05 January 2017

Winter 2016/17

2016 was my second consecutive festive season of suffering from a bug of some kind. I really wish people would be a bit more considerate and try and avoid spreading their germs. Apart from my enjoyment of the time of year being taken away, it once again limited the amount that I got done on the bus. With a sore throat and stomach upset, I did not have the enthusiasm for spending much time in a cold, damp barn, nor the energy that I needed to have. I did get a few things done though.

The longitudinal floor edge channels for the lower deck are fully prepared and ready to be fitted. There was a little sunshine between Christmas and New Year and Sean parked the bus in the sun to dry out. He also assisted with treating parts for the inter deck repair links. Both sides of the parts needed painting on separate days.

I made up most of the repair links once the paint had dried and found that I need to make more parts to complete the requirement, so I also made those and painted them too.

I have determined a plan for moving forward, which involves starting with the pillar between bays 2 and 3 on the offside. I am waiting on various bits to be completed by others before I can put it all together, but I can complete this pillar and then move to the nearside equivalent. Wood was cut to brace either side of the outrigger, married up to the pillar foot bracket and drilled for connecting. Two iron angle braces were made to span the joints of the old and new wood to prevent too much flexing and add strength. Everything was prepped and painted. Once this is assembled, it will remain that way. The anti-rot and corrosion measures are ten times the original.

I also picked up some rear wheel arch hoops that I'd ordered, which is a piece of work that I will move onto in 2017. Not just yet though - I have enough on my plate right now, but they were being done for another RT and I needed a pair, so it was time to get them.

Preparing this roundup took a few days and the pillar referred to above is now complete. I will tackle another pillar next and work my way through the four pillars in the centre section of the bus one at a time. They will probably keep me busy for a couple of weeks. The front bulkhead does not need any work on the pillars and the shorter pillars in front of the rear wheels will need to wait until the pillar feet brackets are done (the drawings are complete, just waiting to get them cut).

It has been a time for me to reflect upon the project and ask myself the question - if I had known what I was getting into, would I have still done so? The answer is an emphatic 'NO'. I am most definitely going to finish the job (assuming that it doesn't kill me in the interim), but I thought that I was taking on a 'fixer upper' and not a complete and almost total rebuild. There have been hurdles, obstacles and setbacks and when I am done, I may well write a book about it. I now have more of the project in my own hands and that means that I have to put in the hours and the effort to get it done. There's no point in whinging or whining because if anything goes wrong or doesn't get done, I only have myself to get annoyed with. If I don't show up to do the work, I will be letting myself down. I want to get on and get it done. This may mean that my updates may be a bit less detailed as I direct my efforts on doing the work.