Camper headliner template testing

Headliner template v2 to the test

Having commandeered the kitchen floor to cut the first version of the templates out, it was time to see how the supplied dimensions matched up to the reality of my actual 1964 bus. I’m sure dimensions might vary due to the more hand made nature of vehicle production back in the early 1960s.

making the most of the winter sun to check the headliner templates
making the most of the winter sun to check the headliner templates

It was a nice sunny day, so made sense to go for a run out in the bus. Nice to do the work outside with a bit more space. So packed the templates, tape, rulers, knives, scissors, tape measure, pen, pencil and notebook and headed out with my son, Indiana, for the day. He’s been a big motivator getting me and this project moving along!

test fitting the cab area headliner template
test fitting the cab area headliner template

Template perfection takes time

Hopefully, the templates will be in the right ballpark size-wise. Being able to test them in situ will allow me to refine the sizes, dimensions and shape. Far better to test all of this out with templates than waste the plywood!

always good to double-check all dimensions first
always good to double-check all dimensions first

Getting up close and personal with parts of the bus you don’t really pay much attention to gives you a much better understanding of how it was all originally made. What the thought process was when it was designed. It also makes you realise that the shape you thought the bus was, is not actually the shape it always is!

checking and adjusting headliner template fitment
checking and adjusting headliner template fitment

Double curvature complications

The double curvature of the cab roof headliner was indeed more complicated than first imagined. However, working with the templates I had made, and double-checking a bunch of dimensions, I was getting closer… much closer now. Funny how much difference a couple of small changes can make!

headliner template adjustment in the sun
headliner template adjustment in the sun

Adapt and improvise

This is where the Proplex template material comes into its own. It is easy to cut, mark and refine using the more detailed dimensions I was able to take from the bus. The templates can then easily be adapted for a better fit.

adjusting templates to real world dimensions
adjusting templates to real-world dimensions

Some bits were easy to change with slight tweaking of templates to double-check all the changes and revisions worked. Small changes can make big differences. I can be a bit of a perfectionist in some areas like that!

Two pairs of hands are always better than one

I was not going to get everything done in the day. I did, however, want to make sure I had all the information and dimensions needed for the revised set of templates I wanted to produce next. It was fun having my son Indiana helping me out for the day. We wanted to get to a certain point before breaking for lunch. Nothing motivates like a hungry stomach!

double curvature refinement needed on the front cab headliner template
double curvature refinement needed on the front cab headliner template

Angles, profiles and dimensions were checked. Template sheets were cut and shape revised to suit. Positions of any obstructions, lights and vents noted. We had managed to get a lot done and had fun doing it at the same time!

Ready for the final round

The adjusted templates were getting to be a much better fit as the revised shapes were cut, taped and refined in place. It brought a sense of winning as we went along! It takes time doing it this way, but hopefully, it will be worth it in the end. If the current shiny silver insulation finish is going to get covered up, it had better end up looking good!

measure, adjust, refine… updating the template plans
measure, adjust, refine… updating the template plans

Headliner design updates

All the changes and amended dimensions I noted down for re-drawing it all as a digital CAD drawing (Cardboard Aided Design) for the next revised set of templates. These should be a much closer set of accurate templates all being well. One step away from working with plywood!

great to be able to get outside and work in the sun
great to be able to get outside and work in the sun

With a good session of work done, it was time to enjoy a well-earned mid-day, full English breakfast. We had definitely earned it today! Project headliner is off to a good start and heading in the right direction…

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