April 18, 2012

The galley begins

With the interior walls and ceiling finished up, it was time to officially start figuring out the galley.  The major parts were figured out already when we did the wall framing, the height of the counter and locations of the walls dividing the galley from the cabin, but we still needed to finalize the layout.  So before we built anything, I had another brainstorming session with SketchUp.

We’ve picked out a few of the key components of the galley – food storage containers, two burner camp stove, sink and faucet – so that gave me the minimum dimensions of what we needed to maintain.  I wanted to keep the design simple.  A shelf above the counter for food storage containers with a lip to prevent them from falling off; a cabinet for dishes above the stove area; a pull out shelf for the stove with storage underneath; and a larger cabinet under the sink area for water storage and pots and pans and such – whew!  I had drawn up a basic layout in CAD already, so when I transferred the info into SketchUp, I simply added material thickness and framing locations.

The purple highlighted parts in the left image are the insulated walls & the counter

Manned with my model, I took everything outside to the trailer to sketch out on paper the actual dimensions and heights we would need to cut out.  We decided to use the same method to frame out the interior walls as the exterior walls using 1x2 pine for the framing and ¼” birch veneer for the skin.  The positions of the horizontals verticals are where the cabinet divisions and shelving will be located so I have something to screw into when we get to that stage.  After building the frame, we nailed on one side of the birch skin, then screwed it into the trailer walls.  On the bottom wall, we also added one screw straight down into the floor for added rigidity.  

The counter was made out of two 1” thick pine panels that we found at Lowe’s.  We had thought of using butcher block, but figured it would end up being too heavy.  These panels were light weight and came in 48” lengths and varying widths.  We bought a 12” wide panel and a 20” wide panel to give us a counter deep enough to run though the galley into the cabin giving us a small shelf.  

screwing the boards together & notching to fit around the exterior walls

The upper wall was a bit of a challenge to fit into to the curve, but we managed to persuade it into place.  We also used the same R-4 Rigid insulation we used in the side walls to help keep the cabin warm.

Sitting in the cabin admiring my insulation

 The counter is simply resting in place for the moment.  After the rest of the galley is assembled, we are going to stain the counter a dark color to match the Okume and give it a good coating of poly to make it really durable.  The cabin is really feeling cozy now! 

April 11, 2012

Ceiling of DOOM

By far the hardest part of the build (apart from the initial electrical) was installing the ceiling.  We knew this would be a challenge and read all sorts of stories on-line about how people would soak the plywood, use heated towels or complicated jigs and clamping systems.  I didn’t think the curve was too bad so we decided to throw caution to the wind and just force the plywood in after trimming it down to size.  DUMB IDEA.  The plywood went in fine to begin with but bending it required more force then we thought it would and as soon as it got within 3” of being flush to the spars the veneer would buckle and then crack.  We tried twice with the two sheets we had… it didn’t work either time.

So instead of wasting the plywood we simply cut it into sections.  The back half had very little curve and it went up with no problem.  To attach it to the spars we used 1” furniture screws, the key being that they didn’t require pre-drilling. 

Since we were cutting the panels up, this meant that we had to add extra spars so that there would be a surface for each new panel to rest against and screw into.  More work, but hey, the more spars the stronger the frame right?  Whatever we need to tell ourselves…

The next section was where the curve was the sharpest and, pardon my French, it was a BITCH to put in.  We learned from our earlier mistake though and gave the plywood a good soaking with the garden hose before trying to install it.  Then using what little muscles I had, I forced it up into place holding it with a 1x support while Darrell screwed it into place as fast as he possible could.  We were both sweating and exhausted after, but it worked!  YAYAYAYAY! 

The rest of the ceiling was easy in comparison.  Darrell first finished framing out the fan and then cut the plywood to fit.  It’s not as clean as we had hoped for, but it defiantly works.  We’ve also decided to cover all of the seams and gaps with strips of galvanized steel Darrell salvaged from work.  I think this will be a cool detail and we could even use them to hang things up with magnets.  Either way it’s really starting to feel like a camper now!


Ceiling Success!