School bus / first post on talk

This is my first time using talk ever, posting or reading so my apologies in advance if I doing this incorrectly.

Is there anyone who needs to be asked or permission requested for the following…

I am a professional heavy diesel mechanic and I just purchased a school bus that I intend to convert to an RV, given that it is too big to drive into the automotive garage, and knowing all the rules apply of do not leave anything overnight / take mess with you whenever you leave. I suspect there wouldn’t be an issue with me driving it up beside the automotive garage in the back parking lot and working on it after hours sometimes .?.

I intend to just do this in order to have a place to do work like install my snap lock floor and fabricate interior parts, not major construction / destruction.


Warning, this is a topics that in the past has been an issue at DMS. Others have under taken the same project, made and broken promises to BOD and Committees around it. So you are wading into warm waters on this.

But, as a newbie, here are the rules you need to watch out for first.

Then there is generally following the Automotive Committee Rules. Category:Automotive - Dallas Makerspace.

I hope these links help you in planning how to do your project at DMS.

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Omg sorry guys I typed something and somehow I screwed it up.

Having some past experience with this kind of project, it’s going to be difficult. The bus conversion I got Tom Sawyer’ed into helped with was far and away the most ambitious project I’ve seen at DMS on the basis of both scope and sheer tonnage.

Some semi-organized thoughts:

  • Working on vehicles outside technically violates the lease. It’s not a huge problem if no one complains - you don’t disrupt other tenants and you keep it neat. After hours and weekends are good for this. but…
  • Cleaning up every day for a bus project is an additional burden that’s difficult to carry
  • The sheer volumes of material combined with the voluminous nature of the bus means a temptation to use the bus for storage which means that your materials are always in the way means that simply dealing with the bulk materials takes so much that actual detailed cleanup is a difficult and annoying transition - such as chasing down small pieces of hardware or tire sidewall-seeking rivet shanks
  • Working after hours means external lighting which makes spotting small bits of material difficult - especially when it’s 1 AM and you’ve spent the last 20 minute schlepping heavy steel/insulation/plywood/wiring around
  • Parking demands on weekends is high and a bus takes up a lot of space so you’ll be annoying other members and experience difficulty working around the bus on weekends.
  • If you’re going to raise the roof (ala the project I helped with) then you’ll be expending a staggering amount of time and effort re-engineering and rebuilding the structure. If you do this I suggest souring material that’s compatible with the ‘hat sections’ that compose most school bus structures rather than welding to the inside and eating into the inside margins of the completed vehicle.
  • And for the love of all that’s holy or sacred to you do not spray paint the bus in the parking lot

I wasn’t too far from Mister Smith when we did this - as were a lot of other members. Sort of an experience like building a pyramid where just raw people power was needed. But Erik’s observation on the other points I agree with and should be considered. But it definitely needs to be driven home everyday to avoid problems

I might still have that roof raising survivor commemorative button around somewhere.

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Lol wow guys, it sounds like some people in the past did DMS really dirty, sheesh. Ok covering topics as I read them, memory serving me here…

Debris: there won’t be any and if there is then it would be very minimal and of course it would be disposed of properly and immediately.

Tire damage stuff: none of that is going to happen, I won’t allow it to. I’ve worked roadside as an on site heavy diesel technician for CAT and VOLVO trucks for years and I conduct myself far more professionally than to leave trash on the ground that will cause tire damage, or any trash in general.

Raising the bus frame: the project is real, but it isn’t that real. I’m definitely not raising the roof, as much as id like it done, I’m not putting that kind of effort/modification into this project. This is interior cosmetic work, nothing major.

Painting the bus: come on guys someone could help me build a plastic tent around it and let’s spray it over the weekend. JUST KIDDING definitely not intending on painting it at DMS that would be like the Exxon Valdez of EPA violations :rofl: BUT if you guys do have any really big stuff y’all need to paint I do have a place we can do it at for free but that place is 4 hours from Dallas so feel free to DM me about it if you ever need such a place.


I might take you up on that.
I’ve been keeping my eye out for a place to spray my truck with raptor liner, but that wouldn’t be happening until end of September / beginning of October time frame.