Rain was forecast for overnight with the highest probability between 4 and 7 AM. I think we had some light rain starting a little after midnight but around 6:45 AM a front moved through with intense thunderstorms. The heavy rain lasted at most 15 minutes, but while it was coming down I could not see past the railing on our deck. The winds were also very intense judging by the sound and movement of the Crimson King Maple Tree next to the deck.
When we finally got up Linda checked the weather. The storm front had already pushed into Ontario, Canada and it looked like we were done with the rain. Temperatures will drop during the day and we have some below freezing lows coming up the next few nights, but it’s November so we can’t claim to be surprised and have no basis to complain.
Linda left around 9:45 AM to go to the supermarket. While she was gone I worked on my iPad finishing my posts from Wednesday and yesterday. I made a few phone calls and sent several e-mails before getting to work on the bus.
One call was to SLOAN’s in Linden to see about having the lawn tractor repaired. The service tech said the normal turnaround this time of year is about two weeks depending what is needed and whether they have the parts on hand. He said that if I brought it in soon and they did not get it finished before Thanksgiving they would store it for us until spring. Given the limited space in our garage and the need to get Linda’s car in there for the winter having them store it would be a real bonus but would require the better part of day to borrow Mike’s trailer, haul the lawn tractor up there, and return the trailer to Mike.
The second call was to A-1 Upholstery in Elkhart, Indiana. Terry said the fabric was sewn for our spacer cushion and she was expecting the foam today or Monday. Once the foam was stuffed into the fabric she would have to stitch the seam closed. She figured it should be ready by Wednesday.
My last call was to Pat Lintner from our FMCA Great Lakes Converted Coaches (GLCC) chapter. He and Vickie live just outside of Elkhart, Indiana and found several pieces for an old Nutone kitchen counter mounted multi-function appliance. We have a Nutone power base in our bus that works and got a few accessories from Pat and Vickie at the GLCC Surplus and Salvage Rally back in September. They subsequently found more, and were going to bring them to Florida, but I let them know I would very likely be passing through Elkhart late next week and could pick them up. Pat offered me the use of the guest room, as he always does, and I may take him up on it this time. Given the number of places I have to stop it will likely be a very long day.
One of my e-mails was to our cabinet maker, Jarel Beatty, to update him on when I might be coming to Logansport and to see if he could/would get a 60″x60″ sheet of Baltic Birch plywood and cut it into four 30″x 30″ pieces for me. I then e-mailed Bill Tharpe to let him know I would be in his part of Indiana late next week and would drop off the antique SUN Distributor Tester at his place in Mexico, Indiana.
Linda got back around 11 AM and we finally got to work on bus-related projects at 11:15. The POR-15 and black spray-on rubberized undercoating paint seemed to have dried adequately overnight but the wood I treated with Thompson’s Water Seal was still tacky. The directions said it took 48 hours to dry but we don’t have that kind of time to wait.
We removed all of the painter’s plastic and painter’s tape from the cockpit of the bus and put it in a trash bag. I then drilled a 1/4″ drain hole in the bottom of each tray area where water had accumulated. The one under the passenger seat opened into a dark space but I was fairly certain it was outside the body behind the plastic wheel well trim. I could see the driveway gravel through the driver side hole so I knew it was outside the body.
The next task was putting spray foam insulation in a few critical spots. We did not need much for the bus so I sealed two holes in the floor of the bedroom in our house (under a couple of the baseboard radiators) and then added some around the back door frame of the garage. Once I start using a can of this spray foam insulation I find it best to use it up.
Patching the floor under the passenger seat involved three pieces of wood. The tray area under the plywood floor between the seat mounting channels is slightly raised along the inside edges of the channels. I had cut a piece of 3/16″ SurePly to fit between the raised edges and slide under the existing floor towards the center of the bus. I set it in place and slid it under the old floor while Linda and I help it up slightly with pry bars. Because of the geometry of the situation I had to cut about six inches off of the end of this piece towards the outside of the bus. I had notched this piece to fit around the drain line for the front AC evaporator, so it slipped in behind the first piece just right. The third part of the patch was a piece of recycled 3/4″ plywood that I had cut yesterday to just fit between the mounting channels. With that in place I screwed through the old wood into SurePly and screwed through the 3/4″ plywood into the SurePly and pulled it up tight.
By this time it was 1:15 PM and I was ready for lunch. Linda made hummus and onion sandwiches and served them with tangerine halves. A simple but delicious mid-day meal.
After lunch we worked on the driver side floor patch. The driver side was trickier because the patch has to rest on and span structural members. As with the passenger side I am trying to replace 1″ thick plywood without having access to material of that thickness. The plywood sold as 3/4″ actually measures from 0.707″ to 0.717 inches in thickness. As it turned out the combination of so-called 3/4″ plywood with the SurePly underlayment plywood was just thick enough to match the old 1″ stuff.
I had to trim the piece of SurePly several times and drill holes for the seat mounting bolts. The holes were not quite in the right place but I was able to trim it to my satisfaction and it was generally a good fit. We then used it as a template for laying out the same shape on a piece of 3/4″ oak veneered plywood.
Hardwood veneered plywood is more expensive than regular fir plywood but it has more layers and is dimensionally more stable. I had a piece that was flat and big enough to cut out the part we needed so I used it. After some minor trimming it fit properly and lined up with the SurePly layer. I turned them upside down, aligned them carefully, and screwed the SurePly to the underside of the 3/4″ piece. I then installed them back into the open area.
We now needed another piece of SurePly, but it needed to be larger and a different shape. It would be one of two pieces that would replace the 1/2″ thick top layer of plywood. I removed the old piece from the bus after feeding two wires back through a hole. We used the old piece as a template to outline the new piece and mark the four holes for the mounting bolts and the one for the wires. I cut out the new piece and drilled the holes and then put it in place. I was surprised by how much it was off. It needed to be wider and longer and the holes were not as well aligned with the holes in the plywood below it as they needed to be.
SurePly is not expensive but it’s not free either. It is relatively easy to work with, however, so making a second piece was not a big deal. What was a big deal was the cloud cover, dropping temperature, wind, and diminishing light, all of which were making outside work more difficult and less enjoyable with each passing minute. But we took our time and got it cut, and after some minor trimming it fit very nicely. I did not, however, secure it, or the 1″ plywood sandwich under it, as I needed the top piece to use as a template for the final piece. This last piece will not only cover the area under the driver’s seat, it will extend out towards the door and cover the landing. Once I have that cut correctly I will secure the bottom sandwich and then use floor leveling compound to fill in gaps. I will then install the last two layers of SurePly. At that point I will need to go to Lowe’s for another sheet of SurePly to finish the passenger seat platform and will probably get two sheets just to make sure I have enough. As much as I like going to Lowe’s and The Home Depot, each trip takes time away from actually working on the bus.
We quit working at 4:30 PM to get the tools put away before Brendan and Madeline arrived. They got here at 5:15 PM and she was very excited to see us and be at our house. Linda and Brendan got all of Ms. M’s stuff from the car to the house and Brendan transferred the car seat to Linda’s car. Brendan entertained Madeline while Linda got the inflatable toddler bed set up. Madeline went immediately for the cabinet under the sink in the hall bathroom where we keep the bandages and found one to put on. She likes cartoon character bandages.
Brendan hung around until 6 PM and left just as Linda put dinner on the table. He and Shawna are headed to Ajo, Arizona this weekend for a wedding. Their flight to Phoenix leaves tomorrow morning so Madeline will be with us until Monday afternoon when Linda takes her back to her house in Ann Arbor. Her parents’ flight is due in at 7 PM so Linda won’t be home before 9 PM that evening.
For dinner Linda made roasted potatoes and mock chicken tenders. She and Ms. M had broccoli and peas but she was kind enough to only serve me broccoli. I don’t think I will ever develop a taste for green peas.
By the time we finished dinner Madeline was a little tired and had a brief crying episode when I told her she could not use our bed as a trampoline. Linda offered to let her watch an episode of Daniel Stripped Tiger and that seemed to ease her distress at having been told ‘no’ which is a very traumatic experience for her at this age. She wanted to put on her pajamas and brush her teeth first, so Linda helped her with that. The two of them climbed into our bed and watched the video on Shawna’s iPad while I stayed in the living room and wrote this blog post.
When the video was over Madeline wished me ‘good night’ and went quietly off to bed. Linda and I lingered in the living room and I texted Chuck to inquire about their travels yesterday and today. I then went to my office for a while where I updated our WordPress site, off-loaded photos from today’s work, logged in to RVillage and checked the forums of various groups, and dealt with a few e-mails. I came back upstairs at 9:45 PM and we were in bed by 10 PM where I finished the draft of this post.