Monday, May 7, 2012

They are finally here!

Well,  I have not posted an update in a few days as we have been super busy with the arrival of the floors, cushions and tables all at the same time, plus the need to move The Bus from Ryan's house to another location.  Now it will be parked a few miles away from the shop at a very private and spectacular spot in the midst of redwoods and there, hopefully, we can finish the darkroom construction before moving on to San Diego.

Here are the events of the past week illustrated by my trusty iPhone.  I am also doing a little documentation with my Leica M3, but, due to not having a place to develop film right now, those images will remain latent for a little while.

On Tuesday we went to visit a locksmith in San Jose in order for him to get an idea of what the job of re-doing the locks on The Bus will entail.  I like this perspective of The Bus from the inside of the shop.

The locksmith looked over The Bus and told us that we can come back on Friday and he'd have the whole thing done that day in a few hours and that it would really speed up the process if we pre-drilled the holes for the new locks.  On Friday we arrived an hour earlier than the time of our appointment with half the locks out and holes ready to go and, while waiting, removed the rest of the locks and bore them out as well.  Locksmith showed up about on time and brought with him a helper (by the looks of it his brother or uncle...). They tinkered for about 6 hours and managed to install about HALF the locks that they were supposed to have installed and so now we have to go back tomorrow and have him finish the job.  Very frustrating because we don't have locks, since we took them out for this guy to replace, and have to drive around with a wire holding some doors.  ...sigh.  On the other hand we finally got the flooring and I had ample time to install half of it while while waiting for the lock guys. Here is how it looked at the end of the day.

Back at the house Ryan finished stuffing electrical components into the darkroom wall and this is what it looked like right before we sealed it in.
 At the last moment a bit of an extra effort was made to ensure that we stick with original concept drawing and have a 'darkroom in use' warning light by the darkroom entrance.  For that purpose we decided to use one of the original school bus warning lights and you can see the rear of it on top here with our little spider-web fixture for it.  I had to cut the hole and in the process apparently fried my Dremmel 4000.... But the job was done and the hole was cut.

 The light was installed and fit pretty well.

And it looks really awesome when lit up (super bright though, so we might have to put a resistor on it to tune it down).

The darkroom ventilation also got a big boost when I finally got enough guts to cut a 4in hole in the two layers of steel that make up the Gilligs roof.  Right angle grinder is fun to work with - be sure to wear gloves and protective eye gear though...  Here is me making the first cut as documented by Ryan (no gloves yet, I put them on after the sparks started frying the arm hair about a minute into the experience)

 I think it was a pretty brilliant idea to put the vent out in the place where the old warning lights (seen above as 'darkroom in use' warning lights) originally resided.  You can see the future vent hole in the top left of this frame.

And here is the vent from tube after being fitted into the irregularly shaped hole that I succeeded in carving out.

That allowed the rear darkroom wall to be sealed off.  After Ryan made a nifty wall with some insulation to cover the engine compartment I cut the wall  to fit the irregular shape of the rear.Here it is after being painted by Ryan outside and being re-installed again.

We finally got our table tops all done and installed!  That piece of flamed maple that we originally bout in one huge chunk has gone through 3 different wood shops in order to get to where it is now.    We are very thankful to Garry at Westside Woodworks of Santa Cruz for finishing the job - a true professional and a great guy.  Here is one half of our big table in front of the shop in Santa Cruz - getting ready to be carried inside The Bus.

And here are the two views of the tables after installation - opened for cooking and closed for art time.

And Finally!  Here is a shot with cushions that were picked up by Ryan at the same time that I was at the wood shop. 
Not bad, eh?

Ryan is making the print drying frames right now - better go help him :)



  1. Awesome! Always great to read your updates. All the best, Kristof

  2. I am excited for you, it looks like your passion is put to good use...much peace+positive energy your way...

  3. So cool! It's really coming along. It must be getting even more and more exciting for you guys. It's all happening!