Post by Surf Tragic on Feb 10, 2016 21:53:30 GMT 10
Hi geoff 'n jude
All that is great to get from you seeing you have already done it, thanks very much. Using paint under the tape like you did sounds right, as the tape I took off the 133 wasn't hard to remove, so it mustn't have been glued on.
I will give this company a call and see if I can get what I need to do the job, will let you know what I end up with, & from where.
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 11, 2016 15:12:43 GMT 10
Hi Surf Tragic,
Very interesting to see how Don changed the construction of the hatch for the 133, compared to earlier models, with the inner and outer 'flange' on the hatch lid. The earlier version just had the outer flange, but with the top cladding extending out well over the flange - but then you already know that of course!
The newer method of construction would certainly help to make the hatch more weatherproof, although I don't think that the sealing of the hatch was a problem with the Dons?
I'm looking forward to seeing what else you uncover as you proceed with the restoration.
Post by Surf Tragic on Feb 11, 2016 22:03:45 GMT 10
Hi Don Ricardo, you are quite right, there has never been any problems with the older hatch being waterproof, but weatherproof (which is what I should have said) when it's open in a Queensland storm? well, I reckon we might find a bit of difference keeping the rain out with the wider hatch covering with such a large overlap on these later models, even though I've never tried it .
I recall the first time we, Mrs ST & myself lived in the Family Don 140 at Noosa where I was working just after we were married in '68, there was a huge storm in November, & it is virtually impossible to wake me when thunder & lightning are roaring & flashing, (this still happens & is a mystery), but my new wife told me next morning of her struggle to get the hatch down as the rain poured in. She still tells the story with plenty of humour added, it must have been a bit traumatic for a quiet Victorian gal to experience the tropical storm while her hubby was in a blissful deep slumber, guess I cut my teeth in storms that shake the crockery in the cupboards .
Post by Surf Tragic on Mar 6, 2016 14:27:14 GMT 10
There it is Geoff & Jude, & thank you very much, I was able to get what I asked for, you are right about the tapes, they aren't stocking them any more, but they had some bias tape left. The Adhesive was classed as "dangerous goods", so had to come by road, at a freight cost of $54 from Seaford Vic. rather horrendous for a handful of goods.
Ply Backing fastened with Epoxy ready for finish sheet.
I rolled on a coat of BoteCote Epoxy with an additive to help it soak into the cracks & crevasses in the ply. Sanding it smooth before another coat of same, also fitting the Pinked tape to the edges & filling nail holes & any remaining indentations with a thick BoteCote Epoxy.
The epoxy coat is hard & shiny, it took 1 1/2 hrs to sand both sides. I use an orbital sander, full face mask, it's not my favourite part of any restoration.
The Hatch, Door, & Spats epoxied, that's all outside surfaces done.
All Trims stripped & ready to re-paint.
I suppose it's getting near to the time Colours need to be finalized, I think I will let 'Wal' Robinson help with choosing & see how it goes, it doesn't matter a lot to me & can easily be changed.
BoteCote say the use of their products will produce a finish that will be as easy to maintain as a fibreglass boat, It is sure tough, & according to them, is flexible.
Hi Ron Is lookin great and it going to be as hard as a bulls forehead! I looked into the botecote and I think it's great stuff .Time and km will tell I suppose Just want to know where you are mounting the outboard??? Cheers Andrew
Post by Surf Tragic on Mar 10, 2016 22:17:34 GMT 10
Andrew, that is a 15ft boat, the building jig is still inside. You start with a formwork built to exact size, bolt it to the floor, fit the frames at specific spaces to the formwork. The battens, sheers & chines are bent around to form the shape of the boat. After that the ply is fitted & fastened, fibreglassed, painted. I have left the formwork inside until I turn it over at sometime in the future, it keeps it strong, & have fitted castors for ease of movement around the shed. I'm not in the right mood to work on it as yet, I did one when I was 17, & fitted a Flathead V8 with a 'V' drive. There's far too much stuff here to finish in my lifetime, but that's how I like it, nice atmosphere & timber smells.
Post by Surf Tragic on Jun 21, 2016 20:36:15 GMT 10
The shed got a massive cleanup to accommodate a tour by the decendants of the "Don Robinson Family", of the "Don Caravan Company" of Oakleigh, more of that later if I get permission from all those lovely people.
The axle & hubs need changing as we want to refit the 6 stud 16" wheels
The hub has been changed to 4 stud, the setup really is unsuitable to do anything with, the studs were loose & dropped out of their holes when I was taking the wheels off, & there is welding in places that maybe shouldn't be there, I won't risk it.
Nothing here is bolted together, just welded, so, virtually unusable as far as I am concerned.
This nice & shiny SS Water tank was revealed when I took the sagging masonite cover off. Apart from good, strong steel trestles to stand the body on, theres spare wheels piled up underneath in case something gives way,
Out with the old & in with the new exterior grade ply cover for under the water tank.
All the 12V wiring needs replacing, & will try & hide it too, it is all very exposed as can be seen here.
This is what keeps me in the shed, this is the 2nd year since I made it, & it's doing a good job, keeps the shed at about 17 deg, quite comfortable, & makes it possible to do some painting as well. The bench had to be shifted further away & some iron against the wall, it was getting a bit hot around there
The chassis took a while to dry off after epoxy. Plenty on the go here, up to the last coat of finish colour, re-wiring, & dabbling with the new axle & brakes, all amongst frosts & heaps of rain for weeks, now snow falls just up the road. This is the type of weather when you can sit inside & have a snooze, & not feel guilty about it !
Local engineering company laser cut the holes in the drop plates, dry fitting the bearings & hubs to the stub axles, all ready to weld together. The electric hubs look ok, they were delivered to the door from Archerfied in Qld, 6 stud Landcruiser pattern to fit the 6 stud Chevvy wheels, Off shelf Ford Bearings, looks a beaut setup
That will do for now, we plan to go North outback for a couple months while the snow is around, maybe end up on the Sunshine Coast to finish off, it's pretty limited to what can be done as far as successful painting goes here, & that't what I'm up to, the final coats. The Paint shop here advised me today that painters are waiting 3 days between coats with Acrylic, & I'm using oil Enamel on this one for a change. They said to wait.
Post by Surf Tragic on Jan 15, 2017 22:52:31 GMT 10
The trip outback through Bourke & on to Longreach was a good run without the van this time as we took Michael, a big adventure for him & took a lot of planning with special accommodation to cope with his needs. The Stockmans Hall of Fame was great, The Qantas experience was the best thing to be part of, I have never stood under a 'Jumbo' before, we came back & spent more time there. The McKinnon show was more like shows you can see anywhere, but ok to see while there.
We came back thru Rubyvale for a couple of days & went underground to see where the Sapphires are found, quite enlightening, got our hands dirty doing some 'wash' for Saphires & found a few small ones. Back through Emerald, picked up Oranges & Manderin at Gayndah, delicious, & ended up at Sunshine Beach just south of Noosa. The rest of the time until Oct was at Hervey Bay, Fraser Is tours, then back to Caloundra to finish off, all my favourite country.
Since returning home it has been busy, bt have managed to make good headway with the 133.
I took all the pieces to a professional welder/engineer so it looks pretty & is done right & square.
The rims are freshly sandblasted, then primed
Painted & fitted.
Wiring to brakes & lights completed. The Yokohama Radial tyres fitted great, look great, wish I had them on the 120 instead of the crossply, these are the exact size of the original 6.00.16.
Post by Surf Tragic on Jan 16, 2017 17:53:47 GMT 10
The Final coats of oil based enamel finished, the colour is Ivory as per Factory sheet, windows fitted & sealed, all window catches were fitted with new brass pivot pins sourced from a local upholsterer & refitted so they work well. The pelmets were nailed & glued to the flyscreen, so to rewire the screens, the pelmets had to be painstakingly taken off. They have been refitted with screws for easy maintenance if needed in the future, I would have liked to have a chat with Don Robinson about that !
All the "eyebrows" refitted & sealed, then the masking up for the blue stripe. it seemed to go ok.
The original stripe had an aluminium strip each side of it, secured by screws, now if I happen to ever find any, I would then need Kaybee to fit them nice & straight for me, the metal (and everything else) expert, we do keep in touch occasionally because of the love of Flathead V8's
This is the prettiest van in the shed, it's shape has grown on me gradually. The tail light mounting blocks took a while to shape & fit. The reflectors are still to come.
These are the stays for both the big front window & the hatch, they wouldn't hold the weight as the nylon "olives" were worn, so visited the local Pirtek shop who specialize in high pressure hydraulic hoses & fittings, the owner found these brass olives that fit perfectly on shaft & in cylinder, this obliging owner really made my day, all I had to do was run the hacksaw blade through so it will clamp on the rod when tightened. It means I can take the retro fitted stays off that were fitted on this van & use the original.
I was going to make all the inserts for the drawers from new ply as they were all de-laminating, but it was suggested I glue them up & keep it original, sometimes I am guilty of listening to other peoples' suggestions , so here they are getting processed.
The finished article
The original reflector lenses were totally shot, so found these in a shop here, they came apart easily & was able to grind the lenses to fit & cut down the silver reflection plate, glue them into the original fitting, they look & work as new.
The seats are 150mm thick & fit together as beds , but definitely not as seats, so have to cut them down to 100mm thick. I do believe 100mm thick is as comfortable as 150mm.
I was pleased to see someone else re upholster their schwab cushions as I did....same fabric also! I used that fabric found in Spotlight, it is marvelous for stains, kids etc. I cost me under$20 to cover cushions and click.clack couch! Also comfy!
Post by Surf Tragic on Jan 24, 2017 13:55:35 GMT 10
Well, the 133 is almost finished, I keep plenty of photos showing every detail which I won't bore you with, maybe some when it gets out on the road, meanwhile I'm playing musical caravans in the shed, quite some shifting around, it is easy enough with a dolly under each wheel.
This is the family van sitting in the space reserved for restorations, there is a feeling of excitement & great enthusiasm.
Post by Surf Tragic on Aug 25, 2017 22:19:46 GMT 10
A couple more final details
The gas bottle fitted to the "A" frame
All tested & working.
I have just finished restoring all posted photos with Postimages so have empathy for Don Ricardo plugging away on the History section , the 2 threads I have done are minor compared to what he is doing, but have taken me quite a few evenings .
Post by Surf Tragic on Nov 10, 2020 14:01:51 GMT 10
This Don 133 became available a while ago so drove to Harrietville to have a look, couldn't resist because it had the 'Don' badge front & back, also the serial Number 1108 The one I already had was 1107, that's why I have posted on this thread so it's easier to see the comparison. I nearly walked away from this van but seeing I had traveled up, decided to check it out properly, it was full of junk & impossible to get a good look inside. Jammed hard against a shed wall with skillion roof over, it was exposed on one corner at the front. It took 2 trips to prepare, 3rd one to bring it home. I won't post photos of the retrieval, the most awkward I have ever attempted.
The extent of the rot on the exposed corner, I cut away the sheet to purposely expose what needs to be done, a fairly basic repair for anyone with woodworking ability. The reason I mention that, is because I have decided not to restore this one as I have plenty to do with the current restoration projects underway & my ability is diminishing. something to do with birthdays I'm told.
One window is missing, can't get an answer on that even though I pressured the owner, ( the van has been in that spot for at least 35 years ) but know how to (reasonably simply) make one similar.
If anyone is interested in this van, please contact me, & I will give a list of what needs doing plus any advice on how & what. I may post it in the 'for sale' later, but just here for now. $2200 including 6 sheets of 4mm AA grade Marine Ply. There are 2 other of my Don Vans for sale also.
SO you thought the shed looked too empty didya ST? When I scrolled down the pics I thought you were going to start another resto!! Sure hope somebody will grab this van and give it the restoration it deserves.
Post by Surf Tragic on Nov 11, 2020 20:18:05 GMT 10
G'day Roehm3108, I started to do a bit on it & it's hard to leave alone, but want to clear the shed, this van is one of the rare Dons, I want to give someone the opportunity to own something worthwhile, hence the price.
When I stopped posting some many months ago We went to the States to visit my Sister who wasn't in good health, she is a lot better now, well, she's been there since 1967 & her 3 boys have families now. It was good to make the connection again. Jerry drove us from Washington State down through the middle during their "Fall" colours, it was a perfect trip & perfect timing, over 7000k's through the big land to Santa Fe in New Mexico where we stayed in an original Adobe House for 2 weeks, one Nephew lives there & teaches Spanish. Smoke had just cleared as we arrived in Wa State, a freeze hit as we left for the South, & it snowed on our way down so woke to a wonderland one morning. We experienced the best weather & were part of all the touristy things and more. Spent a few days in Seattle where the Boys went to College & were keen WSU College football supporters of the Huskies, Go the Dogs !
Since then I have been somewhat involved with the building of my Daughters 2nd & last (so she says) house, they have just moved in last month, it was a 12 month project. So now I can relax a bit more & continue with the Family 140 van, have made some progress.
A while back there was a yearly gathering at the Westmont Retirement Village on the fringes of Wodonga, it is called "wheels at Westmont", it has old cars, new cars, Motorbikes, Marching Band and Food. I asked if I could bring a Vintage Van out & was welcomed. On entry there was a coupon given for Morning tea, Lunch, & Afternoon tea. I wasn't going if rain was predicted, but guess what ? It rained, then it hailed ! Amazingly, Wal & Anna Robinson turned up, Anna stayed with the Van while Wal & I had some lunch. The Van was where people had to pass, so got plenty of admirers. Then 'Gary' walks up & announces that he had worked in the Don factory right up to when it closed, talk about right timing, Gary was able to chat with Wal & what he said seemed to verify that the story was right. He also said he had all the plans of the Caravans & that he was able to take them as he left, so you can imagine me hearing that, so took his details, & he said he would try & find them & let me know. More further down.
Months later I rang Gary and he hadn't found the plans. Go figure !! I don't think I will ever see them. It seemed a nice story at the time.
After as I was driving home with the Don 120, a man in a big Chevvie was waving madly as I passed through an intersection, but I kept driving on, turned into driveway at home, & he followed me in, asked if he could see the other vans, I was delighted. After having a chat he said he wanted to buy one, Bill chose the 133 & took delivery soon after. He managed one outing to Myrtleford before the interuption to our live with the virus. Bill lives a short walk from me & we often get together for a chat. Being a tall man, he has made modifications & additions for a longer sleeping place, also added a drop-down basin, and Alum strips fastened each side of the blue stripe outside.
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 13, 2020 22:09:53 GMT 10
Hi Surf Tragic,
It's great to see your posts and read about some of your recent activities. The trip to the USA sounds wonderful, and I'm so glad you were able to undertake it when you did. Sadly the pandemic means that trips like that are likely to be off the agenda for a little while to come.
Also good to read about your meeting with Gary when Wal was also present. Hopefully your meeting will lead to something positive eventually.
I am glad to see that Don no 1108 has been rescued and is now in your shed for safekeeping. At least it will be well looked after while it is there. You mentioned that it was the most difficult rescue you have undertaken, and when I think about some of your other rescue excursions, the rescue of 1108 must have required some effort!
I find it amazing that previously unknown Don caravans keep popping up out of the wood work. There is no doubt that they were built to last. I hope that someone will buy 1108 and do a great restoration on it. It looks as if it 'has good bones' as some people say.
I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress on your family van too.
Good to know you're back in the land of the healthy(to some extent!). So glad to hear that your sister's health has improved. Hope she's taking care of herself in these covid times. I don't think we Q'landers quite understand what you southerners have gone through with such an extended isolation. Sure we had it here as well, but not to the same extent. Wal Robinson was telling me not long ago that he and Anna went for a drive to the limit of their 5 klms and longingly looked a bit further down the road towards the Bunnings store they couldn't go to, because it went over the mileage limit!
Glad to hear that you're still doing some work in your lovely shed. With travel limitations, you should have that family van finished in no time at all.
Post by Surf Tragic on Nov 15, 2020 18:27:07 GMT 10
Hi Don Ricardo
Good to hear from you, I have followed many of your postings in the last while, I've had to push myself to start posting again and will get used to it shortly.
I must get on the phone to Wal again about what Gary said about having the plans for all the vans from the Don Factory, I know they were discussing the streets & places nearby but didn't follow all the conversation as I was waiting to talk about the plans as you would imagine I'm sure ! One thing Gary said was that the vans had Masonite cladding outside, I picked up on that statement & questioned him, saying I had never encountered one that wasn't ply. I wonder if there were any of the 150's that were Masonite clad ? do you know? Maybe he worked at some other factory ?? , but he was adamant about the Masonite..
1108 indeed has sturdy 'bones', but needs more than new paint & curtains, it will take an adventurous person to take it on & may have to do it myself, it would be a beauty when done. The floor is Ply too & in good order. I may make the new Alum window as it may be a bit daunting for some, but I have some very good trades around that seem to want to humour me & help.
Yes Roehm3108, it was fortunate we went over to see my Sister at that time with no restrictions, a precious time together, many interesting hikes & sights. Loved the Grand Canyon area, boating at Lakes, Cave tours in Navaho area, I edited photos to make a 45min show so as not to bore anyone, can't imagine being able to do the trip again, but who knows.
My first venture on the Forum since I stopped so long ago, was to follow up on the homebuild van you were doing, but can't find any trace of it at all, I've never had much luck searching here, can you point me in the right direction ??
Am rounding up photos of the work I've been doing on the Don 140 Family Van, so will concentrate on that from now on