Post by takeiteasy on Apr 17, 2012 19:29:20 GMT 10
Great job... great pics. My Dad was very handy, being a retired car and wagon builder. He died a few years back but, still, when I get stumped on the van I have a "ring Dad" message go up in my mind. Anyhow, keep the pics coming!
Don't forget to wash that calico before you put it on.......twice at least. You will find there's a lot of dirt in it. Keep up the good work. Humpty.
Fibreglass fantasia!....1 Sunliner, a Carlight Continental plus one for spares (fibreglass roof & ends)...... also a late 30's masonite van plus a 52 homemade plywood......also a 58 Millard with Jones wheel, a 10'6" Country Club and a Fibreglass Kennedy lookalike awaiting a brand/name ................. EH Premier S/Wagon & '56 FORD Country Sedan for my towcars
Post by King Fisher on Apr 20, 2012 11:13:55 GMT 10
My dad has been a fantastic help. And I really appreciate what he has done so far. It is great to be able to call on his vast experience he has gained over the years with renovating houses and also he has built his own holiday house.
Post by King Fisher on Apr 20, 2012 11:46:14 GMT 10
The weekend is quickly approaching so it is time to have a good think about what jobs need doing over the next two days. Unfortunately the weather report is varying, every time I look it changes, so I don't want to risk doing the canvas till the forecast looks more bright. So the plan is some inside and some outside jobs to maximize the work between possible showers. I am planning to get the lower outside side ply back on, the front roof screwed down, table wall mount fitted, finish sanding inside and the back bunks re-attached. If we get a good break in the weather might get some undercoat on the sides. Tonight will be doing a run to the big shed near by to get some more supplies like screws, filler and a few bits of timber.
Well two weekends have passed now, on the first the weather had a little break so I decided to start putting the material on the roof. My advice to anyone considering redoing theirs is to pick a day that's not too hot so that you have time to manipulate the material before the paint sets and to just dive in head first and get stuck into it. The process was not as daunting as it sounds and it only took just under three hours. I found that if you slopped a generous coating of undercoat on first then stretched the material out while smoothing and rubbing it into the undercoat, while it is still wet. Because of the larger amount of undercoat it did take longer to dry than expected. Once the calico was held in place and while still wet, a good coating of undercoat over the top.
Ok enough bla bla bla – onto the pickies.
We laid the calico out over the whole roof first, some people roll it and work from the back to the front. We decided to be different and worked from the hatch out. This caused a problem when we got to the third side as I had not expected the calico to stretch so much. Next time back to front...
Slop undercoat on
Stretch out material and Pat down
Paint over the top
Then repeat. I found if you do a patch about 1m square at a time worked well. Expect to get paint all over yourself though
Stretching the material as you go a bit helps it to flatten easier so you can rub it into the paint.
Keep repeating paint, cover, stretch, smooth and paint over...
Till you get to the end, then we tacked the excess in place with a few holding nails.
The last few brush strokes and it's done 2h 47min, WOO HOO!
Just like the roofing tin advert, standing in a daze admiring the roof...
Expect to get covered in paint
The following weekend I trimmed off the excess material off the sides to allow about a 1cm overhang
Then when I put a second layer of undercoat on the roof I painted the overhanging pieces into the top of the walls to create a seal.
Post by King Fisher on May 5, 2012 11:36:49 GMT 10
On the second weekend the weather was a bit better and we got the chance to put a layer of undercoat on the sides of the van. But we first had to punch in all the nail holes and cover them with a filler.
Punch in nails
The chain gang
Are we there yet???
First coat of undercoat on the outside done, 2 coats on the roof done
Post by King Fisher on May 5, 2012 12:14:18 GMT 10
I know I'm backtracking a little a little. The wood below were we cut was replaced with new wood.
We had to replace the lower 30cm of ply so all the old ply at the bottom was cut off.
The new ply was cut out with a jig saw to the required shape
Sickaflex and nailed into place in the same way that the old ply was re-nailed before.
The nails then had to be punched in with a punch so that the filler can fill the holes smooth. As you can see we were all well over punching nails by the time it was finished.
Ok I can hear some people starting to yell soon, sorry but my philosophy is 90% restoration (as original) and 10% renovation (slight design changes for practicality). There are three issues here that has made me decide to place a horizontal quad strip along the join.
1. The new ply is slightly thinner than the original ply so there is a noticeable height difference which is hidden by the quad trim. 2. My ability to fill the gap is pretty poor, and I was also worried about the filler causing a horizontal crack in the paint. 3. It will be far easier to replace the lower wood again when it rots out next time.
The quad was nailed on with sickaflex underneath
Then a bead of sickaflex was run along the top and bottom of the quad and smoothed in to seal the join from any water.
Post by King Fisher on May 5, 2012 13:32:21 GMT 10
Had a few minutes left at the end of the day so while I was packing up I saw this piece of scrap ply and decided to look at a backing board for the number plate and lights.
The original lights that came on the van had round lenses, and looked like a fairly generic light which possibly had been replaced at some stage.
Because of this I have decided to use a similar style of light, except instead of having a round lens it uses a square lens which is easily available, and can be replaced easily. However I felt that they needed to sit on a backing board instead of being flush mounted to the van.
I got this scrap piece of ply and shaped and slightly rounded the edges.
Post by King Fisher on May 23, 2012 7:26:42 GMT 10
Now Bessie has her underwear on (material on the roof and undercoat) it's time to dress her on the outside with some colour.
The plan is to use two colours: cream and green. The colours were chosen by my good friend who used to be a spray painter and has a much better sense of colour than me ;D . Her idea was to use cream on the roof and green on the sides with cream skirts. But being fairly defiant I painted the roof green as I felt it should have been the same colour as the side. Nearly broke the friendship. However it did make it easier to do the sides as the over painting did not show on the roof as it was the same color.
The rest of the van was painted as planned
So a test patch was done to try to change my mind
It worked and we changed the roof to cream
Started to undercoat the front window and a second coat on the seats for inside.
Post by King Fisher on May 23, 2012 7:57:41 GMT 10
Mounted the power inlet socket, and screwed it down. Some fittings I am using modern parts for safety and ease of replacement as I intend to use Bessie a lot over the years to come.
Mounted the clearance lights on the side of the van in the original position.
Applied 12v to the tail light wires and nothing happened... I was devastated that the two lights didn't light up. So I had a little ponder for a bit and remembered that the clearance lights were wired in single core wire and the wires at the back lights were multi strand wires. So the puzzle was where did they go??? I went to the battery box and guessed that the wires went through the switch near the door. So I hooked up the battery and switched the wires together and presto the clearance lights came on.
The switch near the door that turn on the side clearance lights
So the question is now do I have to change it so they come on with the tail lights to be legal (Vic)? Or can they be just left wired as original where the switch manually operates the clearance lights??? Seems a little strange.
Post by Geoff & Jude on May 23, 2012 9:07:53 GMT 10
i wasn't unusual for older vans to have a separate switch to supply battery power to turn on the clearance/running lights.
this was for safety reasons to 'light up' the van when parked overnight in a layback or on the side of the road.
it's a bit unusual (i think) to only have the clearance lights wired up to the switch and i reckon if the van has clearance lights, vic roads will require them to be connected in parallel with the tail lights.
the switch will then turn on the tail and clearance lights.
Post by Don Ricardo on May 23, 2012 13:37:35 GMT 10
A bit more on the switch arrangement for your clearance lights...
Back in the day, it was normal for cars to have a separate switch for turning on their tail lights. As far as I know this was normally located at the rear of the car adjacent to one of the tail lights itself - yep, an external switch (just imagine how much fun small children and vandals with mischief on their minds could have with that these days!).
This was the case on vehicles in Victoria up until at least the late 40's, so when dusk began to fall you needed to stop your car, jump out, race to the back of the car, turn on the tail lights and then resume your journey. It was a big deal as a kid when you got old enough to be trusted to get out and turn on the tail light, and I remember doing that. I think I've read somewhere that the separate external switch was a legal requirement for registration, not just because car manufacturers couldn't think of a better way of doing it. The reason may have been the one identified by Geoff'njude.
You may already know the above, but the reason I'm mentioning it is that the idea of a separate switch was also applied to caravans. Caravans built in the 40's (not sure how universally) had a separate switch somewhere inside the van to turn on the tail lights and clearance lights. Our 1949 Don is still set up this way, and I saw a number of older caravans at the V V Nationals in Cowra that have the same set up. So...at dusk, not only did you have to race around to the rear of the car to turn on the car tail lights, but you then had to jump into the van to turn on its tail lights as well.
My guess is that the switch in your vans for the clearance light is a relic of this requirement, and that originally the tail lights may have been connected to the same switch but at some stage was wired more directly.
I'm enjoying seeing the pics of your restoration. Looks like you're doing a great job.
Post by King Fisher on May 23, 2012 17:30:55 GMT 10
Thanks heaps for the replies, that would make sense to be able to keep the clearance lights on in a dark location. So I might try to keep the switch then as it's another part of Bessie's personality, however I could put in a relay in parallel to activate them when the tail lights are on... hmm another decision... We are so glad that your enjoying the pickies.
Post by King Fisher on Jun 8, 2012 16:21:21 GMT 10
Yea, I'm pretty happy with the results. Not bad for an IT geek if I say so myself... Sorry to be so proud... But... My words for anyone with wooden windows that need replacing, "it's not as hard as it looks."