Wrote This Yesterday, Too Tired To Post It. LONG!

Recent rain has suited my mood perfectly. Gloomy through and through. The truck was covered by several tarps “just in case”, so at least I didn’t have to worry about it too…or so I thought. I guess a bit of wind must have picked up, and pulled the top tarp askew, allowing water access to the unprotected roof sheathing. Water made it’s way down through the wool insulation and into the ceiling. Sigh…but no permanent damage done. Wool is very forgiving. When sunshine peeked through yesterday, I pulled the tarp off to allow drying to start. According to Weatherbug, no more rain is predicted for a few days so I’ll leave the roof uncovered as long as possible.
My aching body and hand appreciate the break.
No laying around for me though! I’ve been using the indoor time to once again sort through the many piles of stuff I accumulated for the original Oliver’s Nest. It’s a bittersweet time, seeing the cool supplies for that build, many of which aren’t needed for the much smaller truck house. It’s doubtful i’ll manage to hang on to the trailer house, so I’m letting go of things I worked for years to gather. Hopefully there are people out there who can put them to good use. 😐 There’s always the option to re-donate items to a ReStore. I refuse to just dump them.
Of course, now if I need something for this build, it’s now easy to find. A huge plus.
Anyway, I now have a well organized and equipped tool box, my beading supplies are fitted into their own tool box, all the motorcycle gear is contained and ready for transferring to an eventual built-in, I’ve pared down clothing to fit into the space allotted, and on and so on. Still to go is going through all the kitchen supplies to get them down to an amount that will fit into my much-smaller kitchen space. That will be painful! I love to cook, both indoors and outdoors, which takes different equipment. I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t need all the specialty items I’d planned on. Just the basics! Well, I’m going to try to sneak in a few cool things. 😆
Another large and potentially painful project is letting go of a huge amount of computer and other electronic goodies. As an old computer builder and wannabe geek, hanging on to potentially useful bits and pieces is second nature. That simply won’t work. There are many used computer repair shops in town I’ll be donating supplies to.
I’m working my way through the food supplies as I have a ton of it in standby. Lots of interesting meals as a result again! I’m working towards eating the high fat, mid protein, low carb diet as soon as my cupboards are bare. Should be interesting on the road…. But some health issues dictate I try.
What else, what else… Ah. I made two templates for the skylights to try out placement of them. The actual skylights are HEAVY so I’m not interested in hefting them around 11 feet off the ground. I’ve fallen once and that’s plenty! What am I using for the skylights? Those beautiful old French doors. They are solid oak and I’m going over them pane by pane ensuring each seam is tight and well sealed. Once I have the funds I’m going to cover them with polycarbonate plastic sheets, well sealed. This is very strong stuff with the only downside that it scratches fairly easily. As the goal here is to protect the glass and to help keep water out, I can live with some possible marring. A little secret: I want at least the rear-most skylight to be able to open up towards the back end of the truck. That’ll allow easy access to the roof and more air flow inside. Unsure if the other skylight will open. The two front windows definitely will, and I’m excited about being able to sit on my bed but be mostly outside! Great emergency exit to the hood, too. So very many plans! Hold good thoughts that I will have at least another year here, OK? At my pace, I’ll need it! 😁
To end this rather lengthy update, I’ll fill you in on my current adventure. I’m writing this while sitting on a curb at a local store (looking for heavy-duty hinges), waiting for a tow truck to carry my little scooter home. I tried to get away with using her while gathering funds for her repair, which apparently was a bad idea! Yay, me!
Here’s hoping your day is going more smoothly than mine. 😉

What's going on here is that I've started framing in the two front windows and one of the skylights.  Lots and lots of glue!

What’s going on here is that I’ve started framing in the two front windows and one of the skylights. Lots and lots of glue!

Hard To Post Lately.

Why has it been hard?  Two reasons:  the first is that I was scared off the road on my scooter by a *very* close encounter with a deer and crashed, and the second is my old nemesis, my mood disorder.  I’ve decided to try powering through that, and despite being a bit smooshed from the accident, have gotten a bunch done.  This will be a picture-heavy post because my hand hurts 🙂

Thank goodness for insurance!

Thank goodness for insurance!

The trade-off for light weight is plastic body panels that crack and break easily.

The trade-off for light weight is plastic body panels that crack and break easily.

To keep this post safe for everyone I won't show ALL my damaged bits!

To keep this post safe for everyone I won’t show ALL my damaged bits!

I sprained my ankle and one of my fingers.  Ouch.

I sprained my ankle and one of my fingers. Ouch.

Done, Done, Done!

Front fuel line mod is now Done, Done, Done!

Having something to trace the proper curve really helped.  Freestyle tends to get me into trouble!

Having something to trace the proper curve really helped. Freestyle tends to get me into trouble!

Still to be done is framing for the windows on the rear, and all the very front and roof framing.

Still to be done is framing for the windows on the rear, and all the very front and roof framing.

Tried to get a good picture of my pup but he wouldn't stay still. :)

Tried to get a good picture of my pup Hank but he wouldn’t stay still. 🙂

Tried to get a nice pic of Leo too, but he wanted to head-butt me instead....

Tried to get a nice pic of Leo too, but he wanted to head-butt me instead….

He finally stood still for me!  I love that he keeps me company while I work (and swear, and cry, and finally fist-pump when I get something done).

He finally stood still for me! I love that he keeps me company while I work (and swear, and cry, and finally fist-pump when I get something done).

A Helping Hand

My son came over yesterday and we moved the back tank’s fuel filler line!  It takes more muscle than I posses to force the pieces together, so he donated his strength to the cause.  It is so nice to have a little help sometimes, even though I wish I could do it ALL myself.  It’s an internal fight I tend to have over many things, but this one is too important for me to be too proud.  There are times when accepting or even asking for help is the smart thing to do.  We didn’t do the front one as it turned out I didn’t have enough hose clamps.  They will be arriving tomorrow so this should finally be completed by end of day tomorrow or Wednesday.  I so love Amazon Prime!

Needs a couple more clamps here....

Needs a couple more clamps here….

There was no way to move these things in such a way as to keep them out of the living area.

There was no way to move these things in such a way as to keep them out of the living area.

Looks professional!

Looks professional!

Before my boy got here, I spent several hours filing in the cabover sleeping area with the sheep wool insulation, and getting part of it covered with the sub floor.  I was afraid it would be difficult to handle the heavy plywood up there, but it went quickly and easily.  I was pleased to see that everything was square.  I have to use the truck and metal bracing itself as the “level”, and thankfully the ground is pretty level so it hasn’t been hard to handle that.  Otherwise, I’d have to keep everything equally unbalanced, if that makes sense.

As for the insulation, I discovered something interesting.  I pulled both some pink fiberglass and a box of sheep wool out, and found an ugly and disgusting RAT NEST, complete with a freaking large rat (which scared me and yes, I squawked!) in the pink stuff.  The wool, while a little musty around the edges, was otherwise perfect.  The box was super disintegrated from moisture, but no rats, mice, bugs, etc.  I’m once again glad I went with the expensive but environmentally-conscious wool.  No matter how I try, everything here molds, melts or rusts!

So gross!  Big ol' rat jumped out while I was moving the bag, yuck!

So gross! Big ol’ rat jumped out while I was moving the bag, yuck!

Completely undamaged sheep wool withstood the weather and local wildlife.

Completely undamaged sheep wool withstood the weather and local wildlife.

PicShop-94F5562747FBE3AB34C01C90B8BB8FE6

Once again needing cutouts for the metal bracing.

Once again needing cutouts for the metal bracing.

Last thing is I picked up a couple more windows from the local ReStore/Habitat For Humanity for $10 each.  I am not going to be able to use the gorgeous double-paned windows I already have, as they are not advised for campers.  The seal breaks too easily, especially for a house that might go four-wheeling!

36" by 18" Matching Single-Pane Windows.

36″ by 18″ Matching Single-Pane Windows.

Sorry about the picture placement.  WordPress and I having our typical fight.  Peace out 🙂

Mostly Moping But A Little Progress

Yeah….Hi, my name is Parker, and I’m a moper.  Do they have a 12-step for that?   All I can say is that depression sucks.  It hasn’t completely gotten the best of me though, and I have gotten things done.  Short post today because I’m still not in a great mood, but I wanted to record my progress.

First off,  the cabover portion is ready for insulation and the 3/4″ plywood subfloor.  Everything is bolted, nailed or screwed firmly together.  One thing I did differently with this area as opposed to the flatbed was to use several layers of fine metal screen mesh over the planks for both keeping the wool inside, and for allowing it to dry if it gets damp.  The mesh will also keep bugs and tiny critters out of the insulation (shudder).  On the flatbed I used metal panels with drip holes.  Another difference is that I used angled metal straps to attach the planks to the joists as another way to ensure they hold together snugly.  I’ve stood on the joists, jumped up and down on the planks, and tried to shift the various pieces, and it’s solid.

Three layers of metal mesh will serve to allow the insulation to breathe, yet keep out nasty critters.

Three layers of metal mesh will serve to allow the insulation to breathe, yet keep out nasty critters.

It doesn't show in this picture, but the metal angles are spaced evenly over the cabover to ensure each plank is attached.

It doesn’t show in this picture, but the metal angles are spaced evenly over the cabover to ensure each plank is attached.

On another subject, I finally checked out the fuel filler hose situation myself today.  Turns out it’s not that big a deal and I’m going to do the fix myself.  The supplies should all arrive by the end of the week at the latest.  This piece from Amazon turned out to be perfect for my needs, and is inexpensive, to boot.  Unfortunately, it’s not long enough so I had to purchase more hose from another company, and some quite expensive couplers.  Still, the total cost of parts will only be about $100, a quarter of the cost to have a shop do it.  Plus of course, there’s the satisfaction of doing it myself!

That’s it for now. hope you are all having a great summer so far 🙂

Perfectly Good Isn’t Necessarily Perfect

Wow it’s hot outside!  I am afraid of gettiig heat exhaustion and hurting myself again.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I watch Buffy and drink iced coffee on my multiple breaks from working 🙂

I am not good at precision with power tools.  I’m getting better, but my work isn’t pretty and probably never will be.  I console myself by thinking of the amazing houses built before precision tools were available.  On the carpenter forums, professionals are always talking about having to “eyeball” levels and straightness in old homes, stating that it’s better to do that so things look good, than to actually be level but look askew.  In other words, perfectly good homes aren’t necessarily perfect.

Using reclaimed materials necessitates compromise.  There might be gouges, scrapes, nail holes, etc in otherwise useable goods.  As you can see in the pictures, the 4×4 I’m using has metal connector pieces still attached, which I couldn’t figure out how to take off.  The lumber is square and true, no dry rot or any damage, but it has these big metal “things” on it.  What to do?  I’ll tell you, cut off what you can and smash flat the rest with a hammer. Problem solved.

The next puzzle was how to firmly join the planks with the joists I cut today.  The solution here?  Push all the planks forward so the ends are hanging off the metal frame, then clamp each one individually to the doubled end-joists in order to get them firmly screwed into place. One screw in the front joist, one in the back joist on each plank.  Of course this must be done by leaning out and over the edge (basically upside down) to use the screwdriver, as I couldn’t reach the area from below, unless I stood on the hood of the Beast.  I didn’t want to do that, so monkey time it was.  It worked, and I didn’t fall and break myself today!

That’s all I accomplished though.  The heat combined with climbing up and jumping off the truck many multiples of times wore me out early, and so I’m back here with another iced coffee, watching an episode of Buffy, and writing this.  I’m OK with that.

Lovely long piece of 4x4 I got for free.

Lovely long piece of 4×4 I got for free.

I removed the few nails present, and removed as much of the metal as I could, then hammered the rest flat.

I removed the few nails present, and removed as much of the metal as I could, then hammered the rest flat.

One thing I learned on the first Oliver's Nest is to work smarter, not harder.  Clamping the boards together and cutting them all at the same time just makes sense.

One thing I learned on the first Oliver’s Nest is to work smarter, not harder. Clamping the boards together and cutting them all at the same time just makes sense.

The ends aren't perfect, but they are pretty good, and will work.

The ends aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good, and will work.

This is the edge I leaned over in order to screw through the planks up into the doubled end-joists.

This is the edge I leaned over in order to screw through the planks up into the doubled end-joists.

I used a block of wood to ensure the doubled joists stayed level with each other as I screwed each plank in from below.  Worked really well.

I used a block of wood to ensure the doubled joists stayed level with each other as I screwed each plank in from below. Worked really well.

I hope you were able to solve a problem or two today.  It feels good. 🙂

Prioritizing

In hospitals, it’s called triaging.  Deciding what is the most urgent need, and addressing it first.  That’s what I’m presented with now, taking a long look at my truck and figuring out what needs to be addressed next.

I have enough studs to fully frame the walls of the living space, including the cabover portion.  But.  Due to the weight of the sheathing, I am going to need to attach it to the studs prior to lifting them into place.  On my first build, I learned the hard way that I’m not strong enough to handle full-size plywood panels myself, and ended up cutting them into much smaller pieces in order to hang them.  I don’t want to do that again.  The only way around that is by screwing them into place onto the studs while they are still laying flat on the truck bed.  I can leverage the heavy walls sections up and into position myself, and brace them while I work on the next section.

I don’t have the sheathing yet, though.  It’s expensive.  Plus, there’s a more pressing need that has to be addressed first ~ the fuel tank inlets.  They must be rerouted from the bed to the new sides, and it’s an expensive process.  Unbelievably expensive, in fact, as in $400.  So, I have to wait.  I do have the appointment made for next month so I can reassure myself that progress will be made as soon as possible.

Inconvenient spot to fill your tank, believe me.

Inconvenient spot to fill your tank, believe me.

Why don’t I at least build the wall frames while I wait?  Because once again, the weight issues mean I need to build them on the flat of the bed of the truck, so I can lift them into place.  I can’t simply do it on the ground.  There’s also the issue of access to the fuel inlets where they currently reside, which would be inaccessible if I had a pile of wood framing laying in the way.

So, I will wait.  Bored, frustrated and scared by the time this is taking, but I will wait.

Hope your week goes swimmingly 🙂

Floor Framing Finished!

I did come up with a reasonable (but somewhat goofy-looking) way to work around the metal bracing.  I took lots of pictures, including the failure of my first attempt.

I worked all day ~ about 7 hours ~ and although I didn’t have enough insulation on hand to put on the sub-floor, I did get a lot of fiddly things done.  Once again I have to say, it’s amazing how quickly a simple plan can turn difficult.  Making sure the bolt holes stayed lined up properly while hanging the joists..wow…I had to re-align them again and again and again….and It took a couple hours just creating a workable solution for the area around the metal braces.  I also took a break from building and washed the tin roofing panels I’m planning on painting and using on the exterior.  Hot day, cold water, very nice!

To finish the insulation, I now have to start dismantling the original Oliver’s Nest.  I’m at peace with that.  I’m just worried that it will be a complicated and time-consuming process.  Plus, I’ll have to be on a ladder, and I have a trust issue with ladders these days!  Speaking of which, my ankle is healing well, and doesn’t hurt all the time (so thankful!).  My shoulder is also much better, and I have most of my range of motion and strength back.  So good to not feel like an invalid!  But…getting on that ladder again….and working with power tools overhead…honestly, I’m scared and not ashamed to admit it.

Ok, time for pictures!  Hope your day has been full of happiness 🙂

A little rough, but I thought this would work.

A little rough, but I thought this would work.

Trying to get it into place but....

Trying to get it into place but….

It didn't work.

It didn’t work.

Second try was sturdier, and fit, kinda

Second try was sturdier, and fit, kinda. Well enough, anyway.

Double-up 2x6 scrap wood fit well in the odd space.

Double-up 2×6 scrap wood fit well in the odd space on top of the little wood piece shown in the previous picture.

Filled in the gaps on both sides, and finished hanging the joists. :)

Filled in the gaps around the metal braces on both sides, and finished hanging the joists. 🙂

Even without the cab-over portion, it's a roomy space.

Even without the cab-over portion, it’s a roomy space.

This is R-23, so will help with both insulating and as a sound barrier.

This is R-23 Roxul insulation, and will help with both insulating and as a sound barrier.