Filling holes and structural repairs
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
If you remember, I had used some ply to close up a couple of holes that had been temporarily covered by some aluminium.* Once the ply was set in place, I scored the face. I was going to bridge the gap with fibreglass, but the resin I had had gone off. I sanded the surrounding area, then built up layers with the coarse body filler I used for sculpting elsewhere.
After several days of sanding and filling, I was in a position to prime and paint.
Six coats later, it looks much better. More coats will be applied in due course.
The main issue I had was with the wall. It had bowed out. I had to straighten it out. The idea was two-fold. I would put in place a new doorframe, inside and out, which would straighten and strengthen the doorway. Then, to strengthen the wall horizontally, I would brace it by sandwiching the wall with a length of 3x2 on the inside and a running board on the outside.
Up to this point, the wood had been sourced at no cost or donated freely. I had spent several weeks searching for something that was long enough to do the job. In the end I bit the bullet and bought what I needed as I had come to the point that I needed to fit the running board and brace the wall in order to move forward with the build. That turned out to be easier said than done!**
The long section that stretches from the door to the front is just shy of 3.5 metres. Michael gave me a hand by holding one end while I marked the front end to match the shape of the wall and rail at that point. Besides the filled in awning rail, there is some checker plate which is part of the strengthening of the front that I had put in place last year."*** I shaved and shaped the end, then we held the wood back against the wall. I managed to get the shape within a couple of times of mating. There wasn’t much sanding to do before I stained the wood.
When it was ready to fix in place I enlisted the extra pair of hands of Daniel.
Before we started, I removed the kitchen as I was going to be replacing it.
The job at hand was a bit of a mission. Firstly, we emptied the entire left-hand side of the caravan. We got most of it into Daniel’s car. I don’t have any long drill bits, so we measured out and marked where the holes were going to be in the wall. I drilled them through. Next, we held the running board in place while I drilled pilot marks by drilling through the drilled holes from inside. We then drilled the holes in the wood. We married up some offcuts of 3x2 as spacers. Next, we did the same as we had the running board, only this time the opposite way; I drilled pilot marks into the 3x2 that is the internal brace from the outside. I then drilled the holes. The whole lot was then sandwiched together using 6” coach bolts. Before fitting the bolts, I primed and painted the heads of the bolts in black as I thought black would look better than the chrome against the redwood stained running board.
Works well, I reckon. I like it, anyway.
*see entry A quick catch up
**see entry Buying wood
***see entry My caravan