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Old 01-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #241
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Re: The Roach Motel

The table, chairs, and windows look very nice. Is that wood paneling that you used?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:51 AM   #242
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Originally Posted by roach711
... I can't take much credit for the final floor plan (this one's probably version 5.3). The big stuff is where it is because it wouldn't fit anywhere else or would be really inconvenient to use in another spot or because the plumbing wouldn't work where I first wanted the thing placed. I originally had a much different plan in mind but reality intervened and this is what came about... the bus mostly told ME where stuff would fit instead of the other way around.
And you shouldn't argue with the bus!

One thing that newbies have a hard time grasping at first seems to be the problems with drains, frame & wheels. We started out with the basic floor plan I had laid out for the Eagle. Then had to modify it based on the intrusive wheel wells. We learned that you put in the big "have to have stuff", put closets, etc over the wheels, figure out where your tanks will hang underneath and the rest will sort itself out.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #243
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Originally Posted by Accordion
The table, chairs, and windows look very nice. Is that wood paneling that you used?
The cabinets, closets, ends of the dinette seat, the trim over the wheelchair door and the table are made out of 3/4" oak plywood with a satin polyurethane finish. The table got solid oak edging and the table leg is also solid oak. The white parts of the dinette seat are 3/8" bead board painted white. The window trim pieces are just 1/4" luan plywood with some tan naugahyde stapled on.

One of my other hobbies is building furniture so I had all the tools (mainly the table saw) to knock out the bus woodwork without too much trouble.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #244
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Re: The Roach Motel

People with wood skills make it looks easy and beautiful....others....like me...make it "rustic"
I love what you've done
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:23 PM   #245
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Re: The Roach Motel

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People with wood skills make it looks easy and beautiful....others....like me...make it "rustic"
I love what you've done
Seriously folks, it's the oak plywood that makes it look so good - the carpentry is pretty basic.

Take the dinette seat for instance - I cut the curved parts of the end pieces with a sabre saw, hand sanded the cut edges then brushed on three coats of polyurethane (no stain). Anyone can do that. The table saw makes easy work of straight and parallel edges but anyone with a good straight edge and a circular saw can do just as well.

To build the cabinets I used the table saw to cut dadoes (basically flat-bottomed U shaped grooves) in the plywood face in order to glue the side or bottom panels into the front. If I didn't have a table saw I would use angle brackets or aluminum angle bars to screw the sides to the front. A sabre saw or circular saw will also do a good job cutting out the door openings as well.

Oak or birch plywood is more expensive than A-B or A-C pine plywood but looks massively better with a nice finish on it. Oil-based polyurethane gives an amber glow to the wood and water-based clear finishes are water clear with no amber hue. I was originally going to build my cabs. out of birch ply and use the water-based finish for a nearly white look, but I had a bunch of oak and oil poly around and used that.

This is all quite do-able for anyone mad enough to tackle a bus conversion
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:41 PM   #246
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Originally Posted by roach711
... Oak or birch plywood is more expensive than A-B or A-C pine plywood but looks massively better with a nice finish on it...
But if you are simply going to paint, then it's a shame to spend all the $$ on good oak/birch ply. We used a cheaper grade of plywood (also 1/2" so had to use cleats on my frameless cabinets) in an effort to keep the cost & weight down. The cleats also help secure the light rail under the cabinets. Rock Hard Putty smoothed out the "bad" spots and filled in the gaps in the exposed plies. Once all installed, no cabinet sides will be visible in my galley. Without the doors on, all you see now is the face (exposed ply) and the latex painted interior. Doors will be thicker than "normal" as they will be made from the leftover part of the 3/4" oak plywood we will use for the countertop (stained and poly). I want doors thick enough to let me put a cup hook or screw into it ANYWHERE I choose to. Making frameless cabinets is easy and these plans are free.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #247
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Re: The Roach Motel

Lorna, you are correct about methods of making cabinets without using framework. I did that. I used L-brackets to attach the bottom of the cabinet to the face frame as well as to install them to the inner metal of the bus roof. Here is a brief explanation of how I made my cabinets.

In this picture, you see an upper cabinet above the bed.

How I make these is as follows: first I measure height that I want the cabinet to be. Then I measure the width of the space.

I then cut on the table saw, that piece of plywood.

Then I mark out where the openings are to be. Then I put the blade on the table saw all the way down and set the fence according to my measurements.

I put the board against the fence, start the saw, and then crank up the saw blade, thereby plunging it into the wood from the bottom.

Then I run the cut to the mark of my layout of the opening. I repeat the process on all of the marked out openings.

Then I take a small laminate trimmer router set up with a quarter inch roundover bit and roundover the inside of the openings on the outside face.

Lastly, I use a palm sander to smooth out those roundover edges. Then will come the stain on the face frame and doors attached that are stained as well.


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Old 01-20-2013, 12:05 PM   #248
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Re: The Roach Motel

I used Accordian's table saw method of cutting out my door openings which worked out really well. Lorna's cabinet design is perfectly fine too. Just different ways to get to the same end. I, too, used the door cutouts from the larger cabinets to make the smaller cabinet doors. Probably saved two sheets of plywood that way.

I used 3/4" ply for my closets because they're open in the back with no plywood stiffener back panel, so the front is providing most of the lateral stiffness. The side panels are attached to the bus walls with angle brackets.

Agreeing with Lorna, If I was going to paint my cabs I would have used much cheaper plywood.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #249
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Re: The Roach Motel

I've got two GC-2 6V golf cart batteries which live in a sealed and vented plywood box in the bottom of my passenger side storage closet.



I built the box out of plywood and coated the inside with fiberglass resin to seal the box and keep the battery fumes from eating it up. The top seals to the sides with some closed cell foam weatherstrip and bolts down with wing nuts so I can easily get at the batteries to top off the water once in a while. You don't want battery fumes getting at your electronics so a decent seal is desirable. The box is vented through the bus side wall by a vent I bought at Dyers RV. The vent needed an extension so I epoxied a sink trap to the top of the box. When I need to open the box I just unscrew the trap nut to disconnect the vent.

As long as you keep your batteries well charged they shouldn't freeze (though I don't know how that works in Alaska winter temperatures). They do provide a good bit more power at room temperature than they do at zero degrees so keeping them warm inside the bus is a plus.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:23 PM   #250
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Re: The Roach Motel

Spring has returned to Michigan and I finally got my butt in gear.

First up is a trim piece for the fuel pickup access hatch under the bed. I also put a door on the storage area under the bed and cut a slot in the panel next to it so I could check the level in our water tank.



Here's a paper towel dispenser made from scrap oak.



I found an old mirror and put a frame around it for the "bathroom area."



I bought some cup holders from a poker table place online and put two in the table and two more next to Renee's passenger seat. Cup holders are a must-have these days. My niece gave us the neat outhouse salt and pepper shakers.




Built a little coral for Renee's drink cooler so it doesn't go flying forward when I hit the brakes.



There's empty space behind the fiberglass trim just over the driver's seat so I cut a hole in it and made a door to cover it. I mounted the Trimetric battery monitor just over the driver's seat as well. It's visible from most of the bus and I can check batteries while driving.



And last, but not least, a bracket and strap to hold the big cooler in place. I lucked out and found that strap on the side of the road. Later on we're planning to get a Dometic AC/DC Coolfreeze cooler that will take the place of my ancient Coleman cooler.



The creature comforts are done, I just need to do a bit more trimming on the inside and get some curtains up and we're good to go. I still need to run battery cables from the chassis batteries to the house batteries. After that the vehicle air conditioning needs to be re-done.
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