To close it in, I thought, how about a curved aluminum track along the ceiling and a curtain that could be pulled back? Painstakingly I fabricated exactly that, prompting me to work, as usual with all sorts of bits and bobbles I have no real familiarity with. While 90% of my creative schemes normally go like clockwork, sadly this was not to be among them. The curtain didn't hang right, or pull right, the interior was claustrophobic, and it looked like hell even when retracted.
At that moment I knew what I had to do, but it still took me 6 months to muster the stones to actually pull the trigger. The problem was that anything opaque that enclosed the space would ruin the open, Scandinavian feel of the sparse, bright interior. This left one option: Plexiglass.
I'm not going to lie, plexiglass scares the hell out of me. I mean, here you have a material that is not dimensionally stable, can't be fastened in the normal ways, relies heavily on perfect cutting, shaping and gluing techniques, costs a small fortune, and must be handled with absolute care to get a nice result. Complicating that further was the fact that I had to fit all pieces of it PERFECTLY into a rounded irregular walls and slightly curved shower pan, tracing various cut outs and protrusions, while still having it all meet perfectly square at the corner and plumb in both planes, all while working in a structure where square and level have no real point of reference. No problem, right?
Without going into all of the dirty details of how I accomplished the deed, suffice to say that this was actually hard. From building the templates, to setting curved aluminum channel for frame, to actually cutting and polishing the plex itself, to stabilizing it strongly but also as minimally as possible, to creating the magnetic closure, to gluing on the clear plastic hinge. The corner, that was science, but the curves, those were a combination of intense concentration, prayer, and blind luck. With all of the variables involved I considered my chances at a clean closure to be south of 30%, and the awful thing is that I wouldn't know until it was too late to change anything.
After two days of work, with my heart in my throat I finally brought all of the finished pieces in, caulked the edges into the frames, fastened the bottoms and the steel corner support, and then holding my breath, swung the door shut, where it clicked cleanly into place with less than a paper width of clearance at the corner and the bottom. "I can't believe that actually worked." I said aloud to an audience of my cat. "I mean, I'm good, but not that good."
The shower stall is perfect, and with the airstream as my part time residence these days, being able to finally graduate from the state park showers feels pretty darn good. Here's some photos from the build: