Building JANUS – roughing out the frame

We started today with the framing for what will eventually look something like this.

Dave and Alan generously toiled in the sun with me at Big Art Labs, and we began roughing out the side rails that will be bolted to the roof rack.

David Hoffman’s design called for 2x4s, but after finding the 8-footers that I bought to be too short for the job, we tried 1x6es. These proved to be too flimsy for the job but they were good enough to stand in until I can get back to Home Depot for the right size lumber.

Then we marked sheets of 1/2-inch plywood against the profile of the van’s body, taking into account little oddities like marker lights, xylophone mounts and the right rear crushed bumper.

Here, Dave shows off the fine 4×8 sheet of 1/2-inch ply he caught from the stern of the van, using light tackle and bloodworms for bait.

A skillsaw made short work of the wavy lines.

We installed a couple of the plywood profiles using loose-pin hinges.

And hey, presto – they fit! It only took six hours to get all this figured out. My deepest heartfelt thanks to both Alan and Dave for helping get this solved.

Next – we’ll replace the frame rails with 2×4 versions, and cut out the other profiles.

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