1973 Blue Bird

Discussions about all things to do with buses, trucks, and the homes made within them.

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Roof air installed

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:43 am

A few years ago, my friend, Bob Halloran gave me a roof air unit. It came off his 1989 Hawkins motorcoach. It also has a Cat diesel.

He wanted to replace both of his air conditioners with new, better ones. Actually, he gave me both of the old ones and I gave one away and kept the other one in storage for a couple years.

When I got this bus, the things that were missing, from the days of when it was an emergency management vehicle, were the fridge,diesel generator, and the two roof airs.

Luckily, I had the one in the Dodge motorhome and the one that Bob gave me. Shawn and I installed them.

Fortunately, there was the 110 volt wire already there. In this picture, you will see the one I got from Bob. It is in the bedroom area.

You will see at the top of the picture, one of the four original bus lights that I disabled and then filled in with that bendable insulation.

This stuff was stuck to the metal ceiling with that spray glue called Misty. I only used one layer on the ceiling as it already has 1 1/2 inches of fiberglass insulation between the inside skin and the outside roof.

Having raised the floor 1 1/2 inches and lowering the ceiling, this becomes a bus where anyone over six feet tall will have to watch their heads near the roof airs. Lucky me, I am only 5 foot 9.

Oh, now that I mentioned Bob, let me say that he is an awesome guitar player. I met him in LA in the mid eighties. We spent many hours learning from each other.

I could write for hours about him. To be brief, I will just tell you about a festival that we would go to every year.

For three years, we went to a town called Goodnight, Missouri. This was in 2004 to 2007. It was called Love Fest. It was in celebration of Zak and Maura's wedding.

Zak put it on and there were three days of music, many bands,much food, many people, many golf carts.

Bob and I had already toyed with the idea of two people playing one guitar. We came up with a name for this two-headed guitar player: Bill Biffwinkle.

Here is a youtube video taken with someone's video camera. The sound quality sucks but the audience enthusiasm is very prevalent.

Bob is playing the left hand with the slide and I am doing the fingerpicking on the right hand. Bob had this shirt made that would fit both of us. I just watched it and it still makes me laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19XP8KjpWy8


OK, back to the ceiling. Following are a few pictures of the ceiling process.

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Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Galley ceiling

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:54 am

We started the insulating of the ceiling from the rear and worked forward, removing the hideous five foot long flourescent fixtures as well as the original bus aisle lights. Then we glued the grey trunk mat carpet onto the insulation.

In this picture you'll see that the kitchen and bedroom have been both insulated and carpeted.

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front ceiling carpeted

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:05 am

Here you see that we have finished the front room ceiling. Also to the right you will notice the first of the upper cabinets to go in. It is above the dog bed and matches the angle configuration of the dog bed, only set in three inches shallower, giving shoulder room upon entry of the bus.

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This is a view from the front looking rearward.

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Upper Cabinets.

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:24 am

Now on to upper cabinets. In this picture, you see an upper cabinet above the bed.

How I make these is as follows: first I measure height that I want the cabinet to be. Then I measure the width of the space.

I then cut on the table saw, that piece of plywood.

Then I mark out where the openings are to be. Then I put the blade on the table saw all the way down and set the fence according to my measurements.

I put the board against the fence, start the saw, and then crank up the saw blade, thereby plunging it into the wood from the bottom.

Then I run the cut to the mark of my layout of the opening. I repeat the process on all of the marked out openings.

Then I take a small laminate trimmer router set up with a quarter inch roundover bit and roundover the inside of the openings on the outside face.

Lastly, I use a palm sander to smooth out those roundover edges. Then will come stained face frame and doors attached that are stained as well. You'll see that later.

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Various front upper cabs

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:39 am

The side walls of this cabinet were tricky because they were not perpindicular to the wall. That meant a compound curve.

We measured it by cutting a piece of cardboard close to the shape and then holding it in place and taking vertical measurements every inch to come up with the final close fitting board.

We were lucky in the fact that there was room for small errors because we were able to push the wood into the carpet which is backed with that squishy foam insulation.

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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:46 am

Two views of the continuation of the passenger side upper cabinets.

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Postby Sharkey » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:46 am

Rudy, I missed mentioning it on the previous page, but you can always go back and edit your posts. For instance, you could have edited the post telling about the generator install to include the additional photo of the genset.

I may have to find out more about this bendable foam insulation. I had some curved places in the Crown to insulate and I ended up fitting in kerfed rigid foam. It worked alright on things like the wheel wells, but compound curves were really a pain.
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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:26 am

Sharkey, I will backtrack the generator photo. Another question is, how do I delete the photos from my first day of posting that i had put on the other forum? Thanks for your insight.
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Floor insulating

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:59 am

We move now to the insulating of the floor and installing the 3/4 inch flooring boards.

In this picture, you see that we started the floor insulation in the front room.

This is 3/4 inch stiff styrofoam board that I got at Home Depot. I just cut it to fit tight from one wall to the other.

Notice that the walls were also insulated with the same stuff. I spray glued the stuff on the wall, but just placed the floor insulation without gluing it.

Image
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Shawn measuring

Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:33 am

Here, Shawn is measuring from the first piece we put down to the instrument closet base.

We ended up keeping the metal frame that was there. It was used to support two of the car seats that were at the table.

We secured the wood to the frame by drilling holes in the metal and using sheet rock screws in to the wood from the inside.

By the way, in all the installing of the cabinets, we used the L brackets and sheet rock screws.

You have to make sure that your screws are not too long or you will pierce the outside of the wood, leaving a hole that you can not hide.

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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:40 am

And another piece goes down.

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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:48 am

Now, around the dog bed and up to the front. We also drew a center line in order to lay out the flooring boards. Beyond the front line, we used plywood and carpeted it so it would end up the same height of the finished hardwood floor. You will see all that, soon

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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:53 am

Moving to the bedroom, here you see Shawn, cutting in, to fit.

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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:57 am

Floors and walls are now insulated.

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Postby Rudy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:39 pm

Now it is time to tell you about all the free materials that I have received.

My day job is building the interiors of tour buses. We get empty shells (usually Prevost 45 footers) and build the interiors for touring bands.

We are contracted to build them by the people who lease them to the bands. Often times, after a band has had the bus for a little while, they may ask if it can be modified to suit their particular needs.

At that point, we do the remodeling, and the parts that we take out of there, go back to the leaser. Well, a friend, who owns a coach leasing company is just up the road.

He has a building that used to be a candy factory. It is 10,000 square feet.

He has mountains of parts that were removed during remodels. Mike is one of our biggest clients.

So he hears about this bus I am building and comes around to see it. He was very excited about my project. So much so that he told me to come to his building and take what I could use.

It was great. It was like going to a camper furniture store and getting the stuff for free.

Here's what he gave me: all of the curtains, The 6 1/2 foot leather couch bottom and back, the walnut raised panel cabinet doors that I turned into a wall at one end of the couch, a Sealy posturepedic twin mattress that is the most comfortable mattress that I have ever had, the two booth bottoms that have drawers with glides, and much of the plywood I used in the construction.

He also gave me a great deal on the hard wood floor. I got ten boxes from him. This stuff is 3/4 oak that is prefinished. The boards are five inches wide and of various lengths. They are tongue and groove. This stuff normally sells at Home Depot for $80 a box. Mike sold them to me for $25 a box. I sure got lucky.
Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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