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WEEK SIXTEEN: Ceiling Panel Prep & Install

Work Clean-Up and Ceiling Prep

Lessons learned: don't use rough sawn lumber for wall framing. The 1x8 boards I used at the exterior sidewall corners have warped and split, thus needing to be replaced before anything else, so I swapped out all necessary boards and finished routing the top of the wall. Lastly I had to level off all of the interior walls since I built them a bit tall to be safe.

Ceiling Panel Install

After about 10 coats of shellac the Okoume glows. I sanded the sheet between coats since shellac raises the grain a bit and this helps achieve a smooth finish. The panel is then dropped in to sit on top of the rabbeted wall edge and fastened downward into the top wall board (as well as interior walls) at about 6" on center. I pre-drilled all holes to prevent splitting and used common nails with a wide head. By spanning the ceiling panels over the sidewalls it adds significant strength and sway resistance.

Panel Trim

The original ceiling design included a trim piece that was made to receive the panels where they joined. Only a couple of these remained and they were pretty beat up. I decided to go ahead a re-make these using the square edge white wood boards that I've used to frame the interior walls (a 1x2 that will sit atop with the framing and a 1x3 for the finished piece on the interior side); using a table saw I cut the reliefs in the 1x2 for the ceiling panels to sit into. I originally stained this a shade darker than my ceiling panels thinking the contrast would be good but decided against it and planed the finish off in order to match the hue of the amber shellac for a more subtle appearance.

Door Opening Trim Begins

The last thing I started this week was the trim for the bedroom opening. The curving profile is inspired by elements in some earlier Shasta campers that I think will translate really well here; 1/4" plywood is cut freehand using the plunge router (this thing is amazing!). So far, so good. Quick glimpse for now - should be ready for revealing by next weekend.

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