Bus Build: Building Walls for our Bus Conversion – S03E21

With our ceilings prepped, the first layer of insulation and furring strips installed, we needed to make a plan for our side walls in the bus.

We decided to keep the original foam board insulation in the walls as it is in good condition, and chose to use ¼ inch birch plywood to create our walls.  We made a template out of cardboard for the windows and cut out the window shape along 8ft long plywood to fill in the bottom walls. This meant each cut was different but it allowed us to use the whole 8ft of the board and to have fewer seams.

This worked well however it did seem impossible to make the curve at the bottom of the window always fit nice and snug. Perhaps it is due to our inexperience with a jigsaw or perhaps we are asking too much, as the bus is not always symmetrical. We may find a way to fill in those tiny gaps, but we also plan on putting reclaimed wood as a trim over the sides of the windows which may cover this up enough to not worry about it being perfect.

We also found that the top side of the birch plywood would splinter really bad along the cut.  We tried a few different saw blades but even the finest one still splintered the plywood.  However the underneath side had a clean cut, so we turned our plans upside down so that we could have the clean cut facing out and the splintered side hidden.

Above the windows we plan on covering the metal with CeraTex, filling in the triangle shape with our birch plywood and above that we plan on using reclaimed wood as a trim again running all the way down the passenger side of the bus.  We will be able to hide wiring behind this trim. On the drivers side we will be removing a few windows and building furniture/shelves into the walls.

We picked out a paint color and decided to paint all the wood for the walls and ceiling before installing them.


Up Next
We have a painting party and install a vapor barrier on our walls.

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CeraTex 3170 Ceramic Fiber Paper is an alumino-silicate ceramic fiber based non-woven fabric. It is manufactured through a special paper-making process with high purity washed fibers, suitable for high temperature insulation up to 2300°F. CeraTex 3170 features with low thermal conductivity, excellent corrosion resistance, heat and flame resistance, light weight, good flexibility and handling strength. The material is easy to die-cut or hand cut into custom shaped parts.


Contact Cement
We used DAP Weldwood Original Contact Cement to glue the CeraTex. It is a polychlorprene-based contact cement that meets the stringent requirements of the professional user. Its high strength and initial grab make it well suited for most projects. It offers a 15-20 minute (dependent on temperature and humidity) dry time (ready to bond) with a 1-1/2-2 hour assembly/working time. Use to bond decorative laminates, veneers, paneling, wood, rubber, foam or cork to itself, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, drywall, wood, glass, metal or fiberglass. 


By Mela & Don

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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