All posts by Shannon Mullineaux

12-18v Portable Water Pump

Weekend project #34223.

Today im going to build a portable transfer pump i think would come in handy, mainly for camping but anything really.  Built to the confines of a small weatherproof/impact resistant pelican case and with options for connecting to a 12v power source or using a 18v cordless power tool battery.

2017-06-25 09.27.04_resultHere we have the pump i purchased of ebay. A Seaflow 18 LPM, 12v pump with an internal pressure sensor cut off switch, and the pelican case i had lying around the workshop.

2017-06-25 09.37.45_resultNext was to find some suitable BSP fittings so i can easily connect typical garden hoses/attachments to the pump.

2017-06-25 10.16.05_resultSo we have the inlet up the top, inline gauze filter, through the pump, ball valve, which will also work as an on/off switch (because of the pressure switch) and back out again. The two stainless bushes are there so i can weld a bracket to them and screw to the box, eliminating any stresses from pulling on the hose etc and breaking the pump.

2017-06-27 17.14.33_resultNext was to sort out the power from the makita cordless drill battery. I got this adaptor thing from makita which will work perfectly for connecting the battery. Just need to hack it a bit.

2017-06-27 17.26.42_resultInside it has a voltage regulator and 2 x 5v USB outlets. Im going to bypass that circuit board and connect directly to the battery terminals.

2017-06-27 18.36.53_resultHere it is done, 18v power coming out of the unit and a few little mods and its secured to the lid.

2017-06-27 18.36.58_result

2017-07-21 17.05.26_resultHere we have the pump mounted, support things fitted  on an angle so the hoses dont have to kink, the 18v supply goes into a step down converter from 18 to 12v, it then links up to a 12v anderson plug for an external 12v supply, through a 10a blade fuse and to the pump. Job done!

2017-07-24 08.29.55_resultInside the compact case fits 2 x 6m hoses, a few garden tap attachments and a spray nozzle.  All packed into a small indestructible box i can just chuck in the back of the ute.

the end,



Ultimate Off-Road Camper Trailer

G’day and welcome to another build.

It seems i cant keep still and since recently sold the slide on camper,  I have decided to turn the trailer into some sort of multi purpose off-road camper trailer. See that build here. 

Its going to have a small simplistic kitchen box on the passenger side and have my new James Baroud pop up tent mounted up top.. Its going to be open in the guts so I can roll on my ATV quad bike for weekends away, thinking a stainless keg welded to the draw bar for some sort of charcoal grill and maybe a box on the drawbar for my 12v fridge. Leaving the trailer empty somewhat, leaves it still a versatile trailer for all sorts.

Lets get cracking!

Starting off with my previously built trailer, and my new James Baroud pop-up bed. Its time to get the show on the road.

IMG_91492016-06-25 08.55.48_result2016-06-25 09.08.07_result


2016-07-09 13.16.22_resultAfter a bit of head scratching, a lot of thinking ahead and some precision welding, I have mounted my James Baroud camper up top. I have left 1350mm underneath for my ATV to roll straight on up.

2016-07-09 14.04.34_resultThere she is popped.  Haven’t even slept in it yet!. Comes free with a ladder and dish washer/bed maker! haha.,  and a pup chucked in for scale reference.

2016-07-17 09.00.56_resultA quick trip out to the farm to check the bike fits before I go any further and she’s in by a mickey whisker. Bit dodgy using planks. Better sort that out when i get back. It would also be a bit liable of tipping if not attached to the truck. Better make some corner stays too.

2016-07-18 16.17.24_resultI’m back at the shop, next was to make the tray accessible for the ATV. Using two fiberglass mesh grates I had lying around, (also used for my 4WD for bridging ladders or sand tracks)  I welded on some type of hooks and some removable chains and its done.

2016-07-18 16.17.43_resultCorner stays done.

2016-07-19 06.55.22_resultSimple, and easy to make.

2016-07-21 09.55.52_resultNow before I get carried away with the kitchen, above that I saw an opportunity to maximize the space up top and extend the platform to accommodate my OZtent / 30 second tent.  The end plan is, is to have an awning stretch out over the kitchen then my Oztent attach to that for a sort of room to use for either somewhere to hang out of the sun or rain, or a second bedroom for kids or guests.  More on that later. So I thought i better make provisions for the Oztent now.

2016-07-20 15.34.28_resultBeing a metal fabricator, what better way to keep your tent clean dry and out of the elements than in a custom made alloy waterproof box!

2016-07-20 15.35.18_resultFits in like a cock in a sock. Even room for fishing rods, tent poles, snowboards/skis, extra awning crap etc.

2016-07-21 11.06.32_resultOztent box installed, new side awning installed. You beauty! Time to start the kitchen!!

2016-08-17 14.39.43_resultSo the kitchen box somewhat resembles a toolbox. Made from 2mm aluminium and made to fix specifically to fit in that area on the side of the trailer.

2016-08-17 17.11.05_resultNow the hard part. The layout.  This thing is a lot bigger than i imagined…

2016-08-17 17.53.01_resultI have decided to put in a divider at the last minute.  I think having a kitchen on one side and storage on the other would be a more practical use of space.

2016-08-17 17.23.56_resultGetting the divider in seemed somewhat impossible, as its bigger than the opening and should of been inserted before the box went together. Lucky for the SKYHOOK 2000! (see the build here). !

2016-08-17 18.18.40_resultNow a nice cover trim to finish off. Also completing the door jambs.

2016-08-26 13.25.16_resultDoors made, decided on a bi-fold design so the bottom half will be a bench top and the top half will have an LED strip light attached. Using packers here to get the gaps all even and parallel before installing the hinges.

2016-08-26 16.59.36_resultDoors on, weather/dust seal on, Starting to take shape.

2016-08-27 09.05.25_resultSlowly everything is finding a home. Trying to make it as practical as possible with everything within an arms reach. With a weekend booked away camping i better get a wriggle on.

2016-09-11-09-59-31_resultWith the drop down door fitted, here you can see i have made some custom internal ribs. This will give the door support and also fill in the inside as soon it will be laminated with a sheet of stainless.

2016-09-11-10-03-28_resultUsing a tube of expanding foam to fill in the gaps, itll be solid and insulated.

2016-09-12-09-22-18_resultAll sanded and ready to glue on a sheet of stainless steel.

2016-09-13-18-47-43_resultBench and LED strip light finished. Note the stainless bench still has the white plastic protective film on it.

2017-02-23 15.52.03_resultFinished the other doors, thus completing the kitchen and storage box. The front compartment i’m just going to leave empty for now until i decide what to put in it.

2017-02-23 13.50.17_resultRamps work a treat.

2017-02-23 13.49.59_resultOutriggers are great for when the trailers not attached to the ute.

2017-02-24 07.10.58_result

2017-02-24 07.15.40_resultAs you can see, the quad is a tight fit. No ropes are really needed to hold it in.

To be continued…..









Wife wants a coffee table

So the wife wants a coffee table.

Today is Saturday and what better way to spend it in the shop making something unique. My wife is very on trend and thin clean geometric shapes are apparently in at the moment, so after scouring the inter-web for some inspo, I headed off to work with the pup.

2016-08-06 09.01.45_resultBeing winter, we have the beer keg fireplace lit, the roller door down and some easy beats in the background. A perfect atmosphere to get creative.

2016-08-06 10.06.21_resultKeeping this blog post short, basically I had some stainless round bar in the steel rack and having known the size of the pre-purchased piece of 12mm toughened glass which I already had sitting at home, I just got busy creating something similar to what i found online.

2016-08-06 10.27.40_resultWell that’s it pretty much made and welded, now to polish a few welds and give it a buff.

2016-08-06 10.42.42_resultBefore i continue, I got a big piece of form ply to replicate the glass, just to check its level, square and not twisted.

2016-08-06 11.08.39_resultJust buffing the corners

2016-08-06 12.48.14_resultWell, there she is in all her beauty. Great small weekend job. Back home in 6 hours.

2016-08-06 15.55.52_result


The Ultimate Wood-fire Stove, Oven, Fireplace & Water Heater all in one!

This ones going to be a good one!

After building my cabin in the woods (on a friends property out in the country) it needed some sort of heater for those cold winter nights.  Not to dissapoint, I want to combine an open log fire with a stove and radiant-heat 2 shelf oven. Now on top  of all that, it wouldn’t be complete without a hot water heat exchanger for uninterrupted piping hot water for the outdoor shower and kitchen sink. All this free energy by simply keeping the fire going in the belly of the beast.

IMG_9291This project came to me after spotting this gem, alone and desolate on my wife’s parents property.

IMG_9290It doesn’t look like much now, but I have a keen eye for its hidden beauty and what it would later become. Saying that, Barry was happy for me to take it away.

IMG_9302It turns out to be an old vintage compressor and air cylinder used back in the old days to pressurize the house water system by purging compressed air into the water supply giving the facets and showers more water pressure.

IMG_9734IMG_9733Now back at the workshop, its time to Frankenstein this diamond in the rough and bring it back to life after years of neglect.

IMG_9743Door opening cut, top sliced level ready to attach the hot plate.

IMG_9740The old inspection hole had to be removed to take out the rubber gasket, then ground back to bare metal so I could weld her shut.

IMG_9899I decided to weld it on inside-out. It was far easier and you wont see it as i have made that the back.

2015-10-06 11.54.41_resultUsing the plasma cutter to cut out the hole for the flu/chimney.

2016-03-17 08.37.29_resultNext to start on was the heat exchanger. The circle represents the chamber diameter, so the principal behind it is the cold water will be in a tank higher than the fireplace,  the cold water will travel down the pipe with gravity, heat up in the coil and as hot water rises, will start to travel back out and up the pipe back into the bottom of the tank thus creating a gravity recirculating hot water heater!.

2016-03-17 18.45.27_resultI missed out a few photos here but here is the heat exchanger installed. The rest of the plumbing will probably be done in copper. You can also see i have started the doorway for the door and the grill.

2016-03-17 18.25.49_resultHere’s the grill.  Made from 19mm solid round bar, this thing is going to take a beating over its lifetime.  The shape has been made to match the inside of the fireplace but also fit out the door on the diagonal for when its time to clean out the ash.

2016-03-17 17.43.17_resultHere you can see the deflector plate installed to block the chimney. Getting a few tips of my mate who’s a fireplace installer, this is a necessary part of any fireplace. It basically stops the majority of the flame and more so the head flying straight out the chimney. Without it the chimney will cause a vacuum effect and be a terrible heater burning a lot of wood quickly. The plate is made from 12mm steel and allowing the flame to work its way around the plate and up the pipe.

2016-04-04 14.18.42_result2016-04-04 14.18.52_resultI had this made today, its a stainless flu adapter to go from the 139 x 6mm pipe I have coming out of the fireplace and adapting to 150mm for the stainless chimney. 150mm is a standard size in the fireplace business so making this made sense.

2016-04-04 11.36.10_resultNow on to the hot plate and side oven. The hot plate is 10mm plate, 400 wide x 1m long. The concept behind this is, when using the stove top just like at home using pots and pans, if its too hot in the centre, simply slide your cooking vessel to the right or left to the desired temperature.  Its a shit load easier that trying to control the heat/flame in the fire.  The oven is going to be run of radiant heat from the wall of the fire. It’ll have a mid shelf installed, and I plan on being able to use it for cooking roasts, stews, bread, baking bloody whatever!

Stay tuned for more progress to come!







Workshop Crane Jib

This ones been on my mind for some time now.  Wanting some sort of overhead workshop crane that’s cheap to build,  doesn’t take up any floor space and no need for expensive bulky structural steel. The idea of being able to dismount it and relocate it or even bolt it to a steel column anywhere has had me thinking for ages on its design.

After searching the web for ideas, I have come up with my own design, which I think will be suffice for what I want it to do.  I am by no means a structural engineer or has this been certified by one but its not for commercial use and only for private use in my workshop. I’m building it to what I feel is a safe construction method with my 20+ years of knowledge in metal fabrication.

2016-03-12 08.01.59_resultLike all my projects, they start off with a few design sketches, brainstorming a way to keep it cheap lightweight yet strong enough for a couple of hundred kilos.
For the pivoting action i have gone with a couple of Toyota Landcruiser trailer stub axles machined down to a round surface to work with. As you could imagine, this large tapered bearing design can take tonnes of weight and is a friction free, easy way to get this thing swinging with minimal effort.

2016-03-12 08.31.50_resultHere’s the wall mounted section about to be welded. Using 75x50x8 angle I think will be a great way to fix it to any surface now or in the future. Using my jigging table  See the build here!  makes it a cinch to clamp it down flat for minimal distortion and to hold things square while i weld it.

2016-03-12 08.35.23_resultBefore I start welding, pre-heating the steel is an essential process for good penetration and a solid weld that wont break. I let that warm up till i could fry an egg off it.

2016-03-12 08.40.32_result2016-03-12 08.45.11_resultAfter welding.

2016-03-12 10.00.42_resultHere’s the first part of the jib. Using only the steel I had at the workshop,  not wanting to spend any money, I ended up making it from 40x40x4 SHS. The length and design was just the make it up as  go approach not spending any time drawing on CAD or anything.

2016-03-12 10.14.56_resultThe jib length was made to 3.5m long by 850 high. With use of diagonal bracing, when fully welded will be impossible to bend.

Image14For the dolly track I will be using some heavy duty Uni-Strut. Its been ordered and in transit, so in the interim, I’m going to make the dolly. Made from 10mm steel plate, I’m using some skateboard bearings I had lying around, again to save costs. They fit perfectly into the channel of the unistrut and using 4 each side, will distribute the weight nicely.

Image12Image11There she is. I used 8mm stainless round bar as the shafts and press fit them into the plate. To hold the bearings on I packed them to suit the width of the unistrut then tacked them on with the TIG welder.

Image09Next was the third bearing assembly. This ones at the end of the jib and will pivot the second arm, making it an ‘articulated jib’  Note when jigging this up, its important to get all the parameters square and true to each other so when its in operation it doesn’t lean or swing by itself which could cause stress or twisting in the frame.

Image05The top bearing hub will be welded to the jib, extra strength added with the use of 2 8mm gussets.

Image06Now as the wall plate has the tapered bearing spindles facing the opposite way to each other, it would be stupid of me to weld this one on too.  So my design includes a bolt-on bottom bearing.

Image04Here i have tacked the bottom one on so I could drill the holes through the SHS without anything moving. The whole thing will be dismantled and bearings removed before I weld it up.

Image01There it is all finished and ready to paint. Here you can see, well sort of, the unistrut welded to the bottom and an extra 10mm plate for more support for the end and also a stop for the dolly inside the track.

2016-04-02 18.40.56_03_04_2016After a long day, and working into the night, the frame is finally painted. Time to go home. Cant wait to get it up tomorrow!

2016-04-03 09.21.28_03_04_2016Loving being at work on a Sunday. Although its not really working when you’re enjoying yourself building things from scratch. Installing the whole thing alone took a while. Not an easy task but persistence prevailed and up she went without a hitch.

2016-04-03 09.20.05_03_04_2016Using the forklift to hold the jib an the right height, I bolted the wall bracket on, packed the bearings and slid it on. Couldn’t of gone better to be honest. Once the jib was attached at the top it was a matter of inserting the bottom coupling and sliding the bolts through.

2016-04-03 09.34.17_03_04_2016Before the bottom coupling went on, I had to quickly slide the dolly on and into the track as the other end is welded shut. If you look closely,  there is a stopper incorporated into the bottom bracket locking it in but still having the option to take it out for servicing etc is a plus.

2016-04-03 10.05.04_03_04_2016A work of art.

2016-04-03 10.04.58_03_04_2016

2016-04-03 10.04.12_03_04_2016As designed, the jib folds nicely against the wall out of the way.

2016-04-03 09.42.13_03_04_2016Next job will be to move that stationary hoist in background and attach it to the dolly.

2016-04-07 15.37.20_resultSo, the second stage of the build begins. The crane. Here lies a bog standard 240v crane I purchased off ebay. Rated to 500kg, it’ll do for me for now and to be honest, I cant really see the need to lift anything heavier than that.  As you can see, H have attached my own hook onto the piss weak little hook. haha. This is to make it look more man like and be able to attach slings without any fuss.

2016-04-07 15.44.19_resultNext was to use the standard mounts (the silver top hat shaped ones) and make up a dummy eyelet, the reason for this was to find the centre-point/balancing point before I make the real attachment.

2016-04-07 16.48.44_resultHere’s the real attachment about to be welded. Note the plate goes right through the SHS for maximum strength, knowing the flatbar eyelet will never tear off the SHS when under load.

2016-04-07 17.02.44_resultA quick paint and a stitch weld onto the standard brackets ad she’s all done.

2016-04-07 17.07.14_resultWell that was a bloody waste of time. No matter where i sit the eyelet in relation to the crane, its never balancing correctly. Not happy.

2016-04-30 11.20.25_resultJake’s over it too. Time to go home…

2016-04-30 11.15.14_resultAfter a few days off the project. Im back again, round two. A more sturdy attachment using the same principle as the dolly with the bearings in the track.

2016-04-30 12.22.45_resultLooking more promising.

2016-04-30 08.12.56_resultTime to hack the crane. Being so far in the air nobody wants a dangling controller that has a 1m long controller. How the hell am i supposed to reach that? Let alone use the crane, steady the work piece and juggle holding the controller at the same time!. So, I’ve purchased a 12v 2 channel wireless relay.  Lets get busy!

2016-04-30 10.28.51_resultWell its not looking promising. Unfortunately the switch gear is all 240v. Its also using this huge capacitor which i assume is to give full voltage to the contacts at any given point. Back to the drawing board.

2016-06-05 10.11.10_resultOk so 3 weeks have passed. I have been waiting for this little device to arrive in the mail. Its a 240v 2 channel wireless relay. Something you would find in a garage door opener for example. Here’s me doing a bench test but so far with not much luck. I have bypassed the switch to the relay but that f’ing capacitor has me stuffed. Without wiring it in the circuit nothing happens and with it, when i turn the power on its just reeling the spool in with no control of the switching.  I’m going home…

2016-06-14 16.32.37_resultAnother few weeks have passed, and I’m at my wits end with that bloody crane piece of shit. Time to start fresh.  Here i have purchased a 12v ATV winch. With wireless controller!. So much easier!. Its rated to 3000lb (around 1360Kg) which is way more than i need and to be honest, I doubt this could handle a tonne.

2016-06-14 17.02.31_resultAfter about 20 mins shes already mounted to my dolly, control box attached and ready to hang. The anticipation is killing me. Having that crane jib above my head each day at work and not being able to use it is doing my head in.

2016-06-30 15.40.42_resultWell its finally on! And it works a treat. Having it only connected to 4WD battery for the time being, if you see in the background, i have already made provisions for a 240v to 12v transformer sometime soon but for now its at least working!

2016-07-02 10.32.38_result2016-07-01 16.41.42_result

Now to start on the articulated jib!

Stay tuned for more progress soon!







DIY 4WD Box Trailer


After building my slide on camper,  (seen here) Slide on camper I have decided to build tough little box trailer to complement it.

This way I have the option to either put the camper on my ute as previously or tow it behind on the new trailer. It will also enable people to use the camper if they don’t own a utility or a potential buyer who wants the whole package!

The reason to build a trailer over buying one are a plenty, this way I get exactly what I want and save a few dollars in the process. Also my dad has been wanting a new trailer for decades and thought it would be nice if I built one we could both use. And to no cost to him.

Its going to be quite small, have heavy duty 1600kg 4WD suspension, 33″ 4WD tyres (Cooper ST MAX’s), made from galvanized steel, have an internal box storage size to perfectly fit 4 x 900 x 500 x 400 Pelican space cases, and the top made to the same size as the camper so when its paired it will work and look awesome.

This is my story,

IMG_8611Like all ideas of mine, they begin their fruition on a piece of paper. Starting with rough sketches of what comes pouring out of my mind the design slowly takes shape.

IMG_8613Putting dimensions on sketches gives me parameters to work with, like a limit to what I can do within the space and also the goal or reason for build.  In this case, the tray top needs to match the camper so 2050 x 1850  is the ideal size.

IMG_8612I would like the inner box compartment to fit my pelican space cases which measure 900 x 550 x 400 each so an internal size under the camper of 1800L x 1100W x 400H min.

IMG_8641Next is to get a bit more serious. Without going into too much detail using Autocad and drafting up proper drawings, this one has all i need to do the job. From this drawing i have also worked out the wheelbase and most importantly the axle length which i can now order to get made to size.

IMG_8642Here we have the side elevation above and below an isometric view of the parts for the frame/chassis with part numbers. From this drawing I can start cutting the lengths of tube up.

IMG_8603Next step was to get cracking! Here we have the box section chassis made from 40 x 40 x 2.5 Duragal SHS tacked together. All cut from that crappy drawing above. No CAD necessary.

IMG_8807There’s the frame fully welded and the tailgate made and installed. Its upside down by the way,

IMG_8808My Christmas has come early!  Got a delivery today. The hardware!

IMG_8810Basically everything i need to make a trailer. Minus the wiring , lights wheels etc.

IMG_8812A few late hours later I have welded the hangers and installed the shackles, fitted the springs and are now fitting the custom made axle.

IMG_8813Axle on, electric brake hub on.

IMG_8814Getting excited!  (i am only dry fitting the bearings tonight as I need to borrow a bearing grease packer off a friend tomorrow

IMG_8834Prepared earlier, was a new set of Cooper ST-Maxx.’s 33″ on 17″ steel rims.

IMG_8819Wheel on, mudguard just sitting in there at this stage. Its looking pretty good, so far the dimensions are matching the sketch. Almost ready to make the draw bar and flip it over.

IMG_8829Draw bar on. Making it quite long as its easier to reverse, able to jack-knife for turning around on tight 4WD tracks and also my to point under my ute is a fair way under the tray.

IMG_8835On its wheels. Tail gate done!.

IMG_8837There it is, the rolling chassis.

IMG_8836Looking at how the height came together i think its a bit high, from here I will take the axle out again and put it on top of the leaf springs which will lower it about 130mm.

IMG_8955There thats better. see how the wheel is more inside the mudguard now. Also checking to make sure the pelican cases fit.

IMG_9137Mudguards painted, now to fit the gal sheet metal.

IMG_9138Im going to use a 2mm gal sheet for the bottom and 1.5mm for the sides to reduce the weight a bit.

IMG_9149Sheet metal done.  It has been stitch welded on so there is no rivets or screws then every seam and join i have used a flexible sickaflex 11FC to keep the edges from collecting dirt and water and rusting out. Its will be painted over later on.


So,  I have missed taking a few photos of wiring the lights and finishing painting etc but she’s finished now.

As you can see in the pics below, its great all rounder, versatile solid trailer great for any purpose. Unbreakable and rustproof. With electric brakes and heavy duty 4wd suspension its a pleasure to tow and forget its even there sometimes.



Next up is to mount the slide on camper on top and see how she goes.

Here’s a few photos of my slide on camper mounted on the trailer. These two pair up perfectly and giving me ultimate versatility to either tow it and leave the ute tray empty, put the camper on my ute for a bit more remote travelling or just using the box trailer as a good all-rounder and leave the camper on its legs.

2015-10-10 12.17.16_result

2015-10-10 12.52.26_result

2015-09-30 07.32.57_result

2015-11-08 13.22.03_result

2015-10-07 12.14.25_result

2015-11-08 13.36.03_result


Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more interesting projects to come!.

Next up:  Turning that trailer into the ultimate off road camper!!

If you want to see the slide on camper build.  See it here!

Lean-to Campers Hideaway

Camping is great fun all year around. By the ocean/beach is nice during summer and just as good in the bush throughout winter.

This post is about a little place in the woods me and my mate like to visit in the colder months, get away, turn our phones off and enjoy cooking dinner over the fire and a few cold beers.

Since we visit this area often we decided one weekend to build a little lean-to out of mostly natural resources. This is our story.

IMG_0656With breakfast cooking over the fire we chose this location. Its quite flat, accessible by 4WD, bush/trees not too thick and a semi-running stream nearby.




IMG_0661From locally sourced trees, we scoured the property for the straightest ones we could find.

IMG_0660This spot looks good.



IMG_0662Took us all day in the  trusty truck to find enough for the job.

IMG_0663Starting with these two forked pieces just to give a bit of room inside and to keep the lengths off the ground.



IMG_0666Getting there.

IMG_0667So she’s starting to take shape now and the sun is starting to set.


IMG_0670Here we attached a tarp to the roof for rain purposes.

IMG_0673With a little gutter set up at the back using a log and a bucket for catchment.

IMG_0723All in a days work. Time to light the fire and crack a cold one.



Hope you enjoyed the read, Please show your support and write a comment below and subscribe for future projects.,


Slide on Camper




I have a passion for camping and love camping projects.  I have decided to build a slide on camper for my 4wd ute.

Made all from aluminium to keep it light, when it’s completed it’s going to have a pop up double bed  up top, canvas wrap around side awning, full kitchen with gas stove, gas hot water with water storage, triple gel batteries with solar to name a few.  I have until Anzac Day 2015 to finish it so here we go!

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!





Slide on Camper 150714Here is my design drawings I drew on Google Sketchup. Nothing is actually built from these drawings it more of a concept to see what fits where and if its going to work.

From here i  will have to draw it again in AutoCAD with accurate dimensions and cross-sections for each piece i need to make. More on that later.


Slide on Camper Frame only 180714This is the skeletal frame. The chassis to what defines the shape and everything is going to be bolted to. Here goes….


Skeletal FrameFabricating the skeletal frame to the dimensions in the pic above.



IMG_4979Folding some of the sheet metal external panels.


photo 2


photo 3Attaching the external sheet metal panels

IMG_5072Not a very good pic but here I am installing the floor panel.

photo 7Installing the new MSA Drop fridge slide. Had to make a 50mm rising spacer so it can open over the lip of the door way.

photo 8Expensive piece of gear but well worth it. Drops the fridge down about 350mm so its easy to access.

photo 9Another ute load of folded pieces including the stairs!

photo 11Installing the stairs and stair stringers before the back wall panel goes on.

photo 12Just a progress shot.

photo 13Working out where and how to mount the gas hot water heater.

photo 14Hot water heater mounted, stairs and back wall completed.

photo 15Front wall  and skin also done.

photo 20A box was fabricated and welded next to the water heater. This will house the shower hose accessible from the outside.

photo 16Machining the receivers for the removable side-winder jacks.  More on that later on.


photo 21Now to build the stainless steel water tank. I have designed this to be mid-mounted and also act as a divider from the kitchen to the storage area, also keeping the weight over the axle. It will be 155 L.


photo 24Water tank temporarily in,  just laying things out trying to work out the design of the kitchen.

fghDevider wall goes in. This is a shot from the storage (drivers) side. When completed this will store the beer esky, camping chairs, clothes compartment and a tool box for 4wd recovery gear and what ever else.


tyhStainless water tank is finished. Before it goes in, we do a 40PSI compressed air test, leave it for 2 days and see if the gauge moves. After it passes, its then acid washed and polished.

hjmDigital water level sender is mounted before install. A lot easier to do it now.

gfjhAnd the fun begins! $350 worth of brass plumbing fittings. All plumbing in this build will be done with BSP threaded fittings and Auspex system to guarantee no leaks or problems later.

IMG_6543Sorry for the shit night shot but here’s a bit of the plumbing done. Water heater on the left, up top is a 3way valve to direct the hot water to either the external shower compartment (right box) or the kitchen sink/tap. More on that later.


IMG_6458Next is an idea I’ve had for some time, which is a filtered air intake box to supply filtered dust free air into the camper.

This serves multiple reasons. First is while driving, the fans will force fresh air into the camper so it positively pressurizes the cabin making it impossible for dust to enter through any door seals.

Second is the hot water heater. Like any household, they are meant to be mounted outside due to the carbon monoxide produced from the gas burner. The water heater i am using has an exhaust flu on top of the unit. I am going to duct this vent to the dirty air side of the filter unit using a one-way valve so when the unit is running the flap opens exhausting the carbon monoxide to the outside of the camper bypassing the filter. But when the heater is not in use, the flap shuts again keeping the dust out.

IMG_6490So here is my brainchild after birth. Not much to look at yet but its beginning to take shape.  The bigger box will house the fans, the hole you can see is for the heater exhaust, the big square hole is for the filter and the other box goes over the filter. Hope this makes sense. The white thing is a water excess drain should the fans suck in rain water.

IMG_6494Here it is installed. I have also added a viewing window into the side, so i can see if the filter is getting dirty or full of dust/rain etc.

IMG_6492View from the outside. Will probably put a louvred vent over that in case come kids fingers get inquisitive.


IMG_6503Next are the batteries. I have here 3 x 100ah deep cycle heavy duty gel batteries. They are made for electric wheelchairs so one could assume they can take a beating.

IMG_6522Here are the batteries all wired up and bolted down. Better to do this now as next the kitchen is going in and will be not as easily accessible.


IMG_6520Next I have cut a hole in the back for the gas bottle storage. Its under the stairs out of the way but must be separated from the cabin in a ventilated area.

IMG_6523After the compartment was made and welded in. Just needs a vented door now. Note all the welds are sanded off. When the campers finished I’m going to paint it.

IMG_6596Now the gas bottle compartment is in I have fitted the water pump on top.

IMG_6597Plumbing for the hot water heater is complete. Just need to connect the exhaust to the top to the filter box and its ready to rock. Note all this plumbing will be covered by the kitchen sink draw slide.


UntitledHere’s a screenshot of me designing the pop top on AutoCAD. I’m pretty much starting from scratch with no prior knowledge on how to make it, I’m just going to have a crack and hope for the best.  I have tried a few different designs and the only way I can come up with to have the lid lift 1800mm high to stand upstairs is this way.

UntitledsHere is  a newer screenshot of the parts in action. It seems to be working on screen so I guess its time to start fabricating!


IMG_6598Here is a shot of me designing the adjustable sidewinder jacks which will lift the camper off my ute tray. This will enable me to level the camper, set it to the desired height and also free up my ute for 4wding, hunting , collecting firewood and more beer. Because my ute tray is so high (1200 off ground) I am having to go to great lengths to get the jacks to function at this height. More on that later. Here you can see the stainless steel machined shaft I have welded to the top of the jack which will insert into the opposing machined receiver welded to the camper.


Another problem I have came across is the hot water heater’s ignition source. Its normally powdered by two ‘D’ size batteries which are inserted under unit but where I have mounted the unit I won’t be able to access the batteries, not to mention the hassle should the batteries go flat out in the bush somewhere.  So I came up with this:


My latest invention to overcome the battery problem. The concept is to make two replica batteries, same dimensions out of nylon which will have button head screws for terminals which will be wired through a 12 to 3v DC regulator and then I can connect the power to the campers battery system. Sounds good in theory, time to give it a crack!

IMG_6632A short time later! done! Now to wire them up.

IMG_6633Here is the finished product! Worked out exactly how I wanted. The top end is tapped M6 then the screw inserted, then the electrical terminal is connected to the base of the screw and fixed with a nut. There is a larger hole in the bottom for the wire and machined out to the size of the insulation i will be adding later. Very happy!


Now its time to start thinking about the electrical system. There are a few circuits to run and I want to know how its going to work, and where the wires are going to go before i even start. I have found it much neater and professional by mapping out what goes where before I hit the tools.

IMG_6623The basic mud map.

IMG_6624The start of the electrical cabinet. The size of this box was determined on how many components are going inside and leaving room for extras.

IMG_6711Here’s me starting the wiring. Bit of a mess at the moment but I’m in the zone!

IMG_6702Here is a little alloy box I fabbed up to house the water level sender unit, and also the switches for the kitchen.


Here it is installed. (below the fire extinguisher) Happy as a pig in shit.




IMG_6723Next is  to design a dash for all the electrical goodies. Drawn on AutoCAD i will now send this file to my friends who have a CNC turret punch.

FullSizeRenderThere she is. Easy as that.

FullSizeRenderNow for a carbon fibre wrap to finish it off.

IMG_6813Here is the dash semi-installed. This dash will display the battery management and power consumption and charge state. Behind the dash will be the fuse box and solar regulator unit. I have also installed an hour meter to know how long the camper has been used for, mostly for resale use i guess. For example I might own it for 2 years but only use it several times.

IMG_6811More wiring pics. I love doing this stuff. Very tedius trying to do it neat but I enjoy it.

IMG_6807Here are the main switches located at the batteries under the stairs. Here you can see the switch on the left which can isolate the power from the solar panels. the right switch isolates the batteries from basically everything for when the camper is not in use, The anderson plug is for external charging from a car charger for example via the dash which displays the rate of charge etc.




FullSizeRender (1)Making the pop-top lid.

FullSizeRenderAll the ribs are riveted using things called huck bolts. Basically like an aircraft design, lightweight ribs but stiff.

FullSizeRender (2)Getting there. All these pockets will then be packed with 40mm insulation then sheeted on the inside.

FullSizeRender (4)Well it works!

FullSizeRender (3)Smiles all around. very happy.



Here’s a few photos of where i’m at now (march 2015)

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (4)

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (4)

IMG_7286A shot of some of the plumbing we have done. Before it all gets hidden away by the kitchen draw.

IMG_7288A work of art really.

FullSizeRender (3)Back to working on the kitchen. Stove draw in with draw front.

IMG_7296Massive draw, This will be for food storage and bits and pieces




FullSizeRender (4)Testing the new stove.

IMG_7295Kitchen bench in. The bench top i have decided to use is a piece of 20mm solid nylon like a chopping board. Wont stain or rot and can use it to cut and prepare food like you would anywhere else.

That’s the kitchen basically finished.


IMG_7408IMG_7409Thought id better try it on my truck. First time on, fits like a glove. Its still sitting on wooden sluts in this pic but the suspension is handling it well.

IMG_7453Trying out my new Supapeg awning. Great piece of gear. Cant wait to use it properly.



IMG_7503Back on to working on the roof.  Quite a big task building this thing as it needs lots of rib support, all riveted together using huck bolts.



IMG_7511Next was to install the polystyrene insulation. I am using 40mm thick panels glued down.

IMG_7513All gaps filled!

IMG_7514Once the insulating is done, we have glued 1.5mm alloy sheet over that finishing the roof.

IMG_7525Next was to insert the sail track to the freshly sewn custom canvas and attach it to the roof. ( a lot easier doing it up-side down)

IMG_7533Here we are attaching the roof back onto the camper! Even got the boy in on a Saturday!

IMG_7540And here we are! done. The bottom sail track is attached using M5 countersunk bolts in-case it ever has to be removed.


IMG_7536So happy right now. Looks bloody awesome. Plenty of head room and ventilation as there are windows on all sides. Will be so good in summer!

IMG_7543Here I am working out how to fit the solar panels. A great way to spend my Sundays.

IMG_7545Attaching the solar panel brackets


IMG_7562So here we go! Time to put it on!

IMG_7563The dog looks as happy as me.

IMG_7567For the trip i will be using the sidewinder jacks to take the weight off the suspension when I’m parked up. Also to get it nice and level when cooking the eggs in the pan. haha.

IMG_7569As doors are on and working great. just some final adjustments and we’re off!

IMG_7573Electrical management box all done. Solar working a treat.

IMG_7579Beer fridge to the right in front of the storage box i made for storage of tools and recovery gear. To the left i have mounted these storage boxes for clothes and what not.

Now for the big trip. Heading up to Forster for 4-5 days then over the Barrington Tops heading West. No real plans just more of an NSW exploration with no deadlines or destination, just see where we end up and test out the rig.



IMG_7610Made it to Forster, time to unwind and set up the awning!.



IMG_7613Pretty bloody happy to say the least. Only downside so far is my truck ute tray is so high making it difficult to use the kitchen. I packed a milk crate to stand on so we have adapted.


IMG_7595Couldn’t be happier with upstairs. So much room, very airy and spacious. Heaps of head room and a nice bed-side passage to walk down or store clothes or whatever.

Next i have just added a few photos of our trip and some of the beautiful places we visited.

As soon as we left Forster we made it our mission to stay off the tar and experience the road less traveled.

Its been a fun journey keeping me out of trouble and my weekends busy. Id hate to add up the hours I’ve spent over the last 9 months it taken me to build. I will be adding up the expenses later on but for now its time to put this project to rest and hang up the boots for a while.

I will continue with it later on and finish the legs and give it a paint job but i need a break and to concentrate on work.

Thanks for reading and please subscribe and leave a comment below!

Click on the photos for a better look.!


















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Hardwood Dining Table from Recycled Pallets

Today I am going to start another project making a dining table setting from recycled hardwood pallets. This will be for sale when its finished!

The idea I am going for is a rustic looking setting with two bench seats, keeping it small and solid.

My target buyer is possibly a small family or couple who are looking for a small space saving table for perhaps in a unit/townhouse with not much space.

The timber I will be using is 70 x 70 x 1220mm pieces also know as gluts. They are commonly used to space the pallets off the ground so a forklift can get under it for example.

Since I have been making this blog and small furniture projects I have only been using the long 60 x 45 x 2400 sticks so the ‘glut’ pile has been sitting there until now. Time to create!

aNot a very good photo, but this was the box full of unwanted gluts. Should have got a pic before I started.

bHere they are laid out on the flat cement ground. Since the timbers aren’t exactly the same size I need to build this upside down so they are all flat on the top and uneven on the bottom. If that makes sense.

cCutting the support braces.

eNext was to fabricate the steel support braces. Here they are drilled and countersunk. The back one is raw steel the front two have the first coat of clear on them to stop them rusting.

dHere are the legs sanded and almost ready to whack on.

FullSizeRenderPre-drilling and countersinking the legs.

FullSizeRender (1) Here’s a shot of me attaching the steel supports to the top.  Note because the timbers are various thicknesses they had to be packed so they remain flat on the top when turned over.

fBraces on, now to attach the legs.

gThe legs were then drilled and bolted on using cup-head coach bolts.

hLeg supports all done. Screwed together using countersunk batton screws. Last thing to do now is attach the end pieces to hide all the end grains.

iHere’s the end pieces sanded and drilled ready to go on.

jThat’s the table finished!

kNow to start the chairs!

FullSizeRenderHeres the timber for the chairs, the straightest ones i have left without any splits or knots.

FullSizeRender (1)Using offcuts to join the pieces together, screwed from underneath with countersunk baton screws.

FullSizeRender (2)

FullSizeRender (4)Here i am having a play around deciding on the height of the chairs.

IMG_442191922Ok! here it is done! I have missed a few photos of welding the legs and painting them, Since I screwed it all together its also been oiled using  tongue oil.

IMG_442191918 IMG_442191931 IMG_442191922 IMG_442191985 IMG_442191943 IMG_442191938 IMG_442192142 IMG_442191910

So there it is. Done.

Its a perfect little 4 seater. Would suit a couple living in a unit or apartment as a convenient dining table or on a deck or something. Its solid and bloody heavy. There’s not many tables these days that are made like this, to last.

Hope you enjoyed the read and don’t forget to subscribe!


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Beer Keg BBQ / Grille

So I like making things from beer kegs. So what.

Their cheap (usually free), universal and made from stainless steel. A great platform for a cooking device. Very Australian and will last forever, never rust, nothing to break, easy to transport, the list goes on.

In this post I will be making a coal fueled bbq/grille from a brand spanking keg. Nothing special, just a reliable cool bbq / smoker built to last.

IMG_5514Here’s the keg. Brand spanking new, never used.  Time for the chop!

IMG_5527So I have cut it in half and fabricated some simple legs to keep it 50mm off the ground, stable and level.

IMG_5526 The rear of the legs will also act as a rest for the lid when open.

IMG_5528Using simple stainless door hinges I then cut them down and welded them on.

IMG_5525This is me making the grill from 8mm stainless round bar.

IMG_5608Clamping the grill to the table to keep it straight while welding.

IMG_5610As you can see, a lot of welding/heat.

IMG_5788Here’s the grill fully TIG welded and polished.  Ready for business.


IMG_5789The 2mm stainless coal tray done. Its sitting off the keg by around 30mm this will stop the outside getting hot and burning the deck or grass etc. Also allowing  a little air flow.

IMG_5790Here are the air flow control vents. You could say the bottom one lets the air in to fuel the coals and the top can be used to trap the heat or smoke if you are using it for smoking.

IMG_5785The finished product. Ready to go.



Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed it.


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Work bench and Jigging table

So, I’ve decided to build a new work bench. The most over-engineered,  biggest, strongest most man like table ever built.

My last bench has been good to me but its 10 years old now and feeling a bit used, abused and outdated. I have been looking around surfing the web and there is some great gear out there but the bench I want is over $15,000 to buy,  which I cannot justify.

So, this is why I’m going to have a crack and build my own.

IMG_5361To start off, I have purchased and just received a new steel plate for the bench top. Its 3m long by 1.5m wide and 19mm thick. Weighing in just over 600kg.

IMG_5463Here we are marking out the layout for the 1,000,000 holes we are about to drill.

IMG_5464We have marked a 50 x 50mm grid measured absolutely square and are drilling a 100 x 100 pattern with every centre of the 4 holes drilled also.

IMG_5465Setting up to drill.

IMG_5513She’s looking good but taking a long time. At least 5 minutes per hole.

To be continued….


Hi again!.  Fast track almost a year forward.  sorry for the lack of posts, but work, life and other projects got in the way. Since the purchase of the new steel bench top I have just put it on the old bench with a few gluts and have been using it like that ever since.

Throughout that time i have still been drilling holes. Slowly but surely it will get done but so far managing as it is.

2016-05-12 15.41.55_resultHere it is at present, almost fully drilled. Saying that its taken longer to get the mill scale off the steel than drilling the holes.

2016-04-28 14.31.16_resultIn the mean time, i have been building a few tool holder plates with matching hole pattern. Here you can see my three vices. The ability to mount them anywhere on the table excites me with endless possibilities and positions to mount them anywhere on the table.

2016-05-06 11.58.52_resultAnother quick little side project, inspired from the vises is this adjustable stand.  I’ve actually made 3 of them. This will be used for when building long or odd shape projects on the table and with these stands i can support the job and use the clamps, or bolt down a vise, whatever. love the possibilities..

2016-05-19 11.51.47_resultAnother devise made to hold my barrel grinder. Previously i would of had to clamp it in the vise.

2016-06-30 12.12.29_resultAlright, enough stuffing around. Its been too long. Time to make the sturdy table base. Ironically I’m using the table to make the table on the old table. The frame im using 100 x 100 x 6 Steel SHS this thing is going to weigh a tonne. Ive left the ends of the frame open on purpose. In the near future ive got a few ideas in my head for a telescopic section of some sort. Dunno yet..

2016-06-30 13.13.41_resultAlmost finished and ready to flip onto its wheels.

2016-06-30 13.40.11_resultThe big day has come, to flip the table base over and lift the top off the old table.

2016-07-01 16.45.05_resultOne last pic of my old table. She’s been good to me, around 12 years of service. Sold it to a mate.



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Beer Keg Roasting Oven

Cooking a good roast is probably my favourite meal to cook. There are a million ways to do it, like in the kitchen on gas/electricity to out in the bush in a camp oven over a fire.  Stainless beer kegs have long been known to be the platform for many cooking devices and contraptions,  there is something very Australian about it and is right up my alley.  I have made plenty of things from kegs and this is one of them.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

P1010966There she is, doesn’t look like much from the outside.

P1010969The inside mechanics. Notice the sliding vents top and bottom used for controlling fresh air flow and heat retention.

P1010993 P1010992Another shot of the vents.

P1010973First, place the the perforated base in.  Obviously removable for easy cleaning.

P1010974Then add the optional fat trap. This is also used for indirect heat cooking which I will explain later.P1010976P1010978Here’s a shot with the grill inserted.  She’s a beauty. Every part custom made from stainless steel.

P1010987 P1010989Now the coal. In these two photo’s I am using the fat catcher, great for keeping the juices for making gravy aka ‘the jus’ haha.  For cleaning purposes I have found it easier to wrap it in foil before use.

P1010990 P1010991Or depending on what you’re cooking, leave it out.

P1010985Oh, thought id mention this beautiful handle for easy carrying. Special thanks to Mark for modelling this shoot. ta.

P1010996Ok, so she’s ready to light. How does one light the coals without any fuss? With the custom coal lighter of course! Just place 9 Jiffy lighters on something non-flammable,  fill the coal lighter with coal and place over the lit Jiffy lighters.

P1010997 P1010998 P1010999Give it about 2 beers and the coal will be ready.

P1020003The rosy coal ready and waiting – in a small, safe,  carry-able container to pour into the keg oven.

P1020007Mix with a few cold coals to add to the cooking time.

P1020009Today I’m cooking a juicy pork butterfly leg.  Now just close the lid.

P1020015 P10200141.5 hrs later and its ready to eat.  yum. There’s no limit to what you can cook in this keg. Pizza, bread, fish, veggies, meat whatever.

The beauty of this invention is the added function of being able to control the heat through the vents. The bottom on controls the air flow to the coals and the top vent controls the rate to which the heat escapes.


This blog post was picked up by an editor named Ildar Sadykov working for a Russian DIY magazine in Moscow called CAM – A DIY mag for home handyman and the like,  to which he asked if it could be featured in is next issue, needless to say I said yes.

A top bloke he is, even sent me a copy!! Many thanks Ildar. Ill pop over for a beer one day and bring it with me and we can cook up some shashlyik . 🙂

Have a read guys! just use your smartphone and the google translate app and hover the camera over the text for instant conversion to English.

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Recycled Pallet Picnic Table

Recycling hardwood pallets I get from work is a easy, free resource of perfectly good wood.  In this post I will be making a beautiful, rustic 10 seater picnic table from otherwise would be used for firewood.  One mans junk is another mans treasure so this project will be a cheap one to build.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

photoIMG_4248Here’s a shot of the pallets I get from work.

IMG_4249After breaking them apart with a sledge hammer and crow bar, your left with this.

IMG_4264A pop up marque from bunnings and a few hours of sanding later…

IMG_4263Here’s a shot of the before and after sanding.

IMG_3908After a bit of head-scratching on size and design etc I have layed out the table top with the best bits of timber in a colour pattern i liked.

IMG_3907 IMG_3911 IMG_3912Now to add some legs


From here I never got any more photo’s of the build,  only the finished job. But from here on in you get the idea what happens next. A few more planks for the chairs, a few coats of decking oil and its done!


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Hardwood Sleeper Dining Table

With my love for restoring old hardwood timber, I decided to build a dining table / bench seat arrangement for home. This would soon be one of those pieces of furniture you keep for life. The thought of where these sleepers had come from in their past life, being out in the weather with years of punishing abuse from trains, and how with a bit of TLC they would soon be brought to life again.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

P1010957So, this is what i have bought-10 used sleepers. Half Ironbark and half something else. Straight up, I had them sent to a huge sawmill to be split down the middle. There’s no way i could have done this myself without a lot of effort.

IMG_2402After taking off the outer skin and docking them to length this is what i had to work with. As you can see in the background, the off-cuts i would use for a matching coffee table.

IMG_2404 IMG_2405After choosing my pieces and arranging the way they sat with the old bolt holes etc now for the gluing.

IMG_2414 IMG_2416Here we are gluing the pieces together.

Table with top offNext was the frame design. I had designed the legs for easy removal with a wider footprint for good balance.

Table TopNext was to design where to rout out the underside of the top for the frame to nest into. This was probably not necessary but I did it anyway.

IMG_2495Here is the table top with the groove cut into it for the stainless steel frame.

P1020286The frame and legs assembled.

P1020284 P1020285

IMG_2485 IMG_2486The table finally sanded flat, all bolt holes have been filled with resin.

IMG_2489I put a bit of an angle on the bench seats so its not so uncomfortable to sit on.

IMG_2493 IMG_2494 IMG_2490Then the timber was oiled with tongue oil.

P1020300 The bases for the chairs ready to go on.

IMG_2580The finished table.

Sorry no recent photo has been taken with the table lately. To date the table has has brought us many good times with good company. Solid as a rock and something i will keep forever.

Thanks for reading!


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Hardwood Sleeper Coffee Table with Polished Concrete Top

Coffee tables are fun projects to build. They aren’t very big, easy to manage alone, fairly cheap to build and a good platform for your imagination.

This time I have decided to go for that industrial look with big heavy hardwood railway sleepers and a custom made polished concrete top with a wrought iron edge.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

IMG_4507On the outside these sleepers look old and shitty but under the skin lies perfectly good flawless hardwood.

IMG_4523The table is held together with a stainless steel square tube frame I TIG welded together. As you can see the sleepers are back screwed to hide the fixings.

IMG_4506After cutting them to length, I arranged the sleepers in a way that shows off the beautiful ageing and patina they have. The packers are there while I screw them from the back. The finished look will be one of them floating.

IMG_4511IMG_4512After a quick scrub it was time to oil the sleepers.

IMG_4723Next was the concrete top. Well after some trial and error i have decided against concrete all together and am now going to use structural non-shrink grout. It is a shitload harder and finer. There will be no sand in it so the finish will come out more like highly polished concrete or that of polished stone. The difference the way i will be pouring this slab is i am doing it upside down. As in once its dry, the bottom molded side will be the top. In this picture the mold i have made from 18mm MDF whiteboard. The stuff your kitchen cupboards are made of. Its only temporary as long as its smooth. Remember, the inside size of the mold will be the outside of the shape you want. The depth of the mold will be the finished height of the slab.

IMG_4727 IMG_4725 IMG_4726Siv, mix and pour. If you are using non-shrink grout, mix it up pretty runny for a better finish. The water will just dry out of it anyway.

IMG_4731Once you have filled the mold, why its still wet, use a straight edge to screed off the excess giving you the desired thickness.

IMG_4734Done. Pour a slab, drink a slab.

photo 1There’s the dry slab, ready to break out of the mold.

photo 2Here is the sheet of 18mm form ply I will be using as a sub-straight under the slab. this will stop any distortion causing the slab to crack. Notice I am using a product called Hexa Birch ply. Expensive shit but it has that hexagon pattern which will help bond the two surfaces.

photo 3On goes the glue. I’m using sikaflex Pro 11fc.

photo 4This is me coating the cement top with a non porous protective film sealer. Its called siloxane. Bloody expensive shit. Was around $60P/L  from memory.

photo 5This is the finished top with the sealer dried. Notice how the water now beads off and the cement remains dry! This will be great later on for things like red wine or food spillages.


photo 4Now for the table edge/perimeter. Im going to use this 50x50x8 Steel angle. The idea is for the table top to sit inside the angle protecting the edge from hits.

photo 2The steel angle frame i whipped up, to support and protect the edge of the cement top.

IMG_4895Ok, the steel frame has since been powder coated clear (to stop it rusting and also so it feels smooth and you cant get dirty fingers by touching it.) As you can see, i had to route out the bottom of the form ply by 2mm so the top edge of the steel is flush with the top of cement top. A small miscalculation, easily fixed.IMG_4894

IMG_4897The final touches. Here i am packing out the gaps around the edge evenly, then caulk the gap with black sikaflex.

IMG_4916The finished job. !






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Camper Trailer

From the passion of camping and being outdoors it was time i built myself a camper trailer. The concept was to basically have a 4wd style trailer, big wheels, lots of clearance and have everything on it imaginable. The thought of just being able to hitch it on and know straight up you’ve packed everything. No need to fumble around packing this and that, just get it and go. And when you have arrived at your camping spot, everything is accessible easily and quick- beds already made, kitchen already set up. no unpacking or setting up tents etc.  Here is my story.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

Canopy FrameWhat originally  was the canopy and tray off my 4wd ute, I was contemplating building a longer tray so thought about making this tray into a trailer..



IMG_0968And like that, the tray was off.  Now for the fun part…

IMG_1096 IMG_1101First the chassis was built, all suspension and wheels fitted.  After these shots, i decided to change the hubs to electric drums.

IMG_1115 IMG_1114Completed chassis with draw bar done, so are the tray mounts.

IMG_1174A few coats of paint and the tray is fitted.

IMG_1241All new Alco 4wd hitch, heavy duty jockey wheel, handbrake set up and the wiring loom.

IMG_1250IMG_1251Next to build was the two stainless steel tanks. One a 160 liter water tank and a 180L diesel tank. All made from 316 stainless fully TIG welded. I make these sort of things at work all the time so no guess work here.

P1040153The finished tanks.  Ready for install.

IMG_1289The tanks fitted. Note the rear tank is angled for a good exit angle when 4wding. After this shot the rubber strips were inserted between the stainless steel hangers.

IMG_1553 Here we have the aluminium removable false floor, It was made to store 6 of these huge storage containers and still be able to sleep up top.

IMG_1618 IMG_1434Next was the custom box made with duel fridge slides. One side was for a food fridge, the other beer. The top box was a toolbox i had lying around. It worked well as the shape would be good for the wind deflection and this was now going to be the home for the duel batteries.

IMG_2580The duel 12v 75AH sealed gel batteries & switch panel. This is wired to the plug at the hitch. My battery management in my 4wd will register when i plug in the trailer and charge these when we are on the road. I was going to add solar to this project but never got around to it.

IMG_2481Next was the kitchen. I knew what i wanted before i started so this one went pretty smooth. We make boxes and all sorts at work so basically like a toolbox with fold down front. All made from 3mm alloy tread plate with weather & dust seals.

IMG_2581The kitchen finished and installed onto the draw bar.  The taps there are hot (from the gas hot water heater) cold in the middle and the third is to fill the water tank.

IMG_2591The draw finished in the kitchen. There is enough plates bowls pots pans etc for 2 people comfortably.

IMG_2582Next is the gas hot water heater. Running off a 9kg bbq gas bottle this pumps out piping hot water on demand. The stone guard also serves purpose to hold the shower hose and give a little privacy/wind protection.

IMG_2583The water heater cover/stone guard closed.

P1040337The water pump and filter hidden away safely with good access if needed.  All plumbing is done using BSP pipe threaded fittings and Auspex pipe. No hose clamps here!

P1040338Here is the diesel high-flow transfer pump and bowser. works a treat.

P1040342The switch panel which hides and protects the two batteries.

P1040341My dog Jake sitting on the false floor.

P1040310The trundle tray which holds all tent poles, ropes, pegs, awning canvas, hammock and the like..

Now the finished photos!P1040333 P1040327 P1040325 P1040320 P1040318 P1040314 P1040309 P1040299

After this project was finished we drove from Sydney to Byron Bay via Coonabarrabran/Narrabri , mostly dirt roads for our end of year holiday. The trailer didn’t miss a beat and did everything and much more. Oh, besides a flat tyre. Ill add a few pics of our trip below.

P1040221 P1040219 P1040231 IMG_2619 IMG_2614 IMG_2634 IMG_2639 IMG_2652 IMG_2658

I hope you enjoyed the read. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and ill try and reply asap. Cheers.


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Engine Bay Pie Warmer

I have always wanted to try this theory of using your car engines heat to cook or warm food.  Recently i did a body-lift on my 4wd and as the engine is bolted to the chassis, the engine basically has dropped in my engine bay. After removing the plastic cover off the engine (which served no purpose) i had plenty of room and mounting points to bring this project to fruition.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

Cardboard templateFirst i made a cardboard template to a size i thought fit best.

Cardboard template flatAfter some slight changes a more accurate one was made.

Sheet metal patternThen a stainless steel pattern was made off the cardboard one.

Folded trayAfter folding.

The lid on.Then the lid was made, and all corners TIG welded.

Copper heat exchangerAfter adding mounting spacers, and holes the copper heat exchanger was born. This will be used to carry hot water from the engines heater pipes and radiate through the base of the pie warmer.

Bottom coverThen a stainless steel cover plate was fitted to hold the heat exchanger tight against the base. This would also absorb more heat.

Fitting the pie warmerThen the completed unit was fitted into the engine bay and tested.


IMG_3726After a bit of playing around i added a filling point. This serves to fill the heat exchanger and coolant system from the vehicle and also, as it is above the radiator now, the highest point which also is used to release any air pockets in the system.

To date this unit works great. Not as hot as i first expected, i think its because my car is a fairly modern diesel engine and they run pretty efficiently not producing much heat to start with. (its a 2.5L Turbo Diesel Nissan Navara D40) The pie warmer runs at about 45C after about 30mins of driving.  Funnily enough when i turn the engine off the temp gets up to about 55C. Many times working on site we have put our lunch in there being leftovers from the night before for example and it perfect!

Thanks for reading!


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