The Bus Blog

February 2024

Started Painting the Inside Today!

Wayne Olsson and Mark Peck were the two shining stars today for the bus club. Both worked tirelessly to get the job done. We prepped the bus for painting the back area inside and floor. Boy, did Wayne do a great job, as always.  All white inside. Some welding still needs to be done, but we left these areas covered by tape so they are untouched. Waiting until the next time the welding crew can finish them off. While Wayne was painting, Mark stained, and then sprayed Varathane on some of the wood for the bed and table.  Although these areas are not really that visible, they will look good!! Oh, speaking of looking good, this bus is going to be real nice (both inside and out). Start saving your money for raffle tickets. You will really want to win this one.There will NOT be a bus-build on Saturday 2/17/24, since many of us are going to Naked Dates campout. There will be one on Saturday 2/24/24. If you can’t make Saturdays and want to help, we are working other days of the week, so get in touch and we can let you know what we are doing on what days. 20 hours of volunteer work on the bus gets you a cool limited edition T-shirt saying you worked on the bus.

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Raffle Bus Work - Week of Feb. 4-10, 2024

What a super week, ending in a super day, all by super players. I’m not referring to Taylor and Travis as the stars. Instead, I am referring to our own bus club members who are making the raffle bus a real super jewel. John Manning has been the all-around player. He started by figuring out a way to straighten the edges of the pop top so it would fit in the rain gutter channels. Russell and he implemented his plan on Monday and Tuesday by gluing metal rails onto the sides with industrial-strength glue that binds to the fiberglass. His calculations worked and the sides of the pop top are now straight as an arrow. John sanded smooth many of the rough spots on the roof and followed Phil’s suggestion of a way to use a special epoxy to fill holes after they were sanded and rust was eliminated. Greg, Mark, and Russell worked on the inside cabinet to make it look great. New doors and a lower drawer were made. The countertop with sink and faucet, along with a slider for the gas stove is being devised. John prepared a nice sheet metal piece for the passenger floorboard. All this was done before the super crew came today to get a ton of work done. It is amazing how the team can do so much.  We had a pleasant surprise with our own Sergeant of Arms, James Jones driving down from Prescott to help us with welding. He and Bill worked as a tag team to get the floor boards mostly done. Ed brought the bus club compressor out of storage, then expertly created a 220 Volt circuit from the electrical panel so that the compressor could be used. He also worked on other jobs that needed his skills. The compressor was found to be leaking, so he figured it out so that all that is needed is a regulator, of which, Bill has spares in his drawers at home. Brian worked tirelessly today cleaning and prepping the luggage rack for the upcoming paint job. Dave C. worked tirelessly hunched over the engine to finish the painting and then worked on the inside body work. He did this, all while, he had a sore back. Mark P. was like Picasso. He created works of art out of the top bed that has to be replaced for reasons not mentionable. The stain job he did was a masterpiece. Through this all, Wayne was working to smooth out spots that needed it and consulting on what was going to be needed for the upcoming paint day. Roy made a special visit with the bumpers he had somehow miraculously straightened. He also brought with him fabric for which we came to a consensus for the upcoming bus interior. It is going to look snazzy. As in the past, Greta made a super feast including Caribbean vegetable stew and a tropical fruit salad. Fresh squeezed lemonade was a hit too.If you want to join in the fun mark your calendar and plan to join us on a Saturday. Check the calendar to see what is planned. If you want to come during the week, let us know, It is likely something can be worked out. There will not be a bus build on Saturday 2/17/24, as many of us are going to the Naked Dates campout. The following Saturday 2/24/24 likely will have one.

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Raffle Bus Work Day - Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024

How time flies when you are having fun! That’s what we had today, fun, fun, fun. Oh, and we got a lot done in a short amount of time. We thank Sue (Susan) Rice for the donuts which none of us should have had, but we all had to “try”. It’s amazing that with 10 workers (John, Dave C, Sue R, Russell, Brian, Ed, Bill R, Wayne, Clinton, Ray and Greta) a lot gets done. Dave prepped and painted the engine compartment a nice black color. Now, it looks like you can eat off those tins. Ed, the jack of all trades- did body prepping, sanded the dash and painted it black- to perfection. Sue cleaned the nasty windows and removed peeling window tint to bring renewed beauty to them. Brian carefully removed rivets and prepped the crusty luggage rack for painting. Clinton worked on the wire wheel to clean screws, washers and parts from the luggage rack so all would be ready for re-installation. Bill fought with the ABC welder. Last week, he had resurrected it after many years in storage. Unfortunately, in its maiden voyage it seemed that the welding wire was too small (0.23 mm) and kept jamming in the machine. He did get a small previously rusted area in the driver’s foot area cleanly patched. John worked on prepping the windows that Phil had repaired so that the small pinpoint holes from the rust area would be sealed. He used a thin layer of fiberglass-filled bondo over the places that had been welded. Allowed that to cure, then gently sanded it smooth. The areas now look to be water-tight. Wayne further sanded and smoothed the bus surface defects so that when it is painted, it will go on smooth. Russell helped with some sanding and prep work for the welding. Ray appeared later in the day, and helped with some body work. Greta prepared a feast with yummy spaghetti and salad with watermelon for dessert. A true feast! We are getting close to painting-time. One or two more weekends, and we will be there. 

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Spellman Hardwoods Supports ABC

What a great place. If you haven’t been, and you need wood for a project, you should check this place out. I spoke to Tom (the head there) about ABC and their mission. He pulled up our website, and he could see the raffle bus being worked on. He agreed to tremendously discount the lumber needed, in an effort to help our cause.Today, Wayne came by to prep the body, now that Phil has repaired the holes in the body. Wayne was on a mission to get body looking great, but he took the time to answer our numerous questions. He got most of the outside dents sanded and primed. John worked on grinding and smoothing out some of the weld spots. He was limited, because the compressor just wasn’t strong enough. Greg and John supervised and shook their heads, as Russell made his usual basic wood-working errors. They then got him on track as Mark and Russell cut the ¾ inch plywood from Spellman’s for the upper bed. This now needs to be lightly sanded, stained and have a coat or two of Varathane before it is installed.John received the lift springs and bearings for the pop top from Salim at Country Homes and Campers. They have been great to work with and also generous in their support. They sent brand new springs and bearings. They actually roll like they are supposed to-imagine that! This top will hopefully raise and lower with a pinky!

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January 2024

Phil Saves the Day!

Once again, Tie-Dye Phil (Phil Schramm) stepped up and saved the ABC with his excellent body work. We are on a time-line to get the raffle bus back together, and Phil was able to fit us into his busy schedule and donate his time. He also gave lessons to John and Russell on how to remove rust spots and weld in good metal. This last weekend, we had discovered some rust that needed to be removed before we can progress to painting the bus. Mark Peck was once again generous with his time, truck and trailer today. He picked up the raffle bus bright and early this morning and drove us out to Phil’s place (over 2 hours from Mark’s home in Cave Creek). Mike Baleda was there to supervise the work, so it got done right. We removed rust by the back side light, and several holes along the window lines. We will hopefully be able to finish up the repairs tomorrow. Afterwards, Mark will transport the bus back to Russell’s garage. It will be ready for the bus build, 9 am-ish next Saturday 2/3/24. Be there or be square.

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