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Miriam Janssen

Posts: 119
Reply with quote  #1 

This week I have started with the VW Hippie Bus and Beach trailer. The plan was already three years waiting to be build. I have made some pictures of the building process and I will keep you posted.

I use reclaimed solid wood for all my projects. That brings some specific challenges as I do not have a planer thicknesser. I choose the wood for it’s color. If the thickness is about the right size, I use it.
If I need a specific thickness I resaw wood That I have in my storage. With my handplanes I make the saw stripes smooth. 

For the sides of the beach trailer I resaw some mahonie to approximately 6 mm (turns out to be 7,29). I smoothed it with a handplane.
For the sides of the bus I used spalted Beech wood. 

A tricky part was drilling the henges for the doors. I sanded the doors and the side first and used tape to keep both in place while drilling. I used a drill 3 first and a 4 for the final hole. It worked out pretty good.

The floor is made identical to the plan. With the mahonie windows on the back being 1,5 mm thicker and the front part being 1 mm too thick, it means that I have to modify the floor. Otherwise the sides don’t fit around the floor. 

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I didn’t follow the plan with the axes because I found it to be too tricky. As I do not like to use pegs I decided to glue an axes holder on the bottom and drill through it. This way it is possible to drive through dirt without the axes getting too filthy. 😂 I always use axes of 6 mm and drill the hole at 7 mm. In that way my car gets the feel of suspension. And... not unimported, if the drilling is not exact, the wheels still touch the ground. (I absolutely hate it when one of the wheels doesn’t touch the ground.)

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The chairs are made of two pieces because I was wondering how to make them without offering my fingers to the bandsaw.


Today I made and finished the canoe’s. The plan wanted some thinner layers for the top and bottom. I tried to glue 4 layers of padouk veneer to get 3 mm thick material but that was not a succes at all. So I decided to make Canadian canoe’s. I made the layers bigger than the plan and sanded them into their form.
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I finished the bus with gluing the roof and and the doors. 

The roof turned out not to be straight glued. I found out after I set the back doors. the learned lesson is to never glue a roof withour having the doors in place.


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The logo....well lets not talk about the logo. It took 3 attempts to have a logo good enough. Scroll sawing those little characters really is not my speciality.

I am not a model builder as I still got to learn a lot. So this bus is a prototype. Next time I will make some changes to the plan to be able to use solid wood that has not the exact thickness. 
The bikini briefs on the front side will be a little bigger (but still have the briefs model and not a grandma’s tent) so that the striping on the sides are looking like they are into the briefs (no pun intended 🤭). I will round the corners a little bit so that it looks a bit more like they fit together.

Thanks for reading and have a happy wood time!

- Miriam -

Wood is made of trees
Peter V

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Posts: 257
Reply with quote  #2 

Hello Miriam,

Looking good and - as fas as I may give comments - the way you did those hinges, I would have done it exact the same way. 


Peter V
john lewman

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Posts: 2,805
Reply with quote  #3 
I am just overwhelmed with the quality and detail of this post on building a wood toy this morning. You are so skilled at presenting and teaching. And your write-up is perfect.

I get my inspiration every day from the Forum to keep going and today the Forum is hopping with new and exciting content. Thanks so much.

Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #4 
It looks like it is coming along quite nicely. It looks really good and I agree with Johns comments about the presentation. Can't wait to see the finished product. This is one I've been thinking about building so seeing yours has inspired me to get out there and get started on it.
Grandpa Bear

Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #5 
Miriam, this is an excellent tutorial, it's coming along great.

I love your choice of woods and design of the canoes.

Keep safe, can't wait to see more, Nick

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing the end results. Looks great so far

Posts: 254
Reply with quote  #7 
Hello Miriam.
 Like you, my copy of this plan has waited a few years to be made.
Unlike you I cannot resaw to get the thinner stock needed, and I HATE using MDF.
So it sits waiting for  thin stock to magically appear or a bandsaw to be bought.
  I eagerly await the continuation of this post, as you are good at both the manufacture and the presentation.
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