Sunday, April 14, 2013

Batteries and bits

A bit of a mixed bag this weekend with a few odds and ends. Mainly I wanted to recover some of the batteries from under the carriage to take to Sydney next week for my mate Andrew who wants to recondition and reuses them. This will be in exchange for some timber that he has hoarded away that I can use of the inside of the carriage.

There are two battery boxes under the carriage, both with six large 2 volt batteries in them. Getting at them is awkward being tucked away behind the running boards.

Here is a battery disconnected and half way out.

I removed all six batteries from this battery box. Eventually I plan to install new ones for a 12V system in the carriage but that is years away.

I also slapped some varnish and paint around after clearing out the area for the right hand side kitchen.

And finally, I sanded off the panel shown in the previous blog entry. Managed to get rid of all those horrible scorch marks and reveal the beautiful timber underneath.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

More joinery

This is the most complicated piece I’ve built yet (and any carpenters out there must be laughing hard at that claim!). 

This is another end support for the kitchen benches, a frame from Silky Oak with 6mm Marine Ply panels. All corners are mortise and tenon joints, all hand cut. The complication this time around is the middle cross brace, included to support shelving on both sides, which represents my first ever blind mortise and tenon joints. Not exactly rocket science but tricky if you’ve never done such things before. The whole thing is glued together and clamped to keep flat while the glue dries. 

The unsightly burn marks on the side timbers are due to my pathetic, old and blunt saw in the Triton Workbench. I must get a new blade (and a new saw!) to do a better job. The problem is I had to mill these timbers to the appropriate profiles and the old saw is simply not up to the job. This should all sand out anyway but it is a pain in the butt.

I’ve also built this particular frame from more robust timbers with stronger joints because it will need to counter a torsional load. This frame doubles as both the end support for the kitchen bench and the main support for the back of one of the seats in the dining area. People getting in and out of the seat and pushing against the seat back while seated will tend to push this frame on a diagonal so I’ve over engineered it to compensate. I might also drop some dowels across the joints for added strength but I’ll do this from the inside of the frame so that they can’t be seen.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Surprise package

Look what turned up in the post today! Completely unexpected, this was sent to me by a regular viewer of this blog and a former QR employee. Thanks so much mate, some useful additions to my ever-expanding QR memorabilia collection!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend

A four-day weekend and lots of plans for lots of work on Clarabelle – all thwarted by rain! In a recent shower I made a quick survey of the carriage and identified some leaking windows and toplights that need attention. On top of that there are still four toplights that haven’t been installed and their timber surrounds need a lot of attention. But all of these jobs require a few dry days ahead of the job to thoroughly dry the whole area out then a few more dry days so that exposed timber doesn’t get wet before painting. Across the whole weekend there was the threat of showers. Not a big dumping but enough to stop me working outside. Bugger!

Sunday morning sun in the new bedroom
We still stayed overnight and the first pic is me in the morning with the sunlight streaming into the newly finished bedroom. This really is a nice place to be now, very comfortable and the bed now provides a perfect night’s sleep. I say ‘we’; that’s me, my son Chester and wife Abbie who came home from a folk festival early.

The fridge space from one side ...
Then there is some more work on the kitchen area including getting a second panel in on the other side of the fridge space. A lick of paint on the inside and some varnish on exposed timber and this is starting to take shape!

... and the other with the new panel installed.