Chair-Man of the Board

A couple of days ago I found a big sheet of 6mm plywood, about 8’ x 4’, leaning against the railings at the corner of the road. It was a bit smashed up at one side and had a hole about a foot long along another edge. But I reckoned there was at least some salvageable wood in there. So I stuck it in the back of Herman.

This Sunday afternoon, after a morning spent wrestling Bindweed and Horse Tails down at the allotment, followed by a hearty lunch of Mazza’s speciality spicy stuffed peppers, I found I still had enough energy left in my bloated carcass to take myself outside and ponder on the prospects of using said piece of plywood to make a token start of panelling Herman’s interior.

Doing floor or walls was out of the question as that will have to wait until I’ve got the welding done, which willnae be until I’m off for the summer holidays and have some decent time to spend on it. And with the ceiling similarly off-bounds for reasons of size and the fact that there will be some wiring to put in there, before I board it over that only left the option of boarding the inside of a door.

Originally, I thought the plywood board would be big enough to let me attack the inside of the sliding door, but when I measured it up, I found that - although there was enough board to make a piece the right size, there was no way I could get it cut out, without using some of the damaged wood. So I downsized my ambitions and decided I’d go for the slightly less challenging target of the two panels above the windows, inside the back doors.

While I was measuring up the oddly angled squares I’d need to cut out, Mazza emerged blinking into the daylight, to contribute to the afternoon’s festivities.

Cutting out the panels
Cutting out the panels
Mazza on sanding duties. Actually, I did most of the sanding. This pic is obviously nothing more than a shameless 'photo-opportunity', staged by Mazza's publicists.
Mazza on sanding duties. Actually, I did most of the sanding. This pic is obviously nothing more than a shameless 'photo-opportunity', staged by Mazza's publicists.

While I got on with cutting and sanding, Mazza started to make up some insulating panels from a giant roll of bubblewrap, which has been patiently lying in the back of Herman since I salvaged it from the skip - just waiting for its chance to ‘come in handy’.

Mazza bubble-wrapping
Mazza bubble-wrapping

Before we put the bubblewrap and panels in place, we wrote down the entire recorded history of our tribe on the inside of the first panel. When this archaeological goldmine is uncovered again many aeons from now, future generations will be able to piece together our vanished culture and speculate on the funny hats we might have worn on ceremonial occasions.

Mazza sending a a message to the future
Mazza sending a a message to the future
Mazza sending a a message to the future
Mazza sending a a message to the future

With Mazza’s bubblewrap pillow in place and the panel sanded to within an inch of its life, I proceeded to drill through the wood into the door and, after widening the holes slightly with a bigger drill-bit, I screwed the panel into place with self-tapping screws.

There was a bit of a cock-up with the first panel, as the wood was quite warped and - in spite of my efforts to press it flat while marking the holes, I managed to drill them slightly wrong and so the panel was a bit ‘bulgy’ when screwed into place. I took the offending screws out again and re-drilled their holes and got the board to lie nice and flat, second time around. But that - in case you’re wondering, dear reader - is why the first panel has quite a surfeit of screws holding it in place. And then of course, I had to reproduce a similar amount of screwage on the second panel, so it wouldnae look too wierdly different…

Drilling the screwholes for the panel
Drilling the screwholes for the panel
First panel done. Not too shoddy -considering!
First panel done. Not too shoddy -considering!
Drilling the second panel -eyeballing the first one, to try and get the screws roughly in the same places- and roughly in the same numbers!
Drilling the second panel -eyeballing the first one, to try and get the screws roughly in the same places- and roughly in the same numbers!
Driller killer
Driller killer
The end result -not too bad really, considering it's all good ol' recycled and found materials.  Only another square mile or so to board out and then Herman will start looking like a camper inside
The end result -not too bad really, considering it's all good ol' recycled and found materials. Only another square mile or so to board out and then Herman will start looking like a camper inside

In the end, we got the two panels done and Mazza made a start on bubblewrap insulating the bigger panels on the bottoms of the back doors. However, boarding them will have to wait for another day, as there’s slightly more work involved, due to having to make cutouts for the hinges and handles etc. for today, we called it quits at this stage and retired to the pavilion to drink more booze and feel smugly self-satisfied with the day’s horticultural, culinary and automotive achievements.