Sunday, May 18, 2014

Food Cart Project Part VII: How to Build a Floor

First, frame it out with 2x4s. You'll usually see floors built with 2x6s, which I don't think is necessary for this application, as the floor will sit on a fairly strong metal frame to begin with; also, weight's a consideration here. This was all put together with a compressed air powered framing nailer, which made for quick work (that being said, if the pressure in the compressor tank gets a bit low, you might have the odd nail that doesn't get sent in all the way; it's useful to have a hammer on hand in such a case, or a pry bar in case you have to re-do it). And remember, always measure twice, cut and nail once!

Once the framing's done, lay out the sheathing, in this case 3/4" subfloor OSB. Line it up with at least one corner and two sides, snap a chalk line where it needs to be trimmed, and move it a bit so you can get the saw through it. A good circular saw is the tool for this.

Once the subflooring's trimmed, evened up and in place, you'll want to do a couple more things before securing it to the 2x4s. First, make sure the framing is square by measuring both pairs of opposite corners. If the measurements aren't the same, you don't have a perfectly "square" rectangle. You can fix this by tapping the corners a bit with a mallet until the measurements even up and it comes into square. Then, you'll want to snap some more chalk lines, even with the joists, which serve as guides to where to put in your nails.

And voila, you have a floor! And, a shit ton of sawdust to clean up...

I leaned it up and out of the way to make room for the next phase of the project: the walls! I'll start on those once the windows I ordered arrive (as I think of it, I'm gonna need to pick up a door as well).

Burke's getting to spend a lot of time at Civilian as I work on all of this. Here you can see him getting used to the space:

All of this woodworking requires a wood shop, of course. My lease at Civilian includes the basic shop package, which gets me access to the table saw and the chop saw. There's also a router, jointer/planer and lathe, none of which I'm likely to need. Everything is hooked up to a dust collection system; it's a pretty slick operation.

Here's a nice shot of the Fremont Bridge, and one of the trains that regularly rumble on by (you gotta like trains to work in this place):