Mid weekend update: So the foam I'm using only comes in 2" thick pieces, but I wanted some 1" thick stuff so here's my DIY "Hot Wire Foam Planner".
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab Long Bed 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel 6-Speed Manual
2010 Custom Phoenix Pop-up
My feet are my search engine, helping me to explore the real world.
120V input -> on/off switch (optional) -> dimmer -> fuse (optional) -> transformer: Then the transformer output goes to two wires with alligator clips to my cutting wire.
The on/off switch is optional if you just want to use the dimmer switch but with the on/off switch you can leave the dimmer set on the heat setting you want. You don't NEED a fuse but if you pull too many amps through the transformer you'll cook it, so I stuck an inline holder with a slow blow fuse in there for good measure. I happen to be using a 12V 3amp transformer from radio shack. Ideally a nickle chromoly welding wire supposedly cuts the best but I'm just using some 50lb rated stainless steel wire from homedepot that I could quickly/cheaply get and it's working fine for my needs.
The rest is just setting up a wire to do what you want. I have this wire setup between two bolts and have shims under the wire to dial in the ~1" thickness I wanted. Since I was cutting long sheets I wanted some guides to hold the foam down so that is what those two bar clamp across there for. The other clamps are just holding the cutting table down to the saw horses.
might be an option for my cap idea
Update 6 (68.5hrs in): Been a little harder to work in time lately so no update until now. I've now glued up and surface sanded the front, driver side, and rear wall. I've remounted them so I can fit them to each other (and the floor) and do additional fairing sanding to the cores now before I go glassing them which will make any future sanding much harder. I need to turn some attention to how I'll do the door/latches so I can at least do the fixed wall portions so the passenger side can similarly get faired in.
I've started putting together the floor portion of the cabover as well with the 1" thick material I "planned" with the hotwire. After running the calcs on the siderails I've formed a plan of action there which I need to get some supplies on order for so I can build those and fit the rest of that up as well.
After all that is just a bit of sanding/router work to make round corners and smoother transitions between pieces. Then it gets broken apart and glassed up.
(Note the cab through window is inset on the inside due to what I was able to readily source. The rest are flush inside/out. )
pods8 will you be at the Overland Rally in Ellensburg? Would love to see your work. This is outstanding work!
Anywhere I roam where I lay my head is home.... Metallica, the black album.
Can't wait to see the results! I might base my next camper of your construction. Keep up the good work!
I'm open to talking shop with interested parties though so don't feel intimidated if you want to chat or see the state of things at some point (should be more entertaining down the road when there is more to see!).
Update 7 (82.5hrs in): The cabover floor has all the wood inserts I was planning to add cut in and installed, still needs to be sanded. I cut/fit the two passenger side wall pieces that form the door jambs and glued them together, still need to fill/sand them. I was a bit zoned out while building the cabover side of the wall and only built it to the height of the front wall rather than the cabover rail height actually needed. It's not that big of a deal since I can just extend the cabover rail piece with the only extra aspect being I need to continue the door jamb up the edge of that.
Although I'll be out of town over memorial weekend I should have the supplies for the cabover rails when I get back and I hope to quickly knock those out and sand/fair out everything and then break it down to start glassing in early June. Here's hoping...
Passenger side wall/door jambs cut/fit prior to gluing up.
Passenger side walls glued up. The cabover floor is standing the in background.