Sunday, March 24, 2013


This is all new to me; joinery. More accurate carpentry than I've been doing so far as I move to the fitout of the kitchen and other areas. In fact this is my very first ever mortise and tenon joint:

 I worked out how to do it from reading some old books and thinking it through carefully. And while not absolutely perfect, the two fit together very well

This was the first step in making a panel for the end of one of the kitchen benches, one of two walls eitherside of the under-bench fridge. So another mortise and tenon joint and a couple of simpler lap joints later and this is what I had:

Installation was straight foward. I drilled some dowels into the bottom that insert into holes in the floor plate and the whole thing is kept vertical by an angle bracket at the back.

And while in the mood for fixing bits, I also fixed one of the end panels under the bed from my last blog entry. Further this all got it's first coat of varnish and is starting to look finished.
Back at home and the second kitchen panel, the one that will go the other side of the fridge space, is completed and ready to take out to the carriage for fitting next weekend. Being a long weekend for Easter I'll be staying out there a couple of nights with Chester and getting a lot done, including some more work outside the carriage now that the temperatures have calmed down from a scorching summer.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Internal details

It's now getting to the stage where I can make small bits at home and take them to the carriage to mount. These two panels are a good case in point. They are Tassie Oak frames with simple lap-joints on the corners and the centre is 6mm Marine Ply rebated into the frame. I knocked these up at home over the last long weekend and then spent some time this weekend fitting them into place. Not that this is their final configuration! The panel on the right will be fixed pretty much where it is but the one on the left will be the front of a draw under the bed at that location.

Two panels at the end of the bed
Then there was a simple shelf up high over the bed head. The brackets are from under the original seats and have 'QR' forged into them. Very heavy duty but decorative! The shelf itself is a solid piece of Silky Oak cut to shape. This was a really daggy old bit of timber before I spent some time sanding it back to clean wood. It is also slightly warped but I think that adds character! I've bolted it in place temporarily to try and pull it back to a flatter piece before I take it off again to varnish it.

A small bookshelf high over the bed head
Finally I started work on the kitchen area. This is where the small under-counter fridge will be. I'm making up two more heavy duty panels to go either side and become part of the framing for the whole kitchen area. I'm making these frames out of Silky Oak because they will be varnished rather than painted and will help to look more authentic in this high-visibility area.

The area where the fridge will be

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finishing the bed

Putting the fininshing touches to the bed, not last weekend, but the weekend before. First step was to install slats made of red gum decking strips. What you can't see here is a central support of angle iron running the length of the bed down the middle. This is supported at either end and with two posts along its length. All up a very sturdy bed! And that's my wife Abbie giving it a test!

Then it's only a case of putting the mattress back on and making the bed (then giving over to my 7yo son Chester for yet more testing!).