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  • Organizing things to get ready for the new job. Making sure I have office appropriate clothing since I have been WFH or unemployed for the past almost 3 years. Need more pants...

    Been spending quality time refurbishing my old truck and doing the camper build. Only woodworking so far is far from fine woodworking, but I have been building a skeleton from to be topped with plywood for the bed / cabinets. Got the Lifepo4 batter in today, so all components for house electrical are in. Have a nice 6" memory foam residential twin so I might end up being the most comfortable camper shell camper out there... Pulled the old winch, brush guard / winch mount, and bumper, Stock bumper was messed up and I have had enough. Swapped in HD front bumper, 12K synthetic line winch, and wired up the lights, figured out the synthetic line models use a Hawse fairlead which is the rope guide, instead of the roller type of steel cable winches. So my license plate mount won't work. I need to remove the winch to get the fairlead off and mount a differnt type of license plate mount so Texas DPS doesn't use me to raise revenue...

    The cushion around the cup holders on the center console was whacked, removed it with some force and installed a replacement. Not soft like stock, but still looks good and no pokey plastics hanging out so that is good.

    Replaced the defective design IWE solenoid, which is the vacuum switch for the 4x4 system with the fixed one.

    Replaced headlight assemblies, 3rd brake light assembly etc... with smoked LED units. Huge improvement in looks and performance. And the 3rd brake light was leaking into the cab so that HAD to get fixed...

    Not sure if I mentioned this, but my Drill Master 18v batteries all died a miserable death within days of each other. Replaced with Ryobi One+ 18v, so far VERY happy with the performance, battery still dies off at bad times, but I have a spare...

    Tow to the shop to do the engine swap is next Friday. Until then I need to fix the suicide doors in the back of the super cab, and try to get mildew cleaned off of vinyl parts in the interior.So vinegar water rags soaking them, then an anti fungal bomb in the cab. Like I said, 3rd brake light leaked...

    Need to figure out a small platform to hold a doggie bed over the back seat filling the footwell gap. Drivers side and center of back seat is my dogs domain for travel. He does NOT like riding in the front seat... Passenger side back seat will house the 12V fridge, and under the platform I plan on stowing my awning / tarp, camp chair, and Ensuite tent...

    The only items I have not figured storage / transport out for yet is fuel for, and the 1KW inverter generator. Everything else is at the ready.

    I probably won't be doing much other than shop cleanup that is not camper related until after Christmas 23. I am going to do the camper shell camper through this fall / winter and into spring. but will get back on the cabover sleeper foamie build as soon as I can. I want it mounted up and ready to go for Christmas 23 and am hoping to maybe use it to go visit family in the PNW. Not sure, I just know I do NOT want to be home for her birthday, our anniversary, and the holidays now that she's gone...

    And before anyone asks, yes I am doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. And I do not wish losing a spouse on anyone.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	HDBumperAndWinchCompleted.gif Views:	0 Size:	408.9 KB ID:	852525

    Oh, those silver D rings drive me nuts, and the orange isolators were from the old winch D rings. I ordered new red ones with black isolators off of Amazon as theya re cheap... Those should be here tomorrow.
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    • capncarl
      capncarl commented
      Editing a comment
      Have you considered using gas from the truck tank? It’s been a couple of yrs. since I pulled the gas tank on a Ford but i do remember a couple of return hoses to the pump mount plate that possibly be used to provide some fuel.

    • dbhost

      dbhost
      commented
      Editing a comment
      Considered and rejected. Small engines require ethanol free fuel, which is VERY hard to find and quite expensive. Cheaper than Coleman fuel by a good margin, but 1.5 times the cost of regular unleaded sometimes. Sometimes not that much depends... Honestly, I should have bought the 2KW model that can run off of 20lb propane bottles... Would be easier to deal with fuel wise. And only need it for off grid hot temp camping trips. Almost everything I have except for the AC can run off of my 300w solar rig. 12V fridge, laptop charger, and CPAP. Just remember to charge the laptop early in the day, then let everything else go... Or get a separate 100w panel / charge controller for the laptop...

  • Working on the camper. Got the bed platform uprights re-installed, and height tested the bed / bench for seating and have plenty of headroom now. So I can sit up and work at my laptop if I want to, or just sit up in bed and not smash my dome in the ceiling. I am built strangley I admit, I have the same inseam +1" as my 5' tall wife did and I am 6' tall. Seems like all torso... Not sure if I mentioned this, but the camper shell camper is just a stopgap to get me travelling for a bit. Long term I want to build an aluminum and fiberglass over foam DIY copy of the Four Wheel Campers Project M, but with enough space in the overcab to allow for a decent memory foam mattress and the roof closed...

    Need to go to Home Depot in the next couple of days, need to pick up some 1/2" ply for the deck of the bed.

    Engine should be delivered to the shop this week. Need to get the truck towed over there probably Saturday so they can start their work on it. So in the mean time. I finish out my work on the camper bits.

    Once I get it back, lots to do still..

    1. Fix the suicide door cables. Common Ford problem, but I have the pieces. Heck if the mechanic won't charge me too much, pay him to do it!
    2. Swap the factory stereo with the Android Auto infotainment system, and the tailgate handle with the new tailgate handle with reverse camera, get it all wired up and configured. I have been REALLY wanting a backup camera for a long time now.
    3. Sort through, inspect, and replace / jettison any faulty / dangerous recovery gear.
    4. Register the truck. Insurance goes active this Friday so I just need to get the repair work done, get about 100 miles on it, then inspection and registration.
    5. Load up the BFGs and head to the tire shop down the street. Get all 5 tires swapped out and new ones balanced.
    6. Tape off, or Butyl tape any body gaps / air leaks in the truck bed.
    7. Load in the cabinets, wire in the house electrical 12 and 110v test.
    8. Load up the camping gear, and supplies, maiden voyage...
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    • Getting ready to head out to Home Depot to get the plywood for the bed decking. May not end up doing this as a semi foamie cabinet after all. I have LOTS of T&G bead board doing absolutely nothing, and this really only needs to enclose a storage compartment and look passable.

      I did order from Home Depot their Ryobi One+ HP hi torque 1/2" torque wrench. Rumor has it this thing puts out close to what my Earthquake pneumatic does, and, well I can drag it on trips with me for trail side fixes... So the tool only is going for $179.00, or the tool and a 4.0 amp hour battery runs for $159.00, so I ordered it with the battery (duh), well tool only arrived. Apparently they ship them separately... go figure...

      Anyway. Off to the BORG to get ply, get it pre cut so it will fit in the car, and get some hinges. Just gonna do some 1.5" hinges and not futz with the mortising. Just don't care... rather have extra wood in there than a flush fit. Will use some felt feet for cushion and to even it up...

      So decision time. Get the cabinets topped, and most likely sided with T&G bead board just to finish it up, some glue, some pins and let it set up, then probably just hit it with some simple stain and poly. Again stuff I have...
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      • Okay, back, and using Home Depot construction grade materials is yielding, well good think I like curves... :-P

        One of the 2x2s is just wandering all over the place. Oh well, everything else is pulling it into place, and this setup is intended to be temporary-ish...

        VERY close to ready to have it towed to the shop for the big work, then to the tire shop, and then to the inspection / registration...
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        • Well, so far, spent 1.5 hours going around the house, the truck, the shop, picking up cardboard boxes, breaking them down and getting them into the recycling bin. Which now is overflowing. Going to head out to the driveway in a bit to try my hand at fixing Ford suicide doors. Still debating on using the material I already have, the pine bead board, for siding in / enclosing the bed and electrical cabinets. And if I go with bead board, I will propbably go with Minwax Golden Pecan + semi gloss poly to finish it off...

          Oh, and I need another pair of hinges for the electrical box. Boy smart like rock moment at Home Depot yesterday and only came home with 2 sets of hinges instead of 3... The 2 were used on the bed platform... The third is needed for the electrical box...

          My legacy 12v power box. is going to be disassembled to get the 12V power outlets, switches, USB charging outlets and voltometers. Need to make sure the ring sizes match the new battery. Not sure what 8mm studs translate to in American ring sizes, but maybe the 3/8 that is on them will work... Good thing is connection between battery and charge controller will be short. And unlike most builds. I fully intend on using wiring loom and electrical tape to control the cabling... No mess of random wires here!
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          • I've spent the last few weekends building a dog grooming salon at my daughter's house. Last night I broke the only bit I had with me on the drywall cutout tool on the second to last outlet so ran to the hardware store to get some more. On the next cut it made about a 3" cut and the battery died and I didn't have another. An hour round trip home wasn't in the cards so I ordered Indian food and picked it up on the way home. I'll finish up the last of the drywall and get the first tape coat done tonight.

            On a happy note, the pressure test on the plumbing passed which is surprising since I'm usually really bad at plumbing.
            Chr's
            __________
            An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
            A moral man does it.

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            • twistsol
              twistsol commented
              Editing a comment
              Drywall and first tape coat done.

          • You know the old adage measure twice and cut once?

            My bed platform for the truck camper is actually still too tall.

            I forgot to factor in the thickness of the Bedrug bedliner, and the headliner carpeting / insulation I am going to to to the roof.

            I have 1.5" more I can cut down. I go 1.6 and I will run into the water tanks. They are just 7 gallon water jugs, not really installed tanks, so if worse comes to worse, I can always just move them to the cab of the truck. They are there to provide water for daily showers should a water source not be available.

            I replaced the winch hook strap that came factory with my winch, with one I sewed up myself that has MUCH stronger stitching, Boxed and diagonal stitched instead of just one line of stitching. And instead of just a tag end strap, it is a looped handle.

            Need to make 2 more looped handles. One for the tailgate to pull it up from inside the truck, and one for the hatch to pull it down from inside the truck. Might actually just let those be just plain straps. Don't really need the hoop so much as I do for the winch hook.
            Last edited by dbhost; 10-11-2022, 07:59 PM.
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            • Home Depot screwed up. I ordered an 18V impact wrench WITH the 4.0 amp hour battery. They shipped tool only. NOT Happy, been on the phone for the last hour trying to get them to straighten it out. They have some sort of promotion going on and are sold out of that kit... so they just sent me the wrong one... More specifically they sent me the tool only and getting them to send out the battery turned out to be an impossible task. HOWEVER getting them to send out a new impact wrench with battery AND a charger I don't need for $5.00 less than the same tool and battery apparently is no big deal. I really want that impact for doing off road tire changes, and I REALLY don't want to be spinning a manual lug nut wrench...
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              • Took the bed platform apart, again... Have a decision to make. I can cut down a maximum of 2.5" before I get to the point that the part that is supposed to straddle the wheel well is IN the wheel well... If I cut down that far, I KNOW I will have more than enough headroom with the carpeted bedliner that allegedly adds 3/4" to the floor, AND the "Rat Fur carpet" headliner which adds something like 1/8" max. Not much for insulation but keeps condensation down...

                If I go with 1.5" I know I will clear the added height, and buy myself another 1/2" which means my hair will no longer be fluffing the roof as I move about. PLUS my water jugs will more than happily stow under the bed platform.

                I am also wondering, that 3/4" spec on the bedrug, may be measuring from the bottom of the valley between the truck bed "ribs" if that is the case, then the total height added on TOP of the ribs is only slightly less than 1/4" which is more along the lines of what I would expect. Which means honestly, if we are talking from bottom of ribs and headliner, I will probably be adding 3/8"...

                I am VERY tempted to wait until I get the truck back from the mechanic as it is being towed over very soon for the engine work, THEN I can install the bedrug, and then figure out my height issue. IF I can get away with it, AND sufficient headroom, I would prefer to only cut down 1.5" from the uprights and still be able to carry water under the bed...

                Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day, it went ahead and got hot here again. I need to climb under the front bumper, pull the winch back off, remove the hawse fairlead and install the license plate flip up bracket, and then reassemble the fairlead, and winch. Kind of needs to be done prior to wrecker coming to get the truck as once the mechanic gets the truck running he needs to road test it and it needs both plates.
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                • So here goes latest updates.

                  Test fitted the Aqua Tainers water carriers in the back seat footwells and they are a perfect fit. The also will keep the dog from slipping down there as he mindlessly moves about in the back seat. Did I mention he won't get near the passenger seat? He is a little weird...

                  So with that knowledge, more research and my own measurements showing installing the Bedrug and rat fur carpeting as a means of softening up and civilizing inside of the truck bed and cap will encroach approximately 3/8" of an inch total. The wheel wells are 9" tall from bottom of the rib valley to the top of the wheel well, so probably 8-3/8 at the top of the rib. I can cut down 2.5" on the uprights and still have plenty of space to clear the wheel well. And will gain me approximately 2-/18" headroom which is needed. All of the gear needed to make for a comfortable trip will fit under the bed platform lid, or between the electrical compartment and the side of the truck bed EXCEPT for my chemical toilet. That will have to ride, Doubled up in heavy duty trash bags in case of leakage, just on the floor on the bed of the truck...

                  I have had to make some reductions to make this all work and provide plenty of space for the dog. Those are.

                  1. Not use the EZ Up canopy. Makes setup a little tiny bit harder, or a LOT harder if we are talking about beach, but I am using a 12x12 Ozark Trail camping tarp with poles.This installs partially over the truck shell to offer shade and rain protection to the open windows.
                  2. Use as much as I despise them, 1lb propane bottles instead of my 20lb bottle, OR use the hitch hauler to carry fuel and fuel hoses. If it weren't for the hot shower, I would go with simple Gasoline appliances anyway, cheaper to run and no hazardous cylinders to dispose of.
                  3. Use a small folding table instead of a large one. I am just me now, not us, so no need for a bigger table.
                  4. Only bring 2 camp chairs. My chair, and a spare just in case...

                  Mind you, unless the weather calls for a heater, none of my appliances go through gas at a crazy rate, even the propane hot shower. I have refillable 1lb bottles, just getting them refilled on the road is impossible... You have to do it at home off of a 20lb bottle. Kind of stupid if you ask me...
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                  • I might have done something stupid, but the chuck on my floor model drill press periodically especially with big bits comes loose, and as everyone here knows, I wanted a benchtop press with throw equal to or greater than this old floor model. I wanted the Ryobi DP121L or similar.

                    Well, Amazon did it to me. Somehow the universe conspired against, or in favor of me, not sure which, but various video reviews of the Bilt Hard 12" digital variable speed bench top drill press have come up on my Youtube feed and it actually looks like, more or less the same drill press as the Wen in a different color and with a slightly different table (Which I will move my woodworking drill press table over to anyway...).

                    And then Amazon, oh Amazon. I have been putting off buying the Wen because I am being cheap. I know the Wen is far from an expensive unit, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay over $250.00 for a benchtop drill press. Well Amazon went and put this thing on sale for $169.99, So $80.00 basically, cheaper than the Wen... https://amzn.to/3TkvBeT

                    They hit the price point I was willing to pay for the features I wanted.

                    This will allow, or require me depending on your perspective, to build another flip top stand, and give myself a doubled up stand for the drill press and mortising machine.

                    Mind you, the truck will never fit in the garage, I could barely squeeze my standard bed standard cab Ranger in there when I first bought the house. I am considering getting rid of our Saturn and Chevy Malibu, and getting a compact SUV, something with a tall enough roof I don't have to twist or stoop to get in. I.E. Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 etc...

                    So I guess plan still is get a 10x20 shed / portable building out back for a shop, and keep lumber storage in the garage, and park the SUV in the garage. So yes I am still going to work on maximizing space efficiency in the shop.

                    The other option is finish fixing hte house, sell off and buy a house with more land / outbuilding.
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                    • The new benchtop drill press came in today but it came in so late I don't I've had time to do was pull it into the house the shop is a disaster well so is the house but that's a different story I'm going to spend some time cleaning up cleaning up after I get some of the touch up work on the camper conversion cabinets cabinets done basically applying the sides to the skeleton. I'm not sure how soon I will get to it but I will be building another Flip-top stand for the drill press the drill press and mortissing machine.
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                      • Sat around all day watching the tile guy install the stone backsplash in our kitchen. His attention to detail on cutting the mats to fit and aligning things with a laser made me really appreciate the job and to realize I could not have done it. I have none of the tools and gadgets he used (except for the dual axis laser) including the diamond wet saw.
                        Jim Frye
                        The Nut in the Cellar.
                        ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

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                        • Finished setting tile on the dog wash last night and headed back after work to grout it and then finish sanding and drywall. Very close to finishing up the dog grooming salon.
                          Chr's
                          __________
                          An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
                          A moral man does it.

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                          • After a week of high temps in the 30’s and 40’s I broke down and turned on the furnace.
                            Chr's
                            __________
                            An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
                            A moral man does it.

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                            • LCHIEN
                              LCHIEN commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Got down to 45 F in the early morning but the house was still at 71 F when I woke up this morning around 9. Still, it was hard to get out from under the covers. Maybe I should check out the heaters.

                            • capncarl
                              capncarl commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I’ve been working like a mad man trying to get our well house completed before the first freeze. It’s usually mid Nov but last night it was down to 36f, very unusual temp for us this early. So much for global warming.
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