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Old 04-30-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Chair Rail Dilemma

Yesterday, I was removing all of the rivets off the interior side walls of my Bluebird bus. I got EVERY rivet removed. I did not realize that the lower panel, with the chair rail, was constructed the way it was until today, when Nat_ster told me about it and showed his diagram:



The problem is... in my rivet-removing haste, I ALREADY removed all of these rivets holding the chair rail in. Not only that, but I hacked a big section out trying to figure out what was holding it in. You can see the rail I am talking about here (NOTE This is not my bus, it is LaCasitaBus):



I have done a lot of research and many said to not remove it. I was feeling sick to my stomach that I took two steps forward and a MAJOR step back until I found this (The Good Ship, Anne Marie):


In their page, they detailed the same sort of dilemma at this page:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=392717&hilit=the+good+ship+ann e+marie&start=30

That made me feel a bit better that I wasn't the only one who made this mistake. So... I know our buses are way overbuilt. What is going to happen if I continue with the removal of this chair rail? Is it going to cause some serious problems or will it likely never show in an RV application? Will my floors somehow separate from my walls or will I be just fine? The rivet's are 1/4" and will offer a pretty significant expense to re-rivet all of them, including investing in necessary tooling. Should I just continue and cut them out with an angle grinder?

I could really use some advice right now and I think this thread could be a good example for others in the future of what to do (or what NOT to do) with the chair rails. As it sits, I have spent hours reading posts and researching today, only to come up with no conclusive evidence on whether or not it will be harmful to remove them. Thoughts?
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
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Re: Chair Rail Dilemma

if it work ok with there build, then It should be ok with your build
gbstewart
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Chair Rail Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
if it work ok with there build, then It should be ok with your build
gbstewart
Do we really know if it worked OK?!? They aren't done with it yet Has anyone else cut this out?
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:31 PM   #4
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Re: Chair Rail Dilemma

I looked into what it would take to tear the chair rail out of my Thomas and decided to leave it and use it as an attachment point for the cabinetry and bunks. It looked to be a MAJOR project to remove it and I just plain ol' don't want to put that much work into this thing for as much as it'll be used.

Riviting tools are not inexpensive if you get quality stuff but they you have it and can use it for a million other things in the future. I have no problem buying a tool that'll save me time or even a few bucks if I can use it again in the future.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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Re: Chair Rail Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamper
I looked into what it would take to tear the chair rail out of my Thomas and decided to leave it and use it as an attachment point for the cabinetry and bunks. It looked to be a MAJOR project to remove it and I just plain ol' don't want to put that much work into this thing for as much as it'll be used.

Riviting tools are not inexpensive if you get quality stuff but they you have it and can use it for a million other things in the future. I have no problem buying a tool that'll save me time or even a few bucks if I can use it again in the future.
I do still have to rivet the window skins on when the time comes, so I can see this as an advantage. However, this doesn't help the fact that I already hacked into a chunk of the wall too I made about a 2.5 foot cut into the chair rail panel near the back of the bus to try to see if I could break it free. My mindset at the time was that it all had to come out. I was out in the boonies at a friends house, with no internet access, so I just had to go with memory. If I could remove the chair rail and the bus survive, I think this would be my preferred route.

But... then there's that whole structural integrity thing
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:47 AM   #6
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Re: Chair Rail Dilemma

Yesterday I finished removing the ceiling panels and while I was out there I realized it wasn't as big of a task to re-rivet as I was thinking. Anyone have a source of some quality affordable steel rivets? Everything I find is stainless or aluminum. I don't want to have any corrosion from dissimilar metals.

The "hack" in the wall is just a single long cut. I figured I could cut two patches of the ceiling panels that we will not be reusing, place one on each side of the wall, and rivet in!

I am debating buying an air rivet gun that I found posted before. It's a good price with all the heads, bucking bars, etc. I have to rivet the outside window skins anyways. I figured we could sell it when we are done to recoup some investment (since we will be full timing I. The bus with limited space and tool capacity).

I've never riveted a single thing in my life, but am willing to learn!

Question though... If I were to use a rivet gun to reattach the chair rails, how would that happen? There is no space to get a bucking bar in. Is there a special type of rivet for this? Excuse my ignorance!
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:03 PM   #7
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Re: Chair Rail Dilemma

Nat_ster... Would these be the rivets I need?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00AGLOMQ ... mdsc?dsc=1

Or these?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00FAUEVU ... SY165_QL70
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