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Old 04-28-2007, 06:56 PM   #211
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.
...so... back to work on the darn bus!

One thing has become very clear...

[Crowd roars to its feet --"Elliot is working on Millicent again!" Some shoot bottle rockets straight
out of their hands.]


...very clear: With hundreds and hundreds of rivet holes to drill, GET THE BEST DRILL BITS
MONEY CAN BUY!

I've settled on DeWalt Titanium Pilot Point with No Spin Shank.

I have mixed feelings about the pilot point, but the edge lasts very well, and the triangular
shank never spins in the chuck.

To drill a hole in a flat surface, the Starts On Contact Pilot Point is great. But to drill into a
material THRU an existing hole, such as when reattaching a rub rail after slipping a new
skin behind it, the pilot point prevents the bit from centering in the old hole.

And with a Pilot Point, when you get thru one layer of metal, a ring of the material often sticks
on the tip of the bit and keeps the bit from making any further progress. So every time you
go thru a layer, you have to pull back and check for that darn "thrust washer". Wear
heavy gloves and knock that thing off and resume drilling. It's worth it.

On the whole, this is the bit to use. (No I don't own any DeWalt stock!)
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:23 PM   #212
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Rated Cap: 84

An other nugget of Bus Riveting Wisdom (or a riveting nugget of bus wisdom?) is to drill
all the holes in a panel, then remove the panel and deburr everything. Then assemble.
The chips between the panels, and the burrs around the holes, make Millicent look
like the carpenter used rotten glue.

(Come to think of it, wasn't that what happened to Carpenter? )

Sure, this can all be caulked, and it will be fine-and-dandy, but I recommend
you make a deliberate decision to do one or the other.

To hold the panel in place while all the holes are being drilled, so they ALL line up for final
assembly, I would probably use bolts and nuts where the back is accessible;
and a few rivets where necessary, and drill those out again.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:51 AM   #213
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X2 on the Pilot Point bits. I used them for all my predrilling in the floor and side panels when screwing or bolting stuff in place to the steel. I didn't have to do anything with layers (other than wood on steel) so I can't speak for that, but they don't spin, they hold their edge forever, and they don't break, even under my heavy hands. Now if only DeWalt would market them under their Black and Decker name with the B&D price.
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Old 04-29-2007, 01:14 AM   #214
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Bout time you got back to work. I was beginning to think Millie was going to be left on the back burners
Wish me luck I gotta go to SoCal
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:42 PM   #215
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I have yet to even take the seats out of my bus, so my advice is humbly submitted: Cleco's will work well to temporarily hold those panels in place!
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:05 PM   #216
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elliot, and for that matter, the rest of you hole drillin' skoolie types, get yourself a drill doctor.

The drill doctor is quite possible the best freaking gadget ever made. You can drill all day long with an as good as new, if not better, tip. There are different levels of them. I'd suggest a middle of the pack one. The one we have at work was around 90 bucks. It is worth twice that.

This will allow you to drill through the nastiest steel all day long. I find myself having to drill out really hard set screws all the time. And the doctor helps cut through them like warm buttah.
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:41 PM   #217
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Yes!
Clecos are wonderful! I don't have any, but I know what they are.
Clecos are little spring-loaded temporary fasteners made specifically for holding panels in place
while working on them. They look a little like pop rivets with the mandrel still in. Those would
be the best way to go, yes, indeed.

A friend of mine has a Drill Doctor, and he has sharpend bits for me a couple of times.
I was not impressed, but then he probably has the 99 cent version, and even more
likely uses it badly. :P

I learned to sharpen drill bits on a bench grinder in my youth, and it is one of my most precious
skills. But I have not yet tried to sharpen any of these new-fangled bits with the goofy shapes.

Got a bunch done on Millicent today. Pictures of the finished skin and window openings after
I stuff my face. The engine purrs, also.
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:36 PM   #218
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All right. Nothing much happening with Millicent at the moment, really. It is true
that she has been sitting on the back burner for a couple of weeks -- too many
other things to do, like earning a living.

But the new skin is finally complete, and the three large window openings:





Now I just need to install the inner wall of plywood or some such so the
windows can be installed.

Oh, that comment about getting put on the back burner is an important matter.
Far too many projects are never finished -- skoolies and all other kinds of
projects. There are many reasons, and only one of them is “legitimate”.

And that is when we “outgrow” the project so that we wouldn’t be happy with it
even if we finished it as planned. This is in a sense a good thing, in that we
are raising our standards.

Most of the other reasons are about running out of money, time and skills, and
that generally means that we bit over more than we could chew. This is not
such a good thing.

That was today’s useless ramble.

Besides finishing up the outer skin and window openings, I finally got around to
replacing the fuel hoses. Millicent had required an awful lot of cranking to start,
and I learned on the Cummins forum that this problem is often caused by
leaky fuel hoses -- specially the fuel return hose. The hoses may not
leak fuel, but air seeps into them, and diesel engines don’t much
like air in the fuel.

Sure enough, the return hose looked like the back of an armadillo -- full of
crosswise cracks. With new hoses, and a bunch of pumping on the
primer button, the engine started right up and hummed like
a turbine.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:34 AM   #219
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looks like it's coming along nice, elliot. One thing though. Is there any way of doing away with all those ugly window eyebrows? I have pretty much decided that when I get crazy enough to actually take the skoolie plunge, I will get something with a single brow, kinda like me. It also must complicate the hell outta skinning things over.

As for the drill doctor, I'd say your friend might have an older one or it's busted or maybe, just maybe, you guys were drunk or hung over or just having a bad day. Anyway, I still highly recommend you get yourself one. Another nice thing is, when you snap the end off one of your expensive bits, you can actually put a new edge on it.

Your other option is to continue to buy hundreds of dollars worth of expensive bits.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:14 PM   #220
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Year: 1992
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Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84

Hi Pete:
There is indeed a way to cover all those eyebrows, and it was discussed somewhere around here
a while ago. That idea was to cover the eyebrows with a rub rail. The eyebrows would need to
be cut and flattened a bit to fit under the rub rail, but the rail would cover it all up. I love the
idea, and I'm kicking myself for sending my first bus off to the knackers with all the rub
rails still on it.

We even priced new rub rails -- about ten bucks per foot. So I'm considering going
back to the scrap yard to see if Old #35 is still there!

The skinning was no problem, as I stuck the new sheets UNDER the eyebrows.There is no
way to rivet the new sheets in that area, but I wedged them up in the gap to where some
of them don't even rattle. Then I will go over everything with a good sticky caulking
so none of them rattle. The sheets are sandwiched in and riveted at each pillar, so
they are not going anywhere other than where I'm steering.

No doubt I ought to get me a good Drill Doctor. But I took a year of machine shop in vocational
school, and that was long before the Drill Doctor was invented, so they made sure I learned to
sharpen drill bits free hand on a bench grinder. So I have bits that are just short stubs
anymore -- some from use, some from breaking -- all sharp again. Remember,
I'm 55 years old, and I was taught this almost 40 years ago by a guy who
was probably 70 then!

The newfangled DeWalt bits tend to bend rather than break, so they may be case hardened.
I have a fist full of the 1/4 inchers that look like boomerangs. So I guess I need
to learn a new skill now!

Thanks for the kind words. Millicent is indeed coming along very nicely.
But it takes a LOT of time. Quality time, of course!
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