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Old 03-31-2019, 02:24 PM   #1
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ideas for roof raise gathered and modified from ideas seen on other roof raises

1) it gave me a 'DUH' moment to see camper jacks securely mounted to hat channels to do the lifting - they could be hydraulic or electric, bought cheaper than a 'Jackall' as they are called in Canada, or 'farm jack' in the US, or borrowed, and MUCH more stable
2) using a metal cutting blade on a skill saw to cut the hat channel, and put a small wedge in each cut as you go to prevent the saw from jamming
3) running a board along the hat channels to use as a guide for the skill saw to ensure accurate, square cuts on each hat channel
4) bus bodies that have had all running gear, switches, etc, removed can be had for as little as $1 at some bus repair/wrecking yards, and they would be a great source of hat channels, body skin, ready formed roof panels, and back corner pieces - if you are fussy about getting a good looking finish paint job with the least amount of work, having a uniform surface to start with will save time and paint to achieve a good job - if body panels and corners are removed carefully from the donor bus body, it should be a step in the right direction for that easier paint job - looking for comments, suggestions and critiques
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:59 PM   #2
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I cut mine with a reciprocating saw and lifted it by heavy tacking 1" black pipe above and below the cuts in 3 places on each side then putting 5/8" all thread in between the upper and lower pipes with 2 nuts and washers on each pair of pipes turn the nuts and up goes the roof. The assembly is not heavy enough to warrant all the jacking and equipment you are planning I did my lift in one day almost entirely by myself. Gene
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gdog 5651 View Post
I cut mine with a reciprocating saw and lifted it by heavy tacking 1" black pipe above and below the cuts in 3 places on each side then putting 5/8" all thread in between the upper and lower pipes with 2 nuts and washers on each pair of pipes turn the nuts and up goes the roof. The assembly is not heavy enough to warrant all the jacking and equipment you are planning I did my lift in one day almost entirely by myself. Gene
maybe we have two different pictures in mind about the raise - I pictured my method as being quicker and more simple than turning nuts on a ready rod and perhaps more stable - using a skill saw on a guide gives more accurate cuts than at least my saws-all does for sure, and an accurate cut saves time welding - good discussion
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gdog 5651 View Post
I cut mine with a reciprocating saw and lifted it by heavy tacking 1" black pipe above and below the cuts in 3 places on each side then putting 5/8" all thread in between the upper and lower pipes with 2 nuts and washers on each pair of pipes turn the nuts and up goes the roof. The assembly is not heavy enough to warrant all the jacking and equipment you are planning I did my lift in one day almost entirely by myself. Gene
I can tell you've done a roof raise! GREAT advice, man.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:24 PM   #5
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maybe we have two different pictures in mind about the raise - I pictured my method as being quicker and more simple than turning nuts on a ready rod and perhaps more stable - using a skill saw on a guide gives more accurate cuts than at least my saws-all does for sure, and an accurate cut saves time welding - good discussion
It takes about 15 minutes to raise the roof with all-thread. Accurate cuts aren't really anything to worry about. What's it matter? I staggered my cuts.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:24 PM   #6
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It takes about 15 minutes to raise the roof with all-thread. Accurate cuts aren't really anything to worry about. What's it matter? I staggered my cuts.
having the cuts square would matter for ease of welding even if you staggered the cuts? - pre-cutting the hat channel inserts so they are square and fit well with the hat channel in the walls would be something I would appreciate when welding - my thought is to do the raise from below the windows so they are at a better hieght - having a fool proof guide to follow would be a lot easier on my back
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:07 PM   #7
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having the cuts square would matter for ease of welding even if you staggered the cuts?

If you were welding the butt-ends together, this would be true. However the butt-end welds are not as strong as inserting stock inside the hat channel and welding the inserted stock to the hat channel. Of course, drilling out a few holes in the hat channel then welding the assembly through the holes adds even more strength to the assembly.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:10 PM   #8
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If you were welding the butt-ends together, this would be true. However the butt-end welds are not as strong as inserting stock inside the hat channel and welding the inserted stock to the hat channel. Of course, drilling out a few holes in the hat channel then welding the assembly through the holes adds even more strength to the assembly.
The more the cut is angled the more surface area to weld, making it stronger than a straight weld. I'm sure by the time the inserted stock is all welded the joints are 10x's stronger than what you started with.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:14 PM   #9
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Most roof raisers do not join the inserts to the existing channel by a butt welded joint. Instead, most will place a combination of square tube and flat bar inside the channel. Some have had custom channel made to fit over or inside the existing channel. With all these, the new splice material overlaps the cut channel at the top and the bottom. With this approach there's no need for a clean square cut on the original channel.
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