Hi all I'm new to this group,
I have a few questions that I was hoping someone on here may be able to shed some light on re DIY aluminium frames!
At the moment I am just looking into how one would go about making aluminium frames for door (1x Front door 1x Screen door), window (various sizes that can open & secure from the inside of the van + have removable interior frames with fly screen) & a long skylight (able to pop-up/open for breeze). These are all for a caravan project (the 'Extrav-a-van' haha). I watched a very helpful video on youtube which was for a door (will post the video at the bottom), so understand the gist and will probably use the same method to a degree, except a little unsure how/what etc for seals. Anyone who can help with the following questions please jump on in! Any advice/guidance is very welcome & appreciated.. I'm flying totally blind with aluminium.
1. Perspex: the sheets I have been looking at range between 4.5mm-12mm thickness (ideally 6mm+ for heat/cooling efficiency & sound) which I assume will work with the frame the same as glass would, but is there a thickness/size that would make life easier to better suit stock mouldings, components, seals, etc?
2. Is there a simple way to make the frames that require 2 frames (Window: perspex + fly etc) that isn't going to make a ridiculous overhang/bulky? maybe that slot's offset?
3. Cutting aluminium: What blade will do the job (just needs to last for frames any more is a bonus) that won't break the bank?
4. Seal's & water-proofing, what are my best and easiest options?
Thank you for taking the time to read,
I will drop this little gem of information for you.
I don't understand all that they show there.
I have an Aluminium cutting blade from Dewalt in my Bosch mitre saw it draws the line at floor mouldings though as they are hardened.
125mm diamond blade in my angle grinder does cut floor mouldings, it is not pretty though.
I can get a blade for my table saw but not a path I want to go down.
I have a metal cutting circular saw, it could do mouldings but I have better options.
I would like the Bosch cold cut saw not sure I justify the $669 price tag yet.
Welcome to the Workshop community. We're really pleased you could join us and trust that you'll get plenty of helpful information, advice and inspiration for all your projects from our amazing members. We certainly have some passionate caravan renovators in the community like @twocutekelpies and @Peggers that might like to assist with your questions.
You might also be interested in Rob's How to Renovate a Caravan series.
Caravan windows are a readily available item that come complete with seals/perspex/glass/frames/flyscreen and even tint. Logistically, I'd go with buying ready to install over diy so you don't have to worry about leaks etc. Check out vintage caravan spares, he often has factory seconds for doors and possibly windows.
Alternatively, if you want to go the DIY route and timber is an option, check out penny.caravan on instagram.
I used my existing windows but replaced the glass with 3mm perspex to decrease weight and used magnetic flyscreens from Bunnings to replace the original bulky hinged frames.