Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bus Blog 12: Ply on the walls, masonite on the ceiling.

I ran a line of screws down the bottom plate of my wall framing, cut the ply to fit, set each sheet on the screws and tightened the ply down.  That was it.  The poorly cut insulation was pounded and stabbed into place previously and while some joints weren't perfect, a few additional screws made them work.  The ply was on the walls in a day.
I chose use plywood because of its strength, slight R value and resistance to vibration weakening.  Drywall just seemed a bad idea.  It's powdered and pressed gypsum, dust.  Visions of the walls shaking into nothing as I watched horrified through the rear view mirror kept me thinking, "Wood" for the walls.
I could use Oriented Strand Board, it makes great sheeting and is cheap, but compared to spruce ply is heavy and easily water damaged.  Nope, I picked plywood.

It was right around this point that I stopped working out of town, moved the family out of our house and began staying with my in laws until the bus was finished.  We planned to head down to Illinois to spend a few months with my folks and though I had to cram the whole of a house/shop move into one week, I was glad to be done with the back and forth.  Being paid to work and stay out of town is often lucrative, but having to condense your home life into 2 days a week is tough, especially when you've got a big project on your hands.

The next day I picked up 7 sheets of 1/4" Masonite and started pinning them to the ceiling with self-tapping drywall screws.  I was going to use wall paneling, you know, that 'classy' stuff with the stripes, but when I saw this stuff for under ten dollars a sheet, I grabbed it.

Due to the curvature of the ceiling, the eight foot panels fit perfectly, and once set against both walls, the panels basically held themselves in place.  Sure, it took a little bit of practice to learn how deep to set the screws so they were in and not pulled-through but it really was an easy process.

Easy things like this can be dangerous, however.  Because everything is fitting and there isn't a whole lot of messing around the job goes quick.  Because big panels are going up, it looks like a lot is getting done.  These two factors often give some people (me) a false sense of time.
My confidence was so high, that I estimated to have the bus road ready by December 15th.  It was December 3rd.  I told my family, a few buddies back home and committed to 16 hour days, intravenous caffeine and a nice little burn-out.

Did I make the deadline?


Not even close.