Dismantling the bus: Days 6, 7 and 8
After a day of washing and minor frustrations on Sunday we got back into the bus on Monday. The front section steering wheel column, front wall paneling and the stubborn back seat were all on the agenda. In list format it sounds an easy day but as it turned out it was far from that. In truth it was our first Bastard of day.
Deirdre began on the front wall paneling grinding the rivets out just like we had done with the rest of the bus. Whilst Deirdre worked away in the front I took to tackling the backseat. My first priority was to remove the last bit of corner wall paneling. Once the panel was out we, theoretically, would be able to remove the back seat.
As luck would have it, it was much more difficult then I had imagined. The three rivets that were rusted on just wouldn’t budge and spent a good half an hour shifting and groaning and cursing. It wasn’t until Deirdre had finished grinding out the rivets that we were able to tackle it properly. 20 minutes of grinding and pulling and we finally had in then.
To make matter worse in the process of trying to remove the panel I twinged my back putting me out of hard lifting and pulling work for the day. That left Deirdre to carry out most of the grinding work whilst I did some lighter duties around.
Eventually after a few hours of grinding and banging and Deirdre cursing, in the words of her father, “come out you bastard” the backseat was finally dislodged and triumphantly carried through the door by us.
The bastard of the day didn’t end there though. Whilst cooking dinner we run out of gas for our campers cooker and had to make do with our primus stove. To make matters worse I then emptied half the spaghetti on the ground when emptying it out.
Tuesday started late. After the gas running out the previous night we were determined to get it filled before we put it off again. By the time we got back from town with new gas bottles and food it was 10. With my back still sore I was confined to light duties (boiling water, sweeping, fetching tools, making lunch) whilst Deirdre grinded the last few rivets around the rear hub caps and steps.
By lunch the grinding had been completed and my back was feeling good enough to help out with the next stage: rust proofing. With a new mask, wire brush and steel wool I began slowly going
As I was scrubbing away on the lower railing at the back I noticed that a lot of the tiles were lose and easily removed. After a brief discussion we decided that it would be easier to lay out the floating floor boards straight on the wood. So with trustyred, chisel and hammers we took to removing the back section of tiles.
By the end of the day we had around 2/3rds of the tiles removed with the rest to be removed tomorrow.
Wednesday was a mixture of a day. We had things to do in Hobart in the afternoon so I got started before 8 on the last sections of tiles. Naively I thought it would be an hour/ hour and a half at most and it would be done. I was wrong. By 10 we still had two big difficult sections to go and the big mess from two days work to clean up. We busily cleaned up and headed into town.
That afternoon we visited a wood heating place to get a new wood heater, touch based with a solar company for our off grid set up and headed to Bunnings to get our new flooring and some sample paneling. The wood heater and solar company were both helpful but more expensive than I had expected.
In Bunnings we spent a good half an hour or so debating the merits of different types of floating floorboards. Do we go Bamboo or Laminate? Where are the made? What is the cost? Is that too dark or too light?
Eventually we settled on some light coloured laminate flooring made in China. Not very sustainable but it was almost half the price of the bamboo, gave us an extra centimetre of air in the bus and was lighter in colour which would give the bus the illusion of more space (or so a quick online search informed us.)
We also picked up a piece of pine paneling and some dressed timber to build a mock frame for the wall. A tester as such for us to work out our final design. With the back of Brutus stacked with flooring and the panelling on the roof rack we head home through Hobart peak hour traffic excited for our the construction stage to begin. Before that though we had to finish off the removal of the, which we promptly did after diner.