Bus Update: Floor Removal

Late last year (2018) we purchased a mini bus from a regional artist with the intention to renovate it into a mobile book store.  Since then we have been focusing on demolition, running into unexpected problems and extra steps.  Luckily, we planned for setbacks and it has been a wonderful opportunity for learning and growth.  

First, I took the seats out of the bus.  In order to do this I had to use a diamond blade on a grinder to take the heads off of most of the bolts because rust had stripped them.  Honestly, this step was very fun.  Sparks flew everywhere.  If you take this approach, make sure you are wearing long sleeves (even if it is hot out), thick leather gloves and eye protection.  If you have long hair, it is also a good idea to keep it pulled back.  Safety first, always!  It took about 3 hours to get all eight seats out of the bus.  

Second, we had to rip up the rubber coating from the bus floor.  This is a very satisfying task (or at least it was for us) because it was one of the easier ones, but also required a bit of elbow grease and the sound was reminiscent of pop rocks or bubble wrap.  This took around 30-45 minutes to accomplish.  

Third came the plywood.  For this, Tommy had to cut the corners of the plywood in the bus and use a crow bar to pull it up far enough to use a car jack to rip it up the rest of the way.  We had a few extra hands for this one (shout out to all the supportive friends).  After a lot of grunting, sounds of cracking wood, whooping, hollering, cursing and about a couple hours of total work, the plywood had been entirely removed.

Fourth, came the aluminum.  We were not expecting so many weak, rusty spots in it, but Tommy said it would be pretty easy to pull up the aluminum.  He took out all of the screws that were holding it in and he was right.  The floor popped right up and he cut it off like a tuna can lid with a saw.  

After he had removed the aluminum sheet we were faced with huge amount of rust.  Tommy had a plan immediately.  Undaunted, he proceeded to collect sanding blocks, automatic sanders, compressed air and a hammer.  The hammer was for the screws that I had cut the heads off of, but were still sticking out of the bus floor.  Hammering those out proved to be real calorie burner, but he eventually prevailed.  He sanded down the rust with coarse, fine, clean sanding blocks.  After dusting it all off, he repaired the leftover rust holes with flex seal and aluminum sheets and rustoleum “rust away” spray to halt the rust. 

Stay tuned for the laying of the new floor!  We are very excited because after the demolition and the cleaning, we can start on the creation and building out of the bus.  Thank you for joining us on this journey!


-Tommy and Grace Stewart-