Today we put in a ceiling…

…plank. Actually we put in four planks. As it was late anyway, we decided to let the glue set on those planks so that we have a well-set line on which to put in the rest of the ceiling. The ceiling is insulated with automotive Thinsulate and reflectix (glorified bubble wrap with foil on both sides). The Thinsulate is glued in and the reflectix is just held up under the furring strips, which are bolted to the roof ribs of the van. The wood planks are the final step of what is hopefully a beautiful and well-insulated ceiling.

A month ago we got a bunch of 1/4″ tongue-and-groove cedar planks from the Home Depot for our ceiling and walls. Around Thanksgiving there was some unseasonably warm weather so we sanded and polyurethaned them all so they would be ready. Here is a video of Sara hard at work applying polyurethane to all the boards.

So many nice planks all smooth and semi-glossy.

Today we were finally ready to start on the actual ceiling install. We finished gluing in pieces at the front and back of the van where the planks will end. We will butt the planks into those boards and then install a trim piece to hold them all in the same position and cover the ends. Some people use brass screws to install these types of planks. We decided to use a [hopefully] strong construction adhesive. We also shot small brad nails into the furring strips on the ceiling then clipped off the heads. This leaves a sharp exposed nail to hold the pieces place while the adhesive sets. We spent a lot of time thinking about how it was all going to line up and then measuring out the first boards so hopefully it goes reasonably well!

Installing end pieces.


The glue/nail combination.

Installing the first board.

The roof curves quite a bit in front and we wanted the first boards to be perfectly aligned so we jammed a couple 2x4s under them and will let them set over night.

The first two additional boards in back. In order to offset the joints these are only about half the length of the middle board. It doesn’t curve much there and everything was holding really well so we figured that we could get these installed tonight as well.

Looking forward.

With any luck we will be able to get most of the ceiling finished tomorrow. We have to install lights along the way and there are more curves to deal with. We will see how it goes!

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