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Old 12-07-2015, 02:24 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Northwest Thomas Bus

Checking out any Thomas Bus conversions on a budget. Just got ours stripped of seats. Looking forward to any help and ideas moving forward.

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Old 12-07-2015, 02:59 PM   #2
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What type of Thomas do you drive? Conventional or Transit? Long, short, fat, skinny? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:02 PM   #3
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And where, roughly, in the Northwest?
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:05 PM   #4
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My son, let's call him Noah cause that's his name, purchased this used school bus from the Salem Oregon Unified School District.


I'd say long. If by conventional you mean what kind of seats? Then this is a front engined, automatic, with school bus seats.

Noah's been living in Portland, Oregon, "Where college graduates go to retire".
The plan for Portlander's in their mid 20's is to have multiple low paying jobs, none more than 20 hrs per week. At lease one job must be food related. If you can land a job in a brewpub even better.

My son and his girl friend also scour the bins at Goodwill. We're talking about the last stop bins before Goodwill recycles what's left. You buy items by the pound. They then resell the items on E-Bay and Craigslist.

Think jeans purchased at Goodwill for a buck then resold for 30 to 40 bucks. The best are the extra extra large sizes. Someone who weighs 400 lbs probably can't buy jeans in a store. These sizes aren't used a lot and around the house those people probably are wearing sweat pants. Heck I am.

In the spirit of earning no more money than it takes to squeak by, they plan to move into the bus by spring and live off the grid!!!
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:57 AM   #5
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In the spirit of earning no more money than it takes to squeak by, they plan to move into the bus by spring and live off the grid!!!


Sounds like the "New American Dream". Go for it!
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahmillercatapillar View Post
My son, let's call him Noah cause that's his name, purchased this used school bus from the Salem Oregon Unified School District.


I'd say long. If by conventional you mean what kind of seats? Then this is a front engined, automatic, with school bus seats.

Noah's been living in Portland, Oregon, "Where college graduates go to retire".
The plan for Portlander's in their mid 20's is to have multiple low paying jobs, none more than 20 hrs per week. At lease one job must be food related. If you can land a job in a brewpub even better.

My son and his girl friend also scour the bins at Goodwill. We're talking about the last stop bins before Goodwill recycles what's left. You buy items by the pound. They then resell the items on E-Bay and Craigslist.

Think jeans purchased at Goodwill for a buck then resold for 30 to 40 bucks. The best are the extra extra large sizes. Someone who weighs 400 lbs probably can't buy jeans in a store. These sizes aren't used a lot and around the house those people probably are wearing sweat pants. Heck I am.

In the spirit of earning no more money than it takes to squeak by, they plan to move into the bus by spring and live off the grid!!!
A Transit-style bus is what you have. A Conventional-style has a hood.

Removal of the seats is an arduous task that will involve a Sawzall, a grinder, a pry bar, a hammer, and a lot of new words that are not repeatable in polite society. It will also remove about 1400 lbs of weight from the beast.
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:21 PM   #7
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Rated Cap: 84
My seats came right out with a pneumatic socket wrench and a helper under the bus.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
A Transit-style bus is what you have. A Conventional-style has a hood.

Removal of the seats is an arduous task that will involve a Sawzall, a grinder, a pry bar, a hammer, and a lot of new words that are not repeatable in polite society. It will also remove about 1400 lbs of weight from the beast.
Same here, a battery powered impact drill and Noah under the bus with a backer wrench. Took about 4 hours.

Getting rid of the seats is a different story.

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Old 12-09-2015, 05:14 PM   #9
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No problem getting rid of the seats. I took mine to a local scrap yard and got paid a whopping 1 per pound, enough to buy lunch.
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
No problem getting rid of the seats. I took mine to a local scrap yard and got paid a whopping 1 per pound, enough to buy lunch.
How'd you even get lunch? you must drive a Prius

I am sure thankful for my back 40....
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:21 AM   #11
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From the first set of bus seats I shortened the seat back. The ones in the bus were high back, I'm guessing head rest kinda safety seats. These short back benches might end up in the bus as the dining booth, just missing the Indian blanket seat covers.





The back cushions are meant to set closer to the seat cushions. They are held on to the tubing with conduit brackets.

I'm making a bench for the wall side of our new kitchen table. The bench needs to fit between the legs so we can push the table all the way to the wall.



Yeah I do jigsaw puzzles, no big deal, I'm an old man, give me a break.

I was born in Michigan we played lots of card games and put puzzles together. The winters can be long and boring.
Plus I'm an old man.

The bus seats need to be taller, for full sized adults, kitchen chair height is about 18" to the seat. Also the bench needs to slide under the table.



The bottom cushions are laid back, but I'm thinking the bench top would rather be flat. So I cut up some the the extra seat frames and made it happen. Cut the straight leg and added 3 inches, then screwed a 1 by into the workbench at the height I wanted. I pivoted the frame till the seat was level and measured for the slanted back leg.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:58 PM   #12
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After a short delay, back to work on the bus. This is a shot of the bus at the start of the day.



We were having trouble getting the screws out with a drill motor. The torque gun worked much better. Overhead gets pretty tiring after a short time, so I brought the bench I'm making to get closer.



The underside of the roof looks great, no rust so far. This bus isn't that old and I wasn't expecting rust. The wiring for lights and speakers was taped up, then fiberglass insulation, then the perforated sheet metal.
Dumped the sheet metal in the recycling center and trashed the insulation. They read that the fiberglass would off gas forever, but whatever. I would have left it in place along with the sheet metal and paneled over it.

:dunno: Not my project.

I was hoping to use the sheet metal for another project, but my son reminded me that mom probably wouldn't appreciate more material storage in our backyard. We are already storing the seat frames, they are going to the scrapper. Hoping to get some money out of them.



This is the end of the day shot. Note the wall panel angled off the wall. We don't have access to power at the storage lot, so it's cordless all the way. The cordless grinder went through 3 batteries and one grinding wheel to get 3 panels off. The wall panels are spot welded to the window frame and you have to take the windows out to get to the spot welds. We are just cutting them close to the frame for now.
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