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Old 03-11-2009, 06:16 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Good to hear from you Rick! Thanks for the advise and the encouragement, they are well received

I got the RV door and the step, the RV was a high ground clearance 5th wheel so the steps will work fine for me. Now I've got to come up with a Bluebird for the skin graft There's an outfit in Rapid City SD that parts out trucks and has some buses, I'm going to take a look this weekend. The door swap is really the "technical" part of this project for me, I'm a general contractor with a decent shop and well tooled for the interior coach work, but short on steel fab skills. I'm committed to the idea though and it's going to happen (I got bro's with the right skill sets), my sweetie and navigator says she wants to ride up front during road trips! Besides it's just too dam cool an idea not too!

We are sub-zero again with 5" of new snow, so progress this week has been slow, took the opportunity to knock out a couple indoor paying gigs It's high 50's this weekend into next week so I should have the framing knocked out by next weekend.

Take Care,
Den
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:53 PM   #12
Skoolie
 
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Time for an update!

I've just about got her framed out, galley, head, secretary, wood stove platform are ready for the finish work with the exception of some filler studs behind the futon and a couple other places. I've got the two stateroom closets up but they aren't ready for trim out yet and the bed is just barely started. The wood stove sitting on the platform is my tent stove and I just ran the stove pipe out the window that's coming out for the RV door, the tent stove has done a good job of keeping the bus comfortable during this long, cold spring we're having this year. I haven't decided on the permanent wood stove yet, got some good idea's though.

It took a little bit to figure out how I was going to go about the framing, it's not as easy as it seems to get things plumb, level and square, there are many way to skin this cat, here's how I went about it.

First of all I decided to go with 7/16 OSB over 2X2 studs, everything screwed. I plan on gluing and narrow crown stapling the paneling and trim and the OSB will give me good backing anywhere I need it. The square, table saw ripped OSB also gave me a handy way to keep the walls plumb, which was a problem when I tried to stud out and then sheet.

I started by laying out on the floor deck with permanent marker, most of it was fine, but there were some changes along the way and some of it wasn't as square as I thought when I did it, but it's definitely a "must-do". I started by first attaching the studs to the bus walls on my layout lines using the steel body uprights to keep them plumb. I used pre-drilled 1/4" sheet metal screws to attach them. The walls running parallel with the length of the bus I call the isle walls. I framed these first by measuring from my layout line to the ceiling in a reasonable plumb fashion for height and taking the length off my layout. Then I temp screwed the pre-assembled frame to the wood floor deck on layout after checking it for square against the bus body with a framing square. I didn't pre-drill and shoot screws though the floor deck and sheet metal till the very last.

It was easy to get the isle walls square, I just temp screwed a square piece of OSB to it. Getting the cross walls plumb was a problem at first, there just isn't a good way to measure from the outside wall if you haven't stripped out all the wall metal. So I just ripped my OSB to the right width and scribed it. Once the scribe was complete for one side it was a simple matter to trace the opposite OSB panel, temp screw it to the stud attached to the exterior bus wall, flush the loose isle wall frame to the factory OSB edge and temp screw it in place. I double check everything for plumb and square once again, install the sheet metal screws and detail out the walls for the trim and casework backing.

I'm happy with the results, the framing is plumb, square and sturdy, without being overbuilt.

Den
Attached Images
File Type: jpg framing 004.jpg (162.2 KB, 3117 views)
File Type: jpg framing 005.jpg (136.3 KB, 3119 views)
File Type: jpg framing 001.jpg (195.4 KB, 3132 views)
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:01 PM   #13
Skoolie
 
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Pictures being worth a thousand words, I took a few of the framing process

Den
Attached Images
File Type: jpg framing 002.jpg (144.6 KB, 1551 views)
File Type: jpg framing 006.jpg (183.2 KB, 1553 views)
File Type: jpg framing 008.jpg (145.9 KB, 1557 views)
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:26 PM   #14
Skoolie
 
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

............a few more

The secretary was an after thought, originally the fridge was going to sit there, but we use the Toughbook in the field for prospecting and mining related GPS interfaced map work so it seemed a good idea to have a dedicated work area. I temp screwed the top down, it's going to get Formica when I do the galley counter top.

I had a bunch of really "clever" galley idea's but in the end went straight up simple. I pondered the counter top height issue for quite a while (at least 4 beers) and finally decided to flush the top to the windows to get a good view in every direction. There's going to be upper cabinets above the galley and also above the futon, that's going to sit where my chop saw is set up, butting up next to the secretary, I'm doing those during trim out to get all the shop work done at the same time.

All the cabinet cases and walls are going to get paneled with a paint grade beaded paneling, the door and drawer fronts are going to be stain grade pine and the head door is going to be a stain grade louvered bi-fold. The stateroom closets are going to be AC plywood, paint grade inserts , fitted with shelves and clothes rods before installation. There are going to be a few of these pre-built AC plywood inserts on trim out.

I'm going to hit the stateroom hard tomorrow and will likely get most of it done, but there's quite a bit going on back there and I haven't got it all worked out yet.

Den
Attached Images
File Type: jpg framing 013.jpg (216.6 KB, 1558 views)
File Type: jpg framing 012.jpg (198.9 KB, 1558 views)
File Type: jpg framing 014.jpg (169.9 KB, 1560 views)
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:34 PM   #15
Skoolie
 
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

I'm getting pretty amped up about the trim and finish out I can see the light at the end of the tunnel

I haven't done anything to the exterior since the window fills, we've had quite a bit of rain and snow for the last month and I don't want to start the exterior door till the weather is steady.

Den
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:27 AM   #16
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Ah, you sure do good work!
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:27 AM   #17
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

WOW!
If i send you a plane ticket and my wife feeds you, when can you come and do mine?

Very nice work, I copied all your pics so I will have some refrence to look at when I finally get to that stage. I have a question. In the pic of the window fillers, it shows them bent on two sides. did you seal and then push flush with outside trim?

I have had my bus for a month and am still trying to get the de-construction done.

Keep the updates comming!

Scott
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:35 PM   #18
Skoolie
 
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbusser
WOW!
If i send you a plane ticket and my wife feeds you, when can you come and do mine?

Very nice work, I copied all your pics so I will have some refrence to look at when I finally get to that stage. I have a question. In the pic of the window fillers, it shows them bent on two sides. did you seal and then push flush with outside trim?

I have had my bus for a month and am still trying to get the de-construction done.

Keep the updates comming!

Scott
I should probably get mine done first

Concerning the window fillers, that's exactly what I did and screwed them from outside in off a ladder. I was working by myself so I used parallel jawed, wood screw clamps, clamped to the wall struts on the inside to keep the insert from bowing in while I was pre-drilling. It went pretty fast I got all but two done (ran out of metal) in about 4 hours by myself including popping out the windows and scraping out all the old sealer with a beater wood chisel. The order you screw the inserts in has a lot to do with how tight they end up. Screw the bottom flange in first and then work up both sides and do the top last. I put three screws on each side and worked my way up evenly going from side to side. On the first one I tried to pre-drill all the side holes and then run in the screws it "wrinkled" the insert so I drilled the hole and then shot the screw, drilled the next hole and shot the screw and finished up by going back inside the bus and screwing the top flange in.

It probably looked like a Chinese fire drill, "I wonder why Den's running laps around that school bus?"

I got a little farther on the stateroom this weekend and pretty sure I got the "thinking" part done. The framing part goes fast it's that staring at the empty space that takes all the time

Here's some other framing pics. The pre-assembled isle wall frame for the secretary temp screwed to the deck before I temp screwed one of the side panels to it to keep it square while I was scribing the opposite side panel. Also the major portion of the cabinet and bed framing for the stateroom minus the detail framing for the cabinet inserts (not sure where they are going yet). Water tanks, tank-less water heater and two 30bls. propane bottles are going in that mess I've got the twin propane bottle mounting brackets, valves and lines from the doner fith-wheel, including the exterior access door that's getting cut into the side of the bus that has an attached sheet metal dog house to separate the tanks from the interior, once they are in I will vent them out the bottom.

The cabinet above the bed area is going to support a compact, hotel style AC PTAC unit that will heat and cool the bus when I have steady AC power and vent directly out rear of the bus with a flush mounted louver. The piece of OSB is just sitting on the bed frame to keep it the right width while I was framing the sides and made a handy place to set my tools. There is going to be a piece of 3/4 inch OSB on there to support the full-size mattress and I think I'm going to hinge it about where the side cabinets end so it can be lifted up from inside. There's going to be two drawers at the front of the bed frame the same dept as the distance from the bed to the two closets. Behind that will be storage and water tanks.

The headboard for the bed will be paneling to the bottom of the top cabinet and separate the stateroom from the exterior when the rear door is open which will allow access to the rear area under the bed frame that houses the water tanks. The tank-less heater will be in the side cabinet area apposite side of the propane bottle cabinet. The metal propane cabinet will be on the drivers/galley side of the bus for easy gas line piping to the fridge and stove.

Lots going on back there, but I think it's going to work!

Good luck with your project!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg framing 001.jpg (195.4 KB, 1228 views)
File Type: jpg framing 015.jpg (47.8 KB, 1223 views)
File Type: jpg framing 016.jpg (163.2 KB, 1225 views)
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #19
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Time for an update

Framing is done, done and ready for the built-in's, paneling, trim out and mechanical's. I'll get some pictures up next week, but it doesn't look too different than the pics already up. When I put the last bunch up I wasn't too far along with the stateroom and it's detailed out now.

It took me longer than I wanted to find everything I needed for the "Sportyrick" RV door conversion, but I got it in hand now. I guess I should say it's tough to find the stuff and not have to pay $500 for the parts and shipping. After hunting around this spring I found a small truck salvage yard pretty close that had a Bluebird they would let me carve on. Lots of the local salvage yards use the bus carcasses for storage after parting out and didn't want to sell windows or body panels.

I bought the 37" rear body panel, bi-pass drivers side window and the complete under body battery box for $60, if I pulled the parts. So I load up with generator, compressor, air chisel, grinder, sawsall and various cordless and hand tools and had at it. The body panel came off easy with the air chisel, faster than I thought, the battery box took longer because the bolt heads are hard to get too, it was easier to just grind off the nuts.

We're pulling out the bi-fold entry door and related parts this weekend and my welder bro is bringing out his truck Monday to weld in the 2X2 square tubing. I already have the RV door so we will cut out the hole for it as well and might even get it installed. I wanted to be farther along but I've been building more than I thought I would this spring so I'm "making hay while the sun shines".

I'll take some pictures of the door conversion and post them mid next week.

I'm pumped up now, this baby's really stating to come together

Oh and if it couldn't get better! The salvage yard had a really nice steel roof rack they pulled off a church bus, I bought it on the spot for $75, but it's 16" long and I have to go back with a trailer. That was probably the best score of all, you couldn't have even got close to the materials for $75 and whoever built it did a nice job.

Take care,
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:23 PM   #20
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Re: RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder

Cutting the hole for the RV door and removing the stair well went pretty easy. I decided to just remove all the rub rail on that side since so much off it was going to need cutting and moved anyway. My $20 pawnshop air chisel made short work of the rivets.

The stair well is tack welded around the top, has a few screws and some rivets. It's just a matter of figuring out which ones need removed and the stair well drops right out. The rough opening has a nice flange around it that I'm going to bolt angle iron to in order to fill in the floor. I started by pulling the screws first, then air chiseling the rivets and finally grinding the welds to drop it out. Dirty job but straight forward.

Cutting out the opening for the RV door actually was more trouble. I started by cutting down the struts on both sides inside the bus with a Sawsall and metal blade to remove the thin inner sheeting to expose the back side of the exterior skin. It was then a simple matter to follow along the strut with the Sawsall blade. Once I had the hole opened up to the floor I chased the plumb line down the strut with a straight edge to mark the skirt. When you crawl under the bus and take a look at whats going on down there, it's pretty common sense matter of how to attack it. I used a Sawsall for all of it, just switched out from short to long blades where I needed too. I pulled out the bolt in header above the window and cut off the "eyebrow". This weekend I'm going to build the stair well and set the door right on top of it, then I will finish cutting out the top for the door and install it for good.

Take care,
Den
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rv door conversion.jpg (216.8 KB, 781 views)
File Type: jpg rv door conversion 002.jpg (181.7 KB, 777 views)
File Type: jpg rv door conversion 003.jpg (186.4 KB, 777 views)
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