Gutting the bus was no easy business. But it was nothing compared to laying out a several-hundred-pound sheet of roofing rubber on the top. It wasn’t just heavy, either. It was blistering hot, absolutely enormous, it involved noxious chemical adhesives, and I had to make all the right cuts the very first time, or I would have to go out any buy an entirely new roll (also, not the cheapest material in the world.
To get the seats out of the bus, was only half the issue. Getting rid of them was also going to be a part of my challenge. Good thing Craig’s List still has some good souls around. I actually had a pretty difficult time unbolting some of the legs around areas of high traffic. The rust that was built up was due mostly to picking up passangers over the years who clearly had some muck on their boots.
When Craig’s List came through, it delivered to me a nice older gentleman named Bob, who, as luck would have it, not only had a need for a metric shit ton of shuttle bus seats, but also had a box truck in which to cart them off. If that wasn’t enough, he even came prepared with some griding bits and together we took care of all the seats.
I kept five in total – four to create a kitchen table (that I will talk about in a later video) and one with an arm rest that I will be saving for a passenger’s seat – also which I will be discussing later. That one is actually going to go on top of the battery bank that stores the solar power that I have planned. Oh, I’m looking forward to some serious fun.
It’s hard to tell by all of this post-apocalyptic scenery that I actually have a vision for what the bus will look like at the end of all of this work. But I see good things.
To get the ball rolling, I had to gut the bus. This meant the seats, the ceiling and even some hardware on the walls and in some of the nooks.
First, the seats. Then the ceiling. The ceiling was actually a pretty big challenge. Not only was it in such bad shape that I literally had to rebuild much of it, bolting jerry-rigged plywood to the underside of the ceiling just to avoid larger supports that might later hinder my placement of insulation. But it was so hazardous, in fact, that I canceled my filming plans. It wasn’t just dusty and grimy, there were pockets of water that would suddenly gush down from the rafters once I got certain parts of it unscrewed. There was also this nasty chemical glue left behind. It was so thick in some places I couldn’t even get the wood down from where it was connected. It was in pretty bad shape. Hence, the hard work on laying out an entire sheet of EPDM rubber.
EPMD rubber is an interesting, if jarring material to work with. First off, it’s insanely heavy. It’s the same material that they roof office buildings with. It’s several milimeters thick, too. So nothing is getting through this sheet unless I mean for it to. This would be the material I decided on using to keep from having to plug all the holes.
Unfortunately, this also meant supporting the roof with all new plywood sheeting. In the end, all the hard work would be worth it. But in the mid-summer heat, I’d find myself questioning that logic several times over.
Another challenge of this material is that it requires a special kind of glue. The company that makes it, also makes its EPDM glue counterpart. It’s basically that shit that Batman dropped the Joker into in Tim Burton’s 1989 rendition of the DC cult classic
The tricky part is that once in position, the glue must be applied immediately before unrolling the rubber. Once it’s set, the only thing getting it off is a heavy construction crane.
So, first: it’s heavy. Next, you must cut exactly what you need BEFORE bringing it up to the roof – which means precise measurements on the ground. Then it has to be unrolled, measured for one final round before the glue goes on, and then rolled back up to make room for the lathering process.
Once that starts happening, it must be unrolled inch by inch, being mindful of not only the precision of the lay, but also the coverage of the glue. It’s basically mindboggling that anyone gets this right. Even moreso that I did it right the very first time.
In the middle of everything, it started raining. Ugh! But you’ll see all that on the vide. Enjoy!
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