Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lesser achievements but achievements anyway

No photo today. Sorry - it was dark before I'd really done enough to merit a photo. The day started off with my planning to do the plumbing under the bus. Thus, I played around with my plumbing bits and found the S bend I'd bought wouldn't fit anything else that I had so I coupled together a few bits and bobs to make a strangely shaped U bend. The problem is that I've bought bits from Lowes (hiss, spit) and Lowes (hiss, spit) seems to specialise in non-inter-compatible fixtures. 

The resultant U bend looked pretty good and was glued together. Then I realised I should - since it was a fine day - get up on the roof to finish off the final seam with silicone seal. Oops... The silione seal had dried up. There weren't quite enough plumbing supplies either. That and the fact m'lady's chickens were out of feed meant a trip to Tractor Supply.

Before I left, I had a quick look underneath the bus. The barrels will fit very nicely between the main chassis members and the side of the bus with enough room for my plumbing parts. I judged I would need 4 more right angle bends and two T sections plus some kind of faucet. Making a quick list, I headed out. Half way down the driveway I had inspiration and went back and grabbed a stopper from one of the barrels.

Arriving at Tractor Supply in glorious sunshine, it took a while to find a cart to carry 100lbs of chicken feed. That 100lbs should last the chickens about a month to six weeks. Then on the shelf I spotted some galvanizing paint. That, apparently is 98% zinc and should protect my fresh welds very well from rust. Then after getting the plumbing parts I wanted - aside from the faucet, I saw something interesting - a great big T junction with threads. Out of curiosity I tried my stopper from the barrel into the T and it screwed in perfectly. Then I found the male mate. I picked out two - one for each waste water barrel. 

When I looked underneath the bus earlier, I found two barrels could be fitted very nicely between I section girders. That means I can use simple bolts to attach the straps that hold the barrels. That makes life considerably quicker and easier. The whole plumbing operation can be carried out simply and painlessly. The sections that screw into the barrel are way big in the center and need to be stepped down to fit my pipework. Needless to say Tractor Supply didn't have the correct parts.

Leaving Tractor Supply, the next stop was Walmart for silicone sealant. Tractor Supply had it but it was 50% more expensive than Walmart so I picked some up. While I was there, I looked at the camping gas cookers and saw a very nice dual burner cooker with wind shields for $35 and a set of cooking pots for it for $30. That was very interesting and it seems a pair of gas cans are $6. According to the blurb it seems that on full blast with both burners going, 16oz of gas will last about 90 minutes. That sounds very doable.

Leaving Walmart, I visited Lowes (hiss, spit) to see if they had anything I could use as a faucet or to step the big pipe down. Needless to say, they had rack upon rack of irrelevant stuff. As I studied the racks an announcement came over the speaker to the effect the store was closing in 4 minutes and that I should proceed to the registers. So, not having found anything I headed to the door and left.

It transpires there's a better plumbing store on 378 so I might visit that or the plumbers supply in Lexington later this week. The plumbing looks like it'll be a load easier than I thought. I didn't get plumbing straps nor any means of attaching them to the chassis but that doesn't sound that hard. Everything has been a case of working out how to do it. I'd been wondering how to stop the barrels from sliding but having seen the space available, there shoudn't be a problem. I could probably use two straps per barrel but I'll probably use 3 for safety.

Once the plumbing is done, I can work on the battery compartment. Having cleaned and painted the metal that will be the floor of the compartment, I expect that the first fine weekend I shall be welding the floor to the compartment. 

The front door remains a problem waiting to be solved. I'm going to keep the door as a concertina affair. I just need to work more on a way of getting the latch to lift. If I had air brakes then I could simply tap into the air cylinder for a simple plunger and use residual pressure after bleeding the tanks. On the other hand that would mean I'd need to pressurize the tank every time I opened the door. It is, of course, possible to put a small air tank but I don't think I will.

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