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Old 09-24-2020, 03:37 PM   #1
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Emergency hatch sheet metal needed

Hi everyone,


We have a 2005 Thomas with 2 hatches, one of which will be under a rear deck, to be built, which I want to seal up.


I an reading that after removal of the existing hatch, we would cover that with a piece of sheet metal, lap sealent and dicor and screws.


So as a first step, i am looking for a piece of metal of the right type to cover it.
Not withstanding size, would something like this from Amazon work?


https://www.amazon.com/M-D-Building-...SY2ENK7GD&th=1



or can someone make a recommendation of what type of steel to purchase and from where.


Thanks!


Peter
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:15 PM   #2
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Hop on the free stuff on Craig's list and find an old filing cabinet or desk. Even a washer or dryer or frige (with smooth sides). That sort of metal is plenty strong enough to patch up a hole in your roof.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:31 PM   #3
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Hop on the free stuff on Craig's list and find an old filing cabinet or desk. Even a washer or dryer or frige (with smooth sides). That sort of metal is plenty strong enough to patch up a hole in your roof.
Jack
Free and no shipping, and you are recycling, win win win
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
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Free and no shipping, and you are recycling, win win win
Genius!

TY!!
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:17 PM   #5
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The metal from Amazon would work (if it were 2'x2' instead of 2'x1') but buying it that way (or from Lowe's or Home Depot) is going to be extremely expensive. Comparatively, I picked up a 4'x8' sheet of 16 ga. from a metal supply place in Jersey for $40.
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:43 PM   #6
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it definitely makes sense to make use of your bus as a truck if you dont have one before you tear the bus into pieces for conversion.. large sheets of metal can be had reasonably from shops.. also wood, etc can easily be transported in a bus esp if you have the seats out.. but before you gut the windows and wiring
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:23 AM   #7
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We already decided to do a minimal insulation job, so that wont be an issue.
Lack of insulation will be compensate for by a wood or boat diesel stove and 2 additional Chinese diesel air heaters on thermostats, one if front and one toward the rear of the bus.



The stock wall insulation is in great shape, like new, [the bus came from NV=no rust] so were just removing the steel on the inside only, thankfully it uses screws, and then covering the existing insulation with reflectix. Maybe one of those sheets would fit the roof emergency hatch, I hadnt thought of that before.

The floor is also fine, were covering that with a thin sheet of pergo laminate flooring.
Im 6-2 so my head hits the ceiling so I cant loose any more space in this bus.
The ceiling stays the same, as down the road [no pun intended] we will raise the roof more then likely.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:50 AM   #8
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Your local box store (Lowe's, Home Depot, Menard's) or Tractor Supply will have small pieces of sheet metal if all else fails. I run a fab shop and I always help out a local by giving away a small piece of scrap for free or cheap, so you could call around to a couple local sheet metal shops.

As for type, stay away from galvanized if you plan to paint it. I'd assume the bus roof is something like 18-16ga sheet metal at best (havent torn into our new bus that closely yet).
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:56 AM   #9
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Typical bus roof is 20 ga. Your AmTran will have that.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:00 AM   #10
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Typical bus roof is 20 ga. Your AmTran will have that.
Noted. In that case, a local sheet metal shop probably has some scraps they'd donate to the OP but the recycled idea form a craigslist find is also a great idea as mentioned.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:28 AM   #11
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Metal Source and a Question

While it's not the cheapest way to buy metal, it's definitely better than your box stores. OnlineMetals.com is a supplier that I have used for various projects in the past, and I just ordered some "cut to size" pieces to blank out a couple windows and to close up my roof hatches. Standard sizes are cheaper, but it's worth it to me to get exactly what I need for these couple of tasks. They're easily half the price of my local metal suppliers.

Question: When replacing the roof hatch, is there a significant advantage in strength to lapping the new metal over the top of the old to bridge the hole left by the hatch, or can I run the metal underneath and then use fiberglass to level and contour the place where I patched it in? I have very little experience with body work, but this approach worked great when I pulled the red and amber flashers from our bus. It left a nice finished look.
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:10 AM   #12
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Question: When replacing the roof hatch, is there a significant advantage in strength to lapping the new metal over the top of the old to bridge the hole left by the hatch, or can I run the metal underneath and then use fiberglass to level and contour the place where I patched it in? I have very little experience with body work, but this approach worked great when I pulled the red and amber flashers from our bus. It left a nice finished look.
I deleted my rear hatch with the sheet on top. The hole for my hatch goes all the way to the edges of the ribs it's in between, so there would have been no way to patch it from underneath (the rivets on the front and back sides of the patch go into the space inside the ribs). Maybe Blue Birds are different, but do you really care what this patch looks like on the outside? Pretty much nobody will ever see it.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:10 AM   #13
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Remember all those seats you have no use for now? Cut the metal out of the back of a couple for skinning hatch holes, zero expense.
I used Lexan and made them Skylights.
You might want to clear a roof deck with your insurance company.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:15 AM   #14
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Maybe Blue Birds are different, but do you really care what this patch looks like on the outside? Pretty much nobody will ever see it.
I do care to a degree. Iím not a fan of things that look slapped together, but also not a fan of making projects far more difficult than they need to be or sacrificing function for appearance.

Iím probably going to end up putting it on top, but Iíll make a final decision when I get into it unless I hear something that directs me one way or the other.
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Old 10-13-2020, 01:39 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=CoffeeGuy;410116]While it's not the cheapest way to buy metal, it's definitely better than your box stores. OnlineMetals.com is a supplier that I have used for various projects in the past,

Question: Which materials did you use for deleting your roof hatch from OnlineMetals coffeeguy? ".025 Alloy Steel Sheet 4130 Annealed 24" square ?
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:01 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=Peterjk;410179]
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeGuy View Post
While it's not the cheapest way to buy metal, it's definitely better than your box stores. OnlineMetals.com is a supplier that I have used for various projects in the past,

Question: Which materials did you use for deleting your roof hatch from OnlineMetals coffeeguy? ".025 Alloy Steel Sheet 4130 Annealed 24" square ?
I think the opening is 24", you'll need at least 26" to cover the hole.
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:55 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=Peterjk;410179]
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeGuy View Post
While it's not the cheapest way to buy metal, it's definitely better than your box stores. OnlineMetals.com is a supplier that I have used for various projects in the past,

Question: Which materials did you use for deleting your roof hatch from OnlineMetals coffeeguy? ".025 Alloy Steel Sheet 4130 Annealed 24" square ?

0.0359" Mild Steel Sheet A366/1008 Cold Roll

I haven't actually done the deletion yet, just ordered the steel and plan on doing it in the next couple weeks, along with a couple of window deletions. I ordered 30" x 30" to go over the hatches, just to have some extra overlap and strength in case an elephant walks on my roof.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:55 PM   #18
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Nice, please post a pictures when you can. I'd like to see your progress.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:01 PM   #19
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Nice, please post a pictures when you can. I'd like to see your progress.
We ran out of time and the weather changed, but we did at least get our two hatches out and patched/sealed with butyl. I still need to seal better around the edges and cover the screws (with fiberglass?) to make sure it doesn't leak when we start rolling down the road. This pic should give you some idea, though.
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File Type: jpg hatch patch.jpg (221.8 KB, 9 views)
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:03 PM   #20
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Thanks, very nice work. You went with a 30x30 20gauge I assume? Did you have to do much trimming?
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