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Collecting My Scalps

Recently we were presented with a pretty tight time constraint. Carmen’s family has decided to start renting the space we currently inhabit out. About a week and a half ago marked the beginning of our ‘month’ notice, and I plan to have Lucky water tight before that day comes.

No stranger to working long hours, I went work at 6 pm and drove straight to Lucky with intent to further develop the roof. Once I harnessed up, I began to do a lot of measuring. It’s good to measure twice and cut once, but for some reason I can’t wrap my head around the rather large dimensions we’re dealing with. I feel like I check forty times before I’m able to convince myself that I was right all along. The van is over half the length of the bus and  is only about a foot thinner. With the outside width at 75″ I measured 35″ out from center in both directions to find my cut lines. The plan is to leave 2″ of roof on either side and bend them upward at an angle to meet the bottom of the van. This will get me some much needed overlap for welding to, it will have a high success rate for stopping leaks, and requires no additional materials. Which I’m happy with!

I sliced those lines the whole 16 foot length of the van, but I’ll likely leave the front and rear roof panel in, creating about a 13′ hole. These panels left in will serve as high strength shelving, useful in egress out the top/back of the van hatch, and (I’m imagining anyway) the under windshield shelf will serve as a little green house for a plant or two! With the incisions made, I had to peel the panels off of each other. They were glued pretty well together and I wore my ass out beating a crowbar in between them.

I think tomorrow I’ll cut the shorter rib supports running the length of the bus out and strip the doors clean in preparation to welding them to the van roof. I’ll keep the ribs, but just weld them in a little further out toward the walls, where they wont get in the way. Tonight is a good night!    – Hunter

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