Sunday, March 27, 2016

What was I thinking?

That I might actually achieve something today? The first thing I did was to head to the bus to find the tool needed to change the disk on my angle grinder. That was easy enough. I think after hunting through six big, fully loaded cardboard boxes I'd had enough but fortunately it was right in the bottom of the sixth box. Tidying up the other day had the unfortunate effect of concealing the things I need to find!

Having changed the disk - a task of mere seconds as opposed to the hour or so trying to find the tool - I decided to cut some steel for the back door. Just the other end of the property lies a abandoned trailer with an abandoned fridge lying in the yard. That fridge looked to be a very suitable donor!

For some reason, there was an electric cable lying along the length of the yard. Thus, angle grinder in hand I went to the fridge, expectantly. Well, that's where it all went to pot! There was no power to the cable. Undaunted and beginning to swelter from the oppressive spring heat, I traced the cable back and found it wasn't attached to the main cable. I attached it then tried again. Still no power. I unattached the cable and tried the grinder on the main cable. Nothing. I traced the main cable back to its origin which happened to be a pile of leaves. That was odd and there was no visible socket anywhere nearby. I have seen that cable in use though.

Undaunted and no longer in the mood to mess about, I went to the shed and pulled out m'lady's Harbor Freight 800w generator. It was a struggle but I carried it down to the fridge. Reading the instructions it was a case of putting the power switch into the on position, setting the choke and pulling the cord. I pulled and pulled and pulled and pulled some more. Now I know why the electrical cable has been in use. The generator just would not start!

Frustrated and exhausted, I put the generator back in the shed. Sure - it had fuel and I'd followed the instructions. There definitely was compression. It just wouldn't bloody well start. At that point I decided enough had gone wrong to merit not attempting any further work. It was the kind of day when nothing would work out and in my experience, it's better to miss a day than to make mistakes that cost yet more time and or money to fix.

My mind flitted to conversion discussions I'd read when I was a member of those silly bus conversion forums. One fool wanted to change the dual wheels at the back to single wheels just in order to cut down on tyres. The fact that the vehicle had been designed to use dual wheels did not enter into the silly person's head. Another individual wanted to change over to a different type of tyre. Instead of using the standard 10R22.5 he wanted to use something weird. The point is this is a bus. It will always be a bus no matter how it is retitled. The parts will cost exactly what bus parts cost. Yes the tyres are expensive. This is what you get when you buy a bus and people don't understand that. Honestly though, I suspect the vast majority of forum users that claim to have a bus actually do not. I recall one person swearing blind they lived in an old school bus but looking at their photos, they lived in a bus body that had been dismounted off the chassis. It was immobile and thus not a bus any more.

Having thought about things overnight, I have decided to go with the original plan for the drums in having them mounted crosswise. Instead of having a pair of drums under the shower, I decided to go with a single drum on each side. The steel chain I bought will hold 450lbs and since there will be 3 chains holding each barrel, that's 1,350lbs of holding power. I don't think a 125lb tank is going to go aywhere or that any one chain will break. I will still take precautions though!

By 3pm the sky was still very overcast and grey. The humidity was off the charts and work outside was just unpleasant. It was time to come inside and abandon the day in the hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

I would have put the microwave on the ground since it doesn't now look safe to use and put a few bullets though it, taken a picture and joked about the microwave being "shot" but what with the weather, I just didn't feel like it. My humble appologies - I'll do better next time!

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