Monday, October 5, 2009

Sky's the Limit

Winter is coming in and I have other irons in the fire so I'm trying to get as much done on Molly as I can. The wood for the walls and ceiling have been sitting waiting for weeks. It was time to get to work.

I had saved the old ceiling panels to use as templates. I was actually able to get the fit so tight I was able to use the old screw holes. I had to hand sand a few edges to make them pop in flat, but that made me feel like a cabinetmaker and that's always nice.

Most of the window and vent frames are painted now, and I'm excited to see how they'll look against the birch and mahogany.

Here I go...

Although I always mean to, I hardly ever have the camera handy when I need it. The above is actually the last panel I installed. I used a wedging tool made from two pieces of wood I could join together with screws to make different lengths (for the varying heights of the floors). Of course it was padded, and with best padding in the world--a diaper.

The wood almost wants to bend to the cab wall's radius. The first piece I installed I scored along the length where the bend would be, then wet it with really hot water. I didn't do all that on the second panel and experienced similar results. So enough with the scoring and wetting.

Here's a shot of the stern:

The panel on your right was my first. I followed the templates exactly and for the most part they were excellent guides. But for some reason they were cut a bit shy of where the windowtrim will go, resulting in a dodgey problem. When I ripped out the original headliner I discovered two wood brackets designed to hold a speaker. There were already wires leading to them. Why they weren't ever cut open and used I'll never know. Maybe it was considered an upgrade to have two speakers in the back of the bus. Who cares? Fact was, I wanted those speakers. You can see where their cables drop down.

And yes I know the wood doesn't reach all the way back. Funny thing, the front panels are about seven feet long, while the ceiling space in the back is longer than eight. The original panels were manufactured to fit. But sheet goods are standardized at 4 x 8, so there's a gap. But I'm not sweating it because I'm going to build a cabinet that will span the space above the window anyway.

With the newly painted vent trim:

So it's beginning to feel like things are moving along quickly. One thing flashed on me from my contractor days: you look at an open wall for weeks and weeks and think you know where everything is. But then the sheet rock goes on. Where the hell did everything go? I used to take lots of pictures, sometimes even elevations. In Molly all of a sudden I couldn't find the metal ribbing. So I thought about using my metal detector. But there's so much metal in Molly's frame that it was going crazy. So I had to trust the pencil marks I made for screws off the template. It was gravy after that.

Always after a rodent-free-smelling Molly, I decided to coat the deck with good old Kilz. Jenna says it smells neutral now. Another notch.

And finally, for Bob. I meant to take a picture last time but then forgot. Here it is now. I love the bracket. Looked them up: $75.00 I would have passed. Thanks to you I didn't have to.

I have four of the lights, two on either sides.

As we move deeper into fall I want to wish whoever is reading stays well and healthy. Wash hands wash hands wash hands. And have a happy fall.