Well, I certainly didn’t intend to leave this blog dormant so long, but that’s life.
Let me first catch things up to the last, unpublished progress, and then I’ll put up another post with the newer news. Here’s the first chunk of changes that I never got around to posting:
In May I continued on with building the frames. The next step was placing siding on the front (or back depending on perspective) frame. In the previous post you could see the underlying structure of this frame. Below see the next stage – siding and painting:
I don’t believe I’ve explained my chosen material for siding here yet. After considering weight, aesthetics and cost, I decided to try out a method based on the boatbuilding books I’ve been reading. This is a variation on plywood lapstrake construction as demonstrated in the excellent Ultralight Boatbuilding among others. I’m using very lightweight and cheap ($10/sheet) ‘doorskin’ plywood, ripped into 5″ strips, and laid down in an overlapping clapboard style. Each lap is throughly glued both to the underlying structure and to the board above. The top of each board is nailed with ring-shank nails. Many hours of placing, pre drilling and hammer. The theory is that each of these double-ups will add strength, but overall it will be very light. The other benefit is this stuff is smooth – easy to paint, no roughness or knots. The downside is it’s certainly not weather-proof, hence the overkill on paint. I believe with proper maintenance it should last quite well.
On the sides of the vardo I’ll have a chance to try out another method from the book – scarfing. This is a way to take your 8′ long strips and lengthen them as needed. This will let me run continuous strips from from to back, in theory.
One construction note: it’s a little hard to see in the photos above, but I started the siding 3/4″ below the bottom of the frame. This will then overlap the edge of the trailer to keep water from pooling under. To keep this delicate lip from damage, I tack-screwed strips of 1×4 to the bottom before starting the siding. This first row also received extra glue as it was mounted flat to the frame.
Note the pipe clamps above – plenty for the rafters yet to come (at least at the time of this photo). A massive upgrade over my previous collection! I love pipe clamps.
More updates very soon, at least to get us caught up.