Restoring My Vintage Spartan to Glory

...and crafting a purposeful recovery

Month: January 2019

Tub Fun

I tend to jump around on this trailer project and so far my limited attention span hasn’t created too much harm. But now, I have to be a little more strategic. You may have noticed last post I was positioning my kitchen cabinet. But I was jumping the gun. You see, several other dominoes have to fall before I get to the kitchen. It all comes down to the bathtub. My newly refinished tub has to be situated and affixed to the floor before anything else can happen. It is big, bulky and its placement non-negotiable because it has to hook up to the drain already placed beneath the floor. Once settled, I will literally build the bathroom around it (like a ship in a bottle) and its dimensions have to be spot on to the accomodate the pocket door. Only after the bathroom walls are up can I can make a final determination about the kitchen cabinet location.

I used a tube of ceramic repair to mend a few chips and then three coats of paint.
Quite an improvement

So with my new bright, shiny tub I have to get it in place and then proceed.

Tinkering

When I first bought Sparta nearly three years ago I had visions. In retrospect, delusions might be the better word. I envisioned myself painstakingly resurrecting my trailer with loving care, making sure every detail was just right. Once done, I thought, surely a spread in Architectural Digest would be forthcoming or, at least, a small story buried in an issue of “Tin Can Tourist”. Silly me. I have come to realize that I may never finish working on Sparta. No, that doesn’t mean she won’t be habitable within the next 6 months (yes, you heard it here), but she will always be a work in progress – a tweak here, a little more stain there, a cool original fixture that I’ll find on Ebay. You get the idea.

Another reason she won’t be done when I roll off to Borrego Springs, Julian, Ca or Shasta (or wherever) is this – too much bad shit can happen in a 60 year old trailer during a 600 mile voyage. Electrical wires can shake loose, wood paneling can rattle free and fall from the ceiling, trim pieces can peel away, etc.. Heck, some of this happened during my 1/4 mile trek to my current location last spring. So I intend to leave Sparta in a semi-finished state until she lands in her (final?) resting place. Should a wire shake loose enroute, it will be much easier to pull a panel, move a cabinet or whatever is required to get to the bottom of a problem. I know what you’re thinking – “This guy doesn’t have much faith in his work”. Damn right. For the past couple of months I have been working with nothing but a jig saw, a level, a square and a drill. This is a crude production.

Speaking of which I am back to cabinet work now and am remembering fondly my childhood hours spent assembling Tinker Toys. That is the closest I can come to describing the process of putting these cabinets back together using mostly original parts. Have a look.

Members joined with little wood pegs
Fresh holes drilled in a new piece of wood
Insert tab A into slot B
Kitchen counter getting situated. This will be sanded and finished in place.
Meanwhile my office nook is coming along.