Every once in a while the stars align and everyone is up there. Today was a pretty astonishing day because we had an epic group.
Here’s the trail map that was marked up for the making of the video.
The Chutes at Mt. Rose are pretty incredible. They almost never get much sun so the snow stays really soft. The thing that makes them extra fun is that they are really steep. Not approved for first time skiers.
If you’re reading this, I’m in the process of designing the flooring system. So my notes and ideas are shown in real time in this blog.
Once I commit to a strategy and implement it, this blog will explain of the floor’s design and the implementation process.
Later, once we spend more time in the home, I’ll share my results here. Thank you for reading.
To Remove Existing School Bus Floor or Not to Remove
From the looks of our existing floor, it seems like we might not need to take it out. I can’t see any places where the flooring is in terrible condition.
That said, we’re building something that we want to last for at least 100 years. I can’t make the assumption that everything is fine under there. We’ve decided to take the existing flooring out so that we can seal the existing metal floor with anti-rust paint and rebuild a bulletproof strategy for going forward.
Rust Proofing the Existing School Bus Metal Floor
I’m going to experiment with bondo and epoxy to plug any existing holes in the floor. We want to the bus to be water tight. All the holes made to secure seats will need to be sealed in a bulletproof manner.
We would like this bus to be rated to live in Lake Tahoe in the winter so we are going with the upper range of Zone 5 as recommended by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
This means the following insulation ratings for our walls, floor and ceiling if we’re to spend much of our time in the Lake Tahoe area:
Floor – (R25 to R30)
Ceiling – (R49 to R60)
Walls – (R15)
So it turns out that in order for us to get that DOE rated insulation, we will need to extend the roof of the bus. To get simple R15 insulation, the best thing I could find is 3 1/2″ inches deep which is too little insulation in too thick of a space.
I couldn’t find any R50 insulation that is 2 inches or less in thickness. Indeed, we would need another foot in the roof to get close to the reccomendations suggested by the DOE. This doesn’t seem prudent to me.
Also, the DEO is writing these requirements for relatively large homes. The heating expense of this bus will be a fraction of what a normal house would require.
The Plan for the Ceiling Insulation
We are very lucky with our bus. The existing insulation is in excellent condition. There isn’t a drop of mold on any of the main parts. The biggest weakness to the existing insulation is that it doesn’t fill the roof cavities entirely.
To solve that, I plan to buy some spray insulation to fill the gaps left from the regular insulation. I’m exploring the following products:
* This spray foam could be used on the bottom of the bus as well as the product brags that it adheres to metal
Floor Material Design
We don’t want to build up with floor height much as there is limited vertical space in the bus. That said, the bus needs to be as comfortable as possible. Here is how I see the plan for floor materials:
So one of my favorite YouTubbers is a guy named Jimmy DiResta. In one of his videos he talks about how he uses white spray paint on many of his tools as a way for him to engage his audience. I think this is genius.
Unboxing a DJI Mavic Pro is a lot of fun. It’s like unwrapping a private aircraft. This is a quick blog and a video about my experience. I’m trying to keep it short and interesting.
Unboxing a DJI Mavic Pro
So the unboxing is great. They package the drone well. Packaging is fine, but the thing that I like the most is the ability to take a camera from the box and use it 10 minutes later. The DJI Mavic Pro scores pretty well on this scale.
At the end of the day, it’s a really complex device. The fact that they sent me a box and I was able to fly a drone and take 4k video from the sky is pretty amazing.
Setting it up is not the most intuitive thing ever. It took a bit of focus and I actually had to glance at the instructions for a few minutes to understand how to charge the thing.
As you can see by the end of the video that it takes a little bit of time to set up once I connect my phone to the remote control. This is annoying because they force you to register for an account with the DJI application. That’s a bit annoying, but at the end of the day, it’s a minor inconvenience.
Once you get it in the air… wow.
These things are a lot of fun. I’d say it’s easy to fly. Many people warned me that I should practice flying before I use the Mavic Pro. They warned me that I risked crashing it if I didn’t have experience flying a drone. At the end of the day, those warnings were warrantless.
It’s an easy thing to fly. I don’t think anyone needs to practice. Just take off and learn on the fly.
If you’re inspired to get one, Amazon will ship it to you quickly. I mean, you only live once right. Get it here.
Specifically, I’m using 1-Quart Simple Premium Grout which is pre-mixed so I don’t have to mix it myself. This is most useful for when applying grout to a small area. This project is about a 4 square foot area, so it’s a very simple application.
Equipment Needed to Apply Grout
PreMixed Grout – http://amzn.to/2mruyxD
Grout float – http://amzn.to/2mucKS
Soft Grout Sponge – http://amzn.to/2mJRPf0
How to Apply Grout – Just the Steps
Get all your pieces together.
Set the tiles using ready set cement and spacers.
Take the grout from the quart container and push it into the spaces between the tiles. Do this for about 1-3 square feet.
Use a sponge to wipe the unnecessary grout away. Try to keep the sponge as dry as possible. Only sponge the grout once or twice, then rinse and squeeze dry your sponge.
Change water often. As the water gets dirty, you’ll be less effective in cleaning up the tile.
Repeat across all surface area that you want to be grouted.
Once you have the project covered, wait four hours for the grout to cure.
Once grout is cured, go back over the whole project and clean up all the unnecessary grout. Especially make sure to wipe off the haze on your pretty tiles.
That’s it. Once you clean it up for the final time, let the grout sit for 48 hours. Then you’re done.
Overall Thoughts on the Product
This grout isn’t excellent. I’ve noticed a bit of chipping since installing the floor. Because we put corrugated steel siding behind the stove, we had to stand on the tile to get the steel working. Maybe if we had waited another day the grout would have hardened up better.
Also, the wood to tile joints don’t seem to be quite as strong as the tile to tile joints.
I like the simplicity of just opening up the container and grouting. That is far easier than doing it the traditional way. Traditionally, you mix up grouting dirt with water using a drill with a mixer attachment on it. That requires more tools, more focus and more experience. This pre-mixed grout is far more approachable, especially if you’re new to grouting.
Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions leave a comment down below.
Kyle Pastrell makes these beautiful DamascusSteel Knifes. For months before that I was geeking out on his awesome knives and finally, the other day we set a date to spend the day at his Dad’s black smith operation in the garage of his house. It was awesome.
That said, my blacksmithing skills are 100% beginner. That was the first time I set a piece of metal into a forge and hit it with a hammer.
Of course, there is no better way to learn something than doing it, so the first day we committed to making a single day knife. Kyle makes really nice knives… but they always take him a few days at the least. So the idea of making a knife in a day was a stretch, but stretching feels good.
Overall workmanship on this knife is average at best. The steel is a bit soft because we didn’t have time to temper the blade in oil quite like Kyle would have preferred.
We also forgot to eat so I got pretty shaky towards the end of the day. That’s why my epoxy job was just about as disgusting as it could have been.
We did get lucky in that the knife is well balanced. It’s centered almost perfectly so it actually feels excellent in hand.
It seemed cool to me to keep the old railroad impressions on the butt of the knife. That maintained it’s crude look.
It would be possible to bandsaw the handle off, reforge and grind a little more and make this blade something really special. Perhaps I’ll reforge this one every time I make another 9 knives so this one could become a Damascus beauty like the ones Kyle makes.
That’s a really long way away for me.
Autofocus is problematic with maker videos. Even though I love some of the beautiful depth of field shots that I get from the d70, it’s the G7X that I find to be the trustworthy camera to shoot with. Best of all, the G7X makes video files that work well with my version of Adobe Premiere.
I love the versatility and indestructibility of my GoPro Silver, but my footage is REALLY hard to edit. For some reason, that footage kills my editing software. It takes way too long to render. There had to be a better way, but so far GoPro software seems really unhelpful.
This is an image from CA-20 which has stunning views. We often drive this road in the summer because there are great cliff jumping spots on the Yuba River. It’s actually not even that snowy right now, the snowy part comes later.
Reno Snow – California is Wet
So the drive from Reno to Sacramento is usually a two hour quickie, but today we spent about six hours on the road getting from Capital City to the Biggest Little City. Despite the hyper inefficiency of it all, I had a great time.
I’m not going to lie, this is an ideal way for me to spend the day. While lots of people consider this a sort of emergency or terrible day, I love it.
Putting on chains, driving where few others drive, seeing small towns in naturally beautiful places; I love it.
When we did get back to Reno, I was excited to stop driving. The drive took about six hours. It would have taken a lot less time if we had gone straight there, but CalTrans closed the road a few minutes before we got to almost the peak of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Therefor we drove a lot of extra miles because we didn’t know the road wasn’t open.
There are two new towns I want to visit in the summer. One is Downieville, CA, the other is Sierra City, CA. Both of these cities look like great places to write a book or to go on an amazing Yuba River adventure.