Archive for the ‘Tin Can Tourists’ Category

Took the fridge door off the Spartan today and painted it.  Looks great, cheap enamel with catalyst, laid down like glass.  Tomorrow I can put it back together.  One more thing done.

IMG_9435Finally, I got varnish on the interior of the Spartan!  Two coats on the forward 1/3rd, and one coat everywhere else.  The cabinet doors, drawers, and all the other little parts also have two coats.  I got two coats on the part of the interior, shown above, because I put the second coat on while the first coat was still a bit “tacky”.  You can see the break at the piece of trim over the counter top.  Everything beyond that is just one coat, and is visibly duller than the forward panels.  Now, sand everything with 220, then another two coats, and I can start putting this thing back together.

We’re ordering the foam for the cushions, and Marmoleum for the countertops this week, once the varnish is done Kim will make the cushions (we have the material for them and the curtains) and I can finish up the hundreds of unfinished chores yet to be done, and hopefully it’ll be so we can use it this summer.

Following are more photos of the interior, the first are of the paneling just stained, a mix of Golden Pecan Minwax oil stain, and a bit of yellow paint, and then with varnish on.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

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I’ve got to be better at updating this page!  My excuse is that since there was no way I was going to get it done for the TCT Spring Rally three weeks ago, that I might as well relax.  And, my grandson came over, and we went camping twice, and the lawn needed to be mowed, and, and, ad infinitum.   Anyway, after a month long hiatus on getting much done on the trailer, today I finally got stain on the cabinet doors and kitchen drawers.

I used Minwax oil stain, Golden Pecan to try to get close to the original finish on the wardrobe doors I salvaged from another old Spartan.  It’s very close, the wildly different grain pattern and colors of the various sheets of 3/4″, 1/4″ and 1/8″ all seems to blend together pretty well once stained.  I touched a couple places on those original doors where I sanded through the varnish to bare wood, the stain is an identical match color wise on those panels.  A little more brown on some of the other new panels, but it’ll look pretty uniform once the poly is laid down.

13423830_10210295670130782_5732773268147114612_n13417522_10210295667530717_3312347055759742893_nWe’ve had two wonderful weekends camping with the Tin Can Tourist this spring.  Last weekend in Muskegon MI at Hoffmaster State park on Lake Michigan, and the third weekend in May in Milford at Camp Dearborn.  We’ve been using the little Tini-Home canned ham trailer, it’s cozy and comfortable, but I’m anxious to get the Spartan done so we can stretch out a bit.

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A Facebook friend in California just relayed that he’d found a cool old bread loaf style trailer near his home.  Prewar, intact, fairly priced, but a total rebuild.  He was torn, because he has a very cool, very rare trailer now, and this other one would be a  nice compliment to their current one, and his vintage tow car.

He passed.

I should take a lesson from that.  While I’m making good progress on the ’47 Spartan, it’s down to the fussy finishing and detail work that I’m not fond of, not patient enough for, and takes more time than I want to spend.  It’s also clear I’m in no way going to meet my (self imposed) deadline of having the trailer done by the third week of may for the Tin Can Tourist Spring Rally in Milford to debut. I could have it usable, but not finished, and I don’t think it’s worth taking it uncompleted, not polished or finished to the level we want.  It’s disappointing, but not we have two others to use, and lots of events coming up this summer where we can “debut” in style.

I have the plumbing done, the fridge is in and the vent system roughed in.  Had to order more Olympic rivets before I can cut the vent hole in the roof and move the original stove vent blister to that space, so that’s a bit of a hold up.

The plumbing is done,  mostly.  The grey water tank has to be hung and the sink drains run to it.  My good friend Mike Greene of Sierra Custom Interiors gave me a bunch of PEX tubing drops, crimp rings, miscellaneous fittings and the crimping tool, I’m indebted to him for that.  It went well,  it’s always good to add another thing to my skill set.

The trim work is also 90% complete.  I steam bent the curved pieces with a home-built steamer set up, my first attempt at bending wood.  It went pretty well, and I have a few little pieces yet to go that can’t be done till some other things get done, like the fridge cabinet.

We have the interior fabrics, thanks to another friend who’s an upholsterer and let us buy the fabric on her account for half what it’d have otherwise cost.  The foam we have to order, but she’s helping us out with that too.  Kim will make the covers and curtains.  It should be very dramatic, we’re excited about our choices, no peeking until we’re done!

All this is good, and I have to admit I did feel relief whenI decided the other day not to try to have it ready for May.  It was like a weight had been lifted.  Not that I’m not working on it, but the pressure is now off.  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by that project, and seeing my long neglected Thunderbird, the half-completed ’63 Riviera I started last year, and the “new” ’34 roadster setting in pieces, all of them covered with a thick, soft layer of wood dust, was a bit overwhelming.

These three cars are cars I’ve loved since I was a kid, and always wanted.  The fact that none of them are completed and drivable doesn’t really matter, because I love having a project, but three at once, along with normal maintenance on our other cars, not to mention household chores, lawn care, and so on, takes tool on my “free” time.  Part of my rationale for having all these projects is to provide activity for my upcoming retirement, so the fact that they’re not finished shouldn’t be a stress factor.  It seems a long way off, but I know that 4 years from now I’ll look back and wonder where the time went.

And what I was worried about.

I’m picking away at the Spartan project, slowly but surely. We had our grandson Milo this weekend, but in between Grandpa fun, I got a little done.
I re-did the kitchen lights, in the usual “…build it twice to make it nice…” manner, finished the bed base, made some adjustments on and hung the rest of the cabinet doors.
Theres much yet to be done, but the to do list is getting shorter!

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Good day of progress on the Spartan. Had an issue with the GFI devices, but with the help of my friend Butch Starner, figured out is just wired them wrong. Dinette booth done, wiring done, bed frame and its storage drawer done. Up next, plumbing, and we’re going to order fabric and counter tops.

I took advantage of a beautiful sunny and warm late winter day here to finish up (almost) the wiring on the Spartan Manor.  I’d pulled wires months ago, but hadn’t gotten the boxes cut in, circuit breaker panels wired up or devices wired.  Everything is done now but the rear outside plug.  I would have plugged it in and powered up, but I don’t have the twist lock adaptor needed for the marine 30 amp plug in, so that’ll have to wait until I can go get one at the RV store.

All the interior lighting is 12V LED, I have several fixtures to temporarily mount, but we are using some with standard base bulbs and need to get the 12V standard base bulbs for those.  Still, I’ll be able to light it up.  I decided today too not to use the rather ugly 12V florescent fixtures in the kitchen and bath salvaged from the motorhome, so tomorrow maybe a trip to a big box store for some low voltage LED under counter fixtures to replace them.

I think I’m on schedule to have it done for our May outing in Milford with the Tin Can Tourists!