So, rather than fly by the seat of my pants and wing the construction, the engineer in me fired up the CAD program and started drawing some ideas using the 20mm square oak as a frame and inserting 3.6mm ply panels for strength and lightness where needed. First some measurements were needed so I could draw accurately. Out came the tape measure and Sharpie, notebook and pen…
A quick plan was drawn up on CAD…let the designing begin!!
Blank canvas duly created the grey cells could finally be unleashed! Using the dimensions carefully noted before the interior was wantonly ripped out the basic shapes were blocked out. The original seats had sloping fronts (to give clearance for your heels when sitting I suppose?!) but this was going to cause the construction to be more difficult with the current tools at my disposal so based on the fact that our sofas don’t have sloping fronts I didn’t go down that route.
We decided that the two single seats, which turn into a simgle bed, at the front of the caravan would be more useful (considering it was just going to be the two of us using it) as a long bench seat which would give us more storage and enable the long items like the awning, windbreak etc. to be stored there when not in use. The only thing complicating matters was that the centre cross braces needed to be removable to allow the long items to be put in. As I’m using dowels and glue for the fabrication (no screws) I decided to make just 2 of the cross pieces removable giving me 1450mm of length (out of 1962mm total width) to slide long items in. These will have dowels in to stop the frame from spreading apart when my bulk sits on the seat and me dissapearing down into the seat base in a tangle of arms and legs!
There will be supporting pieces either side to stop any axial play from snapping the dowel, photos to follow once made.
So the basic plan was done, seat dimensions finalised (this is a very much abridged version as the design has been going on for about 12 months!) the fabrication could begin!