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Author Topic: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern  (Read 3089 times)

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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2021, 08:29:38 AM »
The roof structure-
The roof includes a mollycroft - the raised section in the middle.  I must admit to overthinking this- repeatedly(!).  I changed my plan from building curved glue-lams to building full length trusses.  I saw a picture on the internet of a sway back vardo - it needed rebuilding.
I cut all the rafters from single pieces of wood.  The transition curve between the molly croft roof to the main vardo roof really hung me up.  There are no pictures of the frame that I could find with this design.  It's all mortise and tenon joinery with Urea Formaldehyde glue.  The upper junction at the ends of the mollycroft has 4 members coming together in one place, mortise and tenon joinery.


 
This sweeping curve has a 3 degree bevel cut onto the top.  The same 96" radius flows down from the mollycroft roof to the main vardo roof.



I had considered building the mollycroft as a unit and hoisting it into place.  Instead I test fit and then assembled it is place.


 

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2021, 08:40:26 AM »
I added a truss to the front of the upper wall to help with the wind pressure of towing.





 
Finding a simple way to make the mollycroft ends was anything but simple.


 


 

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2021, 08:52:42 AM »
I sanded and 1/8" round over routed all the pieces.  I noticed while I was wiping up glue with a wet sponge that water really made the grain 'pop'.  I dug out stains and finishes and ended up using Tung oil 50/50 with mineral spirits.  The matt finish is pleasant and minor imperfections are given an antique sort of look.  I like the idea that the tung oil finish can be rejuvenated at any time with out stripping and sanding.



The front wall got some trussing added to it as well.  I used 2"x2"x1/8" angle iron and 5/16" bolts to build my own brackets to hold the ends of the rafters to the side walls.



That pretty much catches up with where I'm at today.  Rear wall framing needs finishing and then it's siding...:)

Online VB-Milling

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2021, 09:25:22 AM »
Quite the undertaking and you're doing an amazing job 8)
HM126

Offline samandothers

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2021, 09:31:35 AM »
Wow, what a project and devotion to such a BIG woodworking project!   I thank you for taking time to post your pictures to capture the progress and detail.

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2021, 07:32:49 AM »
I've been working on siding.  5/8" western red cedar V groove T&G I made.  The side walls and the front are done, batten strips and corner molding yet to build.  The front will get a bay window.


 

I used tar to treat the butt ends, the battens will cover the joints.


 

The rear wall is a work in progress.  Lots going on back here and curved headers.  I stuck the windows in their frames to check for placement - the framing hasn't been done yet.  I found it funny that the windows were the first thing I built. They have been sitting around for a couple of years and are a little dirty.


 

Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2021, 05:18:25 PM »
Interesting thread. Looks amazing to me. You're making art with a function. One of them long haul projects where you do a little each day, but not hurry at it, but work away steady and never give up. Thanks for bringing us along on your journey. :)

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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #47 on: October 28, 2021, 07:10:46 AM »
Thanks for the kind words guys, I really appreciate it!  You are welcome.
I'm trying to get information out there that I wished were available for me.  This by no means the right way or only way to do this.  It is a big project and it might be more than 2 years to complete.  I asked my wife to take a look and asked for her input.  Her comment was to finish the inside to a point where we can take it out and use it a little and then see.  We built our own house and after we were done we immediately picked out 3 things we would do differently.
I have bought most everything with the exceptions of the sinks and a hot water radiator.  I did buy a cubic mini wood stove but I plan on building a hot water radiator system with fans and a  thermostat.   They make 12 vdc circulation pumps and this way I can use the water heater as a furnace - saving the cost of a furnace.  4 computer fans should move enough air but I will just have to try it.  This covid economy makes me leery of shortages so I am stocking up. 

Offline samandothers

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #48 on: October 28, 2021, 09:31:16 AM »
  They make 12 vdc circulation pumps and this way I can use the water heater as a furnace - saving the cost of a furnace.  4 computer fans should move enough air but I will just have to try it. 
This is a great idea for space saving too!

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #49 on: October 30, 2021, 03:32:15 PM »
I'm done with putting up the siding.  I did have some preconceived ideas about how I would frame the window and door arches,  going so far as to make glue-lams and built up curved headers.



In practice I found cutting the pieces I needed from solid blocks of wood easier.


 


 
I had just enough siding to finish it with the material I had ready,  I will need to make more V groove for covering the roof. 

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2021, 09:42:28 AM »
This is a great post! I just found it and read through. 
Great project.
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2021, 06:33:57 AM »
Beautiful work Sir
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2021, 06:54:50 AM »
Now that is a beautiful piece of art!!!
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2021, 07:12:19 AM »
Thanks!
Started on the roof sheathing.  I had a cluster of small diameter western red cedar trees that I cut into lumber.  I forgot how different that makes the lumber.  It's a shame to have to cover the outside of the roof.


 


 
Small diameter trees make some more interesting lumber.


 
Next up is to cover the slopes.  I'm going crosswise down the slope until I meet up with the lower roof.  The bend (96" radius) isn't horrible but enough that I think I will have to steam bend it.  Every place I looked says you cannot steam bend conifer lumber, so I will just have to find out.  As a fall back I know I can bend thinner pieces and glue them together.  I'm going with clear knot free lumber for the down slope.
I'm quite unsure of how to do the edge joints.  Are these pieces going to look like barrel staves, wider in the middle? Then reverse? The edge bevel -I'm assuming- must be the same on each piece so the joint lays flat.   Mentally I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. 

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2021, 08:22:31 AM »
Interesting project! 
As a contrast for sure in overall construction to create the same sort of gypsy wagon-
I've seen many sheepherder wagons out west in the Rockies with South American or Latino guys tending large flocks for long stays in the boonies. Their wagon "homes" had the same rounded roofs done with much less concern for aesthetics like stained glass, etc.. Seems like I recall from years back that they used painted canvas roofs or tarpaper selvage roofing. One trip we were with my parents and my Mom was intrigued with the whole thing such that she got a look/see inside one where we were hiking N of Steamboat Springs, CO on WY border. That guy was from Peru as it were. 
How is this fancy sort of wagon used on the road-inside a PU bed?   
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2021, 09:19:36 AM »
I visited the High Desert Museum near Bend OR many years ago.  They had on display a shepherds wagon.  I remember at the time thinking this was an early RV - for work but the essentials were all there, including a small wood cookstove.
The history of Vardo's or Gypsy wagon's has a parallel to building public roads.  They were used in the early 1900's for vacations by the wealthy until gasoline powered trucks and cars led to the RV with it's modern construction methods.  
I'm planning on covering this with canvas -> PMF (poor mans fiberglass) glued down with Titebond 3 and painted with white exterior paint. I plan to carry it on a 16' flat bed trailer that I already own.
It has gotten fancy(er) as the original goal as my wife will still state is "something better than a tent".
I believe any hand made RV will attract people's attention, much like your mother.  I know I rubber neck anything home made. 
About a month ago I asked myself why exactly I was building this, to double check on my motivation.  I love the look of wood and have built all kinds of things since I was a small boy.  I want something that I personally would like to look at and use.  I'm tall 6'6" 250 lbs, and there is very few RV's that I can stand up in let alone short narrow beds between bulk heads where my nighttime leg cramp issues would likely flare up.  RV's have a lot of things going for them but I simply don't fit.  My wife and I have said for years we need to build our own trailer so here we are.
Part of the class I took included a warning about the attention these draw and the need to be prepared for all kinds of people wanting to see inside, and a billion questions.  Between printed hand outs and a blog or two plus Covid-19 I'm hoping to mostly keep my privacy while satisfying people's curiosity.  We also tend to remote camp in very low population areas which should help.  Too much attention is a real concern I have and we will see how this works out. Family has already expressed an interest to spend the night here on our property in it so if that becomes it's destiny then I'm okay with that but a small cabin would have been tons easier to build.  Several of the students at the class I took wanted to build vardo's to rent out as a supplemental income.  There is now a place on the Oregon coast where there is a Vardo village all available to rent.  These can get you around building codes and land use laws to different degrees.
Searching for detailed information on building one of these doesn't get you very far.  I bought one expensive and out of print book about Vardo's and even it was scant on details.  I hope to help the next guy and to inspire him/her to what is possible with solid pieces of wood.

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2021, 07:44:29 AM »
Covering the mollycroft slopes.  Close to done.  Covering it with 3 layers of laminated cedar strips.  Upper slope needed convex shapes to "lay flat", lower slope needed concave.  Lay flat is the only term I can come up with to describe what needs to happen.


 
Photo above - convex slope ->convex strip.  Photo below - concave slope ->concave strip.


 
Top view.  Edges will get trimmed later.


 
Inside view.  Rough yet and will need some sanding.


 

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2021, 07:52:47 AM »
If anyone chooses to follow my slope design I have a recommendation. Add 2 more rafters to make a total of 5.  The 3 points of contact I used worked fine on the convex portion.  At the transition to concave the roof started to develop a ridge.  I changed the clamp position and added some wooden cantilever pry bars with weight to get the sections between the rafters to flow.  It worked but having more rafters would make it fool proof.
This is very time consuming - about an inch per day.  I have used my 'spare' time to start of plumbing and cabinetry.

Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Vardo Gypsy Wagon Build-modern
« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2021, 12:05:48 PM »
Bookmarked, and following.  Really a neat build.  I've got several working models at least in my head, and am planning on building at least 1 of these in some sort; will be towing it around my property for different niche views. 


Anyone interested, there are several variations of this idea on Youtube; saw some neat ones on the road down in NZ.

Thanks for Sharing.
Life is short, tragedy is instant, it's what we do with our time in between that matters.  Always strive to do better, to be better.


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