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Martini-pod vs. 2.0

March 13, 2010

Instead of risking the Kool-aid with the pranksters on the bus – you can now have a highball with the hipsters in the Martini-pod.

It’s not quite done yet but this is what I have ( it was a late night last night ” you stupid program – that’s not what I wanted to do – stop trying to think for me”). The idea of the Martini-pod was to enlarge a teardrop design (in this case a Ty-Dean Custom design worked well – I purchased the plans last week and I am expecting them Monday or Tuesday – Brad is a great guy to work with). My thinking is that you can find cheap trailer frames from old ” pop-up tent trailers -modify the sides – add a 5′ wide. x 10′ long x4′ high tear drop body on top ( overly simplified but that’s the gist of it).  I use the “flip-up” hatch-back to cover a pop-out bed extension – the lid will become the roof.  The pop-out increases the bed space -opening up more space upfront .

Well thats what I have so -far, I know that the teardrops are the big draw at ….Wacky Sketch-up Projects…….. ( bigger than I was expecting )  – I will try to get some of my ISO shipping container homes here sometime soon.

Later Daddy-o’s



March 9, 2010

I’m still working on this one, which means I haven’t put it on the sketch-up shelf yet – to collect the proper amount of cyber dust from the digital ether.  Smaller than the Mobile Surf Shack – 10′ long 5′ wide and 6′ tall ( might change that to 6’6″ so I don’t have to crouch. I have a sliding door for the tongue box so a cassette, portable toilet can be slide in and out.  I have a small counter space inside for cooking on stormy days.  The bed folds up into a small couch and a pull out ‘expanding” counter top will increase the usable space  for meal preparation.  Still working on the back – it’s a flip up door – there will be windows and a slide out space for a box for air.

Well, that was a quick post – just enough time for a joke.  So, this dyslexic guy walks into a bra………..

Of Modified A-frames and Avatars

March 5, 2010

Well … let’s see; what to choose, what to choose.  I think I will blog about the gambrel roofed A-frame or the modified A-frame cabin

Four years ago I was surfing the inter-web for A-frame houses ( It must of been another mid February).  The subject had a retro appeal for me – I remember they were a hot new design when I was a kid in the late sixties and anyone with a hammer, saw and a couple missing fingers where building them.  They were simple to build and triangles are a much stronger geometric shape than squares and rectangles and A-frames kind of look cool in a mod. rustic way.  I eventually came across this design from the Mother Earth website .

Jack Wade design himself a “gambrel roofed” A-frame.  Adding the gambrel roof modification opened up the interior with more space and it had a very interesting shape to it. In the article Jack explained that his was a design that you “prefabricate” the trusses in your home shop in the city ( town village, hamlet or outpost) – drive them out to your country lot and then you and a couple buds could slap most of it up in a weekend ( make sure you bring a couple cases of brew or the buds don’t show – trust me on this).   Well, I was sold. I bought the plans – I don’t remember the price but it wasn’t expensive and the plans were amazingly detailed ( not blueprints but what do you want for under $50 bucks).   I studied the plans for weeks and then put then on the shelf for a couple years.  A year and a half ago I read an article at a” Tiny House” blog site which featured a small A-frame home of the more traditional design, which made me think -” the modified A-frame with a gambrel roof would work much better in a smaller design if you wish to maximize space”. I wrote a small post on this idea but no one seemed to know what the heck a grambrel roofed A-frame was -” either its an A-frame or a house with a gambrel roof”. I quickly found a site that would let me create an avatar and I chose the image of the aqua -blue A-frame at the top of this post. It was a very tiny image but you could make it out if you knew what you were looking for.  I spent the next month beavering on different, small modified A-frame cabins and made posts with the same A-frame avatar which was fine with me. Months later – when I would make posts to others sites – say I was critiquing a Scottish Ale made with gooseberries – that goofy A-frame avatar would be posted with what I had written.  For those who know me the next development will come as no surprise – I forgot where I had created the avatar – I just excepted this odd avatar image as my online identity.  So  a year and a half later when I would be cutting up some over aged, angry fan boy who was mercilessly berating   kids who where posting their positive opinions on Stargate Universe as I am apt to do,  my tiny A-frame avatar would be there.  The aging angry fan boy was already…well, angry – my post would make him angrier and the avatar would make him confused which certainly  makes for good entertainment.   Anyway I found the place where I had made the avatar this week and I changed it to the Double Nickels album cover – it sort of looks like the back of my head

So here is some of my designs. I wanted to have window dormers on each side that angle out and away from the slope of the A-frame walls. I seen this design at drive-in movie theaters and it made sense to me in that there would be less chance of the windows leaking and it visually created more space. Counter tops and desk areas will be made to fit between the truss members, to make optimal use of these window spaces ( I modified the truss member design – a stronger laminated design so the members could be placed at 4′ spacings instead of the original 2′ spacings – making the space between the members more useable). There are insulated window shutters over these windows that can be  shut in winter to save on heating  or you shut one side or the other, depending on which side the sun is on – or they can be completely locked up if  the cabin was going to be left vacated for awhile.  The front deck folds up over the main entry and can be locked and I have corrugated fiberglass panel overhangs in the front as well to have  the deck area sheltered from the rain and the house protected from the high summer sun from heating the cabin up.

Recently I have been thinking of reworking this design with a 20′ x 20′ floor plan – I will also finish up the interior so do stay tune.

So what did we learn here – well I learnt to remember the addresses of the places where I create things like avatars – it’s hard enough for a dyslexic to write and post  coherent thoughts on the last episode of “LOST” after you finished a bottle of Inniskillin  Pinot Noir , the last thing you need is an avatar that will confuse matters further.



The Mobile Surf Shack

March 3, 2010

This “smallish” travel trailer is the most recent of my S.U. projects.  Every winter (around February)  cabin fever over takes me if I have had a number of colds and flues and can’t do silly things like winter camping (great fun – seriously).  So I attempt to combat c.f. by becoming obsessed with certain interests like geodesic domes, A-frame cabins, sailing canoes and proas , and teardrop’s and tiny travel trailers.

Four years ago I seen an old Popular Science article from April of 1946 on building a small teardrop shaped travel trailer ( it’s the lightweight trailer plan – it’s missing a couple pages from the original but it will give you a good idea of how this thing is built). These trailers are small and “funky”, often displaying retro, Art Deco ellipses in their form. You won’t find all the modern conveniences in them ( most don’t even have plumbing) but they are lightweight and easy to tow and are a perfect weekend trailer,being a step up from a tent and would be a great campground trailer.  There is a big revival movement with D.I.Y. “ers” designing and building teardrop and tiny travel trailers or building new trailers from plans from the 1920s to 60s.  There are big tear drop get-together weekends where teardrop owners can camp and look at other peoples designs.  The “Teardrop’s and Tiny Travel Trailer” site is an amazing resource for those who are interested in these funky little mobile shelters.

A modern example of a classic teardrop trailer with outdoor "hatchback" kitchen galley.

Well here is my design “The Mobile Surf Shack”. It’s a bit of a high-bred design using ideas from the Midget, the Widget (slightly larger than the Midget)  and the Popular Science Light Weight Travel Trailer ( also know as the Wanderbug) . Please note – if you are planing on building the Wanderbug please build the frame with steel tubing – or you will eventually be leaving a pile of lumber on the highway – ” A WOODEN FRAME WILL BE A SERIOUS ROAD HAZARD”.

The Mobile Surf Shack is a larger design – it measures 7’8″ wide 7’8″ high and the body of this trailer is very close to 14′ long. I wanted to have space for a washroom – taking my daughter camping at a campground can be a challenge – she thinks she has a spider phobia and will not go into campground bathrooms so designing a trailer with a washroom was important. I wanted to have a ceiling storage area for a cooler – the folding bar stool chairs and for storage boxes of cloths and equipment. There is storage space under the bed –  a tongue box at the front of the trailer for a deep cycle battery and a breaker box and more storage in the back with a pull out drawer for cooking equipment and stuff you want to keep outside. This is a rough draft design ( come to think of it, all my designs are “rough drafts”) but I wanted to have roller racks on the long sloping back of the trailer for a canoe or surf boards. I would also like to design an opening back hatch like many teardrop trailer designs to provide a shaded and water proof, skylight window area to take in the scenery (or to watch the surfers at the competition, “hang ten” or what ever they call it now) .

Well thats all I have on that for now. Until my next post – “Dyslexic’s Untie”


Putter or die – or – You and your wacky Sketch-up projects that don’t go anywhere

March 2, 2010

My first post to an egregiously unwieldy blog. I hope to get things under control here in the next couple of months. I am hoping to build this blog into a “clearing house” for my many design ideas that I’ve tried to visually with the very user friendly 3D. modeling design tool “Google Sketch-up”.

I’ve never been very interested in video games but Sketch-up has taken up as much of my spare time as video gaming does of avid gamers but the  time I spent building various models has felt like time well spent. I have spent weeks writing small novels to explain my design ideas in the dark ages before S.U. – now I can take a few hours to create a model that can better explain my ideas. The most awesome thing about this 3D. model program is that – all those ideas that I have had in my noggin, fussing over the smallest detail while I nod off to sleep – a couple of hours with S.U. and there it is!!! I’ve always been interested in geodesic domes – I spent 3 hours learning geodesic math at the sketch-up geodesic help site and within a day I am building a plethora of dome home models – cloging up my pals e-mail inbox’s with more jpeg dome images then they could possibly ask for ( not that they where asking) .

Well, I hope I can find a conversation here on what you think of my designs – what works and what doesn’t (maybe my grade eight English teacher; Miss Hands, will correct my grammar – “A dash is a poor substitute for proper punctuation.”)  – maybe I will inspire you to work on ideas of your own – I would love to hear it.

Until my next “real” blog post….

Bye for now.