St. Peter don'cha call me 'cause I can't come...
the march hare - project - page v 2004-2020. Doc J.Vicious & Murph-O-Minion enterprises. Godfrey, ON.
Content may be used on the condition that the original author be clearly credited.
Last updated Dec 13, 2019.
Back to work again!
Pen to paper, the season's proposed work, much
like last year, appears so simple.

In reality, at any given point there will be a
deficiency of either time or money. The bus will
not move this year - this an absolute certainty.

But real progress will be realized in 2019.

The plan is to focus at first on completing the
structural build between rows 3 and 8.

Much thought has gone into working out several
issues, my original solution to which although
viable enough, I was never entirely pleased with.

I was never really happy with being forced to
locate cross members directly adjacent to the roof
bows, something that I
have to do, at least in the
interim, with no longitudinal spreaders in place. As
well, I'm unable - or at least unwilling - to attempt
to install a full 6 row long 2 x 4" structural tube
channel with the exterior coachwork (presumably,
as I see no other alternative) supported on
timbers reaching to the ground. On a pad in a
shop? Sure, but on muskeg?

And so the work-around had been to break the
spreaders down into two 8 foot lengths installed
individually and join them with welds and doubling
plates mid row 6.

Strong enough? Absolutely. But I still don't like it.

The cross member placement although perfectly
structurally sound, meant that i would have to
muck about with additional plating and tube to
meet the wheel well flanges, and that standard
sheets of marine plywood would not necessarily
terminate over the cross member centers,
possibly resulting in excessive offcut waste - of a
material that costs $105 per sheet.

If only there were a way to install full length
spreaders between the wheels - then the cross
members could simply be coached, no pun
intended, into their optimal place with a maul.

Well there is.

Currently the truncated roof bows - bearing the
weight of the exterior coachwork - are sitting on
short lengths of 2 x 4 tube of the same cross
sectional dimensions of the lengths that will
eventually replace them (see previous page).

If I were to replace these bits, instead using cuts
of a thinner material, then i might be able to jimmy
the spreader mostly into place, knock out the
interim supports from behind with a bar and
hammer, and then beat the longitudinal spreader
sideways into place without knocking the
coachwork off of the cross members.

At this moment my working plan. It should work.

Should indeed. I wonder though, how many
countless journeymen over the centuries
exactly that, immediately before all
manner of nothing good came to pass.

With the center section of the bus squared away, I
intend to switch my focus to building the belly box
frames, and cutting away the lower skirts.

Partly, because I'd like to be able to see some of
the actual transformation, as opposed to the
monotony of repair take shape, and partly
because I can then utilize the material removed -
nearly 50 square feet of straight galvanized 15
gauge mild sheet - elsewhere.

Recycle, man!

The work behind the rear wheels should progress
relatively quickly afterward, applying lessons
learned during the last season's destruction. The
wild card being the last foot of floor traversing the
distance from the most rearward cross member to
the rear bulkhead and door sill behind row 13. I'll
cross that bridge when I get there, probably just
simply plating the gap with metal recovered from
the skirt.

Assuming that I don't bone myself? I actually
believe that I might be able to fully complete a one
man bus rebuild in under one year (from time of
purchase) of weekends.

Which of course, would make me undeniably
It has been exactly 111 days since I've turned a
single bolt on my beloved 'Hare. Apparently wars
have been decided in less time.

During that time I've filled nearly an entire 140
page note book with scribbles and plans for this
season's work, and another ream worth of wasted
time at work daydreaming of the eventualities;
kitchen configurations, black and white checkered
vinyl tiled floors, train horns. Occasionally I even
dream about buses.

Admittedly a somewhat obsessed and sad unit,
today in fact purchasing yet
another bus, a GM
"New Look" transit bus - albeit this one HO scale.

Clearly I need to get back to my wrenching. Well,
spring is finally here.
I've been coveting one of these 1/87 scale
model buses from Rapido Trains (Markham,
ON.),Today the tuna can spare change fund full
enough to place my order. Next? A vintage bus
driver's cap!
The first load of the year cut to length.

It doesn't look like much, but that's a bus. Some
assembly required of course.

The smaller one inch structural tube will be used for
general purpose gusset or bracing.
Moving rearward, row eleven removed Saturday.
Perhaps a bit sketch with the jack, but I don't like
leaving more than two rows unsupported at one time.

We're down to the vinegar strokes now. Two more
weekends to remove the remaining three rows of floor,
and she'll be ready to go back together.

Standing back, barring some major personal
catastrophe, I really don't see why
all of the major
coachwork and welding should extend beyond August.
Gentlemen, and ladies. I give to you - the secret.

Chewing through Sawzall blades? Didn't you just buy the
latest and greatest fluff brand guaranteed to bifurcate a

I've found the general metal blade shelf offerings are
surprisingly consistent across the brands - including
offshore. This particular one $10 per five pack, as
opposed to 16 bucks for a single painted pretty yellow
with that silk-screened logo that we know and love.

Heat is your enemy here! Burn the blade up and it loses
it's temper, the now soft teeth then exiting as quickly as
if in the presence of a plier wielding Nazi.

No fancy cutting oil - just a tap water trickle from one of
momma's vodka cooler bottles and a small pokey hole.
Holy Panzer shit Batman! Including the quarter inch
thick steel tank itself, frame doubling plates, C-channel
drops, and 3 cross-members, I roughly estimate nearly a
quarter ton of armour protecting the fuel tank!

Wonderful that they've mitigated any possibility of
crunchy pink child kebab, but seriously, a pissed off
Roman god at the controls of a locomotive would be
hard pressed to penetrate this diesel tank, given it's
position alone.

A private "class A" conversion neither needs, nor legally
requires this type of armour.

What's a hundred pounds worth economy wise on a
forty foot brick with one hundred and eighty times one
hundred pounds of gravity?

I don't know, but every pound will count on this build.
The 2019 bus building season has come and gone with
relatively little accomplished - certainly not what I had
hoped to have completed before the snow.

Still, this bit of hollow structural tube, relieved to clear
the fuel filler door, represents the first truly
manufactured "part" (As opposed to just a piece of metal
cut to length) going into the bus.

It still smells like ... Victory.