Last week it was easy to see how much progress we were making. Getting the wheel chair lift out and the floors out was such rewarding progress. This week, things went a lot slower, were even more grueling and it's hard to see what we really did. This week was about getting the floors prepped for rust neutralizer. We still aren't so good at setting reasonable goals. We thought we would have the paint down by the end of the weekend... we're still grinding. We read on Outside Found that they ground the floors of their bus for 8 hours. We said "Well our bus is half the size so it will never take that long." Boy were we wrong! We are probably 6 hours into grinding and still have about half the bus to go.
Removing the Mounts and Nails
We went to Home Depot to buy a titanium blade for the Sawzall so we could cut out all the wheelchair mounts and nails sticking up. This thing was a very good investment. We got all of the mounts and nails off in about 20 minutes with the right blade. Now we are left with tons of tiny holes in the floor we will need to fill. Project for the week is figuring out the right product for the job.
Removing the Front Floors
Getting the floors out in the front of the bus was a pain in the butt. They go under the front dashboard so you have to cut them out or remove the entire thing. It's tough to get up there under the pedals and the chair and everything is at weird angles. The floor is held down by a piece of metal in the front of the bus as well. Taking out the floor in the front was hard on the back and the patience, but it had to be done. We worked together to fit in the tight spots and hand eachother the tools needed for the job and got 'er done!
Grinding the Floors
I worked for about 3 hours on the bus on Wednesday by myself using the small grinder you see in the photo above. After 2 hours of work, Craig's dad showed up with the larger grinder. This thing is AWESOME! 3x as big means 3x as fast! I wish I had started out with this guy! I got through a ton of rust on Wednesday, but even when you think you are done, there is still more to do. We're looking to get off the old paint and the rust to leave us with a shiny metal floor.
Removing the Caulk
There was sticky caulk sealing the perimeter of the bus. It was covered in rust and grime and needed to be removed so that we have flat edges to lay down the floors. This was a slow tedious (gross) process that involved scraping, cutting, and pulling the caulk out.
Keep on grinding! We're hoping to finish grinding the floors this week and then fill in some holes. Once the holes are filled we will be able paint them with Rust Neutralizer. I've never been more excited to paint something in my life!
We took a bunch of measurements of the bus at the end of the day on Sunday. We are working on a plan for insulation and getting a full list of materials we need so that hopefully we can find some second hand. I really don't want to buy everything new from Home Depot. I know we can find a lot of needed materials on Craigslist and from other sources in the area. We just need to look!
Hey there! I'm Karli
I bought a bus in October 2015 and have been working on converting it since with the help of my boyfriend Craig. We don't have any timeline for the project. We are working on it when we can and hope to get on the road someday for a grand adventure! I'll be blogging about the process along the way and sharing the details of our successes and failures to help future skoolie builders!