Ouch! –Well, you try thinking of a punning headline with the word “sink” in it, twice in a row! A quick bit of panelling out and the addition of a couple of shelves and we’ve now got a sink cupboard with storage space. Next jobs will be plumbing in the sink and adding some proper doors. Unfortunately that [well at least the doors bit] will have to wait til after we get back from our jols, as we’ve just not time to do it now....
[ Read More ]Sink or Swim
20 Jul 2013
Having finished both the side bed bases, albeit still with no firm plan as to how we might span the gap in the middle to make a complete farting platform, it was time to move onto that other basic essential of any wannabe camper-waggon: the sink unit. We’d previously knocked together the framework for the sink unit, while building the bed bases. Now it was time to panel it out and attach the sink itself....
[ Read More ]Putting Another Lid on Another It
19 Jul 2013
More bed base missioning today. This time we knocked together the… er… I was going to write “lid for the other half of the matching pair”. However, given the wonkosity of my carpentry, I think that would be a bit of an over-enthusiastic claim. So let’s just call it “the lid for the one on the other side”.
Me doing some sawing. My carpentry may be shite, but I’m quite chuffed at the fact I’ve done all the wood cutting with a folding Swedish Laplander saw, as recommended for buschcraft by Ray Mears....
[ Read More ]Putting a Lid on It
13 Jul 2013
Today’s mission was to make a start on the tops for the two bed bases we made a week or so ago. Decided to go for a slatted effect on the top, using some nice facing wood I bought on our B&Q mission at the end of June. In retrospect, I should probably have left wider gaps between the slats, which would have still provided enough support but would have only used about half the amount of wood....
[ Read More ]One Small Step for an LT...
09 Jul 2013
As all LT owners know, great though these old vans are, they’re not exactly quick off the mark. I thought I’d see if I could do anything about that, so a couple of weeks ago I had a word with a mate of mine who works for Roscosmos, the Russian space agency and who sometimes manages to smuggle the odd thing out in his lunch box.
Imagine my surprise when, staggering home from a day out at the pub this evening, I saw this driving slowly up towards my house....
[ Read More ]All Your Bed Base Are Belong to Us
05 Jul 2013
Down to work on the camper conversion at last.
Unfortunately, since I can only work on the van at the weekends and since we’ve left it so long to get started, this is going to have to be a bit of a rush job. [Not entirely our fault. Consult weather reports for 2013 to see how late the dry weather was in coming around this year] Hopefully, we can get the basics in place, albeit crude, before the summer jollyday season arrives and then tidy things up a bit when we’ve got more time....
[ Read More ]Skin Up!
29 Jun 2013
Just a quick skinning of yesterday’s bed base skeleton in MDF today and then I got started on the second bed base skeleton. That’s about it really. Nothing to see here. Move along please!
Skinned bed base And on with the next one ...
[ Read More ]You Can Do It, When You Brian and Quincy It
28 Jun 2013
As the freak winter seemed finally have decided to call it a day, sometime near the end of May, thoughts turned to the much delayed camper conversion mission again.
A couple of weekends in a row, we went down to Timber Recycling in Manchester, where the astute reader will remember we scored most of the wood for the original Herman’s conversion. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s either closed down, or they’ve stopped opening at weekends for, although on one occasion, we thought we could hear the sound of sawing coming from inside, the place was chained and locked up....
[ Read More ]Rough & Ready
20 Jun 2013
Off to my mate Baz’s in Anglesey for our annual Summer Solstice piss-up. Herman never missed a beat on the way there, or back –although he did do a few embarrassing wheel-spins, trying to get into the field through the wet grass.
Still light years from being anywhere near finished inside [in fact we’ve not even started hardly!], but we’ve got a bed and eleventy billion gallons of Mazza’s homebrew ale and my homebrew scrumpy, so at least the essentials were taken care of....
[ Read More ]Step Off!
24 May 2013
Just a minor mission today: another bit of tidying up and removing of extraneous doo-dads and superfluous flibberty-gibbets which, as we all know can play havok with one’s Van Shui.
First up was the foldy-out side step which might have been a boon and a blessing to men for the oul’ bids getting in and out of Herman during his stint as a minibus, but was surplus to requirements for yours truly, who prefers to triple back somersault into the van through the driver’s window....
[ Read More ]Tipping Point
05 May 2013
Today it was off to the tip, to get rid of the eleventy billion tons of scrap metal, left over from removing the wheelchair lift [as well as an old sofa, while we were going there]. Because Herman is so tall, we couldnae go to the normal everyday folks’ tip, as they all have a height barrier. So, instead we had to go to the Longley Lane Recycling Centre instead, which caters for big commercial waste trucks....
[ Read More ]Lift Off!
27 Apr 2013
You might as well stop reading now. I’ll never come up with a better punning title than that baby!
Today's mission Anyway, as that comedy gold suggests, today I embarked on the mighty chore of removing Herman2’s wheelchair lift. In my naiveté, I’d expected this to be a fairly simple affair, involving the removal of a few bolts and then dropping the lift. In essence, this was the case, although the job was made more complicated by the twin facts that the lift looked like it weighed a fecking ton, and also that it was anchored onto the bottom of the van a bit more “thoroughly” than my initial inspection suggested....
[ Read More ]Modern Art
14 Apr 2013
Several weeks in the making, this is a thought-provoking piece of modern sculpture in which the artist wrestles with the morés of contemporary society in a zeitgeisian manner, through the medium of green paint and a plastic crusader cup.
[ Read More ]Verdant Joy
04 Apr 2013
Well, to quote old Winnie, today was not the beginning of the end, but it was the end of the beginning. I finally finished painting the outside of Herman2. Now all I have to do is change the cambelt, build the interior and fit him out and I’ll be about four grand the poorer and materially not that much different from where I was four months ago –albeit with [hopefully!] a slightly more future-proof Herman this time....
[ Read More ]Bubble Trouble
03 Apr 2013
Well, thanks to the surprise advent of a mini ice-age, I’ve been kept indoors for the past couple of weeks –although we didnae get much in the way of snow round these parts. So poor Herman2’s been languishing outside with one side of him still white.
A couple of days ago, whilst gazing lovingly at the lad, I noticed a big swelling on one of the side windows I had painted over....
[ Read More ]Bumper Vans
10 Mar 2013
Out for some more incessant and tedious painting today. This time it was the turn of Herman2’s vast arse to get the olive drab treatment. Unfortunately, as with doing the front of the van, doing the back involved having to remove bits of face– [or in this case bum– ] furniture. Thankfully in the case of his rear-end not quite so much. Just the bumpers, lights and number plate. When I took the lefthand back bumper off, I found a fair bit of surface rust around where the tail-lift has been fitted....
[ Read More ]Doors Are Bores
03 Mar 2013
Today it was more tedious painting. In this session, I had a crack at the passenger door, side door and rear quarter panel. Only being able to work on him at weekends makes this all seem to be progressing painfully slowly but I can almost smell the light at the end of the tunnel now.
Ready for some hot door action And from this front three-quarter view, there’s almost no white left showing at all and you can really start to get the feel for how he’s going to look....
[ Read More ]New Boots and Painties
02 Mar 2013
Up at the crack of half-eight this morning [no lie in for me of a weekend!] and off to Manchester Tyre Services in Openshaw for Herman to have his five new Kumho Radial 857 215⁄80 R14 shoes that I bought from Blackcircles.com fitted. The tyres that were on the van originally were pretty well worn and didnae look in great nick either. So, having been there done that before in the original Herman, I decided I’d play it safe this time and put on a new set, before I ended up sliding on my arse down the motorway some day....
[ Read More ]Green Dearth
24 Feb 2013
Well, armed with only a wee paintbrush and an affinity for boring repetitive tasks, I started work today on the vast acreages that make up Herman2’s side panels. Cue several hours of sanding, wiping down and painting. Actually, as with the original Herman, I found that, being white, the van needed two coats of paint to cover properly, so the above should probably read ”…cue several hours of sanding, wiping down and painting and painting again…”...
[ Read More ]Gloopy and Gloopier
23 Feb 2013
The intention today was to fibreglass over the patch under the windscreen, where the rain comes in and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go.
Before that however, I decided to drain the fuel filters to see if it would help Herman2 show a bit more fighting spirit on hills. The astute reader will remember that I found him surprisingly sluggish and juddery on the gradients, on the way back from Wales....
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