We were all up at 7 AM. I got dressed and left at 7:25 AM for the SLAARC breakfast in South Lyon. Linda and Madeline had toaster waffles and fresh berries for breakfast at home. The main reason I went to breakfast was to talk with Larry (K8UT) about a plug-in for WordPress that he recently found and though I might want to use for the SLAARC website. He purchased a five site license for the full version of a survey plug-in and was willing to donate one use to the ham radio club.
When I got home at 9:30 AM the girls were getting ready to leave. Linda’s plan for the morning was to take Madeline to the Howell Public Library. The library has a very nice play area for younger children and a good selection of children’s books. Apparently they planned to be gone for a while because they had a bag packed with snacks and other things for an extended outing. I changed into my work close and when they left I resumed working on the bus.
My first objective was to cut the final piece of SurePly underlayment for the entry landing and area under the driver’s seat. It was a large and complex piece that took me a long time to lay out even using the piece that goes under the driver’s seat as a template. When I finally had it cut and drilled with the holes for the seat mounting bolts I took it to the bus to see how it fit. Unfortunately I could not get it in. It had to go under something on the front and back and also had to fit around curves and angles, and it just was not physically possible to get it in place in one piece. It was immediately obvious that I would have to cut the piece into two parts but not so obvious how best to do that.
Linda and Madeline returned about this time (12:30 PM) and I was ready for a break. They brought in their “haul” from the library—eight books and five videos—and laid it out on the living room coffee table. The play market that Madeline likes so much had been replaced by a play kitchen. The librarian told Linda they rotate the playsets every three months to keep it interesting for the children.
After going to the library Linda drove to the Brighton Mill Pond so Madeline could play at the Playscape. Linda reported that Madeline has figured out how to pump a swing and is able to keep it going once someone helps her get started. As a special treat they went to the ice cream shop nearby and Ms. M got a scoop of ice cream. She did not tell me what flavor, but she said it had sprinkles on it.
It was going on 1 PM and seemed like a good time to have lunch, so Linda made hummus sandwiches with sliced onion for us and hummus on bread for Madeline. She washed off a big bunch of grapes and we all enjoyed some of those too. After lunch I read one of the library books to Madeline and then Linda read her a different one. At that point I excused myself and went back to work on the bus.
I pondered the situation with the piece of underlayment and finally saw what appeared to be a natural cut line. After considering where the tile would go, however, I decided against it. Unlike the tile on the main floor of the bus, which is installed on the bias, the grouted joint lines in the cockpit/entry are going to run straight fore-and-aft and side-to-side. I was not sure, however, exactly where they would fall. I needed to avoid having a grout line fall on a joint between two pieces of underlayment so I ended up cutting the piece that covers the landing at an angle. This gave me a smaller piece that tucked under the center console on the dashboard and a larger piece that tucked under some metal trim behind the driver’s seat. I was now able to get both pieces in but they did not fit properly.
I had used my last large piece of SurePly to make the original single piece, and it had taken me hours to do, so I did not want to remake it. I made any trips between the bus and the garage/shop, trimming a little bit at a time and rechecking the fit, until I finally got the piece to fit correctly. In the process the piece had changed enough that the smaller piece was now too small and could not be trimmed to fit. I searched through my scrap pieces of SurePly and found one that was almost big enough to remake the smaller piece, but not quite.
It was now 3:30 PM, and I still had some good daylight to work by, so I secured the floor patch under the driver’s seat. The patch consisted of a 1/4″ thick layer of SurePly with a 3/4″ thick layer of oak veneered plywood on top of it to make a 1″ thick piece. The SurePly was screwed to the 3/4″ plywood from underneath. With the patch in place I installed another piece of 1/4″ SurePly that covered the patch and extended out over the old surrounding wood, which was still sound, and filled in the area once occupied by a 1/2″ thick piece of plywood. I used 1″ self-drilling screws to secure the top layer of SurePly to the underlying wood, slightly countersinking the heads and pulling the underlying patch up tight while pulling the SurePly down tight to the old wood. I walked on it and it felt secure. There will be one more layer of SurePly and a layer of tile before the seat base gets re-installed. Bolting down the base will obviously pull everything down tight to the structure of the bus if it isn’t already.
Linda and Madeline spent part of the afternoon baking vegan cupcakes. Linda usually makes chocolate ones but I requested white/vanilla ones this time. She found a recipe that looked promising and used it. They needed frosting to finish the cupcakes so they bundled up and went to Meijer’s. They got back a little before 4 PM, frosting and sprinkles in hand.
I needed more SurePly to continue working, not that I was eager to; I had spent most of the day trying to make one stupid piece of wood and still wasn’t finished. The temperature had been dropping all afternoon and it was down to 55 in the garage, which was open so I could go back-and-forth to the bus. I still had the antique SUN distributor tester in my car and determined that I could not get 4’x8′ sheets of material in the car with the machine in there. Linda and Madeline put on their shoes and coats and came outside so Linda could help me get the tester out of the car. I then went to Lowe’s.
I had a nice QSO with David (W8DRD) from our ham radio club on the way to Lowe’s. At the store I was struggling to get the SurePly off of the top of the stack, which was above my head at the limit of my reach. A customer stopped and helped me which I appreciated. I needed one sheet to finish the driver/landing area and get the piece I need for the passenger seat platform floor, but I bought two sheets just in case the various scraps I have are not large enough to do the walls of the passenger seat platform.
I was back home by 5 PM and unloaded the two sheets of SurePly. I put one on the 2x4s across the sawhorses and the other one in the small bay with the other sheet materials. Linda and Madeline put their shoes and coats on once again and came outside so Linda could help me load the distributor tester back into my car. Linda said we would eat dinner around 6 PM so I started working on remaking the small piece for the front portion of the landing.
I used the original piece as a pattern for the edges that fit properly but cut it larger than needed for the edge that needed to match the other piece where I cut it into two parts. After getting it trimmed to fit correctly on three sides I put the larger piece in place overlapping the smaller one and traced the edge on the smaller piece. I took it back to the garage and used the clamp-on saw guide to get a clean, straight cut. When I took it back to the bus and set it in place it fit. Success at last.
By now it was dark and getting close to dinner time. I decided to leave the securement of this last layer of SurePly until tomorrow when I was refreshed and had better light. I had hoped to get this landing/driver floor finished today, as well as the floor for the passenger seat platform, but given the difficulties and frustrations of today I felt like I had ended at a good place. I locked up the bus and closed the garage door on my way in. I expect tomorrow to be another good day, but then if I didn’t, why would I bother?
I changed out of my work clothes and put on my sweats. Dinner was vegan cheeseburgers with a vegetable medley on the side and fresh pineapple. Dessert was vanilla frosted white cupcakes with sprinkles. After clearing the table I interacted with Madeline while Linda cleaned up a few dishes. She and Madeline then prepared the baked French toast, which has to sit overnight. As promised, once all of the stuff was done we went to the basement and watched one of the Daniel Stripped Tiger videos. When we had seen enough episodes we turned off the TV set and went upstairs. Madeline got into her pajamas and went to bed. I put a load of laundry into the washing machine and then settled in to my usual evening routine. I pulled the laundry out of the dryer at 9:45 PM and we turned in for the night at 10 PM.