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Old 01-10-2016, 07:16 PM   #81
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Rough idea of what I'm thinking:



Good thing about a plasma cutter is you can do long cuts along square tubing to make it meet at really shallow angles like this:

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Old 01-18-2016, 07:32 PM   #82
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Being as it so so damn cold, and that we're supposed to get snow on Friday and Saturday, and that I work until it's dark everyday, I figured the best way to work on the addition was to back that ass up into the garage. Finished her off with tarps all around, and it's actually sealed pretty well. I'll crank up the baseboard heaters and have a comfy(ish) place to work.





Immediately noticed an issue I hadn't thought of before. Mocking it up with a piece of square stock, it doesn't really sit in the curve of the frame very well.

(Pics are upside down to pretend it's the top lol) I can have it resting on the top like this, but it's far away from the side.


I can have it resting on the side, but it's far away from the top.


Half and half seems a bit of a compromise. It would be a wide, multiple pass weld on both edges, but doable?


I could weld it far enough down that I can get the torch up top, but I'd need to practically use 4x4's for the decking board, lol. Is that too redneck or heavy?



And a potato quality shot of my driveway as of now. Everyone toast my lovely wife for putting up with my shenanigans!

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Old 01-24-2016, 05:04 PM   #83
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Got the two main bars and the main back piece tacked on. I used a piece of 1/4" flat bar (that was the plasma guide for cutting the floor) to bridge the gap and welded the bar to the top of the frame. Lots of redneck engineering was used to hold everything in place while I tacked it, haha. First I had to fix this sign:



Then welded the flat bar on. I did the whole top side since that would be covered up by the main tube. On max power my welder would trip the breaker every 4" or so, so I'm saving the bottom side until I wire up a proper outlet. Once that was done, I welded the main bars onto the frame. Went pretty good.






Then I got the rear bar welded on:




In case you're wondering what the bucket is for, all the snow we got this weekend was melting and dripping off the bus, so I made a little catch system.

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Old 01-31-2016, 10:04 PM   #84
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Got more bus work done! Got the main bars welded and made some supports for the main bars on the extension. It looks super simple, but took way longer than it should have. Everything on a bus isn't exactly square, frame included. The "C" channel is different on both sides, which leads to a lot of trimming, hammering, grinding and clamping.

Made a cardboard template which somehow ended up being horribly off. Cardboard fit fine, but metal did not. Angle was OK if I added about 9" to the beam, so one of my beams has a little addition that I welding in then ground down. Shhh, no one needs to know.

Used the plasma to cut these nifty looking pieces. Traced a piece of flat stock to ensure a nice straight cut:





You can see the little "addition" in this one. I used this one to make the other one the same size. The second one was perfect, haha.



Both pieces match!


Clamped the crap out of them and welded them on!





Whatcha know about some flux core gap filling?


Like I said, buses ain't square!
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:32 PM   #85
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Would have gotten the extension's main frame done if it weren't for the rain. I made the right side of the frame. Made a little spacer to make it meet the floor support for a little extra rigidity. Why not.




It then goes to the frame with a 90* piece. This will get triangulated to the frame with another support.



I couldn't do any more because of this pesky problem: it rained today, so I had my garage irrigation system in place. However, the stream of water directly intersects the left side of the frame I'm building. I admitted defeat and waited for a dryer day.

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Old 02-03-2016, 07:34 PM   #86
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Other side finished:




My chop saw must be messed up, because when I made the triangulation pieces for the sides, one angle looked like 45* and one looked like 30*. Grrr... time for a nice 14" one I guess. This old 10" one has been good to me but I've been asking a lot from it.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:15 PM   #87
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Since the floor of the bus is 4" above the main bars of the extension, I used some 4x6's for my decking boards. Big? Yes. Sturdy? Hell yes. Rough estimate of what it'll look like:



Started making a diagonal platform for the D-rings to sit on so that the strap isn't rubbing the boards. Who said flux core can't be (somewhat) pretty?



Fancy woodworking tools:




It fits!



This is what the rear bumper and ramp mount will look like.



I set all the boards in place so I could tack up the brackets to bolt them on. I was originally going to drill holes through the beams of the extension, but then thought 24 holes in a structural piece may be a bad idea. (Plus I hate drilling holes.) I had some brackets for assembling a harbor freight trailer laying on my shelf, so I cut them each into three pieces. This gave me a bunch of uneven, yet strong, brackets with pre-drilled holes for the boards.


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Old 02-07-2016, 12:08 PM   #88
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Made a couple little braces for the D-ring mounts, then burned them on. I also boxed in the rear bumper tube so crap doesn't get in it.






Now I guess I'm waiting on ramps so I can make the ramp mount...
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:31 PM   #89
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Whatcha know about flux core welding? The whole welding to the bus frame sticker is true.
I am a welder by trade and I have done some flux core but even anything better would not look much better? When welding to heat treated steel you need to use a torch or a form to preheat the better metal or it will not except the weld no matter flux core,arc,tig.
If you end up in an accident a good lawyer that sees that can fight because the manufacturer said no welding unless you have a welding certification you can be in trouble later. Besides that for the bus frame steel it is already heat treated so for a flux core welder or mig welder you need to preheat the bus steel in the area you are welding and I mean it almost needs to be cherry red. Not what you are adding just the original frame. It will not hurt to clamp and heat both but it will take longer .
Heat treated steel is made by several methods study them before you weld to them and I recommend as soon as the color through your welding hood goes that you have a squirt bottle of at a minimum 30 weight motor oil there to coat. Look up how heat treated steel is made then you will understand more about connecting to it
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:49 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Besides that for the bus frame steel it is already heat treated so for a flux core welder or mig welder you need to preheat the bus steel in the area you are welding and I mean it almost needs to be cherry red. Not what you are adding just the original frame. It will not hurt to clamp and heat both but it will take longer.
Thanks man! I'll do some reading. Maybe I'll need to get the torch out and heat it up and make another pass.
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