#20 Carpeting Metal, Securing the Walls and our Leccy Panel Prototype

We used this day to carpet the visible areas of metal before the walls were screwed on and we screwed the walls on! Whilst I was carpeting Callum also spent some time making an electric board prototype.

Carpeting around the Doors

We put the walls in place to see which areas of metal around the barn doors and the side loading door would need to be carpeted before we permanently attached the walls. Luckily, because we had managed to get the walls on in two big pieces there wasn’t much that needed done. The main job was essentially the ‘door frame’ for the barn doors; it is one piece which goes up each side and across the top of the van. I was trying to use as much of the left over carpet as possible, to avoid waste and having to buy more, so I decided to do this in 3 pieces – the two up the sides and around the corners and one for the top middle section. There are lines in the metalwork which I used as the points for the ‘seams’ between the individual pieces – this would ensure they were symmetrical and straight.

I started on the side pillars. I lined the carpet up and sprayed a small patch of glue to keep it in place while I started to work. I glued in sections, working my way down the pillar and just like I did with the wheel arches and walls I was pulling the carpet taught whilst pushing it onto the metal in one direction. This ensures that it went on straight, was stuck to the edge and had no air bubbles of crinkles. I worked my way down to the floor before trimming the excess, with the lino in place I got a small spatula and pushed the edges of the carpet down into the edges of the ply, it was such a snug fit they haven’t moved since and look pleasingly neat.

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Then to tackle the top section which was harder because of the curve. Same tactics applied – stretching and smoothing until I had got right up to the line for my edge. I left this last little bit loose until I had the top section done also. The top section had the door catch which needed to be removed; carpeting under this was definitely the neatest solution. I used the same approach by doing it in sections until the whole area was covered. At my ‘seams’ I cut the carpet in a straight line and glued it down, matching the edge of the other piece of carpet to create one straight, barely visible line where the 2 pieces met.

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When working on the edges of the van, I had removed the rubber seal before starting, and I glued the carpet right up to the edge of the metal. I cut the carpet along this line so it sat flush with the edge. By replacing the seal you cover up the material edge giving a neat finish all the way round.

The same thing was done by the side-loading door, however this one was far more straightforward – one piece of carpet on one flat edge!

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Attaching the Walls

This was extremely straight forward, we marked out where the wall battens were and then drilled straight in using plastic hinged screw caps to give a neat finish and hide any unsightly screw-heads! The driver’s side wall went up in no time at all, the passenger’s side wall however was going to have a couple of its screws go straight into the metal, so we needed to drill pilot holes for these ones. This wall doesn’t sit as flush/flat as the other so we needed to make sure we held the wall right onto these contours whilst we put the screws in, to make sure that it would sit correctly once they were all in place.

This felt like a big job or at least a momentous job… the walls were going on! Yet it took all of 10 minutes and went by without a hitch – hurray!

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Whilst I was carpeting Callum was busy in the workshop making a prototype electrics board. We want all our switches for lights etc. to be neat and in once place. We decided that creating a panel to house these would be easier in the long run. This means we could make the panel look neat and lovely and then just affix it in place where it is needed, rather than having to be painstakingly precise when cutting holes in what will essentially be our furniture. We will still need to cut holes in the furniture for the fixings and wires leading into the leisure battery, however we can do this safe in the knowledge that we already have the finished product, that will be visible, to go on top. It was a good starting point and nice to get an idea what it might look on he finished item!

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