Some more kitchen cabinet frames and general fabrication

Not shown: horizontal stuff that makes that upper cabinet a little more rigid. But! This is a great example that I think demonstrates the versatility of steel tube.

All this stuff gets covered with luan or plastic or something else.

Here you can see I got tired of the PA hole. I could not seem to find a new horn the right size.

At some point I’m going to have to paint this beast for real. I was thinking of Sherwin williams shurthane 2k. Any thoughts? It’ll be about 3 weeks of sanding prep I bet. Ugh.

At least i can plastic off the outdoors while I work on the finish.

Whats it look like now?

I kind of forgot what it looked like, so I backed out of the covered area. Now I can work in the shade doing fab work instead of frying in the sun. I don’t know why I didn’t do that the last couple weekends.

Kitchen cabinet frames

One of the kitchen cabinets coming together. This is the largest unit by volume. Designed to hold dishes, tools, other kitcheny things.

Next up is a full height pull out pantry and some wall and overhead cabinets.

Drawer clamped in “for illustration”. I’ll paint the frame before the slider installation.

Door actuator details

It’s technically an auto UNlock, so you don’t slap the door open pneumatic switch and just stress the hell out of the door and it’s hinges. The way it will work is air goes to unlocker ram first, once it engages the latch and releases, air switch allows air to flow to opening side of double acting ram for the door hinge actuator.

The door must “bump” open first to open the valve for the pressurized air to physically reach the door swing ram.

On closing, the latch is open, and captures the pin.

If you open the door manually from the outside or the inside by pulling the lever, the valve is just sort of floats, acting as if you flipped the “emergency release” switch above the door in an unmodified bluebird bifold pneumatic door.

At some point in the future I may replace the double circuit pneumatic switch on the dash with an electronic one, so I can push a keyfob button to open and close the bus door.

Don’t have any more pics right now, not done. Note that the door handle does NOT have a lock built into it. I have a flush mount 5 pin mortise lock on the outside, which is attached to an additional dead bolt in the door frame.
The dead bolt and mortise lock are attached via linkage to the bear claw lock so it’s a double lock setup. (bear claw won’t release unless it’s unlocked too)

If the cylinder lock and deadbolt are engaged, then the pneumatic unlock actuator will fire but not unlock, and it won’t pop the door, and then the air for the opener ram will just make an angry loud hissing sound because it’s vented through the air switch.

I suppose I could put some party whistles, a wig wag, or maybe some streamers on the air outlet. Maybe an inflatable balloon with the words “unlock me printed on it”. (I mostly kidding)

Here’s a parts list.

Momentary pneumatic pin switch with spring return I already had. Air routes out one port or the other. Unlocker ram plumbed to the normally closed position. When door is closed on pin switch, it’s open, allowing air to open ram and prevent from getting to door actuator. Once door opens via mechanical release, pin switch routes air to door hinge actuator ram.

Pneumatic lock actuator

Bear Claw Door latch

RV Door Handle

Shower frame

I need to come up with a shower door I’m happy with probably. The hole is drilled in the floor for the drain, so that’s cool.

Door latches are nice. The entrance door closes with a nice automotive style “thunk” and locks. I have a neat spring retracting air ram and a pneumatic circuit (not shown) that pops the latch, then proceeds to use the air ram to open the door. Sequencing is all mechanical so I won’t break stuff. I just noticed you can barely see through the bottom window the old metal bar for the “vandal lock” on the original bus door, laying on the ground. Man that thing really sucked.

Some more significant framing. This is the dresser/closet frame for the rear bed. It’ll get some slider doors for access, and probably some sort of birch wood finish paneling. The full size murphy bed folds up against this.

Water tank ideas

I got 4x 46 gallon water tanks. The dimensions are not exactly what I hoped for, but I think I can squeeze them in. I originally wanted to hang them centerline on the frame cross members but I can’t wedge them in there with the luggage bay. I’d have to cut a big hole somewhere.

So, I’ll make lemonade from the lemons and build a set of support brackets for the ends of the tanks, and some heavy channel between them. I’ll be able to insulate the tanks with 2″ of foam. I’ll probably get some tank heater panels too.

Shower stall drain

I have officially drilled my first hole through the floor.

Doesn’t look like much but that’s a 4.5 inch hole all the way into the basement compartment. Locating that is a big deal because plumbing.

Anyway, framing up a slim steel support box for shower stall, that will dictate kitchen cabinets, etc.

I also pulled the entire frame cover panel in the underbay, there is as much room in there as I had hoped. There was a lot of dirt too.

Windows – I can see the rain

Got all the windows installed, now I’m kickin mah feet up for a few minutes. Its cozy in here, raining outside. Eventually I’ll insulate that door, but for now its fine. I think in the coming weeks I’ll get the kitchen systems built.

Basically, a couple counter height custom metal cabinets with drawers, and a full height full depth pull out pantry. If there were a reason to leave your chair rail in the bus and not destroy it, this would be a compelling reason not to.


Some window installation details

No, not that kind of windows installation.

That’s more like it.

I suppose you could buy some zero depth rings and attach to the skin directly, but it would be a disaster if you had to remove the window later (lots of interior disassembly)

This method isn’t as easy as removing the trim ring and popping the frame, but its not bad – just drill some rivets out. Matching up the old holes with a new frame might be hilarious, hopefully I never find out.

I also believe that riveting the frames is a lot stronger, which is befitting of a skoolie.

Note that I didn’t use the beauty washers in the final install because I determined that would be dumb on my part.

Cut the window hole, these are 3″ radius. Try to always cut a little small. On a few I used a flapdisc grinder to enlarge the hole an additional 1/16″ or so on a couple.

After the frame fits flat against skin you are ready to install.
Mark holes in frame in a pleasing and mechanically sound pattern. Make sure your holes are to the outside edge enough.

Drill holes in frame, while not on vehicle.

Place window in hole (now with mounting holes drilled in frame)

Check alignment around hole so you catch the steel on all sides.

Using existing frame holes, drill the top and bottom ones through vehicle, and hold window in place with clecos.

Continue drilling the rest of the windows, adjacent to your last clecos until done. That way alignment is close.

Pull window out again, and prep window frame with butyl tape. It should cover the entire flange of the frame.

Prep vehicle side by ensuring paint is clean and defect free. Use some zinc cold galv spray from inside and coat edge of sheet metal and each hole drilled. Let it dry (just a few min)

Place window in hole with butyl tape, it will stick so make sure its right.
Reinstall clecos to hold window in place.

Wait 10 minutes. The clecos will apply pressure to the window frame against the butyl tape, squeezing it out. This ensures a positive seating without gaps. Do not rush.

After butyl oozes install rivets. I used a sealing/anti galvanic compound swizzled onto each rivet grip. Install rivets.

If you didn’t spring for expensive waterproof rivets, let everything dry up a bit and clean it well (remove excess butyl and rivet sealant) then seal the hole of each rivet with something robust, like sikaflex.