Furniture construction begins!

“Measure twice, cut once”

I made a mistake when doing some DIY and cut a piece of wood too short at our last house and since then my lovely wife says this to me every time I embark on a project, and many many times throughout…

So with that in mind I headed back to the caravan at the storage yard tape measure, pen, notebook, square & several pieces of oak in hand. The front (and back) of the caravan are curved, the back more so, and therefore I wanted to measure to see what overhang I needed and then to work out how I was going to design the bench seat. The seat will be used mostly I guess for reclining whilst reading a book/magazine etc. and therefore just the main box section needs the strength.

I cut a few bits to length (but didn’t glue them together) to the designed dimensions to check the fit. The 100mm piece on top was a scrap piece I had lying about and turned out to be the perfect size! The width I had measured at 1955mm but actually turned out to be 1962mm which is enough of a difference so that it wouldnt touch both walls which it needs to do to get riveted to them to add strength to the structure (caravan that is!) so back home to the drawing board!

Measurements duly put into CAD and the design tweaked. Happy with my measurements now (measured twice…) I went ahead and started cutting up, drilling and routing the bench seat pieces.

There will be 3 panels on the front of the seat, so they were cut out of the 3.6mm ply I had brought home in the car from the caravan. Masking tape was put down top and bottom to try to reduce the tear out, which worked. The below pictures show how well the ply fits in the routed chanels. When assembled it will be glued in the chanels thus adding strength to the structure. The panels will be painted (cream I think is the current plan) and the oak sanded and waxed to keep the natural colour.

Once both top and bottom frames were glued it was time for a dry fit. The seat can’t be assembld at home for 2 reasons. Firstly I couldn’t get it it the car, secondly, and more importantly, I couldn’t get it in the caravan. I could get it through the door but the door frame sticks out 15mm from the wall and I’d have to bend the wall/door frame to get it to slide in. So it will be assembled in the caravan once the walls have been papered & painted/papered (depending on what Becky decides to do) and the lino flooring laid.

Now to dry assemble the frame…

That’s almost it for the bench seat. Just the two removable top cross pieces to put in and it can be sanded ready for assembly and painting/waxing. There will be some 6mm ply going on top of the bench seat which coupled with the 4″ thick cushion will spread the point load of my bum 🙂

Next to design and make are the two seats/beds…

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