I’ve been meaning to get around to the main door for the sim for a while. Today I finally got down to it.
The door itself is a simple construction – a small amount of framing plus the usual 6mm plywood skin. From the inside, the door is intended to resemble the existing vestibule wall; nothing unusual or fancy like portholes. From a simulated POV, the door to the sim should be at the rear (where a false door will be marked and painted for effect), whereas the actual door should be a wall. So keeping things hidden is the order of the day.
I started off by measuring up the hole where the door will go. Based on the skinning of the opposite wall I knew the a-frames are slightly tilted back, so a simple rectangle wasn’t going to cut it. I decided to build the frame in-situ so that I would get the right angles.
I cut lengths of pine timber, 96mm x 18mm, to match the portion of the a-frame against which the door is mounted. This required me to make an angled joint as with the original a-frames. This was easily achieved using a couple of dowels and some strong glue.
Once these had dried, I screwed each of them in place to the side of each a-frame. On the left hand-side I interposed some 18mm half-width batons to provide a stop for the door (one half of the baton is screwed to the frame, the other to the door itself, so that one rests on the other when the door is closed). Then I carefully measured the distances and angles and set about cutting the plywood for the skin.
The first piece of plywood skin I mounted by going inside the sim and screwing it in place as with the existing walls, but from that point on I needed to be able to work on it outside the frame so I could still get inside the sim; so I put in place a couple of framing members to shore up the sides of the door frame, and then unscrewed it from the a-frames so it came free. It was then a simple enough matter to put the rest of the plywood skin in place. The bottom piece of plywood bends round the corner in the wood just like the panel on the opposite side, on the wall.
The finished door is reasonably rigid, although I may still put some further framework on the read of the door for greater strength under tension. Then the door has to be hung in place and a handle put on. I’m still debating on the exact hanging method to use, but I have some strong door hinges and I think these will do, although I may need to sand down the door stop to stop the frame from sticking on the way out.
For now, while I’m doing other work, the door will sit aside, ready for when it’s needed.
Still reading your blog. A way to go for you, but the door is ready. Please keep writing. Nice to follow your project.
Hi again Rob. Nice to see you back 🙂
There is a long way to go, absolutely. I’m trying to pick up the pace a bit but it’s difficult as I can’t dedicate that much time to the project.
One thing that does slow me down is building alone. It’s surprising how awkward some operations can be without someone to help with holding pieces in place. Also, I have a tendency to re-do work if I’m unhappy with it, rather than live with it. So I often intend to move forward in the build and then end up re-visiting something I already did. In fact this is my second attempt at the project overall – the first one had rather different goals and I’d gotten as far as starting to fit electrics and electronics when I abandonded it for this version which includes a shell.
Next weekend I’m going to try kerfing MDF board so I can bend it around fairly sharp angles, to make ceiling panelling. Should be fun!