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Old 02-21-2016, 10:58 PM   #1
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Raising the roof 2

When you raise the roof what kind and thickness of steel do you usually use for the frame? Do you weld or rivet? How thick are bus walls usually?
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:17 PM   #2
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Hello again. I will be raising my roof in the next couple of weeks. Some people get custom made hat channel (the frame). I'm going to use 1 1/4 square tubing and then plate the sides of the original hat channel. I will be welding everything. After the raise I will be skinning the bus with 18 gauge sheet steel. It will be more than strong enough. I read on here one time that Blue Bird uses about 15 gauge steel but I don't know for sure.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:31 PM   #3
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But isn't hat channel folded sheetmetal?
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:49 AM   #4
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It is fairly thick. It is molded and shaped. I think it would be fairly expensive to have hat channel made. I did find one post that I was looking for. The title is Roof raise completed as of 08/13/2014 by Alexandlorraine01. Do a search for it as I don't know haw to link to it.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:13 AM   #5
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The hat channel in my bus is 14ga. Not as expensive to make as you'd think. Its sheared then bent on a press brake. Would take maybe 2-3 hours shop time plus materials.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:10 PM   #6
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ON my old 40" BB, I used a combination of 1-1/4" square tube inside the existing ribs and cut sections of new ribs to fit over the raised portion. They were attached using a combination of welding and riveting.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:25 PM   #7
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Something like this, note the .125 flat bar wedged in. Just hammer it flush, and not all the way in, because it will cause the hat channel to widen.


Attached .125 webbing (hot roll angle) to the sides, to facilitate fore-aft stability and a flange to rivet sheets to. (sorry it's blurry)
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:33 PM   #8
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Yes hat channel is folded sheet metal. Technically square tube is as well -- it's just folded into a closed shape and welded together where the edges meet. Square tube, at least the kind we're discussing here, isn't extruded seamlessly.

I thought the hat channel I had made wasn't terribly expensive. I bought 270 lineal feet made from 14 ga galvanized sheet for about US$330. It was twice the cost (or more?) of square tube, but it's galvanized, it fits just right, it was easy... in the grand scheme of what I'm building the $100-ish difference was worth it to me.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice and photos. Now i know EXACTLY what you mean.
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