Insulation Chronicles 3/4: Oddball Insulation Jobs, Erasing the Chair Rail & Wood Paneling.

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December 2016

Was a total shitshow, my work was busier than ever, and coming home to work on the bus in freezing temperatures was pretty brutal.  I went ahead and got myself a timer outlet which will turn a space heater on an hour before I get home every day, this increased my daily productivity by about 20 minutes by taking away my excuses to procrastinate getting down and busy.  Visual progress has been lacking, but I have been persistent with my work. Just like every other month, my ambitions of work accomplishment surpassed actual work done.

Most Recent Picture

And now how we got here.

Oddball Insulation jobs

There’s lots of crappy little areas which take a lot of time and energy to insulate, but do not provide satisfying visual progress, this happens in cycles with the bus and I’ve more or less gotten used to it.  Morale is a fickle beast.  Here are a few little areas.  The general idea behind a lot of this insulation is to provide a thermal break between the outside air and the inside air.  It may seem silly, but when touching the metal before it was frigid, there is a HUGE temperature difference after providing some thermal break.

Starboard Emergency Door

This door is going to be blocked off by the chest cooler, however I still wanted access for it to be able to open and close in case of emergency.  Unfortunately I didn’t do a good job at that, I am convinced I will be able to open it if absolutely necessary, but that day is not here.  I intend to insulate it with foam later, lower priority because it’s a lot of work.

I also insulated the rear stern door as well as the adjacent walls.  Not a lot of progress pictures but I’ll try and show anyway.




Since this photo was taken, I’ve done some horizontal wooden strips and a few other things, but you get the idea.  If you’re wondering if that thin layer of reflectix makes a difference, it makes a huge difference.  Port Bow double door was also half assedly insulated, no pics today.

I also did some gentle insulating/thermal breaking above the front windshield.

Above the Front Windshield

I did something similar in the back of the bus, and I covered the front window with some reflectix, but no pix so I guess you could say it never happened.

Erasing the Chair Rail

I have never seen this done, so I thought it was an original idea.  I wanted to utilize the strength of the chair rails, however I did not want to have a thermal bridge between the outside and the interior framing through the chair rail, so I  wanted to use a piece of wood as well as some reflectix as a thermal break, and fasten it with stainless steel screws which have a lesser heat transfer properties compared to steel.  It was a major pain in my buttocks, but I did it and maybe don’t regret doing it.  There is a lot I would’ve done differently though.

The process:  I first cut the 1/4″ holes in some 1/8″ thick  1″ angle iron.  If I were competent, I would’ve carefully cut these holes in a jig so there would be consistency.    I did not, life goes on.  Then I sandwiched the chair rail with wood like so, I added some visual instructions to show how I set the sandwich up.  Basically I held the lower wood up by hammering wedges which would make a snug reflectix fit below the chair rail, and above the rail I clamped the wood and steel angle iron to the wood below it.

I then drilled through the prexisting holes to get a hole going all the way through.

I then used a T-nut for the wood below, and a 2″ stainless steel bolt to connect with the t-nut.  

It looks kind of like this (the other T-nut on the right, was a failure so I redid it (left).  After I finish, it looks very similar to the one on the right.  These are all spaced about 1′ apart.

I wanted to use this as an opportunity to learn about rivnuts.  They are cool.  I practiced inserting them with a a home made tool+impact driver/wrenches.  They went in, but really poorly.  I ended up buying multiple rivnut tools online to experiment with.  I broke two Astro rivnut tools, and ended up setting most of the nuts with a Q&R  Rivnut tool, looks really similar to the astro tool, works A TON better.


Another Inch of Insulation:

I added another Inch of insulation between most of the furring strips, except the middle ceiling (I’ll get to this next update probably) and around the fire place.  I didn’t really document this, however I did discover that cutting insulation on a table saw is SO MUCH EASIER than using an exacto knife.  *facepalm*.

Wood Paneling

I got really sick, and wanted to do something visually satisfying on the bus once I started getting better.  I was never sure if it was part of my plan, but I added a lot of wooden paneling around the bus.  If I could go back I would stuff some radiant barrier of some sort to the back of the panels (because I have a lot of extra).  But I don’t want to go back, so I probably won’t.  Maybe the ceiling will get some.    Here’s some pictures.

(the wheel wells are a work in progress).

Bad news, Good news.

The front door I built, is sticking out from the gutter of the bus ever so slightly, resulting in a leak getting worse by the day.  This means I need to build a new door.  I was expecting to do this eventually, with  a steel frame and a dual pane window, I just wanted to practice working with steel more beforehand.  However gotta do what I gotta do.    Next update, I hope.

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