Sunday, March 28, 2010

And cushion Recovering!

This afternoon I recovered the smallest cushion for the top bed with the vintage sheets I bought from Goodwill. After I am done with all of them I will still probably have some fabric left over. Because the cushions are made of this spongy material its hard to slip the fabric over it, so instead of sewing cushions with the machine & putting them on, I just sewed them directly over it. It took an hour or so since I had to hand sew it with some extra strong thread, but it turned out good!

I held down the edges with pins because the fabric liked to bunch a little:

Overall it turned out pretty good! I'm happy with it. Just two more to go!

I still need to find some thicker upholstery fabric for the bench seat. I'm going to check Ikea if I can Friday, maybe they have some cool, relatively inexpensive fabric that would be good for it.

Rust Destroyed!

...well Most of it. Friday I went out and bought a sander from Lowe's Hardware for $30, some wire brushes, large & small and some gritty sandpaper, then went to town on the rust Saturday. I would say we got about 70% of the rust off. I worked on the front while Trey worked on the sliding door. I didn't get any pictures of the rust spots on the door, but I did take a few of the front in before & after.

Bumper "Lip":


The Front after Priming!!:
Lookin' Good

Trey workin on the sliding door, I will have to get an after shot, it looks way better now.

The major damage around the driver's side headlight still needs a ton of work, but at least that's whats mostly left of it. Within this next week I hope to get the windshield out, plus the other windows so I can check out the rust situation under the seals... I am pretty sure it won't be too bad... But I won't be sure til I look! I also have new seals for everything, so I know I won't have issues with leaks.

I took some pics of the painted sink cabinet & X fridge... Excuse the mess:

When you open the X-fridge/ now storage space:

Yay! Trey & I brought the bumpers home so we can sand them & prime/paint them at home. I'm still deciding if I want to paint it myself using that $75 method (as proven to work for some folks), borrow/rent a sprayer, or try to find a shop who has a pretty good deal... I'm feeling pretty lazy after this weekend :P

Friday, March 26, 2010

Decided on a Paint Job!

Sooo now that the sanding is coming along, it's time to decide on my paint job... I am going to go with some sort of teal color... But I am going to put different greens/blues in either stripe form or maybe something like this:

But I really like the swirly idea:

I did think about painting the Microbus pattern on my 79:

But I feel like it looks a little weird... and I don't know if I really want to copy a paint job usual to buses 10 years older than mine :P

So if you can imagine this paint job on the front, with a colored pattern on the side:

My Bus will be amazing :) So happy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Joined a VW yahoo group yesterday... And already people have been so informative and helpful. Somebody sent me this awesome link that I knew existed... just couldn't figure out where:

This makes my life a lot easier.

Also found: . Hm, guess I could have started this blog on that site... Oh well, maybe I will have two! :P

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Found this great website on Workamping: In between farm jobs I can always work at a camp site. After reading some sample job posts, this seems like a great opportunity. Although it appears most, if not all, pay minimum wage. But without bills, that won't be a problem. Some even give you an RV site with power/water hook ups & included wifi! Rockin'! Many of them post looking for couples or singles, and if couples do become employed they work the same schedule. That is so awesome. Happy me!

This is the website I look to for farming work: . I could go through WWOOF but some of the postings on the above website pay fairly well. Its nice to see that my dreams are not too far away. I want to gain as much knowledge on farming, sustainable agriculture, environmental sciences, sustainable energy, etc, as possible so I can have my own place one day "off the grid." I am looking forward to living a much more simpler lifestyle than everyone else I know. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Slowly comin' along

Got a bit done this weekend, not a whole lot. Painted & polyurethane'd the rest of the furniture. The yellow looks bangin'! I wish I took pics... Will add later. Finished the X-fridge cabinet only to find out it doesn't really fit. Need to take a saw to chop off a few inches. Pretty stupid on my part. Apparently I can't measure very well... Oh well! Live & Learn right? Hopefully I can find a handsaw to take care of that this weekend... We should also have an air compressor soon so we can take the windows out of the beast & sand it all down.
We went through all of the new seals that came with the bus. Turns out with only need a few: for the pop-top, sliding door, & the seals that go around the little triangular windows in the front & back. I figure I will order those once we get to sanding... Trey is in the process of cleaning the bay windows & replacing the screens on them. I re-did the sunscreens yesterday. I just duct taped some thin cardboard to the wire outline & covered it with fabric that is blue with clouds on it. So cute! (i will take pics tonight)I also added some ribbon to hold papers or whatever in the visor if I need. I hope I am more productive this week.
A friend of mine mentioned that he has a sander I could use... so maybe I can go ahead and get some sanding done during the week. I just want to fast forward til I have my baby on the road & ready to go. One we get it painted it won't be very long after that...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rust Removal: A labor of love

Today I spent about 4 hours sanding the rust off the front of the car. Got most of it off though and primed some of it. Also got the formica off and painted the sink cabinet! Its very yellow. Matches everything well though. Yesterday I scored big at Goodwill: I got two sets of vintage bedsheets (light yellow with floral print) & really wide vintage curtain valances(??) that also match the mushroom print fabric for the curtains. I also picked up the stove accessories from Lowes. I bought a low pressure regulator and a hose with the adapter for 1 lb bottles. Figure I am mostly going to cook over fires, in a house, with the solar cook, etc so I won't need to replace the horribly rusted factory tank. My bus is going to be so awesome once its done... Tonight Trey and I are going to wash the foam cushions and hopefully they can still be usable.

This week I plan to:
sew the fabric into covers for the cushions
Sew the curtains
Get the stove together
Figure out the sink

The sink has been giving me some trouble... but I am close to understanding what goes where. The manual that came with the car lacks the camper section, so some things have been hard to figure out. But luckily I have the internets!

If i think my arms are sore after all that sanding now... I just have to wait til tomorrow morning... :(

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sink & Stove taken apart!

So last night Trey & I got a bit more sanding done on the body. Tommy (one of Trey's co workers who is helping us with the bus) is hoping to get an air compressor in the next 2 weeks. At that point we can sand the bus down so we can prime & paint it. Still in between colors at the moment though...

Trey managed to get the last 2 screws off the sink face (the rubber band idea did NOT help) but he just used different sizes of screw heads until one of them worked enough to loosen the screws. The sink only needs a new water pump, but the stove needs quite a bit of TLC. The actual stove is good, same with the knobs. However, the factory propane tank is rusted completely. So I am going to rig up the stove to connect to those little 1 lb camping propane tank. This is a good link about this modification: .

I also got my fabric in yesterday:
I initially ordered 15 yards of it, but since it was a clearance item (@ $4 a yard!) they only had 5 yards left. So I am planning on making curtains out of them. :) I've decided against staining the wood that I haven't covered with wallpaper. I think I am going to go with paint. I just haven't figured out what color yet. I am leaning towards something light colored like a light yellow or tan. So my curtains, vintage wall paper, and whatever else I will end up using will match. Matching, or at least mostly matching, is key! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lazy Weekend

So this past weekend I was very lazy. Went & worked on Westy for an hour or so Saturday, managed to get some formica off and poked around at the sink some more. Two screws are rusted on pretty good, but I am hoping I can get them off tonight by putting a rubber band between the screw & screwdriver. This should help fill in some of the void, create a better "grab" and maybe get the suckers off. This way I can take the thing apart so I can get the sink & stove in working condition. I am going to replace the original propane tank because mine is all rusted to hell. Found a VERY helpful link from The Samba: Lots of helpful information in regards to replacing the propane system.

Also found out this past weekend that the spare sliding door that came with the Westy actually doesn't fit... Trey spent 30 minutes replacing some of the parts to get it on the car, and once we slid the door on we realized it isn't the correct size- a bit too shallow. So that means tonight I have a lot of sanding to do on the bottom of the door where there is quite a bit of rust damage. I'm hoping that body filler will do the trick to seal up some of the places where the rust has eaten through. I am just thankful the underside has been coated & the front beam replaced already.

Today I discovered this awesome website: This website gives me so much inspiration about my upcoming lifestyle change. I never knew about Solar Ovens! What a great thing. An Oven that is completely solar "powered" and cooks food to perfection. I can't wait to build my own. It's so refreshing to read other people's stories in fulfilling their dreams and seeing how it so closely correlates with mine. :) I just wish I could be in the garage than in the office on such a sunny day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vintage Wall Paper

ironed off the formica and re-surfaced with vintage wall paper & polyurethane.

Say NO to SNOW

Well, of course it is snowing here again so that means tonight I won't be going down to the storage unit to work on the Bus... :(

However! Last night I finished painting the bottom side of the overhead storage compartment. It turned out better than I expected, and tonight I plan on outlining the sun's features with Glow in the Dark paint- so when it's nighttime, lo & behold the sun turned into the Moon! Along with some stars and it will be awesome. I will polyurethane it and consider that part- DONE.

Now I just need to find a saw...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blog Created!

Just created this nifty blog so I can update my Westy's restoration process. Sometimes it's been pretty hard for me to find other people's restoration process/photos online, so hopefully other Westy owners out there will find this blog useful in one way or another.

I picked up the Westy February 7, 2010 from a man is Salisbury NC who was getting rid of the beast because he just didn't have the time to continue restoration. The car is in good condition, some rust here & there, nothing too major. There's a large dent just under the left head light which we are preparing to fill with body filler. The car came with an extra sliding door that has little rust damage, and a plethora of other spare & original parts. The PO (previous owner) had done a lot of the dirty work already. He completely gutted the interior and took the old Formica off the storage compartments. He replaced the front beam, shocks, brakes, did some body work, cleaned the pop top. The only thing missing from the bus is the canvas tent-like material that goes in the pop top. But it did come with the AWESOME tent that attaches to the outside of the sliding door. Very awesome!

What I have done so far: Removed formica (easily done with a knife & a hot iron), resurfaced the furniture with vintage wall paper & polyurethane. (will add pictures in the very near future I promise!) I sanded most of the rust off the body, and we are now waiting for an air-compressor to sand the paint off. I completely disassembled the refrigerator- icky!!!- because I am going to use that space for storage. (If anyone reading this is in need of fridge parts for a 79 Westy please message me... I am very willing to part with them.) I brought the cushions to my house, had to cut the original fabric off because the zippers were rusted shut. I am planning on washing the cushions (pretty icky but not too bad) and reupholstering them once I get fabric... Other than that I have been reading about VWs A LOT and figuring out what others have done in their restoration process.

Here's some photos of how the Westy is lookin right about now:

Yay Fridge&Stove!