Finn’s birthday was Tuesday of last week so I spent the first two days at home with the family. On Monday I scratch-baked a chocolate cake, and then attempted to make “ermine” frosting, which tasted delicious but didn’t look as satiny as all the pictures showed. Finn seemed to be pretty happy with it, though. After dinner, cake and presents, I headed over to Brian’s house to hit the ground running on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday’s job was to haul the three storage bins out to the shed, pull the bus out, measure the void spaces, and cut access into the sides for each. Then we measured out the mounting points under the bus, transferred those to the bins, and drilled each one out. Using Brian’s floor jack, we got the bins up into place, and with a little coaxing got each one mounted up. The front passenger side bins need some adjustment but overall we’re really happy with how they’ve all worked out.
Thursday was Generator day. This was a lot more difficult because the mounts are on the side, angled outwards, and dropped below the top of the box by about 4.5″. With some trial and error we got the channel cut down and in place, bolted in two places through the floor itself, and set up the brackets.
Then we jacked the generator into place, roughed in all of the bolts, and made sure it all looked good before tightening everything down. When that was complete we put the panel back on with stainless piano hinge for easy access. It took a lot of creative thinking and even more difficult work in tight spaces (we bought a 1/2″ box wrench for the express purpose of cutting it in half to tighten one difficult bolt) but the result is pretty spectacular. Then we threw most of our tools, the welder and tank, and all of the metal we’d cut down last week into Brian’s truck and called it a day.
Friday I laid out and cleaned all of the metal for the roof rack in Brian’s driveway while he moved some stuff around in his electrical panel to give us a 220 plug. We did some test welds on scrap metal we’d brought back with us, and then we got to work tack welding the rack into place. He’s a much better welder than I am, so when it came time to square it up and burn everything in permanently I asked him to tackle that. Then we took a break and ran down to Rock Hall to re-measure the roof for feet placement. We’re putting them where the main ribs of the roof land so that it’s bolted to something sturdy.
We re-measured the angle I took last week and then hefted the aftermarket rack we’d bought on Craigslist to the front of the bus to measure feet for that as well.
Then we went inside to triple-check the seating measurements we’ve been working with (he ordered them on Tuesday) and made sure we’ve got the clearance we need, which all looks great.
Back in Chestertown I started cutting the feet with the angle we’d calculated but I was having a hard time getting a clean cut with a circular saw and a dull diamond blade. By then it was about 4:30 and I was powering down, so we got his driveway cleaned up and I headed for home.
The plan for this coming week is to get the feet and the rest of the rack welded tight, and then I can wire wheel it all, clean everything with acetone, and hit it with etch primer. There’s a bunch of stuff to be done on the bus itself—more work on the floor, adjusting the bins, and finishing screens. With the rack finished we should be able to mount that up this week and maybe even put the plywood down.