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Old 08-06-2011, 11:15 AM   #71
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here, we are cutting around the dog bed. We are fortunate that my bus is parked at the shop where I work and I have use of many types of equipment and tools. One of my favorites is an Altendorf table saw. The angle cuts around the dog bed, however, were done with a jig saw (Bosch). Shawn did the measuring, and I did the cutting.


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #72
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here, we are looking towards the front. As you can see, we have fit the boards around the back of the dog bed and continued rearward so we could set the couch in here.

At the bottom right, you can see part of the couch. And, yes, those are my accordion cases still on the dog bed.

"Where do the dogs sleep, then?" At this point of the build, the temperature is still cool enough for them to spend the night in the Dodge motorhome.

I moved in to the bus a week after I got it, but it was a month and a half before I introduced the dogs to their new home.


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:19 AM   #73
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Re: Best Home Yet

So we have gotten around the dog bed and put flooring where the couch is gonna go. Here, you see the dog bed/clothes hamper. As you can see, I am already using the hamper.

To the right. there is one of the booth bottoms that support the couch. They are the only pieces in the whole bus that are laminated with Formica laminate.

Everything else is stained plywood, (the walnut wall being the exception).

These booth bottoms have big drawers and the color of the laminate works well enough with the stained plywood to render themselves unobtrusive, AND they were free!


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:21 AM   #74
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here are both booth bottom/couch supports. I built a face frame between them and made a storage area that houses 16-one gallon water jugs. You will see all this stuff in future pictures.


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:40 AM   #75
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Re: Best Home Yet

Now to the driver's side cabinets and closet.

At this point, we have made the closet side walls and face frame. We secured it to the ceiling as well as the base. We used flat brackets to secure it to the base. We made it deeper than the base so that air would filtrate in from the bottom.

Oh, I should tell you now that we got some 1/8 inch white Plexiglas and covered the two windows in the back of the closet with that.

We cut the Plexiglas to fit inside each window frame and siliconed the edges. We then put two layers of 3/4 inch stiff board insulation against that whole wall area.

Then we built the closet. You can see the beginnings of an upper cabinet.

Notice the metal door in the front upper part of the bus. It was replaced with wood, and we salvaged the All American placard by using a hair dryer to warm up the glue enough to peel it off without ruining it. I then glued it to the new wood door. Wait 'til you see THAT!


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:44 AM   #76
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Re: Best Home Yet

Another view of the instrument closet.


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:48 AM   #77
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Re: Best Home Yet

Hooray, now you get to see the front room that is finished. I kept the same theme of light and dark stains that were in the bus when I got it. Here is the driver's seat. We carpeted the side of the instrument closet. We put 1/2 inch plywood on the outside wall and then carpeted that. I drilled the rivets out from the Blue Bird Body Co. placard and screwed it in on that wall.


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Old 08-06-2011, 11:51 AM   #78
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Re: Best Home Yet

I always thought that wooden dashboards in Jaguars and Rolls Royces were cool, so I thought I would make me one. Here are a few pics of it.








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Old 08-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #79
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Re: Best Home Yet

Now we are getting to one of the coolest features of the bus. As you may know, the bus door is air actuated. Just push a little chrome button, and whoosh, the door opens. Push the other little chrome button, and whoosh again, the door closes.

I was so tickled when I first saw that. It sounded like the doors on the starship Enterprise. I must have played with that thing for a half hour. And for weeks afterwards, I would get as many people as I could to see and listen to the Star Trek doors.

Keep in mind,however, the doors only lock closed if there is air pressure in the bus (as when it is running). However, there is an air release valve switch above the door that lets you open it manually.

Now, that means that when you are inside the bus, there is no way to lock the door. When you leave the bus, there is a hasp and lock system.

I stored that tidbit in one of the boxes that my brain is compartmentalized in. A little time passes and I begin to wonder if the dog bed was such a good idea. After all, where was your passenger to sit?

At this point the gears in my head were beginning to turn. While I am brewing these observations, I happen to notice that there is a large gap between the bottom of the doors and the floor of the first step. Hmm! "that will let a lot of cold air in during the winter".

So now, a puzzle with three pieces was there for me to solve. I am always asking Shawn for his ideas about every project we undertake. Quite a lot of the time we do it his way. I trust his craftsmanship.

Well, Shawn was not even aware of this three piece puzzle that was milling about my brain for a few days. Then the inspiration came to me one day when I looked at the sliding floors for the buddy seat area in the front of some buses and motorhomes.

It provides a floor that is level with the rest of the floor, AND it covers the stairs. You don't want to fall down that hole when the bus is moving.

Well, the light bulb came on and I devised a way to make a rimmed edge around the top of the steps that you could fit a platform into.

WOW! Now, no one can open the door when the platform is in place. There is now a place to put a chair for a passenger, AND it will keep a lot of the cold air out. As I say, it is one of my favorite features.

Before we get to the steps and platform pictures, I have to tell you about the blackout shades I have for the whole front of the bus as well as the two windows on the rear door.

I had someone make them for me. They are two layer. It is black vinyl inside and the outside layer is a thick white fabric that is a sun blocker.

They snap on. In the photos of the steps, you will see them on and you will see them off. Much the same with the windshield.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:57 AM   #80
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Re: Best Home Yet

I thought that it would be tough to cut the flooring boards around the top rim if the stairs, so chose to make it out of plywood and carpet. In this photo, it is hard to tell the rim. Look at the top of the picture.


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