Originally Posted by BUSBOZO
Thanks Den. I have a good cordless drill driver, skilsaw, jigsaw and I will be getting a miter saw soon. Any other tool requirements you would suggest?
You will also want some "corded" tools 1/2" drill, reciprocal saw, circular saw and angle disk grinder. Hand tools such as what we call "bag" tools (tool belt) hammer, "Speed Square", retracting utility knife, chalk line, pencil holder and tape measure.
Sturdy saw horses to work off (good first wood working project
), large framing square for squaring walls. A 8' level to clamp to plywood panels to guide the skill saw for straight cuts (screw plywood together and cut both panels at the same time so they match) if you don't have access to a table saw. The 8' level is also handy as a straight edge when your laying out the interior. You really won't use it as a level since the bus won't be level. DeWalt makes a nice wood screw counter sinker for pre-drillng wood screws that I used a lot during the framing so as to not split the 2"x2" studs.
A table saw is handy but not a necessity, you can buy 2x2's already ripped and rip your plywood/OSB pannels with a circular saw and straight edge on your saw horses.
These tools would get you through demo and framing and most of the exterior depending on how enthusiastic you get with outside mods. It probably wouldn't hurt to get a carpentry book, Home Depot has a big selection and the "Stanley" or "Black And Decker" books look pretty good, if for nothing else than to keep you safe and for the instruction on how the tools are best used.
My advice is to take your time with layout and design, get a nice coat of white sealer on your plywood floor and then use your chalk line, square and 8' level (straight edge) with blue chalk (easy to remove with a damp rag) to snap out your proposed walls. If you have your appliances set them in their place, if not use some cardboard cutouts. Put some yard chairs where you are going to have your seating, put a 5 gallon pail where your going to have your pooper. Mock up the whole thing the best you can BEFORE you start framing. Working out designs on paper is fine but you won't really have a good perspective till you mock it up.
Keep in mind the lines you chalk out will be finished walls, when you do final layout for framing you will need to account for the plywood/OSB and paneling thickness or your finished walls will be in the wrong place and things might not fit like you planned.
Frame in the area's that are location critical fist, such as around the wheel wells and the bathroom stool and shower and work away from those area's. When you lay out for your stool and shower pay attention to the support ribs underneath the plywood floor, you don't want to be carving on them when you start plumbing.
I tried several methods of framing before I settled on the method I used with 2x2's and OSB (1/2" CDX plywood would work as well) and now that I'm farther along, I'm still very happy with it.
I worked a lot this summer and didn't get trimmed out like I wanted and still have exposed framing if you need some detailed pics, but don't wait too long. I'm about caught up with work and getting ready to hit it hard again.