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Old 05-07-2012, 10:40 AM   #141
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

Hey Guys, moving along nicely and looking great. I did a 40' BBAA a few years back and was fortunate enough to live just down the road from a BB engineer that I could consult with regularly (Lived near Douglasville, GA at the time). He gave me some great tips & insight into the Bird structure, one of which involved removing sections of ribs. The "official" BB party line is absolutely 100% opposed to any mods to the rib system since its' integrity relies on equal & uniform loading from end to end. That said, my engineer neighbor advised something like the following..."if you ARE going to chop up my design, you'd better compensate for screwing up the loading and do it right while you're at it". He talked (lectured) at length about how the combination of ribs & sheet metal formed a shell under uniform tension and that taking out any portion was like pitching a tent nice and taught, then removing a couple of pegs. It would probably be just fine...until the first time the wind blows. Any system that relies on such uniform tension is severely compromised when even a single element is removed. He advised compensating by boxing in any sections that had ribs cut away (such as for shiny, new RV windows) with full inch and a half, heavy gauge square tubing all the way around the opening that were tied (welded) back into the rest of the framing.

I've seen all kinds of chop jobs survive for years with little or no reinforcing at all, but personally chose to go with what seemed to make long term engineering sense based on his insight and comments. My final engineering choices were based on two considerations. First, I can see how an evenly tensioned system would naturally be inclined to torque out of shape by simply removing a single element. Second, Blue Birds are legendary for their crash & roll resistance, but it too is based on that balanced tension concept that can spread a load throughout the entire structure. Take any segment out of that system, and you've just created a very efficient crumple-zone...in a less than desirable area.

Certainly not telling anyone how to build their bus, but did feel compelled to share the results of the chats with my very knowledgeable (and very opinionated) neighbor with my friends here on the Skoolie board.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:17 PM   #142
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

At the risk of butting in I'd second the advice given by Tango. Throughly box in your window cutout and try to stagger any other cuts well away from the first (no more cuts would be better). Just my 2 cents worth
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #143
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

The area where supports are missing will be boxed in. Waiting on steel at the moment.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:42 PM   #144
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

Your post on panel covers over window openings was very helpful toward my own project... Was wondering what gauge steel you used?
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:47 AM   #145
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

18 gauge. I believe it is just CRS, or cold rolled steel.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:08 PM   #146
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

18 gauge is what we used, and as Stretch said, it was cold rolled steel. We likely could have gotten away with a lighter gauge, but this seems to work pretty good, and should resist the dreaded "oil-canning" that some people have experienced.

It is a pain to move the heavy sheets around for painting and install, and I would strongly recommend some decent work gloves, as the edges of the metal are pretty sharp.
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lu·di·crous [loo-di-kruhs]
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causing laughter because of absurdity; provoking or deserving derision; ridiculous; laughable

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:17 AM   #147
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Hey Guys, moving along nicely and looking great. I did a 40' BBAA a few years back and was fortunate enough to live just down the road from a BB engineer that I could consult with regularly (Lived near Douglasville, GA at the time). He gave me some great tips & insight into the Bird structure, one of which involved removing sections of ribs. The "official" BB party line is absolutely 100% opposed to any mods to the rib system since its' integrity relies on equal & uniform loading from end to end. That said, my engineer neighbor advised something like the following..."if you ARE going to chop up my design, you'd better compensate for screwing up the loading and do it right while you're at it". He talked (lectured) at length about how the combination of ribs & sheet metal formed a shell under uniform tension and that taking out any portion was like pitching a tent nice and taught, then removing a couple of pegs. It would probably be just fine...until the first time the wind blows. Any system that relies on such uniform tension is severely compromised when even a single element is removed. He advised compensating by boxing in any sections that had ribs cut away (such as for shiny, new RV windows) with full inch and a half, heavy gauge square tubing all the way around the opening that were tied (welded) back into the rest of the framing.

I've seen all kinds of chop jobs survive for years with little or no reinforcing at all, but personally chose to go with what seemed to make long term engineering sense based on his insight and comments. My final engineering choices were based on two considerations. First, I can see how an evenly tensioned system would naturally be inclined to torque out of shape by simply removing a single element. Second, Blue Birds are legendary for their crash & roll resistance, but it too is based on that balanced tension concept that can spread a load throughout the entire structure. Take any segment out of that system, and you've just created a very efficient crumple-zone...in a less than desirable area.

Certainly not telling anyone how to build their bus, but did feel compelled to share the results of the chats with my very knowledgeable (and very opinionated) neighbor with my friends here on the Skoolie board.
I have a Genesis, not a Bird, but I didn't remove ANY uprights! I am just not comfortable with cutting structural supports.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #148
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

i am going to permanently remove several uprights when i build a 12-14' slide. I will just box in the perimeter with 2x3 channel.. After all, a skoolie is just a steel box on a truck frame...
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:46 PM   #149
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

Man, you guys are really making good progress! Looks like ya'll are having a good time doing it as well. Here at my house it's only me so far, with a little help from the four year old and lately, I've been so busy working for other people there just hasn't been time to even get near the bus. Not sure how you got teenagers to participate so happily, but is good to see... Good times man, good times.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #150
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Re: Ludicrous Speed

Thanks! It seems like we are going very slowly to us. The deadline for the maiden voyage is creeping up on us.

The last 2 days I continued to skin windows, and now only have the final piece on each side to do. I am waiting on the square tube steel I had to order to box in the dinette windows. If it does not come in tomorrow, it looks like I will start installing the windows in the back half.
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lu·di·crous [loo-di-kruhs]
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