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 Living on the Road :: Wothahellizat Mk1 :: Construction Diary :: #24

5 Feb 2000

We are getting serious now about selling up and have put GARP (Gray's Asset Reduction Program) into motion. Actually this should be called GARP 2 as we had GARP 1 a few years ago when we moved from a 40 square, internal pool, sauna, gym, workshops etc house into a 12 square town house.

So what are we selling? Just about everything I guess. My car is on the market, I had it detailed (first time it's been washed in the six years I've owned it) and I'm riding one of the motor bikes so it won't get dirty. The bike is fun, at least in the nice weather we're having, and it's interesting to be less isolated from natural things such as the smell of pine, newly cut grass and rotten kangaroo corpses.

Both houses go on the market very soon as will my darkroom equipment.

Most of our furniture has already been sold including the washing machine, Chris figured that we won't have one in the motor home so she may as well start hand washing now.

We spend so much time at the workshop now that it doesn't really matter if we have anything at home, in fact it doesn't really matter if we have a home. We've set up the workshop with a fridge and microwave and it has dunnies, a shower and a kitchenette so we can live there quite comfortably and probably will if the house sells quickly.

Three things I'm not selling are cameras, tools and our Jason recliners. We've been sitting in those recliners for 15 years, they're just so comfortable there's no way we're leaving them behind so they're going into the motor home.

10 Feb 2000

I talked before about the method of applying cladding using VHB tape and showed some drawings of how to hang the sheets from locating pins. Now here are some photos of the process, note that this is a small sheet that doesn't require the pins as it can easily be rested on some magnetic squares placed on the bottom of the frame.

First clean the frame and apply the tape.

Then peel back the ends of each piece of tape's backing and hold with masking tape. Note that I do both ends as a backup measure in case the backing tears as it is being removed (more about this later).

Here is a detail shot of the process.

Now place the sheet in position and clamp as necessary. Note that the clamp(s) should not be applied anywhere near a piece of tape that has has its backing removed. You now have all the time in the world to accurately position the sheet or even remove it for a last minute adjustment.

Now begin peeling the backing from behind the sheet. Press lightly in a few places to hold the sheet but don't press too close to an edge that has not had its backing removed as this will make the removal difficult.

When all the backing has been removed press firmly on all taped areas then bash with a rubber mallet.

All done.

Now I said I'd talk about the backing tearing. There are two types of VHB designed for this application, 4951 and 4950. They are essentially the same except that 4951 can be applied at temperatures down to zero degrees. There is however one other difference I discovered, their backing material.

The 4951 has a clear, mylar-like backing that is very strong. The 4950 has a more paper-like backing that will tear with little or no provocation which is a real pain in the arse. For this reason I peeled back both ends so if the backing tore as I was removing it from one end I had a second chance from the other.

If the backing tears again as you are removing from the second end you are in trouble as this leaves a piece of backing still attached to the tape and of course there will be no adhesion to the sheet in that area. This has happened a few times but it's not a total disaster as I found that I could usually extract the offending piece of backing with a knife and a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

15 Feb 2000

Well the cladding is mostly done and I'm starting to get a bit worried about the weight of the truck. I got some trade plates from the engineer who certified the body so I could go down to the weigh bridge. While I had the plates I decided it was time for some "sea trials" to see how the truck performs both on and off road.

Here we see the truck all twisted up on a spot we chose to give as much twist to the chassis as possible. Check out the difference between the front and rear axles.

Judging by the facial expressions it seemed that passing motorists could not believe their eyes. A ranger stopped to see if we needed any help, understandable I guess as it looked for the world like the truck was broken.

Chris and Bob peer under the body looking for problems.

Two wheels up...

And two wheels down...

No wonder the ranger stopped.

That's ten degrees difference between the body and the chassis, the same as measured in trials I performed before building the body.

Everything worked well, there's a couple of small things that need attention but by and large it's working as designed.

The next day I went to weigh my toy. It came in at 9.94 tonnes which was a bit more than I'd hoped for but not unexpected.

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PO Box 450, Gin Gin, QLD, Australia.