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Old 04-19-2018, 08:31 PM   #1
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Tubing size for Bluebird roof raise?

Hey Everyone,

I am getting ready to order materials for the roof raise on my 2002 Bluebird.

I set out to determine what size square tubing I will need and am a bit baffled.

I expected to measure and find that I needed 1" or 1.25" tubing to fit snugly inside of the hat channel.

What I found is 1.21" fits quite nicely....

As that is not an available size I am wondering what those of you who have done a Bluebird roof raise have used?

I am thinking that 1" seems too "sloppy" and 1.25" won't fit. A bit of a conundrum for me.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

S.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:06 PM   #2
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1 1/4 sq tubing is what the BB owners I know have all used.
If you can't find a size that fits PERFECT, have some channel made.
I had some custom bent and it fit my Amtran like a glove.


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Old 04-20-2018, 11:02 AM   #3
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Thanks CB.

I checked in two places and found that 1.21" would be a good fit. Have the folks that you have seen with Bluebirds had to force fit 1.25" tube or was it an "easy" fit?
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:50 AM   #4
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1-1/8" square tubing is a thing, although it appears to be special order. 1.125" fits into 1.210" with not a lot to spare on either side; it could be bridged with a weld bead easily enough. Just a thought.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:54 PM   #5
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1-1/8" square tubing is a thing, although it appears to be special order. 1.125" fits into 1.210" with not a lot to spare on either side; it could be bridged with a weld bead easily enough. Just a thought.
I couldn't find any but that's about the size I needed.

The BB's I've seen fit 1.25 sq tubing with a fairly easy fit, not forced. MuddaEarth got his out of a scrap pile and it was 1.25 I'm 99.999% sure.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:02 PM   #6
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1-1/8" square tubing is a thing, although it appears to be special order. 1.125" fits into 1.210" with not a lot to spare on either side; it could be bridged with a weld bead easily enough. Just a thought.
Being in a fairly rural area I sometimes have trouble finding the variety of materials that might be available in a metro area.

I called the two metal suppliers that I have found reasonably close and they told me that they did not have 1 1/8" tube available.

One of them recommended using 1" and then shimming one side with 3/16" flat stock.

I am contemplating taking the 3/16" and welding it to the 1" tube by "plug welding" it. That would yield pieces that are 1"x 1 3/16".

Anyone see any reason that this will not work well?

Thanks

S.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:28 PM   #7
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have you looked at fastenal? they have loads of materials and the ship to you
https://www.fastenal.com/
otherwise, your shim idea will work.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:03 PM   #8
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have you looked at fastenal? they have loads of materials and the ship to you
https://www.fastenal.com/
otherwise, your shim idea will work.
Thanks for the tip.

I just checked and they carry 1" and 1 1/4".... No joy...
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:30 PM   #9
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I wonder if shipping from a metro area like Salt Lake City would be prohibitive. If you wanted to order custom channel from a sheet metal shop here I'd be happy to do the leg work moving it from the shop to an LTL freight terminal for you. I guess the freight would have to be $200 or a bit more just for them to go to the trouble of touching it. Maybe there's a hotshot making a trip from here to there who'd do it at a better price.

We've seen many people here on skoolie do the tube+flat bar approach. My impression is it's more common than the custom channel approach -- I can only recall 4 people who made custom hat channel (including myself and ECCB).
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Old 04-27-2018, 01:53 AM   #10
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I picked up all my metal from metal supermarkets. If you don't seem to find what you want, my suggestion is to go there and rummage around in their end cuts. You can sort of test fit pieces together until you find a frame extension solution that is satisfactory. Then go back and buy the correct lenghths to do the job.

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Old 04-27-2018, 09:23 AM   #11
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I wound up with 1" square tube and 3/16" x 1" flat stock.
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:16 PM   #12
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Well, after burning up several hours welding and grinding we decided to change direction and go with custom bent channel.

It turned out to be much less expensive than I expected.
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Well, after burning up several hours welding and grinding we decided to change direction and go with custom bent channel.

It turned out to be much less expensive than I expected.
I applaud this decision!!!!!!
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:59 PM   #14
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Well, the link will take you to the site but not to the 1 1/8 tubing page it was cut and pasted from. $60 bucks for 20 feet plus unknown shipping and cutting cost to fit UPS but it is out there.[url]https://www.discountsteel.com/items/Structural_Mechanical_Steel_Square_Tube.cfm?item_i d=206&size_no=18#skus[/ur
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:02 PM   #15
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Well, the link will take you to the site but not to the 1 1/8 tubing page it was cut and pasted from. $60 bucks for 20 feet plus unknown shipping and cutting cost to fit UPS but it is out there.[url]https://www.discountsteel.com/items/Structural_Mechanical_Steel_Square_Tube.cfm?item_i d=206&size_no=18#skus[/ur
I see it in 18ga but that's pretty thin compared to the 14ga the ribs are made of. granted its boxed, but I'd want thicker than 18ga.
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:56 PM   #16
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Well , cleanly missed that little tidbitof info
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:02 PM   #17
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I used 1-1/4" x 1/8" wall square tube when raising the roof on my old 1978 BBAA. It fit perfectly inside the ribs (?).
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:57 PM   #18
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I used 1-1/4" x 1/8" wall square tube when raising the roof on my old 1978 BBAA. It fit perfectly inside the ribs (?).
We tried 1-1/4" . It wouldn't fit inside the hat channel. The 1-3/16" that we built up fits nearly perfect. It is snug enough that it a pretty tight fit in some of the ribs.

Custom C channel will be ready on Thursday.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:05 PM   #19
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We tried 1-1/4" . It wouldn't fit inside the hat channel. The 1-3/16" that we built up fits nearly perfect. It is snug enough that it a pretty tight fit in some of the ribs.

Custom C channel will be ready on Thursday.
See if you can get strips of 14ga angle cut and bent out of some steel and then you could totally carry the flange of the current ribs with those. 3/4 x 3/4 would probably be close enough. Once riveted back up it will look as factory as possible.
I used 1/8" angle cause I was in a pinch, but if I had it to do over I'd have had some 14ga mini angle strips cut and bent to mimic the factory ribs and not be so thick as that angle I used.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:37 PM   #20
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See if you can get strips of 14ga angle cut and bent out of some steel and then you could totally carry the flange of the current ribs with those. 3/4 x 3/4 would probably be close enough. Once riveted back up it will look as factory as possible.
I used 1/8" angle cause I was in a pinch, but if I had it to do over I'd have had some 14ga mini angle strips cut and bent to mimic the factory ribs and not be so thick as that angle I used.
Thanks for the suggestion.

I was considering buying 1/2" angle. I like your idea better.
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