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Old 09-11-2016, 07:10 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Metal Framing: Builds, suggestions, and ideas

Hi all,

I feel silly cluttering our forums with silly questions such as these but I wanted to talk about metal framing: basic structural engineering, and probe your opinions and expertise on angle iron vs square tubing. I recall reading a few builds which used metal framing, but apparently I didn't save them, aside from the broccoli bus build. Also this topic doesn't seem to come up often outside of the builds where they occur. From what I understand metal framing can be advantageous if done properly because it is lighter, smaller, and potentially longer lasting.

1. Does anyone have any links to any builds where people use metal framing?

2. What are our opinions on basic structural engineering with metal framing? From what I understand, triangles are good, lots of squares/cubes are good, and the sheeting adds to the general structural integrity. I think it's also good to add a buffer between the framework and the bus to reduce rattling?

3. Angle Iron vs square tubing. I plan to follow aaronsb's approach of using 16 gauge 1" square tubing. From what I read, square tubing's advantage over angle iron is that it will handle twisting torque better than angle iron, however the inside is vulnerable to rust due to it's hollow nature. I suppose it's good to note that the best price I've found on 16 gauge 1" tubing seems to be around 0.70/ft.

I know there's a lot of great fabricators on this board so I look forward to all of your opinions! And please share some builds if you have any saved with metal framing, thank you!
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:09 AM   #2
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If it helps - if there is enough moisture for a long enough time to cause the square tubing to become structurally deficient, I've got other huge problems like mushrooms growing out of the floor and black mold everywhere. Either that or the rest of the vehicle is rusted out from long term salt exposure.

If corrosion still bothers you, drill small ports and spray some cavity wax in the tubes after everything is welded and painted, which will make it basically last forever in the controlled environment of a bus.

You also have the option of cold spray galvanizing things too.

From what I've encountered, any simple welded square tube assembly seems to be much more robust than a similarly sized/complicated assembly made from wood.



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Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
Hi all,

I feel silly cluttering our forums with silly questions such as these but I wanted to talk about metal framing: basic structural engineering, and probe your opinions and expertise on angle iron vs square tubing. I recall reading a few builds which used metal framing, but apparently I didn't save them, aside from the broccoli bus build. Also this topic doesn't seem to come up often outside of the builds where they occur. From what I understand metal framing can be advantageous if done properly because it is lighter, smaller, and potentially longer lasting.

1. Does anyone have any links to any builds where people use metal framing?

2. What are our opinions on basic structural engineering with metal framing? From what I understand, triangles are good, lots of squares/cubes are good, and the sheeting adds to the general structural integrity. I think it's also good to add a buffer between the framework and the bus to reduce rattling?

3. Angle Iron vs square tubing. I plan to follow aaronsb's approach of using 16 gauge 1" square tubing. From what I read, square tubing's advantage over angle iron is that it will handle twisting torque better than angle iron, however the inside is vulnerable to rust due to it's hollow nature. I suppose it's good to note that the best price I've found on 16 gauge 1" tubing seems to be around 0.70/ft.

I know there's a lot of great fabricators on this board so I look forward to all of your opinions! And please share some builds if you have any saved with metal framing, thank you!
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:28 AM   #3
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MMMMMmmmmm Shroooms from a bus floor.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:51 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb View Post
If it helps - if there is enough moisture for a long enough time to cause the square tubing to become structurally deficient, I've got other huge problems like mushrooms growing out of the floor and black mold everywhere. Either that or the rest of the vehicle is rusted out from long term salt exposure.

If corrosion still bothers you, drill small ports and spray some cavity wax in the tubes after everything is welded and painted, which will make it basically last forever in the controlled environment of a bus.

You also have the option of cold spray galvanizing things too.

From what I've encountered, any simple welded square tube assembly seems to be much more robust than a similarly sized/complicated assembly made from wood.
Thank you Aaron, it very much helps! I couldn't imagine why there would be a lot of moisture in the bus but that's definitely good to know. Do you have this mushroom problem in your bus or other projects? After reading through your build, I've become a big fan of cold galv spray, and use it anytime I see exposed bare metal. I was planning to paint my interior framing comparable to how you painted your double folding bed frame. But maybe that's not necessary? Thanks for your response, and pardon my excessive directed attention towards your build.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:14 PM   #5
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I used sch 40 steel piping for anything heavy duty I needed and 16-guage sheetmetal studs for all of my framing and boxed them together when I needed solid metal on both sides of my walls. Sorry I turned the studs width ways to make my walls 1-1/2" thick and with a little effort two studs face to face will lock together therefore making a 1-1/2"x3-1/2" stud out of sheetmetal studs.
I used the piping because it was scraps that I deal with daily.
The cold galvanized spray paint is good but don't try to paint over existing paint that isn't galvanized? The xylene and toluene in the paint is what makes it eat into the metal and if you paint over paint it is still trying to find metal so bubbles,cracks,runs,mess in any paint you paint over will have to be cleaned and done again.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:42 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Thank you Jolly, lately you've been humoring all my threads with your great input and experience.

Your cold galv explanation is very helpful and makes a lot of sense. Since I plan to paint over my bus later I'm not too worried, but it's very good to know especially when it comes to interior work on the bus.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:19 AM   #7
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No shrooms, just saying the level of persistent moisture required to rust tube framework from the inside out would be excessive, and cause lots of other issues with the existing structure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
Thank you Aaron, it very much helps! I couldn't imagine why there would be a lot of moisture in the bus but that's definitely good to know. Do you have this mushroom problem in your bus or other projects? After reading through your build, I've become a big fan of cold galv spray, and use it anytime I see exposed bare metal. I was planning to paint my interior framing comparable to how you painted your double folding bed frame. But maybe that's not necessary? Thanks for your response, and pardon my excessive directed attention towards your build.
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:27 AM   #8
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Check youtube for a guy using metal studs to frame his shuttle bus. He has several episodes. I liked it because metal studs are galvanized and very light weight.
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:49 AM   #9
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when you use a lot of metal is it clangy when you drive the bus?

not that school busses arent clangy and rattley already stock..

-Christopher
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:49 AM   #10
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Any measurable temperature differential between inside and out will create condensation. Very often...a LOT of it. Hot sun on exterior metal combined with "conditioned air" on the inside...or...snow on the roof with heated air inside...either will produce a surprising amount of moisture. Propane heaters are notorious for making metal ceilings rain indoors under the right (or is it wrong) conditions.
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