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Old 05-06-2019, 05:43 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Lifting sheet metal

Anybody got a way to lift sheet metal into place for a roof raise by yourself?

My wife got hurt and can't help me for a few days, so I'm trying to figure out how to get it in place alone.

I have my hat channel pre drilled so all I have to do is lift the sheet metal in place and stick it in place somehow. Then I can drill holes from the inside out and rivet it in place. But I'm stuck trying to lift and hold it long enough by myself. I can lift a whole sheet by myself no problem (well, for about a minute) but I need some sort of rig to help me hold it.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissout View Post
Anybody got a way to lift sheet metal into place for a roof raise by yourself?

My wife got hurt and can't help me for a few days, so I'm trying to figure out how to get it in place alone.

I have my hat channel pre drilled so all I have to do is lift the sheet metal in place and stick it in place somehow. Then I can drill holes from the inside out and rivet it in place. But I'm stuck trying to lift and hold it long enough by myself. I can lift a whole sheet by myself no problem (well, for about a minute) but I need some sort of rig to help me hold it.

Any suggestions?
rig some sort of bar that the bottom of the sheet metal can sit on while you drill the holes etc - the picture in my mind is of a two legged saw horse, made from angle iron or aluminum, with long legs, that leans against the bus - you can adjust the height by moving it closer or further from the bus, or shimming the feet - I've used something similar for lifting drywall and plywood when working by myself - I can see that helping when trying to push the steel under the top lip
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:01 PM   #3
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I used two ratchet straps.

I hooked one end to the drivers side skirt and threw the other end over the top of the bus. With the second end hanging loose down the passenger side I hooked that end under the bottom edge of the new metal and started ratcheting.

That gave me enough leverage that I was able to stuff the new metal nice and tight under the roof metal and rivet the top in place.

The pictures on my build thread may be easier to understand than my rambling.......?
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:03 PM   #4
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If you know anyone with a vehicle lift, they should have those portable screw jacks.
If not, you could use a lolly column cellar joist support. they're fairly inexpensive.
Here's one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Tiger-Br...S-93/100540359

Hope that helps. Good luck...
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I used two ratchet straps.

I hooked one end to the drivers side skirt and threw the other end over the top of the bus. With the second end hanging loose down the passenger side I hooked that end under the bottom edge of the new metal and started ratcheting.

That gave me enough leverage that I was able to stuff the new metal nice and tight under the roof metal and rivet the top in place.

The pictures on my build thread may be easier to understand than my rambling.......?
So you ratcheted on the outside and then drilled your holes from the outside in?

I have to drill my holes inside out, but 2 straps may help me hold the sheet in place.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by blissout View Post
So you ratcheted on the outside and then drilled your holes from the outside in?

I have to drill my holes inside out, but 2 straps may help me hold the sheet in place.
Not entirely.

With the metal held in place with the ratchet straps I had the top edge of the new metal stuffed between the roof metal and hat channel. There were existing holes in the roof metal and hat channel where they had previously been riveted together. I redrilled those holes from the outside and riveted the top.

Then I loosed the straps from the bottom of the new metal and hooked them to the skirt on the same side. I placed blocks between the straps and the new metal over the hat channel. Then I tightened the straps so the block pressed the new metal tight against the hat. Then drilled the remaining holes from the inside, placing a Cleco in each hole as I went.

Trying to write out the description is more complicated than actually performing the task.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Not entirely.

With the metal held in place with the ratchet straps I had the top edge of the new metal stuffed between the roof metal and hat channel. There were existing holes in the roof metal and hat channel where they had previously been riveted together. I redrilled those holes from the outside and riveted the top.

Then I loosed the straps from the bottom of the new metal and hooked them to the skirt on the same side. I placed blocks between the straps and the new metal over the hat channel. Then I tightened the straps so the block pressed the new metal tight against the hat. Then drilled the remaining holes from the inside, placing a Cleco in each hole as I went.

Trying to write out the description is more complicated than actually performing the task.
Where can I find the pics of how you did it? I understand the lifting with straps part, but not the strapping it to blocks part.

I don't have clecos but I can throw some screws in there to hold it temporarily. If I can press it to the hat channel I should be able to get it done solo.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissout View Post
Anybody got a way to lift sheet metal into place for a roof raise by yourself?

My wife got hurt and can't help me for a few days, so I'm trying to figure out how to get it in place alone.

I have my hat channel pre drilled so all I have to do is lift the sheet metal in place and stick it in place somehow. Then I can drill holes from the inside out and rivet it in place. But I'm stuck trying to lift and hold it long enough by myself. I can lift a whole sheet by myself no problem (well, for about a minute) but I need some sort of rig to help me hold it.

Any suggestions?
I forget the name of these things (edit: cleco, thanks to the other posts here), but there's a little sort of temporary rivet that you push into pre-drilled holes to temporarily keep materials aligned while you rivet elsewhere. You could put a couple of these at the top of the channels and pre-drill the matching holes in your sheet, then push the sheet up and onto these pegs (a heavy long board to then lean against the sheet to help keep it in place might be a good idea) and then drill and rivet away.

I'm not sure how easy this might be. Alternatively I would do something like what I used to do when I hung sheetrock by myself, which is nail up a 2x4 temporarily to hold the sheet while I screw it in place. With the bus you probably don't want to actually attach a ledge like this to the outer skin, but you could built a simple wooden structure (resting on the ground) to hole the sheet in place.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:13 PM   #9
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Clecos are really handy and worth the investment.

Here is my build thread:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/pn...3re-21182.html

Somewhere in the middle you will find pics.

I will try a little written help......

Take a ratchet strap and throw one end over the roof. Hook each end to the skirt on each side.

Now you have a strap running from the skirt on the drivers side, over the roof and hooked to the skirt on the passenger side.

The strap is laying across the new metal.

Tighten the strap till it can be plucked like a guitar strings.

At the point where you need to drill through the new metal, pull the strap away from the metal as far as you can and fill the gap with wood blocks. I used scraps of 2x4 and 4x4. Then tighten the strap again.

At this point the strap & blocks should be pressing the new metal to the hat channel firmly enough that you can drill gently from the inside.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:15 PM   #10
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I made a 2 x 4 "T" and a floor jack. Set the "T" and jack an inch or so low, lift the sheet up and rest it on the "T", jack it into position.
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