Now that the floor is attached (post / video) and the ceiling is in (post / video) we can move onto the last piece of the interior frame skin, the bus interior wall installation. Of course, like everything else in this project, it’s a little more complicated than just cutting things to size and slapping them on the wall.
“We have to keep the curve! It’s pretty!” – wife commenting on the bus interior wall installation options
Well, with the floor and ceiling installed and screaming for a wall that matches it, we start by measuring like crazy. Each board could be different, even if it’s by 1/16″, that could make it so the board doesn’t fit into the space we have available.
After fastidious measurement, we move into the process of cutting each of the boards. There are roughly 2 sizes, the boards above the window openings and the boards where there are frame separations between the windows or where the windows will be blanked out. We also need to make sure to account for the curve in the top of the bus and that means more kerfing.
6″ down from the top, where we added a bevel for a better fit, we cut in a series of relief kerfs to allow us to bend just the top portion of the board. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it will allow us to use a taller board that goes past the top of the windows to give the illusion of a taller room.
If you use this method for your bus interior wall installation, you may find that the wood doesn’t have enough give to bend without cracking. If this happens, just get the kerf channels good and wet with boiling water and you should have the pliability you need.
Once the kerfing is completed you will need to make your cuts for any deviations in the wall; outlet boxes, window clamps, trim rings, etc. Making these relief cuts and notches prior to bus interior wall installation will make it go much easier. This can also lead to boards that look like they were made by a toddler.
As you can see in the image, there are a total of 9 modifications to the original piece of pine, and that was just one of the boards. Imagine if you try to cut them after you do the bus interior wall installation. It would be an absolute nightmare. The best outcome you can hope for is something that fits tight enough to fit into its home without having huge gaps between elements.
Once you’ve cut all the boards, spent hours notching, dadoing, trimming, and kerfing you can actually start attaching them to the frame against the outer walls. We’re using 2½” self-tapping metal screws to attach everything. Since we’re painting the walls, we’ll be able to fill any fastener holes so they won’t be seen. This wasn’t an option on the floors or the ceiling since there will be a clear finish.
The video of the entire bus interior wall installation is down below so watch it through to see how it all happens.
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