Hello, tiny house and skoolie enthusiasts! We’re back at you with an extended update.
This entire project is a learning experience for me from all sides. I am becoming a better fabricator, carpenter, designer, and man- BUT… not a better blogger. This stuff takes real commitment and time. Don’t knock anyone that can even keep a WEEKLY blog. It tends to take a back seat to all the hard work and… netflix. I have also found that when a blog is not kept up, your audience can lose faith in the project, despite progress. Which is understandable.. if we weren’t to communicate in any other fashion, I may as well have went into hibernation after the big Aussie trip.
Surprising; to myself anyway, is the importance of your backing the project. We restore joy and confidence when someone we may trust or revere pats us on the back. That said, we simply must make more frequent updates, for everyone’s sake!
Check it out- Ten months in and we get our first bus pic together!
“Wait a minute.” You must be thinking, “I’ve seen this somewhere before.”
Please ignore the bitcoin investing meme and enjoy childish similarity between Lucky, our bus, and the space shuttle! As you can see, all that wretched van-roof-extension fooie has been completed. It was super tedious- and worth the effort- but I’m afraid I couldn’t do it all again. It was all several months ago now, when we rough-fitted and transported the bus to the barn. Several more came as I tweaked the edges and cleaned and prepped and welded/fitted/cleaned/prepped/yadda/yadda. It ended up flawless if you ask me. all the original seals and glass fit it their intended holes despite dropping the assembly twice. Once by operator and once by faulty equipment (4×4 cedar will not hold a van). I didn’t capture many pictures depicting my efforts due to the tedium, but I’ve got a few home runs to satisfy the detail oriented folk.
After this, I spray foam insulated the innards with Foam-it-Green (Free plug). It wasn’t the best bang-for-buck. It was straight up the best bang. With only about 2 inches of wall available for insulation, we needed to get a real quality product going. As intimidating as it felt, the products were well designed and I realistically read the instructions ten times too many. It was fun!
Pow. That easy. Thirty minutes of blog time, may two minutes of read time, and we’ve covered every weekend of my life for several months. Blogs are incredibly efficient.
It wasn’t all hard work. Cee and I went to Canada for a weekend. My bud Andrew and I went fishing. I built a Honda CRV to muck about in.. And i started an ultra budget race truck project for Bob’s bachelor party. I’ve got a thing for nature and for machinery.
With the insulation as thick and plentiful as it was ever going to get, it was time to put the walls and ceiling back in. Cee was instrumental in mounting the ceiling panels back in place. I knocked out the walls the next day while she worked her day job. In totally we used just over 1000 rivets. Pneumatic tools continually ensure our bodies survive another day. Panels were sanded prior to installation as preparation for paint. Cee painted the entirety of the walls and ceiling (not depicted) which was righteous after my time in the hole (err… on the roof).
Now we’re fairly recent- I’m not a carpenter, but I know a few guys. One of those guys, Zack, came in clutch with a bunch of out dated and rusty, but crucial carpentry tools to help me get going. My first project was the bathroom wall. We used the same OSB sub flooring we used previously, but turned it on its lid. I set my borrowed router to half the floor depth and cut a groove where I wanted a wall! It was set flush with the back door, with intention of accessibility if the front door proves too narrow for appliance ingress. Then using some angle iron laying around in the shed, we mounted the top edge to the ceiling. I drilled a ton of holes then applied the ol’ pneumatic rivetry equipment. (Rivetry may not be a word.) Then self tapping metal screws set through the OSB and were ground flush. A little box was roughed in over the wheel well for the toilet, nothing real permanent there.
Just this weekend I started on some real fun and thoughtful stuff- Cabinetry!
I’m using almost exclusively pocket hole joinery because it’s cheap, easy, fast, tough, and compact. I dont care that my drawers arent heirloom quality, but I also dont want a ‘van down by the river’ quality.
Anyway, I made a bed platform wider than a full bed, which will provide nook area for phone charger type stuff and started on the wardrobe. Slats provide ample support and airflow for the mattress; the wardrobe, ample height and space for clothing. Because I don’t know what I’m doing and there are a thousand ways to skin the cabinetry cat, I mucked around a bit with the design. Deciding in the end to use frameless cabinets with an oak structure and some real nice slides. I find this to be easiest, lightest, cheapest method. Then we can stick and old overlay we want on the drawers as the bus begins to tie itself together.
The learning curve felt more like a wall earlier this week, but we’re gaining real momentum. We’ve purchased a full size oven, we’ve had a fridge, need to get a pantry going.. and so on. This is an exciting time visually, with huge pieces of the bus appearing over night. Soon the space will fill and I’ll be knee deep in plumbing (I pray not literally) and my mind ablaze (oh my god) with electrical schematics!
Thanks for reading, we appreciate it more than we realized. – Hunter