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Old 03-23-2016, 09:49 PM   #621
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Yes, easily. The knife has an effect where the foam shrinks away from the cut because of escaping gasses. The knife I got from HF has a depth gauge, so you could set it to maybe 1.5" and drag along some parallel lines.

I'll try it out on a chunk and see what happens. There might be enough shrinkage to bend the cuts concave instead of convex.

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Cool idea, think if you were careful enough one could cut lines in the roof insulation so to mold the corners instead of using a circular saw at half the depth of the foam?
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:56 AM   #622
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That sounds good. I know it only $20 bucks, but if it's worth it, it would save me a lot of time and hand strength!
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:53 PM   #623
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Window holes

All the window holes are cut, its a lot of work. I dulled out the nibbler so I rotated the bit 180 degrees.

The rearward windows are in the galley, that's why they are higher.

The little access flap on the driver side under the window will be a downdraft vent for the range, and maybe external gas/electrical/whatever access for the appliances.

Eventually I'll replace the driver window with a less drafty rv version as well, but I want to get the current windows done first.

I went back on my decision to use threaded fasteners and instead I'll be riveting.

When attaching different metals, you have to be careful of galvanic reaction. I will try and mitigate it by sealing the aluminum frame to the bus body with butyl tape, and making sure the steel on the bus is well coated in paint.

For the rivets, I selected a stainless fastener, which I will coat each one with PTFE goop (see pics below). This will eventually, maybe, cause the window frame to act as the sacrificial anode, in like 10-20 years. (Long enough for me!)







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Old 03-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #624
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Thank you for all your sharing and insight, I feel lucky to find a build with a roof rise with so many details progress over a few years. Really puts things into prospective on how much work this really is. Happy I did a marathon read of this thread and look forward to more!
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:02 AM   #625
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Got all the windows installed, now I'm kickin mah feet up for a few minutes. Its cozy in here, raining outside. Eventually I'll insulate that door, but for now its fine. I think in the coming weeks I'll get the kitchen systems built.

Basically, a couple counter height custom metal cabinets with drawers, and a full height full depth pull out pantry. If there were a reason to leave your chair rail in the bus and not destroy it, this would be a compeling reason not to.



I wanted to give you some detail on how I affixed the rv windows without a trim ring.

So, suuuure I suppose you COULD buy some zero depth rings and attach to the skin directly, but it would be a disaster if you had to remove the window later (lots of interior disassembly)

This method isn't as easy as removing the trim ring and popping the frame, but its not bad - just drill some rivets out. Matching up the old holes with a new frame might be hilarious, hopefully I never find out.

I also believe that riveting the frames is a lot stronger, which is befitting of a skoolie.

Note that I didn't use the beauty washers in the final install because I determined that would be dumb on my part.
  • Cut the window hole, these are 3" radius. Try to always cut a little small. On a few I used a flapdisc grinder to enlarge the hole an additional 1/16" or so on a couple.

    After the frame fits flat against skin you are ready to install.
    Mark holes in frame in a pleasing and mechanically sound pattern. Make sure your holes are to the outside edge enough.

    Drill holes in frame, while not on vehicle.

    Place window in hole (now with mounting holes drilled in frame)

    Check alignment around hole so you catch the steel on all sides.

    Using existing frame holes, drill the top and bottom ones through vehicle, and hold window in place with clecos.

    Continue drilling the rest of the windows, adjacent to your last clecos until done. That way alignment is close.

    Pull window out again, and prep window frame with butyl tape. It should cover the entire flange of the frame.

    Prep vehicle side by ensuring paint is clean and defect free. Use some zinc cold galv spray from inside and coat edge of sheet metal and each hole drilled. Let it dry (just a few min)

    Place window in hole with butyl tape, it will stick so make sure its right.
    Reinstall clecos to hold window in place.

    Wait 10 minutes. The clecos will apply pressure to the window frame against the butyl tape, squeezing it out. This ensures a positive seating without gaps. Do not rush.

    After butyl oozes install rivets. I used a sealing/anti galvanic compound swizzled onto each rivet grip. Install rivets.

    If you didn't spring for expensive waterproof rivets, let everything dry up a bit and clean it well (remove excess butyl and rivet sealant) then seal the hole of each rivet with something robust, like sikaflex.



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Old 03-28-2016, 01:05 AM   #626
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I'm glad I could be helpful.

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Thank you for all your sharing and insight, I feel lucky to find a build with a roof rise with so many details progress over a few years. Really puts things into prospective on how much work this really is. Happy I did a marathon read of this thread and look forward to more!
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:20 AM   #627
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I was thinking about a deer guard.


Mad Max Bus!
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:22 AM   #628
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Great info on the windows. When I get to that stage I'll probably go that route almost exactly. Do you think an electric nibbler would do fine? I don't have an air compressor setup at my shop. Also, did you do the nibbling with the panels already on the bus?
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:04 PM   #629
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Yeah, an electric nibbler will be fine. I had to stop on occasion for my tiny air compressor to catch up with the air nibbler. Unless you're really good at planning things, I'd recommend doing it with the panels on the bus.

I can think of several reasons why it might be bad if you did it before hand:

* Shrinkage of the metal after riveting, causing the hole to get too big.
* Loss of sheet strength when hanging, which could cause a crease in the sheet steel when moving it around.
* Final positioning of sheet might cause the hole to be slightly misaligned.

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Originally Posted by RHOMBUS View Post
Great info on the windows. When I get to that stage I'll probably go that route almost exactly. Do you think an electric nibbler would do fine? I don't have an air compressor setup at my shop. Also, did you do the nibbling with the panels already on the bus?
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:44 PM   #630
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Are your windows aluminum or steel? Would the SS rivets react with those if they were steel? as far as coating them on the inside, wouldn't he butyl tape seal the point in between panel and window and rivet?

Picked up 2 of the heat knives. HF had them on sale for ITC members for 14.99!

BTW, where did you get your rivets and what was the cost?
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