Walls – Second Cut

First wall glued  up ok so we repeated the process with the second wall, i.e spread glue, clamp and then rest old lathe bed on top of the middle of the joint to apply some pressure there.

This weekend’s work consisted of two processes, bolting the wood floor to the trailer frame and starting to route the recesses in the bottom of the walls.

Bolting the frame down went really well, only thing that went wrong was the snapping of a 3mm drill bit so all in all I’m pretty pleased.


The floor can’t be fully bolted down yet as we still need to get it galvanised, I’m thinking that I may drill the holes out a little larger in order to maintain sufficient clearance once dipped.


A total of 10 M12 bolts will be used to hold the floor (and therefore the rest of the teardrop to the frame) so I don’t think there is much risk of something going wrong.


I didn’t get many photos of the second process, I will take some of the finished walls at some point but it basically consisted of sitting the wall in place, drawing up the back of the base where it meets the wall and then across the top.


This was then routed out at a depth of 11mm for a distance of 80mm from the edge, then stepped up to 9mm for the remaining 36mm until reaching the line. The reason for this recesses to so that when the underlining is painted on to the underside of the floor and the walls there will still be room for the trailer frame to fit. Four small recesses were then cut to house the heads of the bolts.


Walls – First cut

Vicks and I started work on the walls over the weekend. The maximum size of plywood that is available to us at a reasonable price meant that both walls needed to be made out of a couple of pieces joined with a lap joint.

First task was routing one half of the joint on one piece approximately half the depth of the plywood before fine tuning the depth and routing the second half of the joint on the other.

Once this was complete we marked out the profile of the teardrop after which we cut this profile out with a jigsaw.


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From here it was a simple task to rinse and repeat for the second wall using the first as a template.


One wall section was then able to be glued up, we’ll hopefully glue up the other one tonight given that the first will have had 24 hours to set.

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Drip Tray in the Shower

You know you have an understanding wife when you’re allowed to hang a lathe drip tray in the shower to let the undercoat dry…

Recent TradeMe purchased arrived the other day in the form of an original Myford drip tray. This was something that I was looking out for for a while, the total loss oil system of the ML7 was gradually turning my wood bench into a wood and oil bench. I was considering getting some sheet metal laser cut and then welding it up but when this came up on TradeMe for the sweet sweet price of $50 I knew that it was by far going to be the most ideal solution.


It arrive in reasonable condition for its age, about 50% of the orange on that picture is rust with the rest just being grime and dirt. Nonetheless I decided to strip it and repaint.


A quick attack with the disc sander brought it to bare metal in reasonable time, then it was a battle with not only the sun but with hoards of mosquitoes to get an undercoat on it before the sun set. Note airbrush is perfect for smaller items or when not time constrained but in this instance a little slow.

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End result one nicely undercoated drip tray. Weather permitting this will get a couple of top coats this week before install next weekend.

Started working on the walls of the Teardrop in the weekend. Marked out the basic outline of the teardrop using the measurements provided in the instructions. There are still a few of the finer details that need to be marked out before this can be cut out.

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After that it will be a case of routing out the recesses for the roof and for the floor to slot into and then also a number of pockets to reduce the weight of the panel. These pockets will then be filled with polystyrene before the outer face is glued on.


Built the floor on Sunday, Started by laying out the welded frame on the floor as a work surface and guide for laying out all the pieces.


From there it was a  case of cutting all the price framing to the right length and then putting the pocket holes in the ends of the cross members.



Once that was complete the side rails were clamped into position on the welded frame and one side of each of the cross members was glued and screwed into the side rail before applying glue to the other ends of the cross members and then applying the other side rail.


I’d decided that at the rear of the caravan at least I wanted another line of framing down the centreline of the trailer. This is to provide something to screw some parts of the kitchen into. I decided given there was wood left over that this may as well run the length of the floor and so pieces were cut, drilled, glued and screwed into place.


Next step was to attach one side of the plywood paneling to the floor. Luckily one sheet was able to cover the floor from side to side after reducing the width of the caravan by 50 odd mm a few weekends ago and so it was only a case of cutting the length to size, applying glue to the frame and then dropping the plywood on. Clamps held these two pieces in together  whilst it was tacked with brad nails prior to being flipped and having weight applied to the centre.


Polystyrene was then cut to fit in the gaps before the same process with the plywood panelling was undertaken again to put the top panel on the floor. Much weight was applied to give a strong bond.



To finish the floor I just need to run a router with a flush trim bit around to smooth out the edges and then job done.


Welded frame and Oak bowl

Over the weekend the frame for the teardrop was welded up, big thanks to Dave for teaching / showing me how to weld this and to Matt for putting up with us welding up the frame when we should have been working on fixing his car…


The frame had to be rotated around a few times to get all the welds complete, initially it was tacked upside down after which all accessible welds were complete.

After that it was flipped and the top was welded (note these welds will need to be ground flush for the wooden floor to sit flat)


When complete this was loaded back onto the trailer (pretty good two man lift) and transported home where the welds were ground flush with an angle grinder and flappy sanding disc.


Weld pre grinding


and then post grinding


The other project for the weekend was the turning of an Oak bowl. A number of months ago a large tree was removed at my parents place, I managed to save a few sections for turning and also cut one of the larger sections into slabs (still to see how this weathers).

The sections destined for turning had their ends coated with wax to help prevent them from splitting from drying out too quickly. Walking past one of them over the weekend I noticed that some of the wax had started to crack and not wanting the wood to start splitting I decided that it needed to be turned.

I still don’t have the ideal setup for turning bowls, OK for spindle work but the swing over the bed is less than ideal and moving parts from the outside end of the tailstock to the inside is a bit of a pain.

Rough turning was completed on the outside at a fairly low-speed, this is where having the three-phase motor really comes in handy.


At this point the bowl as just screwed really well onto a faceplate.


After the outer shape was complete an attachment point for the chuck was cut into the bottom before the blank was shifted to the inboard side for hollowing out.



Some sanding is still required and I’d like to make the walls a little bit thinner if possible but once again the current lathe setup isn’t conducive to turning bowls, there is only a limited amount of room on the far side of the lathe before hitting the wall which makes it hard to get a bowl gouge in.

Given this was the first turning completed in a while all the chisels were in a bit of a state and so required touching up. Previously I had the Teknatool Nova jig mounted on the bench grinder but to be honest found it less than ideal.

According to the instruction manual for 8 inch grinders you are supposed to mount the jig on a raised block. The issue then was that the jigs slide didn’t fit under the grinding wheel and so there was only a limited range that the slide could move in and out. Another minor annoyance was the method of locking off the slide, basically a small rod inserted through another shorter threaded rod with two small rubber caps (designed to but not really) stopping the rod from sliding out of the threaded piece (picture below missing the rubber caps).

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In practice I found that the rubber caps would fall off and then the smaller rod would constantly slide out of the bottom part when tightening and then roll around the floor. I also found that once you had used the grinder for a while a deposit of ground material would build up on the slide which would then drastically increase the friction between the slide and clamp when moving it in and out.

I also found had a few issues with the top part of the jig. The cast section never seemed to slide that well on the stamped / folded plate (tried oil, grease, silicon spray, graphite powder), also it was slightly annoying to have to disassemble the top section to swap between sharpening with the cast section and sharpening with the guide arm.

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My version didn’t have the black thumbscrews but rather a threaded rod with a 90 degree bend on one end and then on the other a wing nut. Also the angle indicator pieces further down were always a bit of a pain to fit back in. The red folded piece was about 5mm narrower than the silver piece and so had to be pulled out whilst you tried to fit it, all in all a bit too fiddly considering how often it needed to come on and off.

All these things made me look around at other options and in doing so came across the Woodcut Tru-Grind system, very similar to the Teknatool but with a few differences.

  1. Slide does not need to be mounted on a block for 8 inch grinders.
  2. Slide system seems to lock off better (lever at the side as opposed to clamp on top.
  3. Guide arm part has notches which positively locate it at 10 odd fixed angles.
  4. Has two cups allowing you to locate the support arm at two different locations on the arm.

This was fitted to the grinder last night and is looking promising so far, the geometry of the system seems to fit the 8 inch grinder better making it easier to get the correct angle when grinding.

I haven’t sworn off the Teknatool jig yet but for the moment will use the Woodcut one and see how it performs for a bit.

Both of these jigs have one minor issue however and it’s definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel but it would be nice if the markings on the slides were engraved or stamped as the printed labels options that both systems use don’t last long at all.