Hi Y'all, i figure it's about time i start a thread to show yas how my fun bus project is going.
First some history: i've owned the bus for almost ten years, using it as a 'spare room', towing it when i moved to another house (did that 3 times)
The interior has a bathroom, couch/bed and full kitchen. the conversion was done in the eighties i'm guessing.
A couple lived in the bus in Whistler, BC for 6 yrs. When i bought the bus off them, they told me how the condensation would be dripping off the ceiling when they'd wake in the morning. There was considerable wood rot around the windows.
We are installing a hobbit woodstove (should be here next week), a stock tank bathtub, new toilet, we'll build a new bed, and install another captains chair. Also putting in new flooring, new wood on the walls, and the ceiling, and kitchen counters .... a Full Resto!
We plan on travelling far and wide , and hope to live in the bus one day. (kids will be done school in about 5 years)
I'm 6'5" tall, and i wanted to give myself some head room in the bus. i considered a few different roof raising techniques, but i kept coming back to the idea of welding a vehicle on top of the bus. i'm an artist by trade, my usual medium is glass, ... but metal working couldn't be so different, right?? ha. i had some learning to do!
my neighbour's helped me out a ton(he's a retired upholsterer, who worked in body shops and hot rod shops his whole life) He's taught me to weld, (wire feed mig) and helped me figure out what and how to do it. (Thanks Harvey!!)
the car i chose for the top is a 1948 Dodge 4 door sedan (yes suicide doors).. i was looking for a nice body line, a sloped roof to match the bus. I found the dodge at a friend of Harv's, and the car has given life to two projects. the fenders, hood, dash and bunch of other stuff is going to a another friends' truck project. (so don't give me too much heck over cutting the dodge in half!) ha
i cut the dodge in half with a sawzall and grinder, removed the glass, and stripped the interior down to metal., welded the doors shut, then blocked it up and up and up and slid it over on a couple ramps onto the top of the bus.
my line was fairly close, but the gap varied somewhat between car and bus, so next i scribed a line all the way around the car and cut it again. i had to nip and trim a few more bits to get it to sit nice and flat. (not so easy with a curved bus roof!)
We wanted to have the doors open up top, but i quickly realized that was just too tricky/ too much work for my first project. same with the rolling windows. The four vent windows are all functional, as is the cowl vent.
Harv helped me at this point, welding the car to the bus. I wire brushed and ground it all to metal to prep, and he 'stitch welded' it, with the welds being every few inches in the end. (my welds were pretty good, but i thought Harv better do this part). He would tack weld it every 12 inches or so, then slowly fill in the gaps, so the roof metal wouldn't warp.
After it was welded i filled all remaining gaps with long-strand fibreglass filler, let it sit a day, then came back to sand it down. (i rough sanded it with a grinder with sanding discs)
Next day (yesterday as i type this) i applied bondo, and today i sanded that off. what a dusty job that was! i felt like Michelangelo looking for the beauty within the block of bondo haha
now i'll try to load some pictures.
as soon as i'm done the bondo work, i will put a some heavy duty brackets inside the car, bolting right thru the roof of the bus (probably don't need this, but i want it to be very very strongly attached!)
then the glass goes back in, and we can really start work on the interior