Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ouch! Note to self - wear gloves!

Today there were three or four goals in mind and blow me down if I didn't achieve most of them! The first thing I did - while waiting for milady to enter my smaller chariot in order to whisk her off to our monthly date at Walmart (for grocery shopping) - I  sprayed the inward face of the security panel with more white appliance epoxy.

During the monthly jaunt to Walmart, I nipped next door and visited Lowes (hiss, spit) and bought a gallon of white paint, some M5 nuts and replacement electrical plug and connector. The plan is to use M5 nuts to space my panel away from the door a little more in order to stand it off, away from the rubber gasket holding the window in place. As I already have M5 bolts and M5 rivnuts, it would seem a shame not to use them! The space between the M5 nuts can be filled by my leftover window padding from when I moved some of the original bus windows around.

Having returned from Walmart, I looked at the bus and decided to paint the roof. I started initially with a brush and a small can but graduated to the gallon can and a roller fairly quickly. The brush left the usual streaks and dribbles but the roller was far better with more even coverage. Needless to say, I finished the edges fairly quickly using my stepladder and roller.

It was time to climb on the roof. Before now I had used a ladder to climb up to the roof. This time I used a stepladder to climb onto the hood then the small steps I use to enter the bus via the back door to climb from the hood to the roof. The first trip to the roof was quite painful as the roof was very hot and burned my hands. Next time I wore a pair of gardening gloves and that solved that!

I think I was up on the roof of the bus in hot sunshine for about two hours. I was quite wobbly by the time I came down for the last time. The first coat of white went on so well that I don't think that it is necessary to put a second.
I'll tidy up the areas where I have painted white into areas I want to remain grey at a later date. I might even get a can of white spray to touch up areas I haven't hit with the roller when I was trying to cover up areas painted with a brush. Clearly at some point I'll have to paint the inside of the front wheel arches. They're still yellow at the moment.

Inside the bus, shortly after completing the white paintwork I noticed the thermometer had recorded a 2 degree drop in temperature. I'll have to see if it reaches the summer high of 140F that it reached last year. After the white paint had dried, I put my hand on the white area and it was not uncomfortable. I put my hand on a neighboring grey area and it was very uncomfotably hot.

I continued on working with my security panel but after painting the window side of the panel with white paint, the paint had not fully dried in the crevices. Thus, after drilling the mounting holes, it was not really practical to install it. Of course, having got so exhausted by the heat, I spent a while just putzing around, doing little jobs before deciding to drill the holes in the panel.
The first putzing job was straightforward - I put the caps into the holes intended for faucets on my sink. I do have a little catching device that goes down the plug hole but I haven't much idea which box it's in at the moment. Anybody that knows me in real life will know I store everything in boxes but can rarely remember which item is in which box. At one time I tried cataloging my boxes but didn't keep the catalog up to date and that was the end of that idea.
I think those caps look pretty good. I'm happy with the result. As you can see, there's a lot of tidying that needs to be done. I'm slowly beginning that process, taking leftover materials to the shed as well as tools that I won't need to use again in the bus, even during routine maintenance. As you might have guessed, I'm coming toward the end of construction.
Another of my putzing jobs was to replace the plug and connector on my 20A cable. The plug is a 15A plug but that's not a problem. I'll eventually replace it with a 20A plug when the bus is in use. Those are interesting plugs as they're hinged at the sharp end. My old plugs probably disintegrated because though they were for 20A cables, the cable probably put too much stress on them. I've tried to leave the plugs a little less stressed by not tightening the case screws too hard. If they break then I'll have to find some heavier duty plugs - probably via eBay.

I was very impressed with yesterday's test of my CPU fan. It shifted large quantities of air. I can well imagine two of those would evacuate quite a lot of the hot air from inside the bus. Combined with my white paint, this should make a major reduction in interior temperature.

I am looking forward to completing this project. As far as I can see - aside from cleaning, tidying and putting my stuff in the right drawers - there's not much left to do. I need to put an unlocking system on the front door. How useful that would have been, done right at the start! There's the ventillation, the remains of what needs to be done to the security door and fixing a hole the hillbillies cut in the floor of what is now my wardrobe.

Other than that, it might be interesting to put a battery into the mix. I'm still not convinced by solar panels. On the other hand, all my battery will be doing is charging phone/tablet/laptop/camera batteries. It need not be a massive battery. I'm very tempted by NiMh D cells or perhaps AA cells, built together in an old ammunition box. Unlike lithium batteries, they're a cheaper way of doing things. Unlike lead-acid, they won't emit noxious fumes. Unlike SuperCaps, they don't cost the earth. Another advantage is that I can get replacement cells very easily.

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