Box Building Dilemma

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Big Monkey
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Box Building Dilemma

Postby Big Monkey » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:58 pm

Hi Folks,

I have a dilemma. It's been driving me mad. I'm putting a box onto the back of a 130 Defender. I'll be building it out 3 and 4 element fiberglass and foam panels. Nothing unusual there. The panels will be around 40mm thick. On the edges I will have 3mm thick aluminium (5083) cladding. This will be laser cut and folded.

The question is this:-

Should I build the box and finish it by gluing on the edge cladding and finish the corners where three edges come together with a glued and screwed cap? I think that this is the method Phil used.....

or

Should I weld up the edging so that I have a free standing aluminium structure and then glue the panels into this. This is the method Ivan has used I think.....

Both methods will have more or less the same aluminium base frame (40 x 40 x 3mm 6082 box).

The box for the Defender is 2m wide, 3m long and 1.6m high.

Some thoughts or guidance would be great.

Ivan C
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby Ivan C » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:24 pm

My rational was that with a welded frame was that the integrity of the structure took it's strength from both the welded frame and the glue, especially as I wasn't using wooden inserts - both would have to fail to cause the box to fail.
It also let me make the subframe and body frame as one.
I fitted the floor, then the roof , sides next and then front and back.
That way the side panels hold the roof up and give resistance to diagional movement.
Either way will work, just a matter of choice
Ivan C

Big Monkey
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby Big Monkey » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:34 pm

Thanks for the feedback Ivan.

Like you say, it's a matter of choice. I just can't make up my mind.

The Rockwilder campers (that are stunning) use the other method, box build and glue on edging afterwards.

Choices choices.

crinklystarfish
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby crinklystarfish » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:38 pm

For what it's worth I built our box first then simply glued the non-structural cappings in place, but then my box has rebated wooden inlays that - when 'locked' and bonded - give good structural integrity. It's the most conventional method and Phil did indeed follow suit.

One big advantage with this method is that the cappings can be thought of as sacrificial. If you ding one, it's not that hard to replace it.

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Brian-reynolds
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby Brian-reynolds » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:28 pm

Unfortunately I have bashed my capping's very many times and even lost one top capping somewhere in Cornwall!

It was never my fault, it was always the trees that got in the way! My latest reversing mishap was when the top hit a rather big branch that neither myself or Bev saw, and it crushed my top corned cast ali joiner.....

Read into this what you like, including "Brian take reversing lessons!" just real world driving as I love driving in forests that are full of, err, trees!

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bromleyxphil
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby bromleyxphil » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:40 pm

Big Monkey wrote:Hi Folks,

I have a dilemma. It's been driving me mad. I'm putting a box onto the back of a 130 Defender. I'll be building it out 3 and 4 element fiberglass and foam panels. Nothing unusual there.


Now that's a big change.......what happened to the DAF?

I copied Steve with my construction method and am well pleased with it. You have to remember that we were working in the dark ages, before someone wrote the definitive book on this subject. If i were to build today I think I would use the method Ivan is using with a much lighter floating chassis, possibly integrated into the floor panel, thinner panels and no worries about box strength.

have you looked at the Twiga campers page?

Big Monkey
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby Big Monkey » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:45 pm

Steve, Brian,

Thanks for your feedback. I'm looking for somebody to fold my edging at the moment. When that's done, I will need to make a decision.

This first box isn't so big, so either option should be ok. I can't understand why I've been thinking about it so much.

crinklystarfish
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby crinklystarfish » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:53 pm

Big Monkey wrote:...This first box isn't so big, so either option should be ok. I can't understand why I've been thinking about it so much.


That happens. It's normal.

Both ways are tickety-boo, a good arbiter might be whether you anticipate bashing into stuff. I did, and do - but Brian does it even better...

Big Monkey
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby Big Monkey » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:09 pm

Hi Phil,

Ah, the Daf. We got it downplated, road legal, MOT'd and registered and I wasn't comfortable with the width on the road. I also felt a bit overwhelmed by so many things that were going on. Last year was mental, and when a freind of my brother asked if he could buy it, I sold it. We made some big changes last year to reduce our stress levels. I'll bore you with those when we see you next.

So, I was rolling round in a 130 Defender chassis cab and decided to build my first box on it. Something a little less daunting for a first build.

I'm fine tuning my ali welding skills at the moment. I'm still undecided as to which method to use.

I hope the good lady is keeping well. Where are you guys at the moment?

Big Monkey
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Re: Box Building Dilemma

Postby Big Monkey » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:15 pm

crinklystarfish wrote:
Big Monkey wrote:...This first box isn't so big, so either option should be ok. I can't understand why I've been thinking about it so much.


That happens. It's normal.

Both ways are tickety-boo, a good arbiter might be whether you anticipate bashing into stuff. I did, and do - but Brian does it even better...



Hi Steve,

I'll bash it, without a doubt. The most important thing is that it's winterised, i.e. no thermal bridges from outside to inside, as we spend a lot of our time far north in Scotland and Scandinavia. So either method will work I suppose.

I'm glad I'm not he only one struggling to make my mind up about this sort of thing. I want to get it sorted, so that I don't wake up at 4.00am mulling it over.


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