Hold my beer...
Findsomethingandburnit.com 2004-2020. Doc J.Vicious & Murph-O-Minion enterprises. Godfrey, ON.
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the march hare - project - page iv
Confident that I was building at least twice as robust as
the factory, the question of sheer bulk surfaced.

Anyone can over-build a forty thousand pound bus.

At six pounds per linear foot and 110 feet of cross
member, totalling near 700 pounds of structure required
.. Is quarter inch tube overkill?

Surprisingly not. This redneck lawn scale estimation of
one bit for another reveals that the heavy tube is only
seven percent - 4.6 pounds - bulkier than the original
weight per cross structure.

This in itself trivial, moreso once account is taken for the
now unnecessary 2-1/2 pounds per square foot of
structural floor plate!

I now estimate that the redesign will actually weigh in
nearly 570 pounds lighter than original.
And there we go.

The first two structural members in place.

I've owned my bus for 74 days now, but have only had
weekends - 17 light days of actual work - to screw about
with her.

Progress to date has amended my earlier estimate of
completion within 18 months to now half of that. This in
part also due to the flattening of the learning curve;
knowledge gained as to how the structure was
assembled and what supports what, as well as which
tooling and methods are most effective at unbuttoning
things.
The short lengths of rectangular tube supporting the
roof bows are place holders which will eventually be
replaced with continuous lengths (diagram below) that
will support the entire coachwork exterior.

The ratchet straps prevent the exterior panels from
spreading and falling off of the tube during construction.

Between each set of cross members a 1" x 2" x 0.125"
rectangular tube will be installed on end to distribute
load and add floor rigidity - perhaps additional members
still (as required) once I figure out where my
mill and lathe are going to be mounted.

This solution in hindsight appears simple and self
evident, but it has taken quite a few chin scratches and
pen to paper drawings to feel comfortable with this
course of action.
Time and Money.
There are two types of people in the world -
Those who can make, and those who pay others
to do so.

Well, three actually, but the bent Vise-grip and
one clawed hammer percentile who thoroughly
believe that they can tend to exit under pickup
trucks on bumper jacks or at mains distribution
panels.

For the rest, those who cannot are relegated to a
life of giving their hard earned greenbacks to
those who can.

I however can, and I will.

Finally in a position to realize a life long dream,
nothing short of god herself shoving a lightning
bolt squarely up my ass will prevent this project
from completion.

The cost of raw lengths of hot roll structural tube
have increased three hundred percent since I
fabricated the Beastie's post apocalyptic road
protection eight years ago. The cost of this build
will not be trivial, but distributed piecemeal over
time, it will certainly be manageable.

Although I tend historically to be exceedingly poor
at estimating any particular job, The materials
required to build the first seven of forty feet have
so far totalled a mere $440.

Bringing only the bare body and frame of this bus
into the folds of my happy place will likely run
somewhere between four and six grand over a
nine month period..

A new Blue Bird 13 row Vision runs $157,000.

I'm well ahead of the game.
Last updated May 1, 2019.
Simplified diagram depicting replacement
cross-members and coach support tubes.

With little in the way of published material for the shade
tree bus builder to reference, there have been moments
where I have stepped back and questioned - with what  
remains of the body shell balanced on timbers - whether
or not my remaining few loose screws have managed to
back themselves out and vacate the premises.

It's important for me to remember that I don't have to
build to several reams worth of how to keep the kiddies
safe from a level crossing T-bone. Technically I'm only
building a dry freight box with windows.
The 2019 work season has finally arrived!

It's been a long hard winter, and it seemed like it would
never end, but the last of the negative double digit days
have squarely passed, and soon I'll be bitching about
the heat and bugs.

Every Monday morning the last five months I would snap
a final picture of the 'Hare just before leaving home for
the week, and fasten it to my workstation in Mississauga.

I read once somewhere that doing so was one step in
pursuing one's dream, although I suspect they meant a
sail boat, or a photo of a Jamaican beach.

The bus has survived the winter heave and frost thaw
without folding. There is a small ripple above row 11
where the coachwork has twisted slightly, but nothing
that a 20 ton bottle jack and timbers beneath the tires
can't rectify.

This year she gets a new floor. Let's roll then.