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Old 03-24-2014, 07:31 PM   #371
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Today I cut and installed the ¾” plywood shower door blank—I’ll cut out the door pattern after some more measurements—and the ¼” plywood kitchen wall. The kitchen wall was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The cutouts for the plumbing seemed to be just a nightmare of measurements and cuts, but once I got started, it went smoothly and quickly. Came out pretty nice, too. The tall opening will surround the drain pipe after the sink is installed. (Ignore the piece of channel metal at the bottom of the shower door—that’s the rain gutter from over the entrance door that I haven’t yet reinstalled.)


I installed the kitchen wall all the way to the outside corner over the ¾” plywood on the door-side. I’ll eventually add corner protection of some kind—maybe angle aluminum.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:13 PM   #372
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

The shower door is complete. You’d think designing, building, and installing a single door would be an easy task, but this little project ran into four days of work. But I’m very happy with the results.

First, I measured the location for the piano hinge (.120” aluminum, 6-ft long by 5-inches wide with 2-inch knuckles, from McMaster-Carr; about $40) and mortised the inlay with a router. Right after I started this, the router spun a bearing, or threw a rod, or whatever it is that routers do that causes them to shower blue sparks around the inside of the motor housing. A quick trip to Lowes for a new router and larger straight bit and I was back to the races.

Soon-to-be dead Craftsman router and work accomplished with dull, ¼” straight bit:


Router jig made from scrap plywood and C-clamps:


After I had the mortise on the door completed, I measured the shower side wall and routed a mortise for the other leaf of the hinge. Apparently, I made a slight mistake in the measurements, because the mortise was about an eighth-of-an-inch too long. Since this side isn’t easily seen, I’m not too worried about it. I think I can fill the gap with some caulk ... or just leave it alone. ;)


The front-side mortise looks fantastic:


The door itself is attached to the hinge with these stainless steel low-profile binding posts, also known as Chicago screws. The barrel side has no features on the head, so that is what goes through the hinge and perfectly locates the door to the hinge metal; no loose play at all here so the hinge mortise should always remain very tight.


Once I had all the screw holes pre-drilled and ready to go, I again removed the plywood and cut the (very carefully measured) lines for the door opening. First the top and bottom edge, then—after mounting and unmounting the door again—the right edge at a length that would allow the striker side of the door to line up with the entry wall on the other side of the space. Every gap is parallel to within about 1/16th of an inch.



Door closed, looking forward:


The entry wall is on the right. The top edges of these two pieces were never meant to be the same height:


Perfect gaps:


Binding posts from the inside:


I used a palm sander with 120-grit paper to brighten the aluminum:


The shower stall is so tight that the door has a built-in air damped closure; I can slam it as hard as I want and it will stop with a puff of air just before the door contacts the jamb.

I still need to fabricate a latch that will work to hold the door shut on the shower stall as well as open ninety degrees to create a comfy thermal zone for the bedroom and computer desk.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:00 PM   #373
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Good looking craftsmanship!
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:18 PM   #374
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Unless you have figured out a watertight seal with your shower door, water will leak out onto your floor, in the same way that a shower curtain hanging on the outside of a tub will. If you have room you may want to hang a shower curtain instead so that you can drape it on the inside of your shower threshold.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:49 PM   #375
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

The shower door is really only a place to hang shelves and a garbage can. The door itself will be opened when I'm in the shower and I'll have a shower curtain hanging inside the door. The curtain will simply push out of the way when I close the hard door. The curtain will also allow light to enter the shower stall when I'm using it.

If you check some earlier posts, you can see the layout renders I created with SketchUp that show how it will function when complete.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #376
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Nice, I was suspecting that.

You have attention to detail. I had no doubt you had it figured out.

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Old 04-10-2014, 12:03 AM   #377
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I made a latch for the shower door, again from scrap metal leftover from other parts of the vehicle that I have piled in the “garage” area for now.

I cut down two pieces of angle aluminum and angled the protruding edges to keep from catching my sleeve or skin as I walk by. There is a coupling nut inside the door panel, surrounded with a small piece of PEX that acts as a bearing for the pivot. The stainless cap screws sandwich the levers against the coupling nut and are tight enough to make both levers raise or lower as one. It’s the same on the inside and outside, so it can be used to keep the shower door shut or hold it open against the entrance opposite the shower. A stainless steel pin through the door holds both sides up when the door is latched. I still need to fine tune the fit with nylon washers, but it works already and was simple to make.



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Old 04-10-2014, 03:27 PM   #378
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

It's the little things that are the most fun!
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:29 PM   #379
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
It's the little things that are the most fun!
Agreed.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:54 PM   #380
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

A small project and another milestone today.

I fashioned a cover for the front of my water storage area/water pump bay and put a fluted knob on one end to keep it closed, yet easy to open. The other end slides between the platform and the shower kick panel


The knob has a 5/16-18 threaded bolt and I put in a matching brass insert in the platform. The top edge of this panel will get a length of angle aluminum to protect from constant abrasion of shoes and dogs


Then I moved on to more exciting stuff. I used leftover cardboard pieces to make templates for the two walls that mount floor-to-ceiling behind the front seats. This is the same trick I used to make the entry walls and it worked perfectly. Again. My luck is amazing.

Looking from the office towards the front seats. The view in here is getting narrower and I’ll have to start taking pictures with my wide angle lens instead of the iPhone


Behind the driver seat


Detail of the cutouts around the door latch




Looking through the kitchen


Passenger side view through utility area. You can see how well I pay attention to the settings for my Kreg pocket hole tool—the first (incorrectly placed) holes are too far from the edge of the panel and the screws didn’t come close to hitting the stud in the wall. Luckily, cabinetry will hide all flaws.


With these two walls in place, the interior is really filling in. I feel like I have enough room to move around and still be cozy and efficient. There will be an insulated curtain between the two walls to seal off the cab from the rest of the interior. The only sun-exposed windows will be on the entry door, and there will be an insulated curtain across the entry as well. Essentially, I’ll be able to completely black out the interior to keep the heat out in the summer and in for the winter. I remind you that I’ll have quick access to a roof deck for those days when I want to enjoy the views from home.
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