Sacked by the "downturn", an unemployed architect touring the country in a bus...



I used to live in New York City. I designed homes for the tycoons of Wall Street; Park Avenue, Scarsdale, Greenwich. It was great fun. And, after years of saving up for a down payment, I was just about to buy my own little place in Fleetwood, half an hour north of the city, when the economy fell apart. Architects are like canaries in a coal mine when the economy slows, and true to form, there were massive layoffs in firms all over the country. Devastation of the profession. So, I decided to try to find something else to do for a while. I bought a 23' school bus and I'm on the road to see if I can figure out what that might be.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No such thing as "The Bottom"

A project like this demands attention to the bottom details.  To fasten the seat, I first got little zinc coated steel L brackets which would be screwed to the seat and the rails.  But the color doesn't match the brass cross ties.  I thought finding brass parts would be a real pain so I resolved to paint the zinc brackets and screws black.  However, at the hardware store today, to my surprise, I found brass L brackets and brass oval head screws, and nicely dimpled brass finish washers.  I also found brass shelf pins which I thought might work.  I bought 4 L's and 4 shelf pins, a box of the screws, and 8 washers.  I ended up using the shelf pins which worked very elegantly.  Between the frame and the seat, I had planned to lay in a felt weather strip.  Previously, I had only been able to find a foam rubber strip, which I bought, but today I spotted an old timey looking felt strip and I snatched it up.  It's been like that on much of this project, buying multiple choices of materials, and then finding the perfect thing later still.  Oh, well, that's product development biz. 

I installed dowels to mount the back rest and arm rests, then sanded all the Zebra wood parts with successively fine sandpaper up 400 grit.  I made some stands for the parts and applied a first coat of polyurethane.  Tomorrow, I will install the Zebra wood parts, do a final sanding on everything and be ready for a final coat of satin polyurethane.  Click here for the pics :-)

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