Bus Build: Walls for our Bus Conversion – S03E43

Our process for building our walls was much like our ceilings.

We used luan, a ¼ inch thick plywood underlayment, which we screwed into the metal beams with Teks Wood to Metal screws and the wooden studs we installed with Spax Wood Screws.  We did our best to conserve the plywood as we planned our install, which meant we had seams running vertical and horizontal in the walls.  

To cut out the holes for the windows, Don created a jig (we copied from our friends at LaCroix Cruiser) to help create neat, clean and uniform curves for the corners with a wood router. He would cut a rough cut initially with a jigsaw and then clean it up with the jig and the router.  Being the first time he had ever used a router it took some trial and error and we found that the key to using this jig was to use a bit with a ball bearing at the bottom. This allowed the ball bearing to roll along the jig while the spinning router bit (blade) cut the wood to the same curve as our template.

Our initial thought for our walls, was to create a smooth finish similar to the look of drywall. However after we installed our walls, with vertical and horizontal seams,  we were concerned that  we don’t have the skills to clean up these seams well and are rethinking our walls.  Next up we plan to put our tongue and groove wainscotting planks into the ceiling and may just choose to continue the planks down into the walls.


Up Next
Putting up our tongue and groove planks doesn’t go as we expect, but looks great!

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IntegraPLY Underlayment
This underlayment is commonly used for under carpet, vinyl and laminate floors as well as ceramic tile. They are 4 x 8 boards that are only ¼ inch thick making them easy to bend into the curved ceiling.

SPAX® #8 x 3/4" Combo Drive Zinc Construction Screw 
These were the best option we found to secure our luan to wood furring strips.  

TEKS Wood to Metal Screws 
It seats flush into the wood. The point has precise cutting edges to improve drill performance with less effort. Wafer head design has a large bearing surface ideal for plywood.

Bosch Wood Router
We ended up using this Bosch Colt Palm Router (Bosch GKF125CE Colt variable-speed palm-grip router). It is small and easy to hadle and made the job go really quick once we knew how to use it.

Router Bit - CMT Flush Trim bit
To cut the curves in our wall panels we used the 3/8-Inch CMT Flush Trim router bit. Because of the bearing it was easy to use our jig as a guide for precision.

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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