Aug 2 2010

Headlined!

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It took a load of fussing and trimming, shoving and cursing, but we finally got the last of the headliner panels fitted and installed.

The map motif came out a little wrinkly (don’t believe anything Polycrylic tells you on the instructions) but it does give one a serene view upward of all the United States that we’ve ever visited – plus a few more.


Jul 23 2010

Backsides and elbows

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Looking back on it, the past couple weeks have been an utter blur.

After all this, and seeing all the tasks remaining (wiring, lights, instruments, sunshades, roof deck) between now and Burning Man, I have to admit that having our DMV application denied was the very best thing that could have happened to us.

So much to do, so little time, as Dean Motter’s Mister X was wont to say.

So here’s all the crazy work we’ve been up to, compressed into one massively overdue blog post:

We started in on replacing the headliner … Continue reading


Jul 17 2010

Hot junkyard crawl

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Spent an unreasonable hot day in the junkyard, crawling around inside vans and harvesting body-trim clips.

They’re these cheap, utterly unique little white nylon thingies. You can’t buy them from Ford, aftermarket sellers don’t sell them, you literally have to crawl through several Ford vans, popping out the headliner ribs and slipping clips out.

Usually no big deal.

Today it was 96 degrees out when I got to the junkyard. At 10:30.

Inside the van I picked (a wheelchair-conversion with a pristine headliner) it must have been close to 120.

I worked until 11:30.

P.S. – good news back from the ARTery – we’ll be sited on the playa. See you all out there.

BOOyah.


Jun 5 2010

Rinse, repeat – building Keyboard 4

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What do you call a 1985 Ford Van with three xylophone keyboards and some gongs bolted to it?

Not enough xylophones.

I wanted to give the van more presence, more weight visually (and, coincidentally enough, literally). So I’m building Keyboard 4 from the same raw aluminum (3-inch by half-inch 6106 T6 aluminum – at right) and monkeyed-together hardware contained in Keyboards 1, 2 and 3 … Continue reading


May 6 2010

Go back, Jack. Do it again.

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Keyboard 1 is more than 7 and 2 1/2 octaves long – running from A to high D#.

All that metal is pretty heavy, and the weight actually bows the stringers that carry the keys across it, so I’m building in a crosspiece for support. It will run vertically between the top rail and bottom rail, and all four stringers will screw down to it for support.

I lay out the keys then I tighten the frame at the corners along the bottom …
Continue reading


May 2 2010

Interior design, bolts, sleeper-rod pretensions & random brain-damaging activities

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Random, random, random!

We flit from project to project, looking like hummingbirds on crack (one day it’s instrument construction, the next day body work), but we’re still on a headlong parallel-tracked trajectory to getting the beast ready for Maker Faire.

FORWARD! IN ALL DIRECTIONS!

We did a lot of unfinished business today, (not all of it documented here).

I cut and drilled the stringers for Keyboard 3.

alienrobot and I bolted down the main mounting clamps for Keyboard 1. We bought a double fistful of bolts, nuts and washers for attachment of the mounting hardware for Keyboards 2 and 3.

And then we got busy installing the rug and putting the seats and doorsills back in … Continue reading