Perhaps it's because I have a scab on my head from banging against the engine compartment door today, or perhaps 'cause I've been sleeping on the floor of the bus for much of the last month, but I am REALLY excited about the bed construction right now!!
Back in my first post, I described a scheme for fitting the veggie oil tanks, filter and pump, under a bed at the back, with a workbench on the very back wall.
Well, after tearing out the existing interior yesterday, Gloria and I started building off of this design and built a big section of the bed frame. A full sized (a.k.a. double, 54" wide x 75" long) bed fits well in the space. Incredibly, we did not have to buy a single new piece of wood or a single new screw - it will all come from the materials we removed yesterday. This feels really good - and also reminds me of the buses original name - Metamorphobus. The weight of the bed will be directly on the bus floor through a 2x2 and 2x4 wood frame. For the top we will use medium density fiber board (MDF), also reused from the two twin beds for Greg's kids and from the fold out bed at the front that Greg and his wife used. The frame will support the top all the way around the perimeter and there will be three crossing 2x4 supports with columns to the floor to hold them up. I will then throw a mattress up on top of all of this!! Getting up on the bed will prepare you for the high jump, that's for sure - the tanks are 27" tall, the fills are a few inches above this, the platform above this, and the mattress is on top of that.
The bed takes up most but not all of the space on this platform - the full dimension of the MDF platform will be 78" x 69" - so three inch at the foot or head of the bed and a good 15" on the driver's side of the bed. I think I will put a 2x4 lip at the foot of the bed to keep it snug on the platform, taking up most of the room there. Below the plane of the bed in this extra width to the driver's side will be a fuel filter that needs to be changed every 500 miles or so - the access for that will be in the hallway, not the bedroom! It will be a bit messy there, though if I am careful not too bad. I plan to build a compartment around the filter and line it with removable plastic as well as place a little bucket underneath to catch any spills. The rest of this extra width under the bed as well as above the bed could be a 15" deep and 6 feet long storage area. Not a bad space. Some of it would be partially obstructed by the wheel well, but not too badly. I could also access some of this space from the bed to hold nightime things. Oh, I just figured it out - this area will be a bookshelf. Perfect!
OK, so I will add shelving to this section. Hopefully Eddy will help me with that - he is SO good at building bookshelves.
Getting into the room will also be fun - you have to climb up over the wheel well! I will put a step at the front, a step a the back, and some non-slip stuff over the rounded part. It's not too bad - even Gloria, who is tall, thinks is fine, and the kids will LOVE it. OK, I admit, I love it. I am still a kid in a lot of ways.
As much as I hate to do it, I think the wood burning stove has to go into the back area. I hate to do it for two reasons - one, I am lazy and don't want to move the chimney hole! Two, I am lazy and don't want to move the stove.
It is the right thing to do. I love the stove - I used it the other night and was amazed by its efficiency - one medium log heated the entire front of the bus. Two or three should heat the rest of the bus - it is a large one. I need someway to heat the stove, and the propane heater is scary because it is unvented and makes CO. I don't trust the automatic shutoff mechanism with my life.
Finally, we HAVE to move it, and soon, because the only place for the co-pilot's seat is going to be right where the stove is now. Eventually the co-pilot chair might interfere with the microscope stations, but I'm sure I can figure out how to install a quick release chair so that it can come in and out when I need it too. I may even figure out a way to have it double as a seat for the lab bench.
The only other real spot for it to go is at the VERY back of the bus, either on the driver's side corner or the 'passenger' side corner. Driver side corner has two things going for it - one, the heat can more easily be moved down the hallway (perhaps via a fan). Two, you don't run into someone working at the workbench as you come over the wheel well.
Tomorrow morning I am ordering the pieces for three microscope stations on the driver's side of the bus. After the veggie oil system, this is priority one, because it is what I need for the science fair. I will see how the driver's side setup goes - there are three adjustable height stations there - and then see if I want to add two more opposite these. Thttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifhis may be too crowded, but we will see.
Right, the science fair. After convincing the nice people at Columbia facilities that I love the trees on College Walk and wouldn't DREAM of hitting any branches with my bus, they have given me approval to participate in the Siemens Science Day at Columbia University on October 20th on College Walk on the Columbia Campus. The last time I organized a demonstration on college walk it had to do with worker's rights, not cell biology!
If you know any children in the New York between the 4th and 8th grades, please encourage them to sign up for the fair when registration opens on September 29th. And if you are in the area, please plan on coming to visit! I will give you more details as the time gets nearer.
OK, last, but NOT least, Aaron is on the last stretch of hooking up the veggie oil system. He spent the day in the back figuring out how to connect the 1974 spacecraft grade hoses to 2007 regular diesel hoses. He is making making progress, and he thinks we might be able to test out the system as early as tomorrow night!! WOOT.
Thanks everyone for all of your support. Toby is not a hippy and was NEVER a hippy. The West was lost. Still is. Don't ask what flavor the cookie is, especially not in New York. There are no homosexuals in Iran. And Billy, you DO have the fiirst amendment right to recite the first amendment.