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Old 06-20-2018, 12:28 PM   #1
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Bolt-Down Help

As I've mentioned in other threads, I'm a total novice. At EVERYTHING bus related. I feel kinda dopey coming on here all the time and asking obvious questions, but I don't know how else to figure this stuff out.

I plan to bolt down all the furniture I put into the bus - this seems like a no brainer to me. But whenever I look at tutorials and so forth, they mostly skip over the details of this part. I don't have a clue how to bolt down my furniture. Is there any way someone/everyone could post a very specific, detailed explanation of how you accomplished this part? The more specific the better, as in, if you say you drilled a hole, can you specify what size/type of bit you used to do it? I jsut need as much info as I can get, and I'm thinking some other might benefit from this, too.

I am using existing furniture chosen for both aesthetic and practical reasons rather than stuff built FOR the bus, so I need to know how/where to attach these pieces.

I had thought about using the original holes where the seat bolts were located to run bolts up through my insulation, plywood, and vinyl flooring up into the furniture, figuring that would be easier than creating new holes. But that won't work everywhere because the holes don't really line up with exactly where I need things to go.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:48 PM   #2
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how to bolt stuff down....

I have some questions for you first....

Do you have a 3/8" drill? battery operated or pug into a wall ?

do you have drill bits? -- If yes, please post a close up shot of the drill bits.

Crappy drill bits are not going to last long. A 1/2" diameter bolt is going to overkill in a lot of cases. 1/4" bolt probably not enough in most cases. A 3/8" bolt is a good size, kinda oversized but three or four will hold a lot of force in the event of a rollover/wreck.
use a 7/16" diameter bit for 3/8" holes. Find a drill bit the has three flat sides on the part you stick into the drill. I believe a brand called "IRWIN" will do this.

Pic the first piece you want bolted down and get some photos of the parts that touch the floor and let us see what we are working with. Then we can go on to the next step.

I will try to give you a step by step guide to the bolting and fastening of things to other things for the complete idiot... This is not meant to be mean spirited... Look up something called "the idiots guide" it is about how to work on you air cooled volkswagen beeltle, first published in 1967, I think by John Muir. Very well written guide. has been in print every year since. the first few years were spiral bound note books with very very cool art work.

your turn...

william
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:51 PM   #3
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Appliances with height adjustable feet can use an anti-tip bracket. Anything with wood legs can be drilled and tapped for adjustable feet and then anti-tip bracket secured. Post some pics of the furniture so we can see exactly what you're dealing with.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I have some questions for you first....

Do you have a 3/8" drill? battery operated or pug into a wall ?
Yes, I have a battery operated 3/8 drill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
do you have drill bits? -- If yes, please post a close up shot of the drill bits.
I have more drill bits than you could possibly imagine. In my business selling vintage and antique stuff I have acquired necessary tools for working with furniture and also with masonry/glass, but I also fairly recently bought the estate of a high school shop teacher. Let me tell you, the man had BITS. But more to the point, I'm willing to acquire whatever bits I need to do whatever I need to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
Pic the first piece you want bolted down and get some photos of the parts that touch the floor and let us see what we are working with. Then we can go on to the next step.
I will get some shots of the pieces that are going in, and post those by tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I will try to give you a step by step guide to the bolting and fastening of things to other things for the complete idiot... This is not meant to be mean spirited...
The Idiot's Guide is EXACTLY what I need. Thanks for the info and I will return with photos.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:45 AM   #5
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bolting down stuff

I will do what I can to help.

will
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:07 AM   #6
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Most of the brackets you will need are readily available most anywhere. Failing that, you can make your own to suit your situation. Your own confidence will grow and the help is here on this site for sure.


Good luck,


John
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:42 PM   #7
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ok...i know this will never pass either osha or my mother's approval, but this is my solution...as already stated, your solution depends upon the design of your seating...i purchased an ikea sofa, found a pipe holder, used half that fit over the horizontal frame, inserted a piece of rubber for tension, and screwed it down through 1/4" rubber flooring, 3/4" marine ply, and the steel floor...could have bolted it, but it's not going anywhere unless during a rollover...in which case everything will go anywhere quickly...again it depends on your specific case.


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Old 06-21-2018, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
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ok...i know this will never pass either osha or my mother's approval, but this is my solution...as already stated, your solution depends upon the design of your seating...i purchased an ikea sofa, found a pipe holder, used half that fit over the horizontal frame, inserted a piece of rubber for tension, and screwed it down through 1/4" rubber flooring, 3/4" marine ply, and the steel floor...could have bolted it, but it's not going anywhere unless during a rollover...in which case everything will go anywhere quickly...again it depends on your specific case.


You mean everything will go anywhere quickly because you have done the job poorly at best, why bother. Your method is only as strong as the wimpy screws you used. In a front end collision all your furniture is going to be in your lap in the front seat. If you had a 2" steel plate under the floor that the BOLTS should go through, in an accident you're pulling that spread out area and not just the screw diameter.
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:18 PM   #9
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You mean everything will go anywhere quickly because you have done the job poorly at best, why bother. Your method is only as strong as the wimpy screws you used. In a front end collision all your furniture is going to be in your lap in the front seat. If you had a 2" steel plate under the floor that the BOLTS should go through, in an accident you're pulling that spread out area and not just the screw diameter.
well, there you go...you solved his problem.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:51 PM   #10
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As an added benefit, a 2" steel plate bolted to the undercarriage should provide good protection against roadside IEDs.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:55 PM   #11
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As an added benefit, a 2" steel plate bolted to the undercarriage should provide good protection against roadside IEDs.
I meant 2" square, a washer per se, not 2" thick.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:06 PM   #12
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I meant 2" square, a washer per se, not 2" thick.
Just jerkin' your chain; no offense intended.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:06 PM   #13
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Pipe straps are meant to hold things that are about the size and weight of a couple feet of pipe, not furniture. They're sized to do that in a building that won't ever crash into other objects. A 5/16 or 3/8 bolt drilled through the furniture tube with washers at the head and the nut would be a significant upgrade.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:10 PM   #14
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As an added benefit, a 2" steel plate bolted to the undercarriage should provide good protection against roadside IEDs.
LOL

OP, what surface are you bolting furniture to? The original bus floor or something you've added in?

Anything heavy enough to injure you in the event of an accident needs to be secured, and Ikea couches certainly qualify. Can you post a picture of the underside of the couch so we can collectively offer a few suggestions?

Nick
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:36 AM   #15
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Sorry I haven't posted furniture pictures yet, can't seem to get any that really show what's what because it's always dark by the time I get around to it. It sounds like you're all keeping yourselves entertained while you wait!
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:39 AM   #16
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As an added benefit, a 2" steel plate bolted to the undercarriage should provide good protection against roadside IEDs.
Would also allow you to mount a 5000 gallon water tank on your roof.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I have some questions for you first....

Do you have a 3/8" drill? battery operated or pug into a wall ?

do you have drill bits? -- If yes, please post a close up shot of the drill bits.

Crappy drill bits are not going to last long. A 1/2" diameter bolt is going to overkill in a lot of cases. 1/4" bolt probably not enough in most cases. A 3/8" bolt is a good size, kinda oversized but three or four will hold a lot of force in the event of a rollover/wreck.
use a 7/16" diameter bit for 3/8" holes. Find a drill bit the has three flat sides on the part you stick into the drill. I believe a brand called "IRWIN" will do this.

Pic the first piece you want bolted down and get some photos of the parts that touch the floor and let us see what we are working with. Then we can go on to the next step.

I will try to give you a step by step guide to the bolting and fastening of things to other things for the complete idiot... This is not meant to be mean spirited... Look up something called "the idiots guide" it is about how to work on you air cooled volkswagen beeltle, first published in 1967, I think by John Muir. Very well written guide. has been in print every year since. the first few years were spiral bound note books with very very cool art work.

your turn...

william
I think I love you william. Thank you! I'm going to attach my stuff to the wall not the floor as it will float, but seriously basic info is really helpful!!
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:13 PM   #18
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The Furniture in Question

I'm still having a hard time shooting pictures of the furniture I'm planning to install, because I'm trying to take photos either in the bus or in my storage unit, both of which are tightly packed at the moment. But I did manage to get a few.

These pictures are of an old armoire I'm using. It comes almost to the top of the bus ceiling.

closet.jpg
The "main compartment" is a closet with hanging bar. Below is a single drawer, under which is a hollow area, covers by a wooden "skirt" in the front, but not in the back.

Picture 2 shows the bottom corner of the closet.
closet bottom.jpg

Picture 3 is the back bottom.
closet back.jpg

Picture 4 is as close to a shot of the underneath as I could get.
under closet.jpg

My initial thought was to attach an L-bracket to the legs in the back and the interior corners of the skirt in the front), then bolt the bracket down through the floor. But I'm concerned about relying only on it being fixed only to the bottom, because of the height. This piece will be right behind the driver's seat, though, so I can't secure it from the back. The side of the cabinet touches the side of the bus, but I don't know if it's necessarily wise to make a hole in the side to bolt it through that way. The bus wall has a "bow" in the middle, that is, it's 6 feet wide at the bottom and top, and about 6'2" in the middle of the wall. So the closet touches the wall at the bottom and at the top, but not quite in the middle. I thought about putting e-track horizontally along the central part of the wall and running a ratchet strap around the closet middle that clips into the track. Which would serve the added purpose of providing more security to the closet door, too. Just wondering if there's a more elegant solution out there.

I already put a dresser into the bus and it was super easy because I just used bolt holes left from when the bus seats were in there, drilled matching holes in the thick, solid oak bottom of the dresser, and bolted it through to the bottom of the bus. This one is not as easy, because the bottom of the piece is not flush with the floor. Any advice you can throw my way would be appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle61 View Post
LOL

OP, what surface are you bolting furniture to? The original bus floor or something you've added in?

Anything heavy enough to injure you in the event of an accident needs to be secured, and Ikea couches certainly qualify. Can you post a picture of the underside of the couch so we can collectively offer a few suggestions?

Nick
Hey, I'm the OP and I'm not putting in a couch. I just posted pics of a closet which is one of the pieces in question. Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebuild View Post
These pictures are of an old armoire I'm using. It comes almost to the top of the bus ceiling.

Attachment 23619
The "main compartment" is a closet with hanging bar. Below is a single drawer, under which is a hollow area, covers by a wooden "skirt" in the front, but not in the back.
I don't think that would be a good idea to install into a bus. It looks heavy and fragile, and I would be concerned that even if you got the base connected firmly to the bus, an accident would send a lot of old lumber airborne towards the back of your head.
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