Today was, I had thought, going to be a day of zero progress on the bus. How wrong I was. I did most of the things I intended to do for tomorrow!
Work, which was scheduled for today, was to have been a full day of training but that was truncated at 1pm when two of the trainers were indisposed. Thus, being sent home early, I popped into Lowes (hiss, spit) for some plumbing pieces (of which more at a later date) and headed home.
Arriving home at 3pm, there were 3 good hours of daylight left so they got put to use. Last night I had been thinking about a handbasin for the bus. I considered the end of a small gas cylinder. I'd noticed there was such a cylinder on the junk pile. Thus, out of an abundance of caution, I placed it on the ground, ready to ensure it was empty. The cylinder said "helium" on it but it could well have been refilled with propane. Labels don't always mean what they say!
Not wanting to cut into a cylinder that might have propane in it, I decided on remote ventillation so I grabbed my (somewhat disappointing Kahr PM9) and fired a single shot from about 25 yards away. The shot did not immediately appear to have hit the cylinder to I aimed for another shot whereupon I discovered the blasted thing had jammed. Racking the slide, I found it kept jamming. In the end I put it away. That Kahr PM9 has been nothing but trouble since I bought it. I wish to Heavens I'd gone for a revolver rather than that stupid thing. Revolvers never jam! I would hate to be surprised by a bad guy when carying a PM9. I am pretty sure the PM9 would be more effective simply hurled at the bad guy. In terms of penetration the PM9 managed to get through one side of the (very thin) steel then totally failed to make an exit hole. I can hear the bullet rattling around inside. I'm going out on a limb and going to say that I just don't think the PM9 would penetrate a bad guy's shirt!
Putting the cylinder out of the way for the moment - the plan is to cut the top off to turn it into a handbasin - I proceeded onto today's work. I'll have to see if I can weld something this thin. That might present a significant challenge!
Today the plan was to complete welding the patch over the hole in the side of the bus cut by the hillbillies. That took me all of the remaining daylight. It was just a laborious process of building up steel and filling gaps until eventually the result was pretty good. It looked rough from the outside but it'll do.
I put the power socket cover over the area where it'll be fitted and sprayed with orange paint. Then I pulled out my angle grinder but instead of a cutting disk, I put a grinding disk. This worked surprisingly quickly and ground the excess welds flat to the point the socket cover fitted without rocking. It did reveal two small holes in the welding where the welding has not really filled the gap. These holes are minimal. I had thought 6011 rods would penetrate and fill holes but oh well.
Next, the whole lot got cleaned up with a wire brush then painted with brown undercoat. This bus does not have to look perfect - it just has to work well. The undercoat went on well enough. Tomorrow I'll put undercoat on the back of the plate then paint the front with grey paint. But before I do that, I'll make the holes for the socket cover. With any luck - if the paint inside is dry in time, I might put a second coat inside and then install the remains of the underbody electrics. The main breaker inside will be installed at a later date. Some have asked why I'm putting a main breaker box. The answer is simple - the main breaker is there to protect the cable from overloading. Currently I have a 20A cable but I'll also make up a 30A cable and might get a 10A cable too. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly different sites offer different facilities and secondly, the heavier rated cables cost more per foot. If I can park close to a power point I can use my heavier cables and get more power. There is another thing in that the heavy cables being more expensive are more prone to theft.