Treatex Hardwax Oil

One of many combination oil and wax finishes suitable for wood (Osmo is another popular brand which I haven’t used). It gives good plywood a beautiful smooth sheen, and is easy to apply with a rag.

Way better than water-based PU varnish, in my experience.

£26 for a 1 litre can.

Drawer runners

These are 45cm, full-extension, side-mounted, ball bearing runners.

If your drawers and cabinets are square, and a good fit, proper runners like these are the way to go (rather than fitting wooden rails for the drawers to slide on). They feel secure, smooth, and let you pull the drawer out all the way when opening.

My only regret is that these runners are heavier than needed, and we could have got away with some lighter duty runners.

£6 per pair from Screwfix.

A winter trip to the Lake District

Early December is one of the best times of year to go to the Lake District (one of the best mountainous regions in the UK).

So we finished up a few jobs we needed to complete, and installed a couple more prototype bits of furniture and headed north to make the most of it.

The weather was perfect: very cold, with fresh snow on the hills, and a few flurries in the air. Clear blue skies, and air still enough to light a candle.

The only snag was that our gas installation was not quite complete, so we were without a gas hob, or our gas heater, even though 99% of the components had been installed. Continue reading “A winter trip to the Lake District”

Sequoia table legs

We bought two of these for our main table. The fitting is pretty straightforward, the floor plate is low profile, and they’re nicely made, but there’s no getting away from the fact that one or two table legs are not enough to support a reasonable sized table without framing or wobbling. That’s why conventional tables have skirts attaching the legs to the table top.

So we’re trying to design a table support system that uses a fixed rail at the back with these two legs at the front. More to come on that in the build diary.

£55 each from Chippy’s Workshop (one was slightly scratched on delivery, but otherwise this supplier is OK.)

Hammerite Underbody Seal paint

We’re using this to protect the gas tank, which is mounted under the chassis – i.e. in a space where it’s vulnerable to grit, dirt and road debris.

This is recommended by the suppliers of the gas tank, and claims to provide:

Heavy duty protection for underbody, wheel arches and other high impact areas. Powerful rust inhibitors based on the Waxoyl system displace moisture and seal the surface against further corrosion.

I think this is something where we’ll have to report back once we’ve had some time on the road.

£5 from Screwfix.

Hafele Gas Strut

We fitted these to the overhead cabinets, which have doors that open upwards above your head. The struts hold the doors open, but they also have some initial resistance which hold the doors tight when closed. Hopefully this will mean we don’t need to add latches to these doors.

They’re easy to fit, and they give the doors a very pleasing opening and closing action.

£4 each from Screwfix.

2017-10-29: Recognisable furniture

Some things in the van that look a bit like furniture!

This weekend, we’ve made some satisfying progress in the van, with a few new things going in that make it look a lot more like a home.

The two base units that form the support for the bed are largely complete, bar a few doors. That means we have a functioning bed, a bench seat, and some fixed storage too.

We ordered some foam for the mattress, which we’ve chopped up and covered in stockinette (a stretchy, loosely-woven lining that protects the foam and helps a mattress cover slide over it).

Amy sewing stockinette linings over the foam mattress sections

We also ordered some table legs, and we’ve been trying out different methods for supporting the table top, and making the conversion from bed to bench + table manageable.

And we also have one more piece of finished furniture installed – the overhead cabinets on the passenger side (above the bench), made out of birch ply, with doors supported on gas struts, and a felt lining on the inside of the cabinet.

The gas struts hold the cabinet doors both open and closed, which means no need for latches.

In a way, the van looks quite similar to the state it was in back in August, but this is one iteration on, with mistakes corrected for, some lessons learned and everything that much more well-considered.