Feb 19th & 20th – Electrical

We ended up finally installing the electrical box during these days. I wasn’t sure how to wire up a box, but I think I got it roughly right. I’m going to ask my friend who is a licensed electrician to take a look to see if I’m going to burn myself down when I get back to Michigan.

Ended up using a light kit that had 3 lights, we’ll see how it turns out. Might end up replacing them depending on how they turn out.

Feb 11th – Feb 16th – Tables + Bathroom

So, I’ve been putting this off for too long. In mid February we got a lot of work done on the bus. It was actually still kinda chilly out. High’s in the low 60’s, perfect working weather. We kept trying to find a cabinet shop that could make us custom table tops, and not a single fucking one was open. We tried calling a bunch and leaving messages. Apparently granite is cheap now and most places were only doing granite/marble counter tops. Anyways, we decided to take 2 sheets of cabinet quality 4×8’s and glue them together, sand them and screw them together from the bottom. After that trimmed to our sizes and rounded the edges. Stained and varnished both of them. We also framed out the rest of the area for the shower and got that installed, which was a new experience for both of us. Currently no grey water tank yet, so the pvc is just sticking out of the bottom. We’re not planning on using it until we have a grey water tank.

We also sewed up some covers for our beds. I ended up buying a king size foam mattress off of amazon and cutting it in half to our specs. The covers are pretty durable which should help protect the foam. You can also see the master lock that we got for the front door. It’s a pretty nifty way to do the front, we bought a garage door lock for the back.

Happy New Year! (or how we spent the first 17 hours of the new year)

So it’s 2012. We started the New Year the right way by getting to work on the bus. Our self imposed deadline was to get enough done to tailgate on the 2nd.  So we were cutting it pretty close.

You can see the electrical is pulled into the box at this point so we could get the back of the seat skinned. I wanted to get the transition stripping done so that we weren’t constantly breaking off more of the ikea flooring. Also I like transition stripping. I was too lazy to cut the stripping at an angle so I just cut the tops/bottoms to overlap enough to make me happy. Matt was peeved because I kept working on the transition stripping while he was measuring and cutting the insulation for the ceiling (which he wanted me to also do).

These pictures are slightly out of order, we actually started by painting the ceiling as well as the mid level sides/ceiling. We went with Gloss Almond for the ceiling and Gloss Black for the other parts. We wanted a light ceiling, but something that would be favorable and not show too many marks/dirt/dust whatever. Phil bought us a canopy! We have an oak tree in the back yard and it’s constantly dropping mounds and mounds of shit, and since we’re in Florida there’s Spanish moss all over it. Anyways, the canopy allowed us to paint a bunch of the stuff and keep it covered. We couldn’t figure out a way to paint the ceiling parts at the same time though, so we propped them up against the bus and the fence to try to keep them upright as possible so less crap would drop on it.

We ended up doing 2 coats on all of the parts. We had drawn on the ceiling originally with a big red permanent marker so we wouldn’t forget the order that the pieces were supposed to go up.  On the first coat, the red still showed through a lot.. fortunately 2nd coat was enough to cover. Phil and his friend Rob ended up helping us out with painting and some other stuff too.  We also put Jake to work cutting open the old seats to pull the auto foam out of there.  That stuff is way too expensive to throw away (also, the foam was protected very well by the original vinyl.. you’d think the seats would kinda smell after years of kids sitting in the seats doing whatever the hell it is that kids do). Anyways, after we got the first coats on the pieces we started to put the insulation up top. Glued it to the ceiling using liquid nails. Most of the pieces fit snugly and could have gotten away without the liquid nails, but all of the jostling from driving the bus would cause the insulation to sit on the ceiling pieces instead of against the roof.

We did have a couple pieces that didn’t fit snugly, and I was a dumb ass originally and was holding them up waiting for the liquid nails to dry/stick enough. Then I realized that I have duct tape and didn’t care if the tape stayed up there. Bam. Duct taped the loose ones up and arms got to rest.

By the time we finished up with the insulation we were running out of light and we still hadn’t finished up the seats. Phil ended up putting on the 2nd coat while we were doing the insulation. That was a huge help, Jake and Rob finished cutting off the old vinyl on the seats too so we could get working on that. The effort from those 3 guys definitely made our goal possible. If not still a little improbable seeming from where we were standing.

So, Matt and I had never done any upholstery work.. but we figured stretching fabric couldn’t be that hard, right? Right, and wrong. Our Grandpa David (our mother’s side) ran an upholstery business for years. I remember seeing rolls and rolls of vinyl and leather for seats and such. Big industrial strength sewing machines. Twine, all sorts of stuff. Their house was always a treasure trove of stuff when we were kids. Actually both of our Grandparent’s and their places were pretty amazing for their own reasons. I digress. We thought we were hot shit when we made the backs of the seats.  The foam was pretty thin so it was easy to stretch the fabric across it and make it look like we wanted.

On the seats.. it was a slightly different story. First of all, we went to one of 2 fabric stores that were open on New Years which fell on a Sunday. We looked at a bunch of different fabric and settled on different patterns for the backs and the seats.  A paisley for the backs and I don’t know how to describe the seats. Unfortunately for the seats.. we had grabbed the end of a roll and bought up every last inch of it, which ended up being.. 3 yards? Or 9 feet. We had just barely enough to get the job done.  Fortunately we were able to stretch it across the seats. I also discovered when stretching the fabric across, that there are probably some methods to hide creases and such. If I had thought about it enough I could have reinvented the wheel and figured out how to do it (or watched a youtube video).. instead we opted to just muscle it and make it look good enough for us. So around 2am we finished up the seats and got them put back in the bus. We also had installed the backs (screwed in with a washer in place to keep the screw head from going completely through the fabric). Winston is inspecting our work making sure it’s up to his high standards.

So. Seats are in and installed. You can actually sit down in the bus. It’s 2am. Shit. We’re supposed to tailgate tomorrow. No beer, no food, no ice. Took a much needed break and ran to the local Wally world to stock up (they sell alcohol until 3am here). Unfortunately (for us) the night still wasn’t done.  Matt really wanted to get the ceilings up.  I really didn’t want to put them up.. but we got it done.  There is 1 section that is pretty long.. it took all 4 of us muscling it up and trying to line it up with the existing holes. We managed. Also, on the largest section was also where the electrical from the lights was going to come out.. so we measured and drilled some holes.. then had the fun task of sliding the electrical through the holes.

So the day started around 9am or 10am and ended around 3am or 3:30 am. In dire need of a shower after a day toiling on the bus.  Who’s ready for a beer? Big thanks to Rob, Phil, and Jacob for helping us make our deadline!

Tuesday lunch work

Monday night around 5:30 or 6pm at work our whole building and some surrounding buildings lost power, so we got to split a little early. The office is really close to the Tampa airport and our roommate Jacob was flying back to Michigan a little later. Our coworkers lost power at their houses a little further away, and we were worried that it might impact the flight. Fortunately the airport didn’t even know there was a large power outage nearby.

Anyways, what this meant.. was that the internet was out the next day at work, so Matt and I stayed home so we could get some work done.  Sort of impossible to do any work without internet for the most part. We had made some slow cooked Cuban style pork the day before and ended up having it for lunch.

After a quick lunch we got some work done on the bus. We wanted to finish up the rest of the subfloor which we were able to do.

So we were able to have a productive lunch. Next step is to lay out the floor plan a little bit. We’re hoping to stop by an RV salvage yard and pick up some tables and possibly some appliances. The parents are flying down this Thursday and we’re hoping our Father can help out with some electrical work.

The plan is to get some hard wood floors in before the New Year and tailgate the MSU game. Outback bowl here we come!

December 10th 2012

So we did some work on the floors on the 10th, unfortunately I was sick almost all of last week.  Took 4 days off of work for it.  Came back to work on Friday, and then worked the doors at http://www.thebricksybor.com/ for their Ghetto Xmas event. Anyways, we had ended up buying the wood and foam on some non-busy day and loading it up on my beast of a car (tied down with some twine and held on with the hope that we might stop it if it started slipping).

Matt had ended up staying home one day from work. Quick torrential rainstorm at work so I gave him a ring to let him know he might want to get it in before the rain showed up and warped our subfloor. Fortunately he got to it in time and tossed it all in before the rain hit.

So after unloading the wood from the bus, we laid down some red rosin paper and started cutting foam out to fit in.

The foam wasn’t too bad, we managed to get it pretty tight fitting so it wasn’t floating around too much. Music is always a serious consideration when we’re working so we have the stereo out.  We finally killed the batteries in it, so we had to plug it in.

We also discovered that our screws were going to sit too high on top of the wood, we tried finding self tapping metal screws that were able to sink, but all we could find were some with some low round heads.  So we ended up countersinking.

Like I had said before, the bummer of Florida winters is that you have great weather but you run out of light so quickly.  We ended up calling it a day around 6:30 or 7 pm. Don’t really like cutting when it’s really dark out.