The Bus Renovation Journal

Day 1 – Rivet Camp

Day one of the bus build out is officially done! Yesterday we picked up the bus from the storage facility that it had been staying at for the last few months and took her home for good. Once back, we started straight in on the looming task of grinding off all of the interior rivets and removing the paneling and insulation from the ceiling and walls.

Rivet grinding is a tedious process. We’re using an angle grinder to slowly shred off the heads of the rivets so that we can pull the panels down. Each rivet takes between 15 – 30 seconds to grind, but holding the angle grinder up above your head takes a lot of arm strength! We read about a few other techniques like drilling them out or using a crowbar and hammer, but in practice the grinder has been the fastest option.

Eventually I (Alyssa) devised a ladder as a support system to rest my elbows on while I worked on ceiling rivets. Will, on the other hand, preferred to just muscle through it which left him with noodle arms after a few hours.

At the end of the day we were tired and dirty, but more than half of the ceiling panels are down and we think the sides will be easier. We’re back to work today and think we’ll be able to get all of these pesky rivets out by the end of it.

Are you thinking about converting a bus?

If so, make sure to check out our Big Bus Materials List! It has everything we used, from appliances to light switches to flooring, to do our conversion. Check it out »

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