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Old 04-30-2020, 04:17 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hat channel Supplier

Does anyone out there have a supplier for custom made hat channel at a reasonable price? I need them made to fit inside of the hat channels on my Crown. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Jeff
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:38 PM   #2
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best bet is find a steel fabrication shop near you.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:12 PM   #3
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No luck locally at a reasonable price.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:40 PM   #4
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I bought the 7" disks for covering my flashers from this guy on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/usr/lumberjack1983

He was also going to custom fabricate some things for me and his charges were pretty reasonable.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:56 PM   #5
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Thanks Rusty, I'll check him out.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:46 PM   #6
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Funny, I talked to my metal guy yesterday and asked him if he was interested in making more hat channel for other skoolies. He was up for it. Shipping is going to be a killer though.

I would exhaust local options before I ordered from someplace that requires shipping.

If I can find a place that can do it in Walla Walla Washington you should be able to find one most anywhere
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:51 PM   #7
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Thanks Steve. I'm still looking. Can you tell me what you paid for yours? I got a quote for 25pcs 40" long with a custom profile to fit my channels. $35.00 each.Plus shipping
Seemed like to much to me.

Thanks Jeff
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Old 05-01-2020, 04:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
Thanks Steve. I'm still looking. Can you tell me what you paid for yours? I got a quote for 25pcs 40" long with a custom profile to fit my channels. $35.00 each.Plus shipping
Seemed like to much to me.

Thanks Jeff
You should get better prices if you have it made full sheet length and cut it yourself. I do not know how much less though.
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:03 AM   #9
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https://simplecheckout.authorize.net...ogPayment.aspx

hat channel from skoolie.com

$22
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:06 AM   #10
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Their hat channel sucks and they may take months to get it to you with no communication.

Local is always best.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:33 AM   #11
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You should get better prices if you have it made full sheet length and cut it yourself. I do not know how much less though.
When I had inner rocker panels (custom sized [ channel) last year my local metal suppler charged $5 a cut and $5 a bend on their brake.

I needed two rocker panels but ordered one 12' length. You can quickly see how I could've doubled my cost if I'd ordered two 6' sections...

Make a paper template of the bends (called a profile) you actually need -- or better yet a piece of aluminum flashing or something that will hold its shape more precisely if the hats aren't all 90 bends. The metal supplier will tell you how long their brake is and what they can do. Get a couple a' three 10 or 12 foot sticks made up and cut 'em however long you want for your raise...

And you'll save a ton on shipping -- you should buy me a beer with all the money I just saved you...
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:52 AM   #12
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When I had inner rocker panels (custom sized [ channel) last year my local metal suppler charged $5 a cut and $5 a bend on their brake.

I needed two rocker panels but ordered one 12' length. You can quickly see how I could've doubled my cost if I'd ordered two 6' sections...

Make a paper template of the bends (called a profile) you actually need -- or better yet a piece of aluminum flashing or something that will hold its shape more precisely if the hats aren't all 90 bends. The metal supplier will tell you how long their brake is and what they can do. Get a couple a' three 10 or 12 foot sticks made up and cut 'em however long you want for your raise...

And you'll save a ton on shipping -- you should buy me a beer with all the money I just saved you...
I cut a section of rib out so the shop could use it as a template.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:19 AM   #13
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I cut a section of rib out so the shop could use it as a template.
I was thinking you'd want your custom channel to lie inside the oem channel with 4" to 6" of overlap at each end of the raise for strength?
Otherwise just use whatever square tubing fits in the existing hat channel...
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:55 PM   #14
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I was thinking you'd want your custom channel to lie inside the oem channel with 4" to 6" of overlap at each end of the raise for strength?
Otherwise just use whatever square tubing fits in the existing hat channel...
I had around ten inches overlap on each side of the inserts. No commercially available square tubing fit at all. Way too loose.
I'd want the hat channel to exactly match the oem not fit into it. Use an insert for that.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:14 PM   #15
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Like ECCB, I took a section of hat channel with me to the sheet metal fabricator. I told them I wanted it to be similar gauge, galvanized steel, and to fit snugly on the outside of the OEM channel (Blue Bird, in my case).

It's been about 5 years now but my memory is that I paid about US$350 to have twelve sticks of hat channel made, each 10 feet long, from galvanized 14 gauge steel. The shop was local so I didn't have to pay any shipping.

You're asking for 25 pieces at 40 inches. Try asking for 9 pieces at 10 feet instead, then cut them into thirds yourself. Also, don't be afraid to ask direct questions such as "the price is too high for this project; can you help me understand what drives it so that I can adjust my spec to reduce the cost?"

Also think about the fabricator's end of the deal: he has to buy material in full sheets for your order. You're paying for all of that, even the portion unused/wasted as scrap. Size your order to make good use of the sheets. For a few dollars more in handling you might as well turn all the material into hat channel rather than saving those few dollars and wasting the excess. Mistakes can happen and it's good to have spare parts. If the spares go unused you might find a good use for a scrap of hat channel later in the build, too.
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:17 PM   #16
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Colorado Custom Coaches sells hat channel in already set lengths. I think the longest pre-cut is 20". I assume that's for a 20" raise, not a 20" long piece. They are offering a 25% off COVID19 deal right now. They were $15 a piece for the 20" for my Blue Bird. Shipping on 34 pieces was $60. Total of $600 for what I will need. It was $5 per piece more for custom lengths. I wish I were ready for this step, but it's not in the budget right now. Plus I would have to travel to get the sheeting. I hope to strike a volume buy deal with the metal shop when the time comes for doing the raise.
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:54 PM   #17
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Or like $200 or so at your local steel shop.
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:59 PM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for there suggestions.
Let me see if I can describe my challenges in raising the roof on my Crown.
The walls of the Crown come in from a point about 8" from the floor at a 3.5 degree angle. For that reason I'm going to cut and extend the hat channel at this point. I've added a picture that shows that Cut line.Above this line is where the sides go inward.This is the point at which my added hat channel will go in.In order to do this it needs to make the bend inward at the top of the channel. I have gone back and forth on what method will be best. Some people add there hat channel over the top of the existing one and over lap top and bottom. I don't think I can do this as there is a horizontal structural piece that is welded across the hat channel below the cut line,for this reason the extension cant go over the outside.
Another choice is to make the hat channel so that it will fit on the inside. I think this is possible and I would be able to extend the inner channel about 10" past the cut line top and bottom.
The final choice and the one I lean toward is to have pieces of channel made the length of the raise, 18". To this I plan to add a 1"X 1" X 1/8" wall tubing to the inside of the existing hat channel then add the 18" piece and weld everything together.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cut line.jpg (226.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0308s.jpg (121.0 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0305s.jpg (279.8 KB, 16 views)
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
Thanks Steve. I'm still looking. Can you tell me what you paid for yours? I got a quote for 25pcs 40" long with a custom profile to fit my channels. $35.00 each.Plus shipping
Seemed like to much to me.

Thanks Jeff
I don't remember if it was $13 or $18 each. They were 30" long.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:07 PM   #20
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I had to go into a few shops before finding somebody who could make the hat channel. Like some others I brought a cut out sample with me. The place I found that could do it charged me $16.40 each for the first 21 pieces (12gauge) I bought and they were 43.5” long. (I had them go the full length that I could fit between the top and bottom of the opening to have as much strength as I could). Considering I also paid in Cdn dollars and everything seems to cost more here than in US, you should be able to find cheaper.

You may want to consider putting in “c” channel inside instead of hat channel (it’ll be easier for a shop to do and more could make it; have the back of the c facing out and flush with the bus hat channel. Then you can just rivet your sheet metal into the c. Had I seen that idea before my raise I probably would’ve done it that way.

Edit: just looking closer at your pictures it looks like your hat channel is reversed from how mine was. So if you did c channel it wouldn’t even have to be flush since the inside of the hat is facing inside the bus, depending on your interior plans.
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