Linda was back at the bakery today, so she was up early and gone before I even thought about getting out of bed. Having her homemade granola as our standard breakfast means I can feed myself under such circumstances with very little time spent on preparation and cleanup. I made a cup of Stash China Black tea instead of coffee; it’s quicker and cleaner. I like tea, and only started drinking coffee at age 50, but this morning the choice was motivated by ease and quickness of preparation and minimal cleanup as I was anxious to get busy working on the bus.
My focus today was getting the areas in the cockpit where I cut out the old water-damaged plywood ready for the installation of new wood. That meant getting POR-15 applied to the areas of rusted metal in the cockpit and spray painting over it with black rubberized undercoating paint. I also wanted to start cutting and fitting the wood pieces that I will use to patch the floor. I finished building a pair of sawhorses and set them up in the driveway just outside the large garage door so I could measure, mark, and cut wood at waist height. I was working on one of the pieces when the whole house generator came on at noon, ran its exercise cycle, and shut down 20 minutes later. Shortly thereafter I heard the rumble of a big truck coming down the road and a few seconds after that Phil’s truck and trailer drove past.
Phil drove to the west end of the property, turned around, and parked down there. He brought his Takeuchi front loader and used it to spread the large pile of topsoil around the part of our yard where the French drain starts. He filled in low spots and graded everything off to blend in nicely. He then worked his way up the drain line towards the culvert that goes under the road. When Phil was done moving dirt around he spread grass seed and loosely distributed three bales of straw. That gave him a good idea of how much more straw he would need.
I eventually took a break and walked down to chat with him in the middle of all that work. He finished moving some dirt and also took a break for lunch. He will have a load of screened topsoil delivered as soon as he can to use on both sides of the new gravel driveway. He also clarified that the 40 foot parking pad portion of the driveway is probably not flat/level as it is not finished yet. When he places and grades the topsoil his equipment will tear up the driveway a bit. He will then use his bulldozer to finish the driveway, making sure the pad is flat and level. That was a relief as I thought he was done and I was fairly certain the pad was not flat or level.
By 2:30 PM I finally had the areas of rusted metal prepared and masked off with painter’s plastic. I applied the POR-15 with a foam brush. In spite of being careful I got some on my hands and in retrospect should have worn disposable gloves. The only way to get this product off of things, including skin, is with the POR-15 solvent, which I had failed to purchase. Once dry it is permanent, so my right hand is going to look like I just changed the oil on the bus until the old skin gets replaced with new. The drying time for the POR-15 is 2 to 6 hours. The afternoon high temperature was 72 degrees F so I figured I would check at 4:30 PM. The directions said I could paint it while it was still tacky as long as it set enough not to transfer.
Linda got home around 3:30 PM and changed into her work clothes. Phil was still here working but we left him alone. The weather forecast for overnight and into tomorrow was for rain, possibly heavy, so we did not want to cause any delay in Phil’s work. I had cut and fit four pieces of wood earlier. We put painter’s plastic over the sawhorses and laid them out bottom sides up. Linda put 2×4 blocks under them to get the edges off of the plastic and I coated them with Thompson’s Water Seal. I am doing what I can to protect this new wood from water damage.
I needed to finish masking off the cockpit with painter’s plastic before spraying the black rubberized undercoating paint so Linda helped me with that. The plastic is very thin and much easier to handle with two people. While we were doing that Phil drove past. We took a break and walked down to west end of the property to see what Phil had accomplished today. Back in the bus we had the area masked off to my satisfaction by 4:45 PM.
The base of my thumbs were bothering me (arthritis) so Linda shook the paint can for the required three minutes. Although the light was fading due to the hour of the day and the cloud cover, I was still able to see well enough to spray the paint where needed. That was the end of our work for the day, except for cleaning up, and I was satisfied with what we had accomplished. We put some painter’s tape over three areas where we thought water might be getting in and then started putting everything away.
The wood pieces we treated with Thompson’s Water Seal were still wet so I picked them up from underneath and carried them into the back of the garage. Linda brought the blocks in and set them on the floor and I put the pieces back on top of the blocks. The directions said to allow at least 48 hours for drying but I plan to flip them over and coat the other side tomorrow if possible. We are running out of time and I cannot wait two days to seal the other side and then another two days for it to dry. We put the various tools away, removed the plastic from the sawhorses, and moved the 2×4 stringers and the sawhorses into the small garage bay. It was 5:45 PM when we closed up the garage and it was getting dark, a clear reminder that summer was behind us and winter was approaching.
We relaxed for a while before dinner. Linda made a nice salad and reheated the whole wheat linguini she made the other night. We opened the bottle of Frey Natural White wine to try it. I liked it even less than their Natural Red, if that’s possible. It was very dry and since I do not care for dry wines I was not able to judge its other qualities. Linda did not care for it either, and she tends to be OK with dry wines, so I suspect it is just not a very good wine. I suggested she find a recipe that calls for white wine and use the rest of it in the dish.
One of our favorite TV shows is The Big Bang Theory. It has moved to Thursday evenings this season, so we went downstairs to watch it. The problem is that once we are in front of the TV set we tend to stay there. I use the time to multi-task and work on my blog post for the day, so it’s not a complete waste of time. Besides, we do not consider being entertained a waste of our time. I am enjoying working on the bus, and although some aspects of the work appear humorous in retrospect, I am rarely laughing while in the middle of it. I like things that make me laugh, and The Big Bang Theory is a very cleverly written show that is well acted and very funny.