Construction begins: Days 12,13 and 14

So things have been busy of late here on the block. With friends and family visiting, the days turning wet and drizzly, it’s been a little hard to keep on top of the blog. In saying that it’s probably a good time to recap on the past week with a split post (Today and tomorrow).

Last Sunday we meet up with a friend from Alice, Stew. He’d come down to check out the build, help out a little and indulge in some Tassie sights and flavours. After meeting at the local cidery we headed back home and gave him a tour of the property before catching up over dinner.

Monday was a day of work. Our first job was to remove the old rusted wood heater. Deirdre and myself had tried and only managed to get it stuck in the door.


With Stew’s engineering brain and a jockey strap we were able to gain a couple of extra centimetres by holding the door tightly in place. The three of us then inched the wood heater across the floor and slowly lowered it down each step until… well you can see the slain beast in the photo below.


Victory! The wood stove finally shifted!

Then we set to insulating the bus. Using the half broken foilboards that had blown off the roof we set to measuring and cutting. As the photos below show it was messy work. Originally we had planned on using batts but as we dismantled the bus we discovered that the gaps in the walls (50mm) were too small for batts (min 75 mm). The only insulation we could get that fitted was the foilboards (15mm plus air gap). They were not to expensive and easily accessible.


Team insulation at work!


The finicky part of the insulation. Cutting and filling the holes.

As it turns out, whilst not the most environmentally friendly product it was a fairly easy product to work with. And relatively quick work. We began around 4 in the arvo and including a break for dinner had the whole wall- bar one panel, which still needed floorboards fixed- done by around 8.


The morning after panelling… still some remnants to pick up but most of the panelling on the walls is complete.

Tuesday saw Stew head off to explore some more of Tassie whilst we got on with framing the walls. A job that was a little more frustrating then I thought it was going to be. I’d designed boxes on the weekend that we thought would fit perfectly and make it easy to cleanly attach to the wall.

It wasn’t to be. The steel that we were attaching to was not straight but rather slightly curved. This we had not noticed until the insulation had been put in. To top matters off the gap under the beam was smaller than that above meaning that if we used the box the floor would curve. After much discussion we decided to shelve the box idea and instead screw the frame to the side (as shown in the two photos below).


Deirdre working on the frame. Slower work than we thought but effective.



The first of the frame up!

Whilst Deirdre tackled the framing my job was to work out the back corner flooring. A task that I had been putting off for a few days. With a jigsaw having been purchased I figured it should be easy. First thing would be to clean out the floorboards properly and then get to ruling up a plan.

This was fairly easy. A chisel, hammer and half an hour of chipping away and I had a fairly even section ready for the next stage. The jigsaw: I began by drilling a hole at one end of the floor board and cut my way up the board, creating a neater hole. After this I measured the hole and drew up a drawing of it. I then used this drawing to trace it out on the mdf. Again I cut this out with the jigsaw.


Jigsawing away the new floor boards.

As we’re coming to learn often the first approach is not the best and the piece I cut was too small. Meaning: remeasure & recut. Deirdre suggested that a cardboard template might be better and more accurate and so after scrounging through the recycling bag I found a piece. An hour later- after some more drawing and cutting- we had a new piece of flooring like below.


Mach 2 floorboards, much better fit!

The rest of the day was spent working on the passenger side of the timber frame.

Wednesday we had planned to go up to Hobart to pick up the wood heater. The plan was to have the morning working on the bus and then grab the heater and have dinner out with Stew.

Again we started on the panelling. I worked on cutting the pieces to length whilst Deirdre worked on screwing the frame into place. By lunchtime Deirdre was on such a roll that she decided we should stick at the framing and leave the wood heater for another day. Instead leave later to catch up with Stew. My Dad, brother Greg and his partner Sophie were coming the next day so we could get the wood heater and catch up with them in Hobart and travel down in convoy.

So we spent the afternoon screw the wood frame to the metal poles to the point that by 4 we’d finished almost all the side frame. It had been slower going then we had imagine but was working out better then we had thought. With 5 of us attacking the bus on Friday we would be able to get the rest of the frame finished ready for the panels… that was the plan but well you’ll have to wait and see.


The bus at the end of day 14 (of work). The last few frames are cut ready to be put in as you can see in the bottom of the photo.


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