Well here we are again, another premature blogpost,. But I feel monthly updates are necessary, even if the progress doesn’t feel satisfying to myself. Also I’m really bored at work, and fear time itself will stop if I don’t find somethign to engage myself. This past month I have been jumping between quite a few projects so this update is going to be all over the place.
My 2017 Cold War (skip this next paragraph if you please)
My past month has been very eventful, but unfortunately not for the bus. It has been a cold war of sorts between myself, my landlord and my employer. For now, everything is good. My employer gave me a raise small enough to annoy me, but large enough to keep me here for another month or two (if my employer is reading this, perhaps they should probably start seeking my replacement). My landlord has been incredibly good to Nana and myself in every sense, it’s not her it’s me. I don’t blame her for being mad at me, I use power tools with noise dampening headphones sometimes as late as 2am, I have tons of debris everywhere ranging from scrap steel, scrap wood, old wood, garbage too good to dump, old beer cans, and all of that makes my workshop look like a junkyard. I have been operating with an “ask for forgiveness later” approach, my landlord has been very good to me, I have been a terrible tenant and I hope to appease to her kind patient nature. I will certainly do whatever necessary to leave on good terms. So I have been spending more time cleaning and organizing, it’s probably for the best with everyone (though my landlord would be better off evicting me). Nana recently got an awesome new job so it looks like we’ll be up in Washington for awhile more. I still need to buy more time, I got some ideas.
Boxing up the wheel wells
Since I framed these with steel (16g square tubing), I first predrilled all holes to make it easier to fasten the skin later. As you may have noticed, this wheel well is fastened to the bus using a handful of screws. This is the only project in this update which is going to finish, I hope you enjoy the closure.
Before this, I prepared the skin. I used some scrap plywood I tore off some pallets (part of decluttering my carport), None of my scrap wood was the right size, so I cut many pieces approximately 11″ tall to skirt around the wheel well. It was a lot of work. Since this wood is going to be practically invisible, I took this as a good opportunity to practice staining and finishing. I sanded all of this wood down to 220 grit (way too much for this). I spent many hours doing this and probably didn’t need to do so. I did however really enjoy listening to a Dracula audiobook while doing so.
Despite the dark brown stain I used, the wood was sanded so smoothly, very little of the stain soaked into the wood. It was much lighter than I was planning, mental notes for the future. Here we have a picture of something drying (stain? finish? maybe the later).
Progress pictures of the fastening. (each of these panels had a designated location, L1, L2…L11, R1, R2…R12, as labeled on the backs)
left side done
Finishing up the right side
all screws trimmed with trim washers
Insulating the wheel wells. I thought I took a picture before this, but I guess the beer lied to me. I used a lot of tape and scrap insulation to put 1/2″ layer of polyiso above the radiant barrier clothing the wheel well, then I used some scrap reflectix over it to make it look almost the same as before, but I swear I no lie!
Then I got impatient and dumped the rest of my insulation scrap in.
A nice stopping point for a picture! Nice to have all that insulation scrap gone!
Next is making pretty hats for these wheel wells. Before pic, sanded down to 120grit.
Lets put these hats on!
Okay moving forward.
The Battery and Inverter boxes.
Some time last year (maybe May) I made a battery box made with misc wood and bed frame. It was cool, but when I remade the door I had to tear that out. This logs the beginnings of my new battery box and inverter box.
Preparing the Inverter Box Frame
Mostly Completed Inverter Box Frame, I discovered these magnet corner clamps, they’re awesome!
Apparently I don’t have much progress pix for battery box, here’s the completed Frame.
I sanded down the front panels of the battery box to 80 grit and sanded them as is, much more of hte effect I was looking for, mentally noted.
The battery box is going to look something like this, I skipped pictures of sanding and finishing, but there’s a few layers of finish on here to protect the wood from moisture (I think that’s how it works). The two holes are for two small fans.
End of battery box progress, more to come later (I hope).
Skinning the Rear Door
I skinned the rear door.
I also skinned the port side.
The Shower Enclosure Build
This actually happened In January I think, but I didn’t want to include it because I thought I’d be done with the shower enclosure by now, but I’m not, so let’s go public with it. Below is the frame for the fore wall. I painted it and haven’t done much with it since.
Here I am cutting FRP and plywood panels for the enclosure. I sanded some plywood down to about 120grit too around this time, I think.
Next I am assembling the aft shower wall, a little bit of framing (the bottom right 2×4 piece is removable for rear light access), this picture was featured in the last update.
I will miss that ledge used to hold screws.
Fastening the insulation, I also secured a lot of these wires using screw hole zip ties.
Okay good enough, let’s wall that up.
I test fitted some stabilizing jacks rated for 7500lb to help level the bus just a little more, (I should’ve done this a long time ago). I can get these up and down in about 10 seconds with a drill.
Next begin working on the side wall. (I made the top of this a little more straight this morning)
Preparing the top of the side wall, using questionable methods.
It kinda worked though!
Yup, that’s all.