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Old 09-13-2018, 07:28 PM   #1
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Roof Raise and skinning

Help me Skoolie-wan-Kenobi, you're my only hope!

So, after watching the Transcend Existence video series about three times(thank you Wess) I'm about to set out on the adventure of a lifetime and perform the magic of a roof raise. With luck I won't roll a 1 and have the whole thing blow up in my face.

I think I'm comfortable with the raise itself, but I'm rather anxious over the re-skinning. I have little metal working experience and am learning everything as I go along. Seriously, should this work out, my skoolie project is going on my resume.

First question(s):

Rivets. I am so sick of not understanding rivets. I grok the basics, but am lost on the specifics. The soup of different opinions both here and on google have been distressing. Blind, teapot dome, structural...

From what I can tell, Rowsdower is rocking 3/16th" holes. 3/16" rivets are a mite loose, but 1/4"s don't fit t'all. So I'm going with the former. I'm looking to install 18 gauge sheet metal as the skin, but that is the only dimension I am certain about.

Is there a general and safe grip range that anyone could suggest for this portion of the insanity? At around 12 per foot on a 40 foot bus, I'll need over 1200. And with overlapping panels, I'm hoping to have a one-size-fits-most option here.

I've seen many videos where the raisers welded angle-iron to the posts and then riveted the skin to the angle iron. But this requires a ton of drilling. So, would tacking the skin to the angle iron via welding be an option? I bought a welder for this and want to find things to use it on. Plus, I really don't want to drill that many holes in thickish steel.

I have a literal hojillion screws that International used to fasten the windows, walls and ceiling panels. Many of them are still functional, and as a bonus, appear to have been used in places on the exterior of the bus. Could I just bypass this huge headache and reuse the screws on my skin? Assuming that they too are 3/16ths diameter?

If so, would I need to apply some sort of adhesive to secure them? I mean, Rowsdower saw 15 years of service in Toledo and none of the screws seem to be loose.

mike
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:50 PM   #2
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18ga is perfect.

I use blind rivets in stainless. They're pricey but super strong and I get the closed end style.
The grip range is easy. Just add the thickness of the sheets of steel and buy the rivets in that range.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:58 PM   #3
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There are rows of rivets on my International, but in some spots they used screws. For just skinning the side I don't see why they are not an option. How loose is "a mite", waste a rivet to see how big the back end gets when pulled. Is it enough to comfortably secure the pieces? If not I would consider redrilling the holes to fit the 1/4" rivet. The trailers I worked on in Fla. were entirely skinned with self tappers.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:33 PM   #4
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I skinned my buss with stainless truss head sheet metal screws and dynatron 550 automotive seam sealer. I've not had any issues except a couple of heads sheared off.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
I skinned my buss with stainless truss head sheet metal screws and dynatron 550 automotive seam sealer. I've not had any issues except a couple of heads sheared off.
Skinned my old doorway using the same. All good in the hood.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
I skinned my buss with stainless truss head sheet metal screws and dynatron 550 automotive seam sealer. I've not had any issues except a couple of heads sheared off.
We used metal roofing screws, butyl tape and sikkaflex but I don't think we used enough screws. With the rigid insulation shoved under the rail at the top of the window opening pushing hard against the top of the sheet metal which is on the inside, it's definitely not going anywhere.

Is ok to use fewer since I put the metal on the INSIDE and it's against a lip of metal on 3 sides rather than on the outside? On the bottom, the 4th side, there is butyl tape underneath and along the inside seam siklaflex on the outside and spray foam on the inside on the whole piece of sheet metal.

It seems like holding it onto the outside with no lip would require a lot more fasteners but I have no idea how many for each is "correct".
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:38 PM   #7
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Well, got the roof up. Need to get more welding done, but the raise seems steady. At least before the thunderstorms ran through this week. Have not been back out since monday before the storms. But my landlord has not sent a message about a collapsed bus. Rowsdower is now essentially a bus shaped gazebo.

Found some rivets - https://www.boltdepot.com/Product-De...?product=15382 - They are the right size. I believe.
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