Restoring My Vintage Spartan to Glory

...and crafting a purposeful recovery

Month: November 2018

Passing Gas

Every now and then I allow myself a self-congratulatory pat on the back, especially when one of my cockamamie ideas actually works.  This is such a time.  Perhaps premature, my delight stems from my fan-assisted ducting system.  It was installed yesterday and it works as I envisioned.  As described last post, my theory was that I could move a significant volume of air along a 3″ conduit from one end of Sparta to the other and thereby heat my bedroom. Mission half accomplished.

My first task was to ensure that the 12v fans, switch and thermostat work.
The second task was to stretch and situate the tube to span the required distance
Then it was to wrap and tape all tubing.
And then to wrap each end of the fan housing with self-adhesive window seal (left over from way back when) and push into tubing.
And then to affix joined fan/tube to wall.
Thoroughly wrapping each taped section and then zip-tying for good measure.
Attached to the ceiling with zip-ties and ready for testing.
Ignition
POOF! Thank God that gas wasn’t flammable…or is that inflammable?

So why, you might ask, did I say “half accomplished”?  Well, because I am really not sure if my envisioned fireplace/hood setup will generate/capture enough heat to make a difference on this end.

Method

OK, lest you think my every move on Sparta has been unscripted, let me assure you that I do plan sometimes.  To wit, this heating system I mentioned last post.  I have been debating the type (wood, pellet, combo), location and budget for a heater for awhile and lots of time has gone into this heat-transfer system stretching from the living room to bedroom.  I want to minimize my demands on electrical and propane and, since I have a mountain destination in mind, figured wood would be readily and cheaply available (if it doesn’t all burn up first).  Pictured below are a couple of crude sketches showing my plan:

I drafted this back in August 2018
Here is a better look at the closet array (incl. ‘fridge) and location vis-a-vis fireplace and hood
Two Attwood 3000 12v fans located at each end of 12′ expandable 3″ duct. These are designed for venting boat engines.
A $10 Chinese thermostat.
Well, at least I can tell it’s 12 volts.

So all this elaborately planned stuff will go in over the next few days.  While I am certainly no HVAC pro, I am hoping 2 – 120 CFM fans, controlled with a cheap thermostst, running over a 12′ span, fed by a 30,000 or so BTU stove with a large collector hood will do the trick.  Fingers crossed.

Heat and Hubris

One of the biggest and, perhaps, riskiest changes I have made to Sparta is the heating system.  Risky insofar as it might not work and that it may affect resale (a distant second on the list).  You may recall from a long-ago blog my photos of the orignal furnace in Sparta.  It was a beast and probably way more than necessary.  Like many things in a Spartan trailer, it may have been overkill.

The original furnace was a 42,000 btu gas-powered unit feeding a half dozen registers scattered about the floor.

Ready for blast off

So for whatever reason I decided all of this had to go – the big, bulky furnace, the floor-plan-disrupting registers and the network of ducting running here and there.  In my perhaps overly optimistic opinion, I figured I could outsmart the aeronautical minds at Spartan Aircraft Company.  Surely a modern, high-efficiency wood burning stove and a little fan-powered ducting could suffice…right?

WE’LL SEE.

Rusty Keyboard

The site where I keep Sparta was once inhabited by an eccentric collector. Not exactly a hoarder because this fellow saw art in everthing he salvaged. He was more of a mixed-up media artist.  Sort of like a trailer restorer.  The difference being I want to inhabit my vision, whereas his vision dwelled in him (obsession?).

So it has been over a month since my last entry and my arguable blogging skills may have diminished.  But much of that time was spent in Italy visiting with my son and grandson.  A wonderful experience and so worth it! But it is time to get back to work on Sparta and cabinets are the order of the day.  Because it has turned chilly and previous attempts at applying poly in the cold were difficult, I brought my work home with me – much to Cristina’s dismay.  Now who’s obsessed?  I spent Friday and Saturday stinking up the house with noxious oil-based fumes.  I explained to her that by doing so I was sparing her experiencing the frightening stench of the Butte County “Camp Fire”.  

As I reconstruct the hall cabinets I have decided to build a work-station where the old Coleman 45,000 btu furnace used to be.  It is going in that gap pictured in the above photo.  While it is a departure from slavish authenticity, it will be worth it.