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Old 05-13-2016, 06:25 PM   #1
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Window Skinning Input?

Hi all,

I had some reluctance about posting for your help, but I have read a handful of skinning threads and would love your guidance towards my plan to skin the bus.

My current plan is to purchase 20 gauge galvannealed steel at 47.88/4x10 sheet, I originally planned on getting 18 gauge, but do like the idea of drilling 1,000 holes in a thinner gauge sheet. I intend to loosely secure it with a handful of bolts to keep the metal up, as I proceed to rivet everything with a harbor freight rivet gun and 1000 of these 1/4" blind rivets that somewhereinusa used in his build.

I would like to space these rivet's 1.5 inches apart, and place them in holes drilled with 1/4 inch drillbit, between the metal and bus I will use some NP-1 polyeurethane sealant caulking as reccommended by reprobate in this thread.

Now for my questions the first two are related to this picture posted below.


1. RED: highlighted bars between windows aka "frame", should I rivet through here as well? Or only if it's for the edge of the skin?

2. BLUE: this top eyebrow/I forgot what the name for this is, should I remove this before skinning?
2a. if I remove this before skinning, should I secure the top sheet metal into the existing holes using the same sized screws that the eyebrow is secured with?

3. metal: what are your experiences with your sheet metal type/thickness? what gauge did you use?

4. cutting after: I later plan to put in dual pane RV windows, but I only have three at the moment right now. Will I be okay cutting the window holes after securing the new skin? If so how would you recommend I cut it? I assume a plasma cutter is ideal?

5. heating metal? I have heard that heating the metal with a heatgun is good before installing the skin, did you do this? What is your overall opinion regarding this? Now that the weather up here is getting close to 80, I'm starting to feel lazy about it.

6. spacing and drilling: what is your experience/opinion about how far apart to put in the rivets? Also do you have any techniques to have the holes spaced apart evenly? Also is one column of rivets will be enough for the edges?

note: I do not plan to take out the drivers side window at this present moment. Probably.

Thank you for reading this far, I look forward to your input!
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:15 AM   #2
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this roofing comes in many different colors.


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Old 05-14-2016, 06:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by luckychucky View Post
this roofing comes in many different colors.


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great idea, it wont flex with all them ribs.
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
Hi all,

I had some reluctance about posting for your help, but I have read a handful of skinning threads and would love your guidance towards my plan to skin the bus.

My current plan is to purchase 20 gauge galvannealed steel at 47.88/4x10 sheet, I originally planned on getting 18 gauge, but do like the idea of drilling 1,000 holes in a thinner gauge sheet. I intend to loosely secure it with a handful of bolts to keep the metal up, as I proceed to rivet everything with a harbor freight rivet gun and 1000 of these 1/4" blind rivets that somewhereinusa used in his build.

I would like to space these rivet's 1.5 inches apart, and place them in holes drilled with 1/4 inch drillbit, between the metal and bus I will use some NP-1 polyeurethane sealant caulking as reccommended by reprobate in this thread.

Now for my questions the first two are related to this picture posted below.


1. RED: highlighted bars between windows aka "frame", should I rivet through here as well? Or only if it's for the edge of the skin?

2. BLUE: this top eyebrow/I forgot what the name for this is, should I remove this before skinning?
2a. if I remove this before skinning, should I secure the top sheet metal into the existing holes using the same sized screws that the eyebrow is secured with?

3. metal: what are your experiences with your sheet metal type/thickness? what gauge did you use?

4. cutting after: I later plan to put in dual pane RV windows, but I only have three at the moment right now. Will I be okay cutting the window holes after securing the new skin? If so how would you recommend I cut it? I assume a plasma cutter is ideal?

5. heating metal? I have heard that heating the metal with a heatgun is good before installing the skin, did you do this? What is your overall opinion regarding this? Now that the weather up here is getting close to 80, I'm starting to feel lazy about it.

6. spacing and drilling: what is your experience/opinion about how far apart to put in the rivets? Also do you have any techniques to have the holes spaced apart evenly? Also is one column of rivets will be enough for the edges?

note: I do not plan to take out the drivers side window at this present moment. Probably.

Thank you for reading this far, I look forward to your input!
Hi
They make a sheetmetal punch (used to be called a Hoffman punch) that will save some drill bits.
Mine is 15guage sheetmetal and I would go with that or better.
There is no purpose to pre heat before installing rivets. Unless your planning on hot rivets? Harbor Freight can't help with that and a torch not a heat gun is what you will need?
Sheet metal has to be worked and just not slapped up?
If you don't prep and work both ends at the same time you will end up with buckles,bows, puckers in the metal that even bondo won't hide.
Work both ends at the same time from the same point.
I like to drill/punch the metal one size bigger than the rib hole so I have a little wiggle room and use screws to get it right then remove one at a time to rivet. Never re-skinned a bus but have worked sheet metal for many years.
For the windows later I would pick a spot to drill a hole and use a jig saw, file down the edges for a rubber gasket windows and leave any finish thing inside removable or enough room to work the gasket inside and out.
For spacing of the rivets? If there is an existing hole then it would get a rivet especially if I was going with thinner metal?
Especially thinner metal requires more patience/time to prevent the puckering/bowing effect and in my head? if your bus is not sitting on close to level ground when the skin is done then it could any sheet metal/ thinner metal pucker and bow after it is moved? So you could drive it with the metal screwed and adjust it on asphalt/concrete and even put some rivets in the trouble pieces while on solid ground.
I like to use stainless steel rivets because they are harder than the metal I am putting them into, therefor it isn't the rivet that fails.
NP-1 is a great product. Don't use it if you ever plan on taking the thinner metal apart. And anything you plan on painting you need to plan on wiping it off because paint won't stick to it.
If you get it on you it loves plastic bags while it is wet or baby oil as it is starting to dry after it dries on you or anything else you have to wear it.
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:53 PM   #5
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i have decided to leave all windows. but after a ton of researchin on the idea i would have cut out shapes of the windows using this material

1" x 48" x 96" HDPE Sheet | U.S. Plastic Corp.

add aluminum L bars to the edges, just like the old window.
then install from inside out, just like the window did. then lexel clear the heck out of it on edges.

lets you leave the rivets out of equation = less chance to battle water leaks, and leave the vertical cover pieces between each window on the outside too instead of having to pull them then put right back on.

and NO rust EVER
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:50 PM   #6
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this roofing comes in many different colors.


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Hey Luckychucky, can you provide more information on this roofing material?

J
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:43 PM   #7
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Mine is 15guage sheetmetal and I would go with that or better.
There is no purpose to pre heat before installing rivets. Unless your planning on hot rivets?
Exactly the advice I was going to give. I went with 16 gauge and it went up great, no buckles or weird waves, was pretty easy to handle in nearly full sheets. And don't worry about a little bit of extra thickness in the sheet when drilling all those holes. Each hole will take only a couple seconds more to drill than the 20 gauge, it's not going to be deal breaker.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:39 PM   #8
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Exactly the advice I was going to give. I went with 16 gauge and it went up great, no buckles or weird waves, was pretty easy to handle in nearly full sheets. And don't worry about a little bit of extra thickness in the sheet when drilling all those holes. Each hole will take only a couple seconds more to drill than the 20 gauge, it's not going to be deal breaker.
If you think about it, there's NO advantage to heating up the sheets of steel before you put em on. The .0000whatever percent expansion is lost by the time that any rivets are in anyhow.

Good advice, slaughridge!
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:26 AM   #9
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I've seen people pull the sheets really tight before attaching. Heating a sheet of steel like that sounds like a impossible task. How does anyone do that? I've got a toaster oven. Besides, isn't hot steel just making a difficult job more difficult? It seems like the ambient temperature of the vehicle would be the best temperature to bring two pieces of steel together for joining.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:58 AM   #10
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Yes, I am not speaking from experience here but just thinking that if anyone advocates heating the metal before applying it then it seems to me it's be adequate enough to just install your sheet metal on a sunny summer day. You leave those bad boys out in the sun for a few minutes and I'm sure they'll be hotter than you can handle to install them! Seriously though, the whole heating them thing is an argument in contrast to installing sheet metal in the cold. It won't help at all if the ambient temperature is already 65 or greater. It would just suck though to skin a bus in winter then next summer it's all wavy and buckling.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:50 PM   #11
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Hey Luckychucky, can you provide more information on this roofing material?



J


All I can tell you is I bought it at menards and they have several different lengths
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:33 PM   #12
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Everyone, thanks for your input so far! Since mentally I've been preparing myself to skin with sheet metal I don't think I feel like changing it up without seeing a more detailed review of the alternative, however it is nice to see all of these ideas, and that corrogated roofing on that blue bus looks really good.

After reading these posts it looks like I will not be doing 20 gauge. I will debate between 16 and 18 gauge. Jolly Roger your input was much appreciated, it definitely changes my plan a bit, though I'm not sure how I'm going to rivet the metal in on flat ground, that's something to brainstorm I suppose. Maybe I can get a really long extension cord.

Question: what do you mean by prep and work metal before putting it up? Also when you say work from both sides, would that be referring to rivetting the left and right side together? Also Robin: How did you see the metal being stretched out?
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:02 PM   #13
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It was when I was a kid, but I believe they just put several holes in each end so they could attach a bracket at each end so they could pull it tight. That sounds difficult. If it's straight and not wavy when you get it, shouldn't it attach straight as long as there's no rivets you're trying to cover over?

I agree some of the windows need to be covered. At the same time when I'm in the mountains I like being able to see 360* all around me. I'd like to make a window awning that could be lowered to cover the windows during inclement weather. Even with tinted windows it would be nice to have something to cover the windows at night. I don't really like to looks of curtains and they always have gaps. I might be in here washing something important at night.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:32 AM   #14
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Heating panels sounds reasonable in theory but is pretty much impossible in practice, unless you have an enormous inductive heater setup hanging from a gantry crane. Steel has to be pretty hot to get the expansion that makes a difference, and even then you need to keep it hot while driving fasteners in.

Gravity is your friend. Hang sheets from the top center via one or two clecos, then spread left right and down. The bows and buckles will smooth away, like making the duvet cover on a bed.

20 gauge would probably be fine, but 18 or 16 won't hurt, it'll just get really heavy if you're manually hanging 4'x10' sheets.

Driving solid rivets needs a buddy to hold the bucking bar. Try to get some experience or find someone who had some. Here in the pacific northwet, Boeing has trained a grilion people on how rivets work, so you can throw a rock and hit someone experienced.

1/4" shank solid rivets are probably too big. What's in the bus right now? Follow the spacing and sizes of the fasteners in the vehicle body. The rivets on the rub rail might be bigger. Also, when you're slipping panels together think about how roofing shingles go together.

Invest in some electric shears, your life will be easier. If you can somehow acquire a 48' slip roll shear that would make your life considerably easier. If not, a drywall square, sharpie pen, and patience will suffice.

Use some cold spray galvinizing coating between your layers. Anything thicker than 1/16" acrylic foam tape sandwiched between your layers will cause a lot of dimpling at the rivets. A bead of sikaflex between panels will be great at weatherproofing the seams.
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:15 PM   #15
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Heating panels sounds reasonable in theory but is pretty much impossible in practice, unless you have an enormous inductive heater setup hanging from a gantry crane. Steel has to be pretty hot to get the expansion that makes a difference, and even then you need to keep it hot while driving fasteners in.

Gravity is your friend. Hang sheets from the top center via one or two clecos, then spread left right and down. The bows and buckles will smooth away, like making the duvet cover on a bed.

20 gauge would probably be fine, but 18 or 16 won't hurt, it'll just get really heavy if you're manually hanging 4'x10' sheets.

Driving solid rivets needs a buddy to hold the bucking bar. Try to get some experience or find someone who had some. Here in the pacific northwet, Boeing has trained a grilion people on how rivets work, so you can throw a rock and hit someone experienced.

1/4" shank solid rivets are probably too big. What's in the bus right now? Follow the spacing and sizes of the fasteners in the vehicle body. The rivets on the rub rail might be bigger. Also, when you're slipping panels together think about how roofing shingles go together.

Invest in some electric shears, your life will be easier. If you can somehow acquire a 48' slip roll shear that would make your life considerably easier. If not, a drywall square, sharpie pen, and patience will suffice.

Use some cold spray galvinizing coating between your layers. Anything thicker than 1/16" acrylic foam tape sandwiched between your layers will cause a lot of dimpling at the rivets. A bead of sikaflex between panels will be great at weatherproofing the seams.
As fas as lifting & holding the metal in place this is what one member came up with & I copied & worked very well & was able to slide the sheet metal a couple inches under the roof metal so had nice overlap.

For lifting you just get 2 of the cheapest & smallest bottle jacks {walmart} & some angle iron I used 10ft pieces of sheetmetal so used 10' angle, if you want just for a little more stability weld the angle to the jack pad.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:01 PM   #16
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I used 18 gauge cold rolled to skin mine. I didn't experience any "oil canning" etc. Pretty sure I used 1/4" rivets, and I have no complaints after about 4 years of driving it around.

Here is a link to page 13 of my build where the skinning part starts.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/lu...d-7301-13.html
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:12 PM   #17
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You used 3/16" rivets, same as the ones I used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRainbowBoxer View Post
I used 18 gauge cold rolled to skin mine. I didn't experience any "oil canning" etc. Pretty sure I used 1/4" rivets, and I have no complaints after about 4 years of driving it around.

Here is a link to page 13 of my build where the skinning part starts.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/lu...d-7301-13.html
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:15 PM   #18
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I stand corrected LOL!
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:31 PM   #19
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Thank you all for your input so far, I will be re-reading this thread a few times to keep myself on track.

Stu&Filo: I was just reading the Journey's skinning thread that used the same technique yesterday, I agree with that and will likely use a similar setup to keep the metal hoisted.

Aaronsb: Thank you for your input, your build is absolutely phenomenal and late in your thread you said something along the lines of "anyone can do it if you do it, this stuff is pretty simple" I really took those words to heart, I'm re-reading your build right now actually. I probably won't use solid rivets because most of my bus work happens after 9pm/ my only day off is Thursday/I like to make excuses. I will definitely get some cheap electric shears off amazon with hopes that it will break after extensive use and amazon will pick it up and refund my money/ or it will do the job and I will keep them. I will measure my existing rivets tonight and decide accordingly. PS: I'm Kent if you ever need a hand on a Thursday.

Rainbow boxer: thanks for the link, I'm having fun reading through your build so far, I just bookmarked your trailer wiring stuff, it's definitely been on my todo list.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:01 PM   #20
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If you decide to use blind rivets for the bulk of your paneling, you should either seal the holes left from the mandrel shank, or purchase rivets that have sealed ends.

Please really consider using solid rivets.

Solid rivets are less prone to mechanical failure (less moving parts, hah) have higher shear strength and clamping force, and seal better than blind ones.

Thanks for the callout about doing this stuff. It is NOT terribly difficult, it just takes time and the patience to do it in a way that works.

If it is possible at all to get someone over for a few hours each night to install blind rivets, you can perform a major fraction of the work ahead of time so you're not consuming their time:

Mount sheet steel, use a tiny handful of blind rivets where absolutely necessary, otherwise purchase a ton of clecos. Pre-drill as much as you possibly can for panels. I'd say the bulk of time riveting solid is spent measuring and drilling the holes.

If they were nearly all pre-drilled and held together with a grillion clecos, you could knock out all the solid riveting in just a few daily sessions.

It would be fun to meet up and check out your project. I work in bellevue during the day, and kent isn't much further - I could head down on a thursday.

PM me if you're interested!

I forgot to add, you're totally fine cutting out the window holes afterwards in the sheet metal. If you use a plasma cutter, ensure you're not setting fire to everything on the other side of what you're cutting. I used an air powered sheet metal nibbler which really worked great. It took longer for me to mark my cut and remove the foam insulation out than the sheet metal cutting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
Thank you all for your input so far, I will be re-reading this thread a few times to keep myself on track.

Stu&Filo: I was just reading the Journey's skinning thread that used the same technique yesterday, I agree with that and will likely use a similar setup to keep the metal hoisted.

Aaronsb: Thank you for your input, your build is absolutely phenomenal and late in your thread you said something along the lines of "anyone can do it if you do it, this stuff is pretty simple" I really took those words to heart, I'm re-reading your build right now actually. I probably won't use solid rivets because most of my bus work happens after 9pm/ my only day off is Thursday/I like to make excuses. I will definitely get some cheap electric shears off amazon with hopes that it will break after extensive use and amazon will pick it up and refund my money/ or it will do the job and I will keep them. I will measure my existing rivets tonight and decide accordingly. PS: I'm Kent if you ever need a hand on a Thursday.

Rainbow boxer: thanks for the link, I'm having fun reading through your build so far, I just bookmarked your trailer wiring stuff, it's definitely been on my todo list.
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