Les Lobb's Diary
Here's a link to the photo dump for our bus conversion Bus
Busy few days on the bus and it's coming together OK. I've put a link above to a photo dump of the work on the bus.
I haven't had much time on the computer, so will put some tunes on later.
Weather is still good but not overpowering and about right for what we're up to.
Dawn did the charity stall at the village mini market
this morning, so I got on with making doors for the wee
cupboards above the galley.
I'm soon going to have to make some of the off-cuts
into edge trimming which is not a long job once the
router and saw are set up, but a job I keep putting off.
Some of the Heacham rain drifted our way and
stopped us playing outside this afternoon, but we did
measure and cut the long timber that will support the
portside high level cupboards and hold the curtain
track. That is now primed and drying in the garage
along with the 'wee doors'.
Worrying when curtains are mentioned, because that
usually means the foreman thinks the jobs nearly
Didn't get as much done today as we had hoped; our friends TV was playing up so we spent most of the morning
sorting that out.
We did get the cupboards above the galley fitted and wired in a switch and strip of leds which I'll stick up when the
painting is finished (about February!).
Home alone again - I took Dawn to meet her mates at Exeter station, for a day out in Teignmouth.
Decided to get stuck into the worktop which we cut to size yesterday, but needed the gurt big hole cutting for the
sink/cooker unit and a smaller one for the tap. Spent ages measuring, marking and checking it again before taking
the jig saw to it; as soon as I started cutting my mobile chirped up 'We're at Paignton, we missed the Teignmouth
stop'! I'm beginning to wonder if I should let her out on her own.
Got the holes cut and the unit fitted the first time of trying, I normally end up taking a drum sander to it, so was well
pleased. I've just slapped a coat of varnish on all the cut edges, which should be dry enough in the morning for me to
screw it into place.
Fair to middlin days work for us ol' wrinklies.
First job was to get the worktop and sink/cooker into place and fit a couple of shelf supports, which were easier to
do before screwing down the worktop.
We then fitted a submersible pump in the fresh water tank and now have pumped water. The shower waste is in
place (we would have had the sink waste fitted if I'd ordered the right size waste pipe!). After lunch we routed the
gas pipe from the bottle to the cooker and leak tested it - all OK.
Andrew is coming over tomorrow to cut the roof holes for us - one job we can't do ourselves. The plan is for 2
opening hatches in the main area and a fixed mushroom vent in the shower room.
Not one of our most productive days!
Got the rail for the portside curtain track up, with all the clips fixed neatly underneath - after I'd clipped in the curtain
track, and ruined my nails doing it, head of haberdashery decides she would prefer the clips on the front, not
underneath. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Ne'er mind, off came the track and the clips and 'ers now busily making curtains. Did a bit
more painting and screwed the worktop and cooker etc in place, but the drizzle put me off cutting the shower walls
as I have to cut them outside.
Climbed up the ladder expecting to find a flat area on the roof - no way, twas covered in transverse ridges.
We cut out the head lining and drilled marker holes then I decided I'd have a go at cutting the steel because I could
reach it from the ladder. It's done and Picasso is up there painting the cut edges with hammerite.
Found a nylon chopping board the same thickness as the ridges, so that'll be a bit smaller soon.
We had the rear hatch fitted when Andrew arrived, so he hopped on t'roof and cut the hole and fitted the front one.
I've used Sikaflex because we've used it before on boats and my thinking is 'if it keeps sea water out a drop of rain
should be no bother'.
What a day - blazing sunshine, out came the tools, rain and thunder, tools put away and so it continued until a
couple of hours ago.
We've managed to cut the shower room walls today, lots of scribing to match the profile of the lining but tis done.
Her of the bright ideas suggested cutting the vinyl that we are going to line the shower with, before we fixed the
sheets in place - I would have thought of it .............. probably. It was certainly easier with the ply laid flat than it
would have been with the walls up.
I started sticking up the splash-back tiles in the galley, when the rain stopped us cutting timber outside and head of
drapes carried on producing curtains at a frightening speed.
Well the pre-cut vinyl idea worked well and we got the
main shower wall in place and fixed fairly easily. I'm
reluctant to fit the shower tray until most of the work in
there is done, so we're leaving a skirt of vinyl to fix and trim
after the base is installed. The forward side panel is cut out
at the base to allow the batteries to be slid in and strapped
down behind the driver's seat, because it would be difficult
trying to lift them in or out through the driver's door. (they'm
bliddy heavy and I don't want 'er putting 'er back out).
Grouting tomorrow, I've finished the tiling since the pic was
taken, and continue with the shower room.
Didn't get much done today, because Mum's new
hearing aid is making her ear very sore and this
morning we took her to see the audiologist at t'hospital.
They are now making her a different design moulding
out of softer material which should cure the problem.
We've finished the fresh and waste water systems and
fixed securing straps, so the back end is near enough
done except for the gas dropout hole, which I'd rather
do after seeing the underside when it's on a lift. The
tiling is complete and if anyone's interested we have
enough tiles left over to line a swimming pool, well
perhaps not quite that many! Stuck some more vinyl on
the shower walls but before we do much more we have
to do some woodwork in there.
Most of the electrics will fit behind the driver's seat on a
panel mounted to the back of the front shower wall. I'm
hoping to get the 12v isolator, fuse boxes and solar
remote in a wee cupboard high up on the side of the
shower wall (outside), so we have easy access to them;
that's my project for tomorrow afternoon while Dawn is
doing a tea and cake afternoon.
We have a drop in shelf that fits above the water tank
and is the reason for the 90 degree elbow on the outlet
I made the fusebox and mounted it yesterday; got it nicely planned out to do the shower room door and frame today.
Plans went out the window as usual; had a drive to Yeovil this morning to pick up the single passenger seat I saw
advertised last night and this afternoon took some gas bottles back to calor, picked up some timber and called in Lidl.
Just took the double passenger seat out and fitted the new single, opens the whole bus up and looks a lot lighter
My chief advisor went to Cardiff with her mates today, so I got all the leccy stuff together and mounted it on a board
that will fit (bliddy well better fit!) behind the driver's seat. The pics are on the photo dump link at the top of the page
so I'll not print them here. For anyone interested, from left to right - a 4x8mm post negative connector, Sterling 30a
Batt to Batt charger, Sterling 'Maintainer' which keeps the engine batt topped up with power (max 3a) from the solar
panels and the gurt grey thing is an MPPT controller.
I've used separate 2x8mm post junction boxes for each battery, to save connections direct to the batteries and
various fuses as required.
There is a small cupboard with the solar repeater, 12v isolator and fuse boxes high on the outside of the shower
Dawn found a Portuguese cafe in Cardiff and brought me home a couple of pastel de natas, which always remind me
The Leccy panel is now in place and a lot of the 'bits'
wired in. Yesterday we fitted the shower tray after
sticking some more vinyl on the walls and we've also
got most of the door frame ready to go in. The forecast
here is for dry weather with some intermittent swearing -
tis solar panel fitting day!
We got the solar panel on, the shower door frame and
light fixed in place. Tested out the electrics from the LB
and everything that should light up lit up and everything
that should go whirr, whirr did so.
Today we've been doing all the fiddly bits of trim etc
for the shower room; cut, sand, prime, undercoat - in
and out of the bus, up and down the step, the weight
must be dropping off me!
To cover the horrible holes left in the ceiling when I
took out the original flo. light fittings, I've made up a
full length 'plank' which will fit on the ceiling between
the fore and aft hatches. This will have 2 recessed led
lights with individual switches and be wired to the LBs
instead of the original, dash switched, engine battery
Stop, start sort of day, but we got a lot of trim fitted, with more cut and painted. When trying to suss out what to use
as a battery cover, my technical advisor fished out a length of plastic internal window sill and it has worked a treat -
thanks Barry. Lamb curry ready ........................................
More trim and then made the door for the shower/loo; to
keep it flat until the glue had gorn orf we laid it on the
floor of the bus. That meant we couldn't do much more,
so we went to Teignmouth this afternoon and had a
stroll round with an ice cream - proper grockles!
Think we've finished the shower/loo except for a bit of
filling and a dab of gloss, oh yes and a threshold;
reluctant to hang the door until everything is complete.
Finally got the centre lighting 'plank' fixed in place and
wired up (nearly boobed and used screws that were
long enough to go right through the roof!); still waiting
for one of the lights, but should be here tomorrow.
Spent the morning doing general bits and pieces in
the bus including fitting and wiring in the shower
pump. After a spot of 'essential' shopping in Tivvy,
we did the unforgiveable - we emptied all the tools,
bits of pipe, trunking, cable etc from the bus.
It does get to be a bit of a tip after a while, with
more tools in it than the garage; so good job done
and tomorrow we can start taking tools out of the
garage, again as we need them.