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Old 01-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #1
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One Piece Skoolie Door

We wanted to keep our original door for various reason. Money and having to special order a door was part of that. So this is what we did. Lowes has a retractable screen door (looks like a sideways roller shade) that looks like it may work for a screen door. We'll see. But for now...


Building an Original Bluebird Two Piece Door into a One Piece Door

Because our original door was in such good shape and needed no repairs made to it due to rust. We decided to reuse the door. The two piece door took up a lot of room and we couldn't come up with a good way to lock it. I had gotten a couple lengths of (never used) steel landscape edging off Freecycle.org. It was very simple to do. David removed the door by unscrewing a pile of little screws that held the door onto the piano hinge. Then he trimmed down the piano hinge using a cut off wheel and my small hand held trim router. We also stripped all the hardware and trim off the door. We had several sets of old door hinges so we used them to hinge the door. We laid the door, face side down, on a flat surface and used a straight edge and shims to make sure the door was completely flat. We cut a strip of polyiso foam board insulation to fit tightly inside the groove between the two door panels.We measured and trimmed the length of the landscape edging to fit the door. Then we clamped the trimmed edging to the door so that it wouldn't move. We drilled small pilot holes thru the edging and the door. We reused the tiny screws that were used to attach the piano hinge to the door. Then we rehung the door. A chain connected to threaded eye bolts will prevent the wind from catching the door and tearing up the hinges. As you can see the landscape edging just fit between the two panels of glass.


We cut the original hinge off the door. Then rehung the door with 6 door hinges bolted to the door with screws and nuts. The other side of the hinge wast attached to the frame with screws from the siding.


Turning the original in-swing bifold door into a one piece out swing door.


The chain helps keep the door from swing out too far and damaging the hinges. The center strip is a section of metal landscape edge attached with screws. The small gap was filled with a piece of foam board insulation, cut to fit.


Close up of the metal landscape edging strip.


Another close up. The metal edging fit just between the two glass panels on the door.

This was cut-& pasted with a little addional info added from our webpage. It can be found at http://aluminumasylum.webs.com/bluebirdfe.htm
These photos can be found at http://s570.photobucket.com/albums/s...%20Conversion/

A copy of the article "One Piece Eagle Door" can be found online at http://aluminumasylum.webs.com/onepieceeagledoor.htm It used to be all over the internet but now it's gone. No pics because I didn't know how to save at that time.
(NOTE: This info is now in Dave Galey's second edition printing of his "The Bus Converter's Bible". I definately recommend that you purchase this book. It is invaluable if you are converting or thinking of converting any kind of bus. 2/2006)
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

I debated about doing that to but some of my glass was broke and cracked as is. Also determined there was too much glass and it was too heavy. mine was also full glass doors.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

How are you locking the door now when you're inside, and when you leave?? This is what I plan in doing with mine too, but I was planning on reusing the piano hinge after I take it off and flip it around so the door opens out... I just can't figure out how to lock the door from the inside, I don't want to use a master lock because I'm afraid someone could lock me up inside, lol... so i thought might have to install a door knob too if I did this.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblank
How are you locking the door now when you're inside, and when you leave?? This is what I plan in doing with mine too, but I was planning on reusing the piano hinge after I take it off and flip it around so the door opens out...
Right now we hook a ratcheting cargo strap from the side mirror bar down to an eye bolt near the ground on the outside of the bus when we leave (it's why we flipped the original rubber seal on the outer edge of the door over and re-attached it... keeps the gap between the door frame and door closed up so the stray cats stay out). The framework has not been built around the door yet. Things have been tight money wise and the weather tends to suck. so we haven't done much to the bus. We haven't got much past vague ideas about the lock. It will lock from inside & out. It may end up being off an RV. I don't know yet. I've just gotten David to settle on an exterior colour scheme... I think. That may change before I can get the paint bought... ACE Rust Stop Almond on the strip where the windows go, Ace Hardwares's A35-5 Forest Fern on the rest of the body with Rustoleum Hammered Copper on the rub rails, aluminum & chrome trim on the front, chrome emergency door handle, backside & mounts of the mirrors and on the shield's over the flasher lights (which will be our docking lights). Black Truck Bed Liner will be rolled onto the front and rear bumpers. I've looked on the internet and apparently I have to soak the chromed stuff in muriatic acid (to remove chrome down to base metal) then spray "self-etching primer" onto the metal to paint the chromed stuff. And here I always thought you just used muriatic acid to clean grout off of certain types of tile!


We could not flip our hinge on the BlueBird. The body side of the hinge was part of the post and could not be removed without taking apart half of the front section.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

Did you ever come up with a solution for a door latch/handle type situation here?
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:57 AM   #6
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

Quote:
Originally Posted by gusbus
Did you ever come up with a solution for a door latch/handle type situation here?
Best is to get rid of that heavy hunk of steel and glass and install a 30" exterior residential door like some folks on here have. Not as hard as it looks at first glance. Far better sealing of air and bugs, and uses a standard door knob \ deadbolt. Also the exterior residential door has Styrofoam between the layers for a proper thermal break.

Blank slab exterior residential doors can be had brand new at Home Depot for around $110. Recycling places will have them for half of that or less.

Nat
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

Quote:
Originally Posted by gusbus
Did you ever come up with a solution for a door latch/handle type situation here?
She uses a regular door latch and deadbolt.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

For me it is about time constraints and the ability to see clearly through the door. The insulation factor is a non issue for me as I'm building an insulated wall/door behind the drivers seat to isolate the cab from the living quarters for wintertime living. It is essential up north where condensation and ice are a problem in the winter months. Saves a lot of wiring/electrical nightmares.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
Quote:
Originally Posted by gusbus
Did you ever come up with a solution for a door latch/handle type situation here?
Best is to get rid of that heavy hunk of steel and glass . . .

Nat
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:41 AM   #9
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

I just got a bbird tc2000 which has the folding door, I plan to keep the door for the visability it gives, and to rework it the way my farther did on a bus he converted years ago. He simply installed 3ea. 1X1/4" steel bars at top, bottom, and center across inside of door to make it rigid, then removed the rubber seal from the edge of the door, then replaced the seal with a 1X4 or 5" sheetmetal channel with a wood core which he placed inside the channel. Then just install a regular door knob set that can be locked. Took the top, bottem guides, upper weather strip, and the drivers coltrol lever off the door, and the door will open outward to about 90 degrees. So it can be set up the way I thought without reversing the original hinges.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:38 PM   #10
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Re: One Piece Skoolie Door

I found it way easier to install a nice larson storm door with built in dead bolt lock. I didn't like the view being obstructed by it not being solid window.
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