The Rondack Lodge
The Cabin...

Design Copyright 2007, Steve Frederick



Frame Exterior Walls, Body Floor Assembly Phyll's Fenders Cabin Interior Galley Electrical/Plumbing Finishing/Details Voyages


My method of construction allows the finishing of the interior before assembling the cabin.
After the walls are insulated, I add the interior skins. In this case, I used some Maple/Birch ply from the local Lowes.

I love my router! It's a Porter-Cable.
I laid out the panels over the framing to get a look at how the wood grain works. Once I was happy with the layout, I trimmed the sheets to length.
(I ran the grain up/down) I used the router, a straight edge, and a 1/4" bit, to trim/joint the panel edges so that they fall over a framing member. The router and a bottom-bearing bit was used to trim the panels to the headliner ledge.


Since the area over the wheels will be under the bed, I filled this area with a piece of scrap cut from the other panels. Here, I have the curb-side glued up, weighted down.
I used PL construction adhesive for the glue-up.


I cleaned up the groove for the bulkhead with the router and the bottom-bearing bit. That bit of framing at the bottom of the groove will be removed just before I assemble the walls to the frame.


I used basic 1/4" luan for the skin in the galley area. It's cheap, and the galley will get some 1/2" ply for the wall/seal ledge later.


I left the wall panels long over the door opening. Here, I'm trimming the ply flush to the door framing. Next, I'll construct the door seal lip.


After the interior skins were glued on. I cleaned up the groove for the rear bulkhead. I used a bottom bearing flush-trim bit, following the framing previously assembled.


The curb-side wall is ready for varnish! I'll sand ans finish the walls before assembling the body.
I trimmed the door opening with some Hickory left over from Peg's build. 


I built a curve into the doors on the second 'LilDiner! I theorize that this happened because I glued them up over a warp in the work bench. To prevent this from happening again, I built the door over the exact position that the door opening was in while I built up the wall!


The walls are done! Here is a pile of parts, ready for finishing. I'll apply three or four coats of varnish before assembly.


I'm building a wainscot-look panel for the bulkhead. I assembled the frame using biscuits. When done, I'll fill in the panels with ply that was left from the interior skins. I'm thinking of applying some trim to the openings. Thanks Danny, for the idea! We'll see how it comes out!


I used a rabbiting bit to create a notch for the ply panels to rest in.  I'll cut the ply to fit and glue/staple in place. 


Here is a shot of the rabbits, ready for the ply panels. They are 1/4" deep.


I used this router table set-up and an edge beading bit to mill molding to trim the wainscot panels.
I milled the beading, then ripped a piece from the plank, milled another bead, ripped, and so on.
This arrangement of the router table/table saw is very convenient for this work!


Here is the trim molding! I made it from a 1 by 4 Mahogany board. It's usually for porch flooring in my area.


Panels and trim are next! The top center panels are actually doors for cabinets in the cabin side of the bulkhead wall.


The ply that was left over from the inner skins was cut to fit the rabbits cut in the back of the bulkhead panel. 


Here the panels are glued/stapled to the bulkhead.
I added more framing to the rear to allow foam board insulation. After filling in the areas that will be an exterior wall, I'll cover with 1/4" ply.


Another view of the framing for the insulation. I also glued backs to the door panels while I was at it! 


It seems like I end every work day with a panel under my jugs of sand!! This is the bulkhead assembly all ready for trimming in Mahagony.


I just need to sand and trim with the Mahogany!
Maple framing with birch ply panels. 


Well, I got the rear bulkhead trimmed in my shop-made Mahagony molding! The lower portion is where the bed will be. No need to waste the nice woodwork!

I'm just about ready for an assembly day! That's right, a day! Rick and Diane are coming out this weekend for a workday. I'll need some extra hands to help place the walls on the floor.
Tomorrow, I'll try to get another component ready..The front of the bed..I'll have to clean up the shop no matter what!!


I got the shop cleaned up, ready for our work assembly day with Rick and Diane.
It's a shame that it never stays this way!


I did get the front of the bed built. Here's our "kit", ready for assembly.


Our Assembly Day!
The guys arrived at 8:30. after I had my coffee and we did a pre-job meeting, we got started at around 9:00.
Rick and Di  were awesome in the shop! Everything went very well!
The street-side wall and the rear bulkhead were installed in less than an hour!
I don't know what Rick's looking for!!


A few carefully placed screws and PL construction adhesive hold the bulkhead in place.


Rick has the forward wall. I'll glue/screw it in place before installing the curb-side wall.


The curb-side wall, on the bench for a final prep before going on the trailer.


The second wall is in place! Rick and I are fastening the front wall's second edge to the sidewall.


Rick and I are gluing up the front wall for final assembly.


Diane caught me trying out the dinette area for size. The dinette will convert to a single bed for a guest!


Here's the first shot of Diane! Besides taking most of the pictures, Di was always at hand clamping the parts while Rick and I held them. She was also very helpful, She always seemed to know what I would need next, and she had it waiting for us!
Great job Diane!


I did a bit more after lunch, and the Sheerin's had headed back home.
Here, I'm using the wheel openings as a pattern for the inner wheel-well frame.
I'll use 1/8" ply to form the well to the curve of the frame. Epoxy and 'glass will weather-proof the inside of the wheel-well.


I placed a piece of 3/4" hardwood ply in the bottom of the dropped floor area. I used PL adhesive under it. There are those jugs again!


I managed to get the front of the bed and the partition between the two under bed drawers done before supper!
The center partition will support the bed deck.


The bed support is well under way!
The plan is to build two drawers in the center section, and a small storage cubby in the area to the left.
The area to the right will be left open to act as a chase area to run plumbing to the sink in the pottie room!


I used the wheel opening in the side wall as a pattern to cut a ledge for the wheel wells to be built on. The curve will be constructed of a couple of 1/8" ply layers, sealed in 'glass and epoxy.


I ran out of mahagony trim, so I broke out the router table set-up.


Here's about an hour's work! 96 linear feet of trim! Cost = $25


I built two boxes for the dinette seats. The tops will lift up to access storage.


Here's a shot through the galley wall! I'll fit up the seat tops tomorrow!


Another day ends!
I'm gluing up a panel to build an enclosure for the pottie. I've changed my mind, and will make the pottie room very compact with no walls. We figured that the walls would make access to the dinette seat difficult.
I received an idea from Rick the other day. I'll be building the enclosure according to his suggestion!


I did a mock-up of my take on Rick's idea. I'll build a seat that lifts to expose the pottie.


I'll hinge the front panel to the seat top. The whole assembly will lift up and rest against the wall.


Here is what the "pottie closet" will look like, ready for use! I will build out the floor to support the pottie.
I need to invent a method to support a curtain for privacy.


Believe it or not this is a cabinet for over the pottie cabinet!
We will store medicine cabinet-type stuff in it.


The drawers for under the bed. I made them out of 1/2" poplar plywood.


Here's a mock up of a small shelf in the dinette area. I'm waiting for a thumbs up from the boss before making it permanent!


I built a small cabinet for use as a medicine cabinet. I built it really light with 1/4" ply, small blocks and a face frame.


The cabinet looks nice in place! I glued/screwed it to the framing inside the wall.


The cabin is almost ready to varnish! I need to assemble the drawers and build a small shelf next to the medicine cabinet. 


I insulated the floor recess area with foam, glued in between 3/4" square strips. I added the little deck in front of the toilet. The whole area will get covered in 1/4" ply, then vinyl flooring.


We Wanted some shelves over the head and foot of the bed. I chose to do a blind spline joint to support them.
Splines, in this case, biscuits, support the rear of the shelf...


Biscuit plates on each end take care of the rest!!


Mating slots are milled in the ends and back of the shelf! The end slots are made up to the rear edge.  


The plates are put in the rear of the shelf and the end walls. The shelf just slides over the plates, and is held there by the plates alone! No visible screws!


Voila!! The shelf is trimmed in some of the Mahagony used on the panels.
I'll add some rail to the right section, to keep stuff from tumbling onto our heads! 


This shelf will have the stereo and some other electronic gadgets built into the left section. I haven't figured that one out yet!


I glued the drawer fronts onto the drawers. Everything is ready for sanding and varnish!  


These drawers are huge..20" wide, 10" high, 24" long..One for each of us!


Here, I've done the railing on the shelf. The plan is to spray the whole cabin with varnish.


The dinette, ready to finish. I added a rail to this shelf also.


I started to do the finishing of the interior. Here is one of the drawers.


I glued up the headliner on the bench. I applied a first coat of Poly while it was there.


There are three coats on the walls at the time of this picture.


I used a HVLP spray gun to apply three coats of polyurethane.


Spraying really goes fast! I was able to get to all of the little nooks!


Here's my "weapon" It's from Harbor Freight, and cost me around $20.


More of the cabin under varnish! I'll paint the lower areas under things, with some porch paint, probably grey.


Well, I'm just about ready to install the headliner!


Here is the headliner. I applied three coats of finish to it!


I used some boards to support the headliner as I moved it into position over the glued ledges.


I planned ahead for the wide headliner! I made this template from the full-size pattern. I't purpose? To hole the shape of the headlined until I get the roof framed.


All closed in!




Contents and images, Copyright, 2002-2007, Steve Frederick
No image or text may be reproduced for any commercial use without permission.
Updated April 15, 2007
This design is Copyright, 2007, Steve Frederick


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