This past week has seen things slowing down on the bus front. With the bed and the couch in, the bus feels more like a home. This has allowed us to settle into more of a life here than just the bus. It’s been good to have free time to do other things although it has taken sometime to adjust to. There’s still moments in which I feel guilty if not working on the bus all day, but if we are going to have a life here, it can’t just be all about the property. Anyway that’s enough of an intro, it’s time to get down to what we’ve been up to.
After the excitement of getting the couch finished on the Saturday, Sunday saw us take the day off and venture down to the markets and the local Taste of the Huon at the show grounds. We gorged ourselves on food and brought some honey and cheese and came back home to a relaxing afternoon in the bus.
Monday saw us get back into the furniture making. The plan being to make a wardrobe and a pantry to sit over the wheel arches. Again we had chosen an Ana White design for a cupboard. Although we soon realised that this plan was not going to work. The dimensions we were wanting to build were different to the plan.
Normally that would not be a problem in and of itself as you can just alter it. The problem was that the bus itself meant that each side of the wheel hub came out a different distance from the wall. This meant that each piece of timber would have to be tapered to fit. Afraid that this would alter the strength of the cupboard/wardrobes and make it difficult to add shelving we went with a different plan.
That was to create a box or cover for the wheel arches and build the cupboard on top of the boxes. To make the boxes we used some off cuts of ply we had from making the bed and the couch and cut these down to size. They were then pocket drilled together creating an opened ended 3 side box cover. The cover was then brought inside in order for us to measure the top. Using offcuts again we cut the top of the box and drilled it all together.
The box waiting to be brought inside and tested out.
Clamped and waiting for the top to be screwed in.
The wheel arch boxes in place, matching the bed.
Tuesday was a day off. Deirdre had a job interview in Hobart so we took the chance to do some errands around town. The plan was to buy some paint for the wardrobe/pantry, some materials to make curtains, a woollen donna and to visit the tip shop for some pallets for our human manure compost bays and containers for our recycling. We left town in the afternoon with the paint and quilt with some added sheets and quilt set as well. We also managed to get some pallets from Bunnings.
On Wednesday we got back into the bus and cut out the sides of the wardrobe. The plan was to bring them up to the height of the window so that our LED light drivers could be inserted above. With the sides cut we then proceeded to cut the top. Again this being the bus it meant that each bit of timber was a different length. Meaning the need to double measure and check the measurements.
The side panel of the pantry at the right height.
After the panels were cut we pocked drilled and then brought the timber into the bus to drill in place (it would not fit through the door fully assembled). With the sides and tops screwed in we then cut some pine down to length to act as back supports to hold the side square. Once they were all in place we then cut out some 7mm ply to act as backing for the pantry cupboard.The pantry was then put into place ready for the shelves.
Adding the backing to the pantry cupboard.
Wednesday also saw the solar company visit with their electrician to work out the pole positions and the cabling to the bus and shed. The look on the face of the electrician showed that the site was more than a little challenging. After an hour of discussions we come up with a plan. We would be getting 9 panels mounted on three poles (2.25Kw). The conduit and cable would be run on the outside of the bus with the switches coming in from there (not as aesthetically pleasing, but practical). The good news was that it would be ready for installation from the 4th of April. The poles being put in one week (allowing concrete setting time) and the panels connected the following week. An exciting prospect indeed!
Wednesday night also saw Deirdre’s sister Tara arrive for a visit and helping hand on the bus. After showing her around the place on Thursday we got cracking on the bus. Tara set about planting out our succulents whilst Deirdre measured and cut the wood for the wardrobe.
Once we completed those jobs the three of us then got to work moving the wood heater into the bus. It was difficult work but with some walking and lifting we were able to get the wood heater up onto the hearth ready for the flue to be installed.
Planting out the succulents ready to add a splash a colour to the front dash.
Taking the wood heater for a walk!
The McGowan sisters flexing their muscles!
Friday was another day off. With misty clouds and drizzle it seemed like a good day for a drive. So after working for a couple of hours on little odds and ends on the bus we headed for a late lunch an hour down the road in Southport. It was a chance to explore some of the region around us and enjoy the sights of the forest and coast.
Saturday saw us get back into completing the pantry and wardrobe. With both of them screwed into place we set about cutting and painting the shelves and adding a rail to the wardrobe. This hanging rail was created out of some of the overhead railing that was originally in the bus. Deirdre angle grinded it to length and we attached it using some of the brackets that came with it.
Testing out the shelves before painting. The pine under the third shelf is because all the shelves were off cuts and we had run out of wood the right length. The third shelf is actually two lengths of wood attached to the pine supports underneath.
Sunday we visited the Huon showgrounds for the small farm expo checking out some of the livestock and networks out there. We were both taken up by the prospect of Australian miniature goats and getting a couple of them to mow down our bracken. Of course it was all a dream at the moment but it is nice to begin dreaming again about all the things we can do on the block.
After the expo we came home and excitedly unpacked our boxes into the pantry, and bookcases. It was quiet exciting to see how quickly the place became our home. Most surprising of all though was that we still had plenty of space for more clothes to be brought in and future books and purchases. It’s hard to believe that in little more than 2 months we’ve almost completed our home!
Clamping the book case with my bum!
Next up the kitchen benches and flue and then it’s waiting for the tank and solar to be installed and we will have a completed home.