Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vardo coming along

So we've been working slowly but steadily on our little vardo camper.  Last time I posted, we had just begun getting the two end panels on.  Well, we've made a lot of progress since then:
We got both sides framed and added the rafters.  These are notched into the tongue and groove ends for stability.  We also got the sides skinned with beadboard paneling:

And I got the door and window on the back end cut.  The "back end" is actually the front, but it's the end away from the trailer hitch. 

I added a little detail around the window while Dale was doing the plywood attaching on the sides.  For this window, I used the last remaining stained glass panel and had to cut/reassemble it -- here's what I had left:
Just a long skinny half.  I cut that in half - you can see where I drew a line with sharpie above -- and then I cut the lead with a utility knife. Lead is super soft and cuts easily.  Then I snapped it in half.

 I cut off some of the extra lead, and then cleaned off the cement that is used to weather proof it. 

I removed the center rectangles from one piece, cleaned out the channel, then slid the two halves together.

Then all I had to do was further clean up the lead, solder the joints and cement the new joins.  Then it was all ready to go!

So now I have a window for the door end of our little vardo!  I didn't show it here, but I also cut down that wide outer edge of lead channel, so I didn't have so much to hide in the window frame.

The other thing I did this week is get the bow window for the other end (mostly) finished.  I still need to put the last window in, but I needed to run out last night and pick up some hinges.  We still are working on ways to get it to prop open, but those are just little details to work on later.  Here's what it looks like so far:

I think I will make some kind of sloping roof for it -- it looks a little flat across the top.  A sloping roof will probably also make it a little aerodynamic, since this is the "leading edge" when we are towing it.  The window will be hinged at the top and open out from the bottom.  We'll also have to make shutters for this window so that the glass is protected while we haul it.  We're thinking something like this:

that, by the way is from a blog post here:
There are a lot of great internet resources, including the blog above, instructables, other people's generous build journals and a wonderful site called Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers, which has a ton of resources on building methods.  We've gotten a lot of useful information there.

Finally, I also made frames for my two stained glass panels for the side windows:

These are ready to hang as well in their own window spaces, but I need to get the framing done around the holes before we hang them. 

We picked up the materials for the roof, so that's our next job in this project!

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