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Old 05-04-2020, 06:42 AM   #801
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
1.5" angle steel for mounting the seat belt tethers. 7/16" Grade 8 bolt with the head welded on the underside. Hit everything I won't be able to reach with weld-through primer, also coated the bolt heads with the 'tron since the primer didn't seem to be sticking to it or the welds really well.

if you weld grade 8 bolts are they still grade 8?



Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I would say that the single hardest thing for me to do right now is to drill holes in metal, and I don't know why this is the case as it's pretty simple in concept. I somehow trashed my last three 7/16" metal bits for these four and a half lousy holes.

My experience is....


Step drill and sharpen your bits

High drill speed works for 1/8 bits in thin sheet metal, but low drill speed and heavy pressure and cutting oil is needed for thicker steel. There are charts that tell you what speed for each hole size and material combination. Look it up.

In drilling steel, high drill speed will heat the bit and soften it so it dulls quickly. If it turns blue, the bit is softened and ruined. If you are trying to drill a spot hardened by welding/quenching or during cold rolling you will wear out standard high speed drill bits, try cobalt bits or soften the metal by heating it up with a torch or using a 4.5 inch grinder with a metal disc (I use small dished stainless steel pot lids from Goodwill) in it instead of a abrasive disc. The metal will heat up in a small spot where the curved edge of the disc contacts the surface you are "grinding"and turn blue, Allow it to cool slowly and it will soften. Do not use water or compressed air to fast cool it or it will harden again.

You should be aware that steel treated like this is going to warp some, especially thin sheetmetal. Heating and slow cooling stretches it a little where as heating and fast cooling shrinks it a little. How much stretch/shrink depends on how much heat, how large of an area is involved, and how quick the cooling is.

Do not heat/weld/soften metal that is hard by design, like some frame rails. It will change its strength and other properties.

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Old 05-04-2020, 12:22 PM   #802
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Left my seat rails temporarily screwed to my test sheet of plywood, which I trimmed to match the space required for the seat. This lets me plop it in the bus and see where best to locate it.

This is where I wanted to position it, but the forward-most bolt would have to go just behind the stepwell box, and there's only a narrow gap between that and the extra cross-beam that was welded in. This would also leave the rails only really tied in to a single (albeit reinforced) crossbeam.

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This is where it's going to have to go.

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In this location, the forward-most bolt and the rear-most bolt will both be about an inch from panel-joining crossmembers (where the seams are visible above) which is exactly what I want, but the middle bolt will have to go through a c-channel crossmember. I'm not really worried because this particular cross member ends about a foot from the wall for some reason, so it will only be in the way of one of the rails. I'm going to reuse one of my original bent seat brackets on the underside for this one bolt.

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Cut out all the patches for closing up my floor around the driver's seat. Quite a hodgepodge of material - I'm using whatever I can to avoid a trip to my metal supplier.

I excised my plug welding experiments entirely, the slightly-askew patch at the bottom will cover the larger single hole.

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Old 05-04-2020, 04:24 PM   #803
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You will hardly notice the patchwork once Rustenstein's floor has been painted.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:44 PM   #804
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Cab floor patch welding

This is going well today, to my surprise. I meant to take a picture of this, but I did a much better better job of prep for these, taking it down to (nearly) bare metal with a grinding wheel and a flap disk.

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Two actual plug welds (I guess). These holes were 1/2" but also the metal support underneath was down to shiny metal.

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The closer I get to that corner of the heater structure, the nastier and thinner the metal gets. In a timeless world I would remove the heater and do a more major rebuild as would be proper, but I don't have the gas for that. This area won't be walked on at all as it will be outside my living space, so as long as it holds up to be a watertight layer it will be OK for a while. It will be exposed so I'll be able to detect any further leaking.

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This is the underside of my bus where the transit van seat will be mounted. The half-beam there will be in the middle of the two rails. No idea why just that one doesn't go all the way to the wall.

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Old 05-04-2020, 06:55 PM   #805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
You will hardly notice the patchwork once Rustenstein's floor has been painted.
A grinder and paint
Make you the welder you ain't


I would also add

Dynatron-550
Will make your welds look nifty
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:21 PM   #806
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Getting close to writing a limmerick there!


As said in Young Frankenstein ... "It's alive! It's alive!"
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:27 PM   #807
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Getting close to writing a limmerick there!
I once saw a pic of a skoolie
I thought it was really quite coolie
The seller I trusted
His bus was quite rusted
Turns out that I was the foolie
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:29 PM   #808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I once saw a pic of a skoolie
I thought it was really quite coolie
The seller I trusted
His bus was quite rusted
Turns out that I was the foolie

See, now that's what I'm talking about,
and you did not even have to shout!
Now for about a day,
I thought to write in this way,
But never thought I would ever get it out!
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:07 AM   #809
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This was pretty novel if I do say so myself. I went to change from cutting blade to grinding wheel and somehow just put the grinding wheel on top of the blade. Only noticed it when I was about to turn it on.

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More floor patching.

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Weld-through primer is pretty handy stuff. I've coated the undersides of all these patches with it.

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Old 05-05-2020, 05:16 PM   #810
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I'd say you dodged a bullet with that cut-off wheel! Whew!


You seem to like welding the bolts in ... getting a lot of practice. That footrest should do the trick. are you going to put fatigue matting on top of it? I did and I LOVE it.
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:08 PM   #811
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I'd say you dodged a bullet with that cut-off wheel! Whew!


You seem to like welding the bolts in ... getting a lot of practice. That footrest should do the trick. are you going to put fatigue matting on top of it? I did and I LOVE it.
I might, but that stuff seems kind of pricey. Do you have a cheap source? I'm thinking more used astroturf.
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:09 PM   #812
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Great to see another VTer! I know exactly what you're saying about renewing the registration sticker - my truck was registered in April as well

Looks like you're back to welding, but not sure whether you ever fixed the fuel problem on your generator.

Plugged fuel lines usually cause the engine to stall after some amount of running, but you can usually start them back up after a few minutes.

I think your problem is a stuck float valve in the carburetor. Tapping firmly on the float bowl usually frees them up in my experience.
https://www.lectronfuelsystems.com/ns_troubleshoot

As far as drilling sheet metal, I hated it with a passion as well, then I bought step drills. It changed everything.

Also, steel-it is a very tough weldable paint. Really great stuff.

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Old 05-05-2020, 06:51 PM   #813
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Quote:
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I might, but that stuff seems kind of pricey. Do you have a cheap source? I'm thinking more used astroturf.
I got our mat from Home Depot. It recall them to be 3'x4' anti-fatigue mats for about $18.00 each. Maybe they were 2'x3' ... I would have to go out and measure to be sure. Anyway, they are not as expensive as you might think.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:23 PM   #814
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Cab patches complete

Still need to weld over the bolt holes.

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Plywood time. I'm fitting the cab so that I won't have to remove any hardware like the seat belt tethers or the seat rails in order to take up the plywood.

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I'm doing more bolts right behind the seat because that part of the floor needs more firming up.

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I can't imagine how difficult it would be to weld the posts and then try to drill the matching holes in the plywood. I cut the holes first and then use them to mark where the posts go.

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Old 05-05-2020, 07:30 PM   #815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sproutroot View Post
Great to see another VTer! I know exactly what you're saying about renewing the registration sticker - my truck was registered in April as well

Looks like you're back to welding, but not sure whether you ever fixed the fuel problem on your generator.

Plugged fuel lines usually cause the engine to stall after some amount of running, but you can usually start them back up after a few minutes.

I think your problem is a stuck float valve in the carburetor. Tapping firmly on the float bowl usually frees them up in my experience.
https://www.lectronfuelsystems.com/ns_troubleshoot

As far as drilling sheet metal, I hated it with a passion as well, then I bought step drills. It changed everything.

Also, steel-it is a very tough weldable paint. Really great stuff.

Ha ha, sorry man, I'm one of the fake Vermonters who just has his bus registered there (I live in Philly). I'm pretty certain I haven't set foot in Vermont since 1988.

My genny is still kaput - I've got my bus over at my house until the neighbors sic the zoning cops on me again. The stuck float valve sounds like a plan, I'll give that a try next time I'm over at my lot.

I actually don't mind drilling sheet metal, it's the thicker stuff like 3/16" and 1/4" that's causing me so many problems and burning through so many drill bits.

I'm glad I randomly picked a good weld-through primer!
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:35 PM   #816
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I thought I had sent a link in this build thread of what we use at work.... They're expensive tho... Here's a link to show what they are and at the bottom of you click there (it's a PDF) shows you all the crazy types they make.

ITW Welding, Welding Machines, Induction Heating, Welding Consumables and Accessories. www.itw-welding.com

I think we use arcair brand at work.
Yeah, you did send that before - that's why I tried the $1 exploding tile from Lowe's instead.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:20 PM   #817
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Originally Posted by kidharris View Post
if you weld grade 8 bolts are they still grade 8?






My experience is....


Step drill and sharpen your bits

High drill speed works for 1/8 bits in thin sheet metal, but low drill speed and heavy pressure and cutting oil is needed for thicker steel. There are charts that tell you what speed for each hole size and material combination. Look it up.

In drilling steel, high drill speed will heat the bit and soften it so it dulls quickly. If it turns blue, the bit is softened and ruined. If you are trying to drill a spot hardened by welding/quenching or during cold rolling you will wear out standard high speed drill bits, try cobalt bits or soften the metal by heating it up with a torch or using a 4.5 inch grinder with a metal disc (I use small dished stainless steel pot lids from Goodwill) in it instead of a abrasive disc. The metal will heat up in a small spot where the curved edge of the disc contacts the surface you are "grinding"and turn blue, Allow it to cool slowly and it will soften. Do not use water or compressed air to fast cool it or it will harden again.

You should be aware that steel treated like this is going to warp some, especially thin sheetmetal. Heating and slow cooling stretches it a little where as heating and fast cooling shrinks it a little. How much stretch/shrink depends on how much heat, how large of an area is involved, and how quick the cooling is.

Do not heat/weld/soften metal that is hard by design, like some frame rails. It will change its strength and other properties.
Never heard of the "stainless pot lid trick"!! Very interesting. And agreed with your other comments. Metal is very misterious at times and that's what I love about my job...

On your comment on welding on a grade 8 bolt- I agree it will definitely change the properties of the steel. I'm not sure if welding to the outside of the head to keep it from turning would be as detrimental as welding to the actual stud of the bolt. Worst cased scenario would be if someone welded on it until red hot and then cooled it off quickly with water. Lol
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:52 PM   #818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Still need to weld over the bolt holes.

Attachment 44167

Attachment 44168

I must be enamored by your work ... but the patched floor looks much like an abstract piece of art.


Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Plywood time. I'm fitting the cab so that I won't have to remove any hardware like the seat belt tethers or the seat rails in order to take up the plywood.

Attachment 44169

I'm doing more bolts right behind the seat because that part of the floor needs more firming up.

Attachment 44170
Makes sense ... but I hope you never HAVE TO dig that deep into your floor again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I can't imagine how difficult it would be to weld the posts and then try to drill the matching holes in the plywood. I cut the holes first and then use them to mark where the posts go.

Attachment 44171
Hint: Place the plywood down, drill through and stop when the bit touches the sheet metal below. It will leave a little dent which marks the spot.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:56 PM   #819
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Quote:
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On your comment on welding on a grade 8 bolt- I agree it will definitely change the properties of the steel. I'm not sure if welding to the outside of the head to keep it from turning would be as detrimental as welding to the actual stud of the bolt.
Welding the heads on these two bolts was a big oops. I'll find out if they're still OK when I torque down the nuts on them. If they snap it will be a minor problem since I can drill new holes nearby. I can access the underside so I'm not sure why I felt the need to weld the bolt heads here in the first place. I guess I just like the idea of something being completely hermetically sealed on the underside. I'm going to do bolts elsewhere that will be sticking through the floor, and instead of welding the heads I'm going to weld a small bar of metal next to the head that will prevent it from turning.

I can console myself with the fact that my seat pedestal is only attached to the floor by sheet metal screws (as far as I can tell), so I probably wouldn't want the tethers to hold in a collision anyway.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:06 PM   #820
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I must be enamored by your work ... but the patched floor looks much like an abstract piece of art.
Thanks, I like it too. I feel like I'm posting way too many pics of this stuff, nice to know at least one other person is enjoying it.

It would be sort of interesting to get a custom vinyl wrap for the bus, like a collage of pics from the build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post

Hint: Place the plywood down, drill through and stop when the bit touches the sheet metal below. It will leave a little dent which marks the spot.
It's funny, this is exactly what I was doing when I first started doing the post thing, and I did it under the theory that having a little bowl drilled out underneath would help me weld the post. Then I found I didn't need the little bowl so I stopped drilling the holes in place and instead started struggling with finding a sharpie thin enough to fit through the hole.
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