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Old 08-23-2023, 01:13 PM   #1
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Cutting Materials on a Curve

I am currently trying to winterize the back part of a bus. Is there a trick to measuring and cutting materials to actually fit the curve of the roof?? I have wasted too much trying to figure it out! Halp!

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Old 08-23-2023, 02:17 PM   #2
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I am currently trying to winterize the back part of a bus. Is there a trick to measuring and cutting materials to actually fit the curve of the roof?? I have wasted too much trying to figure it out! Halp!
Make a cardboard template !
Then cut your metal.
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Old 08-23-2023, 02:17 PM   #3
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i use cardboard as a template.
make one piece that makes the curve and to the center of the bus and just flip it around to go from left to right and say if you keep the bottom straight and say the highest point at 2 foot then just measure the highest point down to the floor and when you mark your curve on the material to be cut you no how much added length you need to the floor.
minus your 2 feet in the template of course. example 96"(8') minus 24" (2') leaves you with adding 6' to the bottom of your template. then save that template for future walls.
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Old 08-23-2023, 04:14 PM   #4
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Cardboard is okay, but for very accurate templates, especially around a curve, try 10 minute building paper. It’s a thin version of tar paper. It’s flexible, strong, and it holds a crisp edge
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Old 08-23-2023, 04:35 PM   #5
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Here's my technique for cutting a piece that matches the ceiling curvature without having to create a template: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/r...tml#post442087
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Old 08-23-2023, 04:38 PM   #6
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Same-cardboard is cheap! I also put a vertical stick right in the middle of the aisle (my bus is not always on a perfectly flat and level surface), and used a sheet rock square to get perpendicular measurements.
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Old 08-23-2023, 08:53 PM   #7
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I used a mix of cardboard and a scribe.
1) Cut cardboard really roughly to the shape of the curve. I mean really rough - eyeball it and cut with reckless abandon.
2) jab wooden BBQ skewers into the curved end of your cardboard at approximately 2" intervals. Bring your cardboard/skewer creation into the bus and slide the skewers in/out until they all make contact with the bus ceiling.
3) transfer your skewer curve onto your sheet of plywood or whatever, then rough cut it (put in a little more effort this time though)
4) bring your rough cut piece into the bus and scribe the final cut onto it (see musigenesis' post from earlier)
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Old 08-23-2023, 09:30 PM   #8
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i like digital.

if you're into CAD of anysort like sketchup or fusion360....

its pretty easy to snap a picture of the profile and insert the pic into the CAD program. you can scale the picture and then trace the curve and size it as needed.

then print and cut out to your size

i used this method fitting cabinets to a van wall. worked pretty good. helps that i had a cnc machine to cut out the profile after i had it in CAD
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Old 08-24-2023, 04:54 PM   #9
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Thanks guys!!! I appreciate the input and ideas!! Next step after this is tearing out the bifold doors with broken glass and putting in an actual door!
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Old 08-24-2023, 04:55 PM   #10
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This is GENIUS!!
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Old 08-24-2023, 06:59 PM   #11
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i made about 4 templates out of cardboard and the duct taped the edges so i have them ready i raised my roof and installed upper cabinets and those templates worked great just never throw them away
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Old 08-24-2023, 11:30 PM   #12
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...if you're into CAD of anysort like sketchup or fusion360....
I'm into CAD for these uses as well...Cardboard Aided Design.

On a serious note, I do have a 5x10 CNC plasma table and I've thought about adding a router to it, for wood. But I don't have that yet...so I use a heavy duty floor protector, which is like super thick builders paper in a roll. I always have a roll on hand for this stuff. FloorShield is one version.
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Old 08-25-2023, 08:13 AM   #13
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Steel Templates from the Factory

The IC factory included two ceiling templates, interior front & rear, which we saved on a deck, near our build.



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Old 08-25-2023, 08:57 AM   #14
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I plan to make some templates for the rear portion of the "new Crown" the following way:
Using one of the laser levels from Harbor Freight that has a filter to produce a line of light, position the light line where I need to make a template. Use a sharpie to mark along the the light line. Using a large square and a tape measure on the floor or in my case the bed, measure the distance from sharpie line to bed/floor at 1" intervals. Where the curve is more vertical like near the sides, 1/2" centers is better. This is a 2 person job. To increase accuracy of measurements measure to a specific distance down the square instead of trying to bend the tape measure and guess at exact measurement, say 6" from corner of square. Make template based on the measurements (connect the dots?). Crowns and other buses have complex curves to plot out.
I know it sounds complex but this works even if the bus is not level. I like poster board vs. cardboard for template material.
Crowns have a rounded profile at the floor where it meets the wall, so placing a length of steel or wood across side to side to place the square on solves that problem.
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Old 08-25-2023, 10:18 AM   #15
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I never imagined I would become this kind of person, but: I feel that CNC is cheating as far as fabrication and carpentry are concerned.
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Old 08-25-2023, 11:05 AM   #16
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I never imagined I would become this kind of person, but: I feel that CNC is cheating as far as fabrication and carpentry are concerned.
yep, maybe.
its a different tool, its not "push button easy". its lousy at one offs.
CAD is one skill, then you learn CAM ( the machining program), and you need another bit of software to translate the CAM to your own machine. the cost of the software is a B..... most of it is subscription or real expensive to buy outright. i just dropped my fusion360 subscription since i hadnt used it in a bit.

then there are the miscuts, bits, and time

if i had a miscut, which program is it wrong in? worse is, why won't it do what i want or am telling it to do? its its own world.

great for production. similar amount of time goes into 1 as 1000

and it cuts perfect curves! it has better handwriting than mine. i thought it would be easier to make stuff, but there is no library too cut and paste from, you have to draw it all up from scratch.

I've had mine almost 2 years now, and im such a beginner. but im getting better.
last week i was learning how to take a photo and carve it into a panel. i think im going to start playing with epoxy inlays with it....

if you want a photo of your dog on a cabinet door..... i can do it for you!
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Old 08-25-2023, 12:33 PM   #17
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Man, Turf, now you're motivating me to get that router installed. I don't need the 3D carving functionality like yours...just perimeter cuts on plywood...but that's damned cool.
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