Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 136 - Cabinet, Trim & Battery Rack | Bus Conversion

Today felt like a productive but long day. The first thing we did today was finish (still needs trim, stain and varnish) the under dash cabinet and surrounding paneling. It really completed the look of the dash.

Next I installed corner bead on the over head cabinet that is above the dash.

Next I had the urge to go ahead and construct the rack that my batteries will rest in.

We went and picked up 4 - Pacer 6-Volt Deep Cycle batteries from the local Napa store. The store manager was nice enough to sell me the 4 batteries with no core exchange for $115 a battery. That seemed like a fair deal.

This is how they will be wired:

I had some old steel bed frames laying around so I decided to use those for the battery rack.

I wish I had a romantic story about the next picture because it bears a striking resemblance to the Shards of Narsil. Narsil was the sword of King Elendil of the DĂșnedain which in a later age was reforged as Anduril. Ok, I may be losing some of you here. Sorry, I am a big Lord of the Rings fan. I guess you need to watch the first movie to know what I am talking about.

Ok, now I have to show off the real Shards of Narsil. See the resemblance? LOL:

Well, back to the real world. Seriously though, does anyone make good drill bits??? I have gone through so many drill bits on this project. I even used a $30 drill bit and it is dull now. It must have taken me a good 10 min. to drill each hole in this.

Here are the batteries set into place:

We were also able to get more trim installed in the dinette area:

This sits over the front passenger side wheel well:

More tomorrow I hope.


TencenT said...

you can pick up an electric drill bit sharpener on the cheap.. just grinds down a new face on the tips and kinda looks like the machines they use to cut keys. You just pre select the size drill bit on the little box then shove the bit in there and it starts sharpening it.

Tony Mabbitt said...

I've been reading through your whole series of posts about the bus, because I plan to do the same thing soon, and I'm learning from your experience. But now I have a chance to share some of my own experience, hoping you can benefit from it. I'm an airplane/helicopter mechanic, so I do a lot of metal drilling. To get the most use out of your drill bits: when drilling aluminum, use a HSS (high-speed steel) bit. Run the drill at high speed with very little pressure, and the bit should go through aluminum like butter. When drilling iron or steel, use cobalt bits. Put a lot of pressure on the drill (making sure there's no sideways pressure, or you'll snap the bit) and turn the drill very slowly. One revolution per second seems to work really well. Use plenty of cutting lube, and you can drill steel for days with the same bit. Hope this helps as much as your blog is helping me. Thanks for the excellent step-by-step detail in the posts.

Peter said...

Tony is right on the nose with his comment. Different materials need different drilling techniques and when done right, even cheap drill bits will do the job, even if they wear out faster. Also tencent's comment is equally valid. Even the best drill bits need sharpening to keep their edge and allow you to get the most out of your bits.