Monday, 10 June 2013

The Reason For All This Upheaval

I bought some lagging materials the weekend before last, for the purpose of stuffing the internal framework of the Movano. I settled (as noted elsewhere) on the blown fibre from recycled plastic bottles. It’s non-irritant, doesn’t readily break down (the reason environmentalists hate plastic waste, and you can understand why), doesn’t rot or go mouldy in and of itself (though I reckon if you wet it and seal it, it would be as good a rooting medium as normal Rockwool). It’s lovely to work with, tears easily, and breaks down to what feels like slick, rough, cotton wool. The outside of the bundle has been semi sealed by heat (I think), this makes the outer edge great for being the leading edge when stuffing.
Tools are improvised: The flexible handle of a plastic fish slice, a coat hanger bent to be a double ended hook for pushing and pulling, and the classic long handled wooded spoon for the easy access ram it in bits ... caveat: one mustn’t ram to hard or the insulating properties are destroyed by compaction. It’s  hard work, and I’m gobsmacked by the volume the internal frame can consume. I should also say, if you aren’t prepared to be lacerated, then you should probably not take the job on, and it’s one of those jobs where gloves really do just get in the way.
I initially bought a single 4 meter roll that expands to 200mm thick once unwrapped. I’ve barely stuffed the nearside middle to top struts and the top nearside strut, and half the packs gone. So on the evening of the 5th of June I’ll be going back to B&Q for another three rolls (whatever’s spare goes to Paul for use in the final fit out, so none is wasted). In amongst all this stuffing I’ve secreted the Silicone desiccant bags I‘ve been saving at work.
As with all these kind of first time jobs, there is a learning curve. You don’t want to ram to hard for fear of creating bents on the outside when you find a soft spot or void in your previously stuffed sections, the hook needs to be used sparingly because you don’t want to scratch off the internal paint and expose the metalwork (n spite of desiccants), and as with every DIY job you ever did it takes three times as long and ten times the materials you originally estimated.
The prep work to get ready for stuffing and sticking insulation materials involved a clean with white spirit to remove grease and dust post respray and thirteen years worth of soot deposits. The next job following the stuffing of the internal frame is lining the internal panels with double skin foil bubble wrap (that’s our main heat reflector and retainer) then Pauls lays on blown fibre under ply, to provide the sound insulation in addition to being a thermal barrier. To ensure breathability within the space between the foil and the external shell I’m going to be using a high temperature spray adhesive (not a high temperature contact adhesive), and I’ll run the adhesive in horizontal lines to ensure air flow throughout the internal space.
On Tuesday 11th June I’m taking the van back to Garry Lee Panel craft, there is a crack in one of the side windows, and one of the window rubbers has split (this allows a tiny amount of water ingress). I’m not beyond the idea of replacing an entire window (or windows), but it’s very much the last resort. My part of the window re-fit will be re-running the Herzim strip that protects the screw heads, but that’s a way down the line yet.
Once all this is done, it’s ready to go to Paul at Blackdown for final fit, and the date pencilled in is the Friday 14th of June. This requires a bit of logistical tinkering, because once the van has gone any large items requiring shifting between lockup and anywhere else will require van hire, so Friday and Saturday this week will be lift and shift days ... we also have to fit in Amanda’s and my dad’s birthday tea’s, and (I may have mentioned this elsewhere) site seeing and tomfoolery with Amanda’s sister who has flown in from Cyprus for Amanda’s birthday weekend.
It’s all go go go.

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