It's another rain/computer day up in Northern WI, funny how that works huh? We've been trying our best to get everything up and bolted before the weather stirs up, and we mostly met that goal. Time to put on my remembering cap.
Sally doesn't like the rain...
11/05 (Thursday) was my last post and 11/04 (Wednesday) was the end of our raise, by gluing and bolting all of the hat channel. Thursday/Friday were rain so nothing got done. We are only skinning on sunny days to try and heat the panels up before bolting to prevent future wrinkling/oil-canning. Saturday we went into town to celebrate my (Nick) Sunday birthday by seeing Spectre, having dinner at the local brewpub and buying some bus stuff at the local fleet farm. So what we did we do on Sunday? Try to start skinning...
I believe The Journey Visvi raised his roof on his birthday with some bbq, rum and coke. No rum and coke was involved for us, just lots of frustration. We spent most of the morning prepping for skin (wire wheeling, scraping old adhesive, spray foaming hat channel, removing caulk and missed rivets). (A side note on the spray foam, ours wasn't expanding very well, but I wished we had remembered to do what nat_ster did. We ideally would have taped all of the open channel, poked holes in and filled it that way. We just put lines of foam in and it ended up being somewhat unevenly filled.) We tried to get a 5'5" panel into one corner of the rear cap, but we couldn't get anything to line up well enough. (We also realized the rear rivet holes were 1/2" lower than the side wall rivets) Once it got dark we called it quits.
Monday morning I decided we would have to construct the rear cap like Thomas did. Have a corner piece, two side pieces and a rear piece. I tried clamping 1x2's onto the edges of a piece of scrap panel to see if I could bend the curve in. It sort of worked but mostly creased the metal in a few spots. Luckily our neighbor/consultant was watching and suggested we bring over a piece, place it on two 4x4's separated 6in, put a piece of large metal pipe in the middle, and he would push down the pipe with his tractor bucket. I wish I had thought to take a picture, but it worked pretty well. (I can draw an example if someone wants).
After fabricating the corner pieces we glued/bolted those in, glued/bolted the side panels and attempted the ~7'5" rear panel. Both of us on scaffolding trying to hold it up and put self-drilling screws in without it slipping wasn't working so I rigged up some ropes/hooks to hold it up while we position it. We were happy the hardest piece was in, but unhappy we wasted most of Sunday and it took all of Monday to get the rear cap done.
Tuesday went better, but still slower than we were expecting, we got two 4x10 panels glued/partially bolted before it got dark. We put hooks onto the 4x10 panel, threw the rope over the bus, tied the ends to the ball hitch and drove the car away to lift the sheets up 6ft.
Wednesday was forecasted to be cloudy all day before a Thursday/Friday rain/snow storm. We didn't want 3in of snow in the bus so we decided to put all the panels up, tack them with self-drilling screws and tarp the front cap. We didn't rush out the door, thinking we would only be working a couple hours, so we got to work around 9:30. About 10:00 the sun came out! We were in the process of putting up the first panel and were kind of freaking out. We weren't sure if we should start gluing/bolting or continue with our plan, but the sun wasn't disappearing so we tacked two panels up and repositioned the bus for better sun exposure. We got the two panels glued/partially bolted by around 3:30 and repositioned the bus to get the final two panels up. Of course then it started to rain.
We managed to cut the edges of the panels to fit, raise/tack them, move the bus one more time, and tarp the front cap by 5:45. By then it was a steady light rain which made it difficult to see through our glasses.
I'll swing by the bus today and take a couple pics before the rain hits and post them this afternoon/evening. Sat/Sun is forecasted to be partly cloudy/sunny so we're planning on finishing up the skin this weekend. I still have to start the front cap, but at least we have a tarp for it.