Lights. Polish. License: More progress on the bus during the week of Sept 12-19, 2018. This week was a lot of detail work and final touch up tasks before connecting all of systems officially. Had some late nights, early days, and lots of studying, but it all payed off in the end, check out the progress so far on the Blue Sparrow Food Bus!
This was the week of full of the boring stuff that you forget to take pictures of, although I did get some highlights from this week. Starting off this week was a lot of reading and studying for the Class B CDL permit and Air Breaks endorsement, one of which I took the test and passed. I am officially on my learners permit for Class B vehicle where I will be practicing driving this on the main roads with my Uncle Larry (a licensed CDL driver). I did fail my air break knowledge test, but I will be able to retake that after 24 hours have passed.
The outside of the bus also go a nice make over this week. I spent the better part of a day on stilts and polishing the front corner of the blue sparrow bus. I’m using a variable speed polisher from DeWalt and a variety of cutting wheels, polishing wheels, rouges, and waxes from Zephyr Pro 40 polishing. I have been very impressed with how well this aluminum cleans up. The hardest part about it is the amount of time it takes and all of the variances in the surface. The outside of the bus is covered in ridges and rivets that make it a very tedious task to clean, but the results are totally worth it.
Finding ways to secure all the kitchen equipment is not a standardized method. Each piece of equipment is built differently, has a different center of gravity, and has no built in way to attach it to a bus. I included one example of how the 55'“ cooler got attached to the table, because I was rather happy with the result. I was able to thread the feet through a metal band and screw it to the table in the front and back. This bit of metal adds the needed rigidity and sturdiness required to keep this cooler firmly attached and prevents it from sliding. On our current truck the cooler is simply (and crudely) ratchet strapped to the counter, this new way is a big improvement.
I reinstalled the reading lights that were under the overhead storage bins to keeps some of the original aesthetic to the inside of the vehicle. There are a few wiring things required to get these in full working condition, but it will be nice to have the additional light under the storage compartments.
The walls and the ceiling meet at a rigid support beam that the overhead storage bins were once attached to. We were able to reuse the previous owners metal conduit that was covering that seam, but we did have to remove all the carpet and glue first. The final result was a brushed metal look on that seam and really tied to walls into the ceiling nicely. there was debate on whether or not to paint the metal trim blue, but ultimately keeping it a brushed metal fit the style better.
Let there be light. This week the lights on the ceiling were installed. These are 4 foot LED lights that have the option of daisy chaining together. They were simple enough to install (2 screws each) and really changed the look and feel of the inside of the bus. For the past few weeks we were only able to work during the day and obviously these past few weeks were the hottest weeks of summer. Tonight (sept 18) we were able to keep working well past dark which gave Luke and I a feel of what the working conditions will be when we are operating.
Lastly I was able to reprogram, and mount the digital sign in the front side window. We had 2 of these signs and the first one had a dead pixel and a weird refresh rate (Which can been seen in Bus Build Part 5). The second sign worked a lot better and I was able to program it how we wanted, get it mounted firmly, and ensure that it is easy to reprogram when the schedule changes.
One last thing that happened this week was I got a message from my Uncle Larry that he got us a new 2 stage AC Unit for the drivers area on bus, Lo and behold it was a 2 stage fan. I thought it was a funny way to phrase it, and I also appreciate the new updated fan to keep me cooler while driving. I never realized how a bus driver gets no air flow in the front of the bus, the fans are really needed.
Thank you again for reading the sixth installment of building this food bus. I really appreciate your support and feedback! Until next time!