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 Living on the Road :: Wothahellizat Mk2: Construction Diary : #15

Sat 22 Dec 2007

Peter is preparing to erect the awning over the wash bay on the side of the shed. This requires the fabrication and welding of brackets up at roof level.

Sun 23 Dec

With help from two other friends and the 20-tonne excavator we spend most of the day erecting the awning.

The excavator working as a crane.

Now that it's done we can sleep outside where we prefer. For the past few weeks we've been sleeping in the shed because it seems to constantly rain and the Cruiser leaks a bit.

Now there's a roof over the wash bay we have the best of both worlds, outdoor living with some protection from the heavy rain.

Mon 24 Dec

Yesterday the excavator filled the role of crane, today it's working as an aerial platform while Peter fixes the overhead crane.

Peter fixes the overhead crane while standing in the excavator's bucket.

Meanwhile we're installing the ducting for the diesel heater.

The heater ducting.

Over the past week or so we've been fitting out the kitchen area with cupboards, shelves etc. It's been pretty fiddly work.

Chris uses a gadget called a Dreampot (www.dreampot.com.au) to do much of our cooking. Dreampots are really just insulated containers into which you place another container of hot water and raw food, wait an hour or so, and remove cold water and cooked food.

Our Dreampot saves a heck of a lot of gas and so deserves to be specially accommodated. Because you have to lift the relatively heavy internal container from the burner then place it inside the outer part I've built a small swiveling platform under the cook top so Chris can easily move the hot food to/from the Dreampot. When done it stores back under the bench.

Chris's dreampot has its own swing-out platform under the kitchen bench, this will make it easy for her to move the internal pot to and from the cook top

Most sinks have an awkward space under them that is difficult to use effectively. It's L-shaped and therefore doesn't lend itself to any normal storage solutions. We thought about it for some time then got the idea to use one of those toolboxes with the cantilevering shelves.

We buy a cheapy, remove the two left hand shelves, and mount what remains on some drawer runners under the sink.

The result is an L-shaped sliding drawer for all Chris's cooking utensils.

The L-shaped area under the sink with modified toolkit storage.

Here's the toolkit slid out with the two cantilevering shelves open.

That leaves the toolbox's other two shelves. We have a small spot next to the "day fridge", and we also have a requirement for a slide out cutlery drawer. It's a match made in heaven.

The remaining part of the toolbox slides out from beside the small day fridge.

So what's the "day fridge"? We've had an Indel drawer fridge in the Cruiser for some time, it's proven to be very good and we don't want to leave it behind. Also, when opening a normal upright fridge 25 times during the day you lose all your cold air, so we decided to install the Indel and use it for stuff you access during the day, cold drinks, milk, sandwich filling etc. That's it with the black front in the above photo.

Then there's the mangle. Despite several attempts by me over the years to get Chris to buy a small normal-type washing machine she's happy with the bucket-and-impeller one we have and a mangle to wring the clothes out.

Many motorhomers have mangles and when we first decided to get one I did the rounds of the antique and second hand shops. "No chance" I was told. Then one day at the markets where I was selling my photos I spotted it, our mangle, made in the 50s but never used and still in the box with grease-paper wrapping.

What a find, and only $60.

It's the style that used to clamp on the divide on those old concrete dual wash tubs, so I don't even have to modify it, just mount it somehow.

In Wothahellizat 1 the mangle slid out from under the kitchen bench, but this time it will be stored in the wall behind the bench and swing out on hinges.

The mangle in its stored location.

And swung out over the kitchen sink.

It seems to work well although we can't try it for real yet. Some of the paintwork is a little tired, maybe it's due for a reno.

Mon 24 Dec

More internal fit out. We've built the door that leads into the cab and installed the cab-to-body gusset (the fabric bit that connects the two).

On the back of the door hangs the small step ladder that we will use to access the bedroom.

Wed 26 Dec

And now for something really important...beer.

For months now I've been agonizing over how to store my beer bottles, and I've finally come up with a solution. I've already built the slide out compartment, I just need a method of storing as many bottles as possible without them falling over.

Solution, closed-cell foam rubber, with holes cut to take the bottle bases.

At $60 for a square of 25mm foam rubber I'll make a prototype for testing from an old piece.

It seems to work so we mark out the real thing and half-cut the holes with a 70mm hole saw.

I'm happy with the spacing so complete the cuts. Given the amount of material left we sure paid dearly for the foam, I wonder if they'll give me a refund on the offcuts.

And here is the finished product, 65 bottles stored nice and snug. There will be a lid on the compartment that will hold the tops in place.

And because I'm a photographer I have to shoot a couple of abstracts.

Sun 30 Dec

We had an air conditioner in Wothahellizat 1 and never used it, but it make sense to keep it I think and so I installed the unit some time ago.

Now I have to look into the ducting.

The A/C has three outlets and it's normal to connect three flexible ducts to these and route them throughout the house, but I don't have room for that.

The three outlets (the black duct is from the heater).

What I do have is a 60mm wall cavity, so it seems reasonable to force the air through that cavity to get it up near the ceiling where I do have room for some proper ducting.

To do this I have to build a box to redirect the air from outlets and force it into the wall cavity.

Here the ducts are covered with my newly-made box, the air will exit through the opening at the top of the box. I'm getting quite good at this tin folding.

The cavity also has to house some power points and my original plan was to just let the air waft up past the wiring, but I decided to channel the air properly and so partition the wall cavity.

The wall cavity with the A/C at the bottom and my ducting to channel the air up to the proper ducts at the top. The six rectangular cutouts are for power points and the stuff on the left is the pantry. Mouse over the photo to highlight the duct.

Here's a closer view, of course this will all be boxed in by the wall cladding. The square white, and round silver, ducts carry the cold air to the kitchen and the other end of the lounge room. You can just see one of the lounge room outlets at the extreme right of the photo (the rectangle cut into the white duct).

For ducting I've used a couple of metres of the original flexible duct I bought with the A/C all those years ago and never used. That should handle the air emitting from one of the A/C outlets and direct it to the kitchen. However that's not enough, so I've also used some plastic down pipe (normally used on gutters) with an area roughly equal to the other two outlets to send air into the lounge room.

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