideas?

Still need to do the oven rack.
The fridge is still to do....

I even managed to mount the clock on the wall..

I then cleaned the bathroom and the cupboards, and am still astounded by how much storage space there is.

So now, one more coat of paint, and then hopefully next weekend we will be able to put the seats back in and put the curtains up!!!  One step closer.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Caravan Rebuild - Part 9

Well this weeks work was spread over a few days.  It started last weekend with me starting to mark a grid out on the floor for the delamination kit.  I bought the 'one shot' stuff which is manufactured by Pennine Leisure.  I paid over the odds for my bottle, I now know but hey ho you live and learn.  Yes I did say bottle!  By the time I had marked out the 4x4 inch grid, for each 8mm hole drilled I would require 180 dowels!  Not a small area.  So I took a day off work and my brother Lee came back to help out - we started on the middle section where we believed the delamination to be worst and we covered an area 12 inches 24 inches with just one bottle!!  We plugged the open drilled holes with dowels and had to leave it and I went on my merry way to source another 5 bottles.  Looking at what we had just used we guessed that would over what we needed but better to have it than not.  The following day the additional 5 bottles arrived and we entered the van to begin again and we got a shock.  Holes around the area we hadn't plugged the green fluid had leaked out of as it had spread, so we had covered a bigger area than we thought. So we cracked on with adding the 'one shot' resin to each drilled hole until we had completed the whole area  (a total of four bottles were needed so I am left with two spare).  We ensured we had placed a dowel in each hole and then retreated to leave it to set for 48 hours.

Saturday morning I entered the van to find the floor very firm in the worst area of delamination as you can see in this pic.  The grid pattern 4x4 inch and the sawn off dowel heads.

You can see remnants of the green resin that did leak out around some of the dowel heads.  This could be sawn off easily too.
Was very impressed with how level it was considering the instructions made no mention of putting any weights on the floor.  However when I looked toward the front of the van where the delamination had been minimal, we had obviously put far too much in.  The floor was domed and it was very noticeable - I was absolutely gutted - all this effort and the floor was ruined!  Trudged back into the house to get hubby to go out and take a look...he came back in 5 minutes later saying the floor where it had been worse felt great however, yes the front was still a little spongy!  Eh, spongy, it should be rock solid - so there I went again and true enough it was spongy!  Hope!  I guessed that because there was so much resin underneath the floor it hadn't managed to expand and react as it should to form the hardened resin that it ends up as.  I hammered a couple of 2mm test holes and heard a rush of escaping air followed by an eruption of seeping resin.  24  hours later I came back to this.....

Obviously far too much resin, but once this escaped the floor began to find it's level.  Now just to saw off this mess and all good again!  This is a learning curve, I will know for my next delamination job.
Now that floor was done, I moved on to paint the inside of the van with matt emulsion to blend in the new wall panels.  I started at the front and worked my way to the back.

I still have to clean up the window rubbers and put the edging down the sides.

Looks a little patchy because it's wet in parts, but will need a second coat to get good coverage.

Once the seats are back in, should look rather nice.  The pelmet plinths have been removed to allow the painting of the wall.  Tape to be put over where panels join.

The insides of the cupboard are still to do.

Kitchen window blind removed to enable painting.  Taking shape.

This is pretty much a true reflection of the colour, not too cold, not too dark.

The skylight trims were removed to enable painting.  You can see the door shutting closed in this pic, something it wouldn't do before we fixed the floor delamination!

Looking a little patchy due to it still being wet.

Really pleased with the way it's turning out, ceiling edging and trim still to fit.
So now to let this dry before second coat applied.  The bathroom has already had one coat, no pictures to show of that.  Next job to sand floor and fit vinyl tiles.  Then the seats can go back in and I can start making the curtains!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Caravan Rebuild - Part 8 1/2

It was time to paper the ply in the van.  First stop shower room.

A few air bubbles - I'm hoping these disappear like they did on the cupboard paper.  The idea is to  paint the back section all one colour with emulsion, so the current bright white won't stand out like a sore thumb.  This will be done throughout the van.  Also there is new joint edging to staple on to give a nice finish where the boards meet.

Once the shower room is painted there is a corner edging to put up which will give a nice clean edge.

Only we could have a feature wall in the shower room!

Silicone sealant will be run down the edge here.
From here I moved onto above the door to finish off...

Again I will point out that the original boards and the newly papered boards will all be painted with emulsion so should blend in nicely.  There will also be an edging strip fitted, the old bit hanging currently will be removed and replaced.
Now the part I was dreading...the front windows!  This proved to be hard work and my  index fingers are killing me as I type - I still believe it was better to paper after the board had been fitted but it certainly wasn't easier!

I had to lever up the window seal to ease the paper underneath it, that's why my fingers are throbbing.
Then the side section, this was the final section to be papered.

There will be corner edging added once painted this will be where the front section meets the side section and then there will be strips put in place to cover the join where two boards meet.  
So my next job is to do the floor delamination, which will need to be sanded after doing.  Due to this I will not be painting the inside of the van until the floor is done and I can sugar soap all the other walls getting rid of grease and dust before painting.

Today we had a wander round Teesside Caravans looking at second hand vans and we came away still liking ours more....good job considering the work we've put into it! 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Caravan Rebuild - Part 8

Today is part 8 of the blog and I write this with a mixture of emotions - happy because we made a lot of progress today, however sad because if you've been reading my previous blogs you  will know that my partner in the rebuild has been my brother Lee, well today was the last day Lee will be helping on the van and I will be going it alone from now hoo! 

On Good Friday we had cut out the final pieces of ply for the cupboards and above the door.  My job this Saturday morning was to paper them ready for putting into place - easier to do these parts out of the cupboard rather than in!!  To do this I used PVA glue and a good quality vinyl paper.

I will be painting this when in position, but a lot easier papering before putting in the cupboard.
After a quick trip to B&Q for yet more adhesive, it was onto glueing and stapling them in place.  We started in front upper right cupboard.

Here you can see the ceiling in place and the wall - looking good!

The front section (to the left) is still to do.  This join doesn't look great but it will have an edging put in place to give a good finish after painting.

We noticed that the side cupboard was hanging quite low - it hadn't been secured to the ceiling joists properly or at all as can be seen above.  You will see in a later pic that we've secured it well into position now.
After doing the top cupboard we moved over to the other side to put the piece in around the window.

We  used the same trick as we did on the other window when putting the wall board in, garden string under the window seal to help lever the window seal over the wall board whilst pushing into place.  This handy tip was picked up on Wizards caravan repair site.

It's not the easiest thing to do, but certainly works.

We used some clamps around the windows and a couple of braces to hold it in place and ensure a good cure.  It looks odd at the moment but the whole of the van is going to be painted with emulsion so the new section shouldn't stand out as much then..

Front of van now taking shape, we moved on to above the door.

I didn't paper the ceiling piece because it was a really tight fit above the cupboard and would have ripped the paper off.  Because it's quite an open space it should be easy to paper in position - I have to say my template making skills are not bad.
Now into the cupboard above the fire - this area was problematic because we had to find a way to get the board in there!  The front cupboard we unscrewed the bottom of the cupboard from the wall boards and pulled out to slide the panel up between the back of the cupboard and the wall.  We couldn't do that with the fire wall cupboard and didn't fancy taking the whole wall unit out.  So what we did was unscrew the top cupboard from the bottom shelf just above the drinks cabinet and eased it forward to push the panels up and into the top cupboard.  We couldn't do it one piece so like the front cupboard it's in two parts.

You can see the join in the middle this will be braced shortly.

Wall and ceiling - again when painted this will be finished with some edging. 

We made another shelf cover to place in the cupboard help raise the floor and give a good coverage on the bottom of the cupboard walls.

This is the brace in place

This will help to keep the seam in place and also help with the bonding.

I mentioned earlier in today's blog that the front cupboard had not been secured to the ceiling - well this plays an important part in maintaining the structure of the caravan, you could clearly see the cupboard wasn't in line with the cupboard over the sink and had dropped by about 3/4 of an inch.  We managed to get a good securing into the ceiling joists and then to support that we screwed from the cupboard side into the cupboard above the sink - we had to support the cupboard with some wood struts to do this as both of us did not have the strength to hold it place.

What a difference now nicely in line.

You can see here that it lines up nicely with the cupboard over the sink.  You can also see here the new pelmet support shelf.  These were cut out of 22mm ply board and are very lightweight but sturdy enough with the 4 supports to mount the pelmet.  All of the pelmets will be recovered with the honeycomb chenille terracotta material we have bought.
You can see in the above pic the new pelmet support, we did this on the opposite side to help with the bracing and bonding of the new panel around the window.

Above both the windows is a wooden baton so we know we've got a good fix for corner support brackets the boards, better than previously when they were just screwed into the ply and insulation sandwich.

One important addition to the van is the carbon monoxide alarm - £13.95 is a small price to pay for peace of mind and the safety of our young family!
So with the main part of the van looking good it was time to go back to the back quarter - the shower room.  As you know this has had quite a bit of rebuilding, most of the the wooden timber frame was replaced and we braced and glued the new plywood boards back in place.  Because this is an open space I am happy to paper the boards in place.  The shower room houses the living room table so I was keen to get this sorted and see another area near completion (if only to keep morale up).  We cut the board for the shelf and hinged flap behind the toilet out of 22mm ply so nice and light, it was cut into 27.5 inch x 9 inch piece and then a strip from that was cut at 3.4 inches.  The two pieces would make the back shelf and the hinged flap.  These were covered in d-c-fix and then a piano hinge bracket was screwed into place.  I had bought a new support bracket to screw into the wall at the top of the table from the caravan shop which also comes with the support for the shelf to hold the table into place at the bottom.  Here you can see it all in place.

This is the shelf in place prior to fixing, just checking it fitted well with the upper bracket.

Here you can see the piano hinge bracket and the base support for the table.  Really pleased with the finish on the boards.  This room is to paper and finish with silicone sealant in parts so we will revisit this room when it's complete.
So after a very productive day we had a good tidy up and swept the floor ready for my next stage which would be the delaminated floor. 

Time to say a big thank you to Lee who has been invaluable and I have enjoyed every minute working with  him, and I am sure he's going to miss it, maybe not working with me but working on the van - he was even eyeing up another van for a little project!!!