Spring 2017 – Bus Conversion Tour

After another long winter we have a lot of progress to show off. During the autumn of 2016 we were able to get the bus insulated with closed cell spray foam. This combined with the installation of our Dickinson Atlantic cook stove was a complete game changer for us. We now had the ability to work on our projects inside a warm building.

My Dad drove down to the Twin Cities to help me install our ship lap paneling. After hitting up at least 5 different Home Depots, I had finally stockpiled enough paneling to finish the job. My thanks goes out to the Home Depot employees that allowed me to sift through their fresh shipments in order to pick out the straightest boards available.

After gluing a sill sealer barrier to the steel frame, we used special self tapping screws to attach the ship lap to the ceiling and walls. It took a while for us to refine the installation procedure. Once we got it down, the pieces went together pretty smooth.

After a couple exhausting days of fastening boards to the frame over head, I searched for a smarter way to get the job done. I came across a product made by FastCap appropriately named the 3rd Hand. These simple devices made a world of difference. They allowed us to carefully position and hold each piece while we permanently fastened them into place. They will come in handy later for hanging painting and welding barriers.

My Fein multitool made another appearance. It provided us with the ability to accurately notch out sections of the paneling. We used it to bevel the hidden edges of our notches to allow for clearance around welds. This is truly a tool for the fine craftsman. I have a long way to go before mastering it’s potential.

Though the natural wood look is beautiful, we plan to paint our ceiling and walls white. We hope this will brighten up the small space and make it feel larger than it is. In order to achieve a smooth look, each screw hole will need to be filled with Rock Hard Water Putty. This stuff can setup quicker than you expect. I used a little bit of vinegar to delay the hardening process.

I hope you enjoyed this little update on our progress. We’ve been working hard on this project and have quite a bit left to finish. If you would like to help us out, consider shopping through our Amazon store. If you are attacking a similar project, take a look at some of our bus building tool and product suggestions. Otherwise, use our store link to shop for any of products you would normally purchase online.