It seems like I’m always jumping back and forth between various areas of the
bus, never quite finishing anything. Oh, wait... it doesn’t SEEM that way -- that IS
what I’m doing.
I’ll claim that it is all a wondrous plan to finish all aspects of the project at the
The first part of the front cap skin went on today. Millicent’s “forehead”. This skin
goes behind the top part (the raised roof), and in front of the bottom part (the
windshield header), like shingles on a roof. That way, maybe the rain won’t get in
quite so easily.
This sheet of aluminum is a big remnant of .032 (or thereabouts) that I have had
laying around for a couple of years. So it’s easier to bend than the other material
I used, which is around .050 and seems to be a harder alloy or temper. Sure,
today’s piece is entirely flat, but tomorrow I have to do the corners.
Here is the inside of the top left corner of the new panel. I drilled holes 1” apart,
then transferred those to the roof and drilled those, and here I’m lining it up with a
few rivets backwards in the holes for alignment, plus tape to hold it there.
Similar at the bottom (just above windshield). Holes in the bus first here, between
all the old rivets (which are ground flat).
Then transfer to the skin and drill that. All told, there are something like 268 holes
drilled, plus most have to be “chased” for perfect alignment to get the rivets in.
These are 3/16 rivets. By fluke, they happen to be steel rivets, and Boy Howdy,
they clamp a LOT better than the aluminum ¼” ones. I’ll probably switch to steel
for the rest of the bus.
That was probably the easy part. The corners should be more interesting.
You may wonder about such a large surface being so flat. Oh, yeah buddy, it “oil
cans”. But it won’t after I install a bulkhead a couple of inches behind it, and
fill that cavity with expanding foam.