Having booked the van in to get windows fitted, it was requested that we removed any ply lining before taking it in. Our first day was essentially doing this and having a poke around, seeing what’s what.
From what we could see the ply was all in fantastic condition, but you never really know what to expect behind – neither of us believed it could possibly be that bad, considering what good condition the rest of the van was in, but we still held our breath a little whilst we undid the screws and pulled the ply away from the van shell for the first time!
As expected it was just as neat and tidy behind as it appeared from the front. We only had to remove the ply from the side loading door and the barn doors but that was a good enough indication of the general cleanliness of our van – this made for a very happy Katie and Callum! The great news is the ply we have removed from these areas is in such good condition that it will be perfect for reusing later in the build; anything we can do to reduce both the waste and cost is a great thing.
The wheel arches had originally been boxed in ply, after removing a handful of screws and pulling off long stretchy lumps of brown silicon based glue the boxes came away, revealing (much to our delight) that the wall piece had been cut to fit the wheel arch pretty perfectly. We had speculated that it may have just been done as easily as possible with a square cut out; the fact that they had not done this is a great relief as the ply can either be reused, if in good enough condition, or at least be used as a stencil to easily cut out a new piece. Another small win for us!
The delightful stretchy brown glue had been used in a few areas around the van floor, so we took some time to remove all this early on to save having to do it later – it pulled off fairly easily without leaving any kind of residue/marking. We removed the spare wheel which, up until this point, had been strapped in the back and fitted some shiny new car mats to the cab (protection against muddy boots is a must!) Only a few small jobs, but good preparation for later on and we were excited to get started and this was the limited amount of work available to us before the windows.
Running out of things to do in the van itself, we moved on to dismantling pallets – of the two we had stored we decided to only use one. The other had been painted blue which means we have no idea how it had been treated, we have made the decision to only use heat treated, rather than chemically treated, pallets. It was tough work; the nails that had gone in were completely mangled and almost impossible to pull out without splitting the wood. Struggling through seemed fruitless, so sawing around the nails ended up the chosen course of action. We ended up with a nice pile of usable wood, ready to sand down and varnish, and space back in the kitchen – not sure which one I am more happy about. Actually, kitchen…definitely kitchen!