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Old 05-22-2018, 12:11 AM   #1
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The Life and Times of Buster Lewis

BUSTER LEWIS (sounds like a prize fighter, doesn't he?) has been in my parking lot for a little more than a week now. So far, the seats are out, but that's it. This process was easier than expected, so I'm counting my blessings about that. I left the seat behind the driver in for the occasional passenger.

Found the little rubber frog in the photo under one of the seats, so it looks like Buster has a mascot, right off the bat.

My needs are simple but also pretty specific. I need a solid stand-up work space for my laptop (I stand most of the day because I have severe Restless Legs Syndrome), a place to sleep, a place to poop, and a place to wash up. I need to stay warm, because I'll be in the northeast (dividing time between a friend's farm in the mountains of New York and the western suburbs of Boston in MA). I need good internet, because I sell online. I need enough power to keep my laptop operating more or less constantly, though I don't use a ton of other power. I'm not much of a cook but will need refrigeration and a way to heat things up or scramble the occasional egg. The space only has to house my 10 pound dog, Cowboy, and me.

One catch: I also need some open space, since I am a vintage seller (closing down my retail store in Southern CA is what prompts this whole thing). I need to be able to go on the occasional "picking" trip, as well as to haul some stuff to flea markets from time to time. This last part is a tall order when the total living space is only about 80 square feet. But I have some ideas.

Oh, and I want it to be cute. This part is important. To me, cute means furnished in a way that either is or looks vintage/antique.

But first, I need to haul a bunch of stuff back east. I'm selling most of my inventory, but keeping some, as I will still be making my living selling, though now it will be primarily online. Because of this, I may opt not to begin the build in earnest until after this part of my travel is over, since the bus will fit more merchandise if it has less fixed stuff in it. I'm not sure on that, though.

More to come.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:02 AM   #2
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Lots of headroom in that style.
Good luck with your build
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:48 AM   #3
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Decals Off, Bed Plans In Hand

It's hard getting much done on the bus, because I'm also in the midst of closing down and liquidating my business, which is incredibly time consuming (and kind of heartbreaking, so I'm not always as energetic as I'd like to be). But today I did manage to take a couple of baby steps.

First, I removed the letter decals from the bus to prepare it for painting.

Second, I ordered the plans for the murphy bed I'll be building.

Using a murphy bed will allow me to keep a fair amount of open space for picking and hauling, which I will invariably need and want to do in my line of work. I chose a twin vertical plan from loriwallbeds.com. it will have to be modified because it calls for a 78" height/length, and I can really only count on having 72" available. Not a problem when you're 5 feet tall, like I am! The plans look fairly easy to modify, even though I basically have NO building experience.

I'm hoping to build the bed before I have to leave, which is in a little more than 3 weeks, but before that can happen the floor has to be insulated. I'm trying to find the time to get it all done, but the bottom line is, if I have to sleep on a blow-up on the cross country drive, and do my build once I'm on the east coast, I do have that option. At least it's summer!
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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Floor Plan

Finally found a quick and easy app for making a floor plan. I don't really have a clue how to use it, so even though there are all kinds of little shapes, I ended up using the same ones for everything. Where it says "work dresser," the piece is a super solid oak piece with a somewhat low height and a great work surface on the top, with as lot of relatively shallow drawers below where I can stash flat pieces of ephemera (vintage paper - magazine ads, etc.) and the plastic and cardboard wrappings I package them in. The one that says "desk dresser" is a dresser with 3 large deep drawers that's been fitted with an old cubby-hole spinet desk top. The drawers will be used for personal belongs etc.

The back between the 2 doors will stay uncluttered when the bed is up, so that I can use the space for hauling. The folding table and chairs, of course, will only be out when needed. When NOT needed, the table straps flat to the side door, and the chairs hang on hooks above the back door.

What's not visible is shelving above windows on both sides, made out of fruit crates. About half will have doors that come down. Microwave will also be mounted up there. Above that shelving is a ledge on which I plan to keep narrow folding tables to use at swap meets. Now, to get the damn thing rolling. I have to be out of my shop in 12 days, and on the road. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to pull this off.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:42 AM   #5
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So, ummm... yeah. SUPER huge dumb mistake in the floor plan. I knew this was too easy.

I only put a wheel well on ONE SIDE of the bus.

The driver's side has an extra-long "hump" area due to gas tanks and wheel, and the passenger side has only the wheel, but I didn't put any hump on that side. Not sure how that would work. So it's back to the Tetris of how do I fit everything.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:51 PM   #6
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I have another suggestion that I think could also REALLY help - make better use of the space from your murphy bed. You've got a diagram with the bed open, and a diagram with it closed - but you're not USING the space where the bed was when it's closed. You've got this great, big empty room at the rear of the bus.

I know it's not a huge amount of space, but it's room for an additional table, or maybe a desk of some sort that folds away when you need to use the bed. What about a murphy bed on one side, and a murphy desk on the other side?

That extra space/re-arranging could make up for your missing wheel well.
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebuild View Post
Finally found a quick and easy app for making a floor plan.


What program did you use?
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:08 AM   #8
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39Henney,

It's called Lucidchart. I just used the free version.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:07 AM   #9
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39Henney,

It's called Lucidchart. I just used the free version.
Thank you! I went to try it and it looks simple to use! I need that.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:32 PM   #10
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What about a murphy bed on one side, and a murphy desk on the other side?

That extra space/re-arranging could make up for your missing wheel well.
Thanks for the suggestion but the empty space is there on purpose in case I need to haul furniture (I sell vintage for a living). There is a large side door across from the bed and I want to leave it accessible without anything permanent in place. I do have temporary items that go there, for example a big folding saucer chair (folded, it fits behind my clothes in the closet), a folding table that I plan to have bolted to the side door when not in use, and 2 folding dining chairs - haven't figured out exactly where they stow yet.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:48 PM   #11
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What program did you use?
Oh, also - the text is from a different app - Monosnap. Lucidchart probably has a way to label things too but I used one I already was comfortable with to reduce the learning curve.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:07 PM   #12
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Almost Done...

... Outside, anyway.

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Old 04-21-2019, 10:26 PM   #13
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Tour of My 4-Window Shortie - Video

Well, it's been so long since I posted on my build thread! Here's a video tour I just posted to my YouTube channel:

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Old 04-29-2019, 07:15 PM   #14
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Here's a video of the bus at night. Just mostly decor stuff, my magnetic curtains and so forth. Give it a look if that kind of thing interested you.

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Old 05-12-2019, 07:23 PM   #15
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E-Track

Here's a video about one of my favorite topics: e-track.

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Old 05-23-2019, 11:15 AM   #16
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I thought I recognized that bus! Hello, again!

I still just really love how you used antiques for your furniture, it gives it a unique flair! With the way my bus is planned out, I will have to make my own cabinets and counters, which is a bit intimidating. But if you can put in your own sink and tackle the problem with the Murphy Bed from Hell, then I can do this.

I can't wait until your next video. That last live video was a lot of fun, even though I think my internet had a lag in it or something. Thanks for posting it as a preview beforehand. I was able to set up a reminder for myself so I didn't miss it this time around. If you haven't noticed yet, I can be a bit scatterbrained.

Try not to worry so much about what others might think of you, it seems like there are plenty of us out there that like you for who you are.
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:06 PM   #17
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I thought I recognized that bus! Hello, again!

I still just really love how you used antiques for your furniture, it gives it a unique flair! With the way my bus is planned out, I will have to make my own cabinets and counters, which is a bit intimidating. But if you can put in your own sink and tackle the problem with the Murphy Bed from Hell, then I can do this.

I can't wait until your next video. That last live video was a lot of fun, even though I think my internet had a lag in it or something. Thanks for posting it as a preview beforehand. I was able to set up a reminder for myself so I didn't miss it this time around. If you haven't noticed yet, I can be a bit scatterbrained.

Try not to worry so much about what others might think of you, it seems like there are plenty of us out there that like you for who you are.
Hey!!! Nice to see you here!!! I was scared of cabinets too, until I did them! No big deal! Haven't had to make any counters, but that seems like it could be kept pretty simple... YouTube was not my friend today, took me hours to get today's video up but it's up now! Posting it here, too, because why not? See you Tuesday? I hope...

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Old 05-24-2019, 08:44 PM   #18
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That oil change video was funny.

All of the shops saying no, then Valvoline saying yes!
It looked like a Chinese fire drill when you pulled it into the bay there.
Glad they got it done for you.

You should reconsider synthetic oil though. The oil change interval can be extended from 3,000 miles to a minimum of 5,000 and up depending on brand and filter you choose.
This will save you money. Kind of a rhetorical question, pardon me I can't help it!: Don't you like to save money?
(I know I do!!!)
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:07 PM   #19
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That oil change video was funny.

All of the shops saying no, then Valvoline saying yes!
It looked like a Chinese fire drill when you pulled it into the bay there.
Glad they got it done for you.

You should reconsider synthetic oil though. The oil change interval can be extended from 3,000 miles to a minimum of 5,000 and up depending on brand and filter you choose.
This will save you money. Kind of a rhetorical question, pardon me I can't help it!: Don't you like to save money?
(I know I do!!!)
Well the change interval for diesel is already 5,000+, and at 3x the cost, I dunno. Is it going to extend my engine life three times? I don't think so. I will reconsider (only because you asked so nice) but I'm set for the near future now.

Those Valvoline guys were in love with the bus. Especially the young guy who did the bulk of the work. He wants one for himself.

The funny thing is, I had to reconstruct one of the phone conversations since my phone ran out of space the first time. And when I called them up with the recorder going, the guy not only said yes but said he had a discount coupon for diesel oil changes he would give me. It kinda blew the story line and I'd already gone to Valvoline by then, so I left it out. But I may check them out next time. I couldn't believe he was saying yes - the other manager had been adamant that I wouldn't fit!
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:38 PM   #20
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As you are keenly aware, engine oil is a subject where everyone has their own opinion on and some stink, literally!

Without exception, , here's mine: I've been using Amsoil 100% synthetic lubricants in every vehicle I've owned for the past 30 years. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to save money, and get longer engine life from their vehicles.

While the initial cost to switch to synthetic is higher than conventional "Dino" oil, it has saved me so much $$ in the past 30+ years in not having the hassle of changing oil 3~4 times/year.

The Amsoil company has been manufacturing automotive oils longer than any other synthetic oil manufacturer in the world.
Not sure what type of oil you're using in your bus, but they carry every weight of automotive oil known for 99.9% of vehicles on the road today.

I'm glad to hear you have some time now to not have to rush into getting your bus's oil changed anytime soon.
Check this out in its entirety if/when you have a few minutes. The service life that is called out for diesel heavy duty on/off road might surprise you:https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-produ...ullDescription
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