11. Insulating and Skinning


Foil backed rigid insulation being fitted into every bay of the frame


Starboard side nearly done and ready for skinning.


The front end has been insulated and the 1/4 inch fir marine plywood is glued and screwed down. You can also see how the forward top bulkhead has been framed and the “driver’s seat” has been sealed in. The step-down from the main roof has been skinned with openings for the portholes.


All the outside surfaces except the roof and sides of the footrest have been skinned. The corners and seams are being filled and faired with thickened epoxy. And I have made cardboard mockups of the wheels and stairs–the first time that the Coach actually started looking like a coach.


Aft view with the skin on. A lot has happened here and I fell behind on taking photos. First of all, the roof is on. The inside ceiling was covered with pine planks and all the seams filled and caulked (very boatbuildery). The curved bays of the roof were insulated with battens of non-rigid insulation topped by Ecofoil. And you can tell from the edges here that I have already glassed the roof with fiberglass cloth filled with plenty of epoxy resin. Also note that the pan box has been given a face frame and doors to each compartment.


Beginning lamination of the wheel felloes using special super-bendy plywood from our friends at Almquist Lumber. The top or outside strip is taller and will be painted to look like an iron tire. This was the “master strip” and it was edge glued and screwed to the plywood back board, and served as a mold for the rest of the lamination. You cannot help but notice that this is only half a wheel–they do in fact fold in half using piano hinges otherwise they wouldn’t fit in my truck or in the coach for transport. The front wheels are four feet in diameter and the rear wheels five feet in diameter.


Two wheels are half finished (spokes and banding to come), and propped in place for effect. The hubs, turned by my talented friend Mike Rude, serve as clamps to hold the wheels open. Between them is an ingenious folding staircase which is surprisingly sturdy. Oh, and did I mention the door? I built two doors using salvaged windows. They are insulated too. One of the doors didn’t lie flat with the coach side so I had to build up the molding around it to hide the defect (and repeated this on the other side). Coach and carriage doors almost never have outside trim, but I kinda like the effect.

At this point, dear reader, I really started falling down on taking pictures, and the Coach project languished while I addressed other concerns like plumbing, bathroom remodeling and earning a living. But read on to see more of the finished project!



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