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Old 08-27-2012, 12:03 AM   #151
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
VERY nice job. I don't know how you wood guys get the corners to fit like that!--if I can't fill it with weld I'm in big trouble! Nice job.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
As they say, the tools are the trade. Pick yourself up a decent table saw and you'll be doing joints like that in no time.
The man is right. I could have used my electric miter saw, but mine is a 10" blade and the wood started as 2x6 stock, so I couldn't cut it in a single pass and that's no way to get a clean cut. I ended up making all the miter cuts on the table saw, then I ripped them into two pieces each, one for the bottom of the door and one for the support around the hole. In this way I was able to get perfectly matched pairs on either side of the mating surface where the door meets the hatchway. I also squared the material on the table saw so each edge of all the lumber is perfectly square to all the other edges. In effect, I shaved off all the factory edges and was left with nicely squared lumber bits.

I can't wait to get this whole thing finished and installed. The only thing I don't like is the latch hardware I'm going to use. I couldn't find a suitable latch that looked nice and was strong enough to hold the door closed against the rubber weatherstripping I'm going to put in, so I'm going with a simple padlock hasp. I'll use a pin to keep it closed when not in use. I'm also going to support the door when open with a gas strut. I found a great assortment in a RV parts catalog with different length and weight ratings for individual struts and mounting hardware.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:20 AM   #152
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

They make catalogues for furniture accessories like latches, hinges, etc..for wood workers.. should be online as well.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:24 AM   #153
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Originally Posted by chev49
They make catalogues for furniture accessories like latches, hinges, etc..for wood workers.. should be online as well.
True, but the hasp I bought is exactly what I need, if not exactly how I would like it to look. What the hell, it was only $5 and it's not like anyone is going to see it hidden in a hatch hole two feet above their heads.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:07 PM   #154
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

.. with that weather lip hanging down I'd keep a sharp eye out for wasps and hornets setting up house .. I hate those kinda surprises ..
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:36 PM   #155
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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.. with that weather lip hanging down I'd keep a sharp eye out for wasps and hornets setting up house .. I hate those kinda surprises ..
Indeed. I will remain vigilant.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:48 PM   #156
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Beautiful work on the roof hatches
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:57 PM   #157
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Beautiful work on the roof hatches
Thank you, sir!

--------------------

Today I installed weatherstripping and hinges....

Two half-inch-wide strips of rubber weatherstripping seal out the elements. The strips come in ten-foot lengths and the perimeter of the joint is just over ten feet, so there is a small gap in one of the rows of weatherstripping at the back edge of the opening. The aluminum skirt that will go over the entire door will cover the area with the gap and should provide plenty of protection. Plus, all of this will be lower than the surrounding roof deck surface, so it shouldn't be directly exposed to any strong winds or driving rain/snow.


Two four-inch brushed nickel hinges are mortised into the door and hatch support. I painted the mortise to seal the wood before installing the hinges (and got paint all over the weatherstripping when I did it). This is where my woodworking skills are a little shaky; I'm not terrible with a chisel, but you can see where I cut a little more than I needed to make the hinge fit. I figure no one will see this part when the whole thing is finished. Since the upper and lower parts of the seam are cut from matched pieces of lumber, the seal is very tight and even all around. I shouldn't have any problems with leakage or air infiltration.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:40 PM   #158
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Could you direct me to the RV catalogue you spoke of that identifies struts and their weight capabilities? That would be handy data for a lot of us. Thanks, Jack
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:48 PM   #159
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
Could you direct me to the RV catalogue you spoke of that identifies struts and their weight capabilities? That would be handy data for a lot of us. Thanks, Jack
I picked up the paper copy of the catalog at Tri-Am RV Center here in Ocala. The web site is http://www.triamrv.com, but that site redirects to http://www.rvlifestyles.net/ for hardware. Use the search tool to find "gas prop" and you'll get a long list of sizes and weight ratings.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:50 PM   #160
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Next step: An aluminum cover and skirt for the hatch door.

I measured, marked, and cut a sheet of .032 aluminum to wrap around the door and down a few inches past the seal.


The corners at the front (near the hinges) require a funky cut to avoid interfering with the opening of the door to almost ninety degrees.


The other two corners are pretty simple.


I fashioned a simple metal bending brake from several pieces of wood and a lot of clamps and was able to bend the aluminum into what I wanted. That part wasn't fun, but I probably saved myself fifty to a hundred bucks by doing it myself.

This is a hinge corner from the inside with the cover upside down ...


... and from the outside as it will be installed.


At this point I was planning to weld the joints with Alumalloy, but that quickly turned into an ugly mess. (I need more practice or the metal is too thin or I was using too much heat....) Instead I decided to use aluminum tape (the kind used for sealing roof gutters) and caulk. It's watertight and that's what matters.

The cover will be fastened to the door with four carriage bolts. I don't want to glue it down because I may need to access the hinges someday and glue would make that very difficult. The carriage bolts will get acorn nuts on the inside to hide and dress up the bolt threads.
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