Here’s a math problem for you.
What do you get when you take 44 rivets per row and multiply that by 10 rows of rivets?
(That’s 440 rivets, just on the ceiling, for those without a calculator or a big ol’ brain handy.)
Now take those 440 rivets and multiply that by 10 seconds of air chisel time plus 5 hammer swings (per rivet, mind you) and what’ve you got?
One very tired, but pleased, husband and wife bus building team with no more ceiling panels.
We were warned early on that removing the ceiling panels was going to be painful. It’s a whole lot of rivets. And not the wimpy aluminum rivets like down on the side panels. Oh no! These are made in America*, genuine**, Grade A*** steel****, baby!
It was a full day of me spending some quality time with each individual one, trying to lovingly coax every rivet out via the air chisel only to have Jake come behind me with a maul hammer and smash the ever-loving fuck out of each one until it split and gave up and said it was sorry for being there in the first place.
We make a good team.
We got our rhythm down and the satisfaction of each panel crashing to the bus floor was only dampened by the fact that a split second later we were covered in 24-year-old insulation.
We finished the day tired, sore, and itchy.
We were thrilled to find zero rust and no evidence that there has been any roof leaks. This information took a looming list of possible to do’s off our list and set us up for success when it comes time to do the roof raise.
Until then, we’ll be resting our arms by keeping them down at our sides at all times and never making eye contact with a rivet again.
* Full disclosure…I have no idea of the birthplace of these particular rivets.
** As opposed to fake? Then they were absolutely real! And a giant pain in the ass!
*** Is steel given grades like beef? Who knows! Go with it! Be assured these were quality rivets.
**** Yes! Most certainly steel and definitely tougher than that Bruce Springsteen***** song.
***** Definitely made in America.