Almost a new member / bus conversion project planning

Hi all! I’ve had the opportunity to take the orientation / woodshop safety course and am very excited about becoming a member. I’m most interested in developing my woodworking skills, but I do have a project I’m working on which is a short bus RV conversion.

I’ve talked with a few people about the feasibility / practicality of working on the bus project at ASMBLY (i.e. running extension cords outside, not leaving vehicles overnight) but I’m curious if anyone here has used the space for their conversion and has any experience to impart. If you think the space isn’t practical for this type of project I’d definitely love to hear suggestions for alternative locations that might be more conducive.

Thanks and looking forward to working out of the space!

I converted a sprinter van last year and seriously thought I would use Asmbly as a “home base”, as I didn’t trust the apartment complex I was living at the time. Luckily, I had friends nearby and used their driveway instead. Doing most of the work there and only going to the workshop for more specialized/precise work.

I’d recommend not using Asmbly as the primary workspace, especially since you likely can’t fit the bus in the auto bay.

  1. Setting up and breaking down outside each time you need to work wastes a lot of time. Not only the setup of tools, but when packing up you have to actually pack your tools/materials down as they will move around a LOT when you drive back and forth. This takes a little longer than just “throwing everything into the bus”.
    1b) what happens when you forget a bolt or a piece and need to make a quick run to the store? You now have to pack up the whole bus just to drive to get shorter screws or something like that. Try to set up where you have access to your “driving” vehicle.

  2. You run out of scheduled time on skedda. Even though the workshop wasn’t my primary, there were weeks where I needed to be hyper efficient with my time so I don’t run out of sign up hours. I forget how many hours we get a week now, but something to think about it you plan to work on it full time.

  3. Remember there are others in the workshop. (Mostly talking about the woodshop). Someone might be using the tool you need and you’ll just have to wait. For the most part, it shouldn’t be a huge problem. You’ll have a lot of other stuff to do, but sometimes you’re in the zone on a task and it’s a tad inconvenient for your work flow.

But then again, you may not have many tools and it’s the reason you are considering working out of the workshop. Think about what “high value” tools you could buy instead, to get the most use and if it’s worth it just to bite the bullet so that you can save a lot of time.

To each their own, and maybe you want to try working outside of Asmbly for a week or 2 and if it’s not a huge bother, then great!

To add, here’s what I did actually do:

Left my tools in my buddy’s garage and parked the van outside his place. Worked on it mostly in the driveway, with like 20% of my time ever spent at Asmbly (mostly for welding, which most conversions likely don’t need).

Another option I considered but there wasn’t any vacancy at the time:
Renting a storage space (w/power) and parking spot, and working on it there. I know Burnet Road Self Storage allows you to work out of your space if you like (most others don’t let you run power tools).