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Old 08-30-2016, 01:08 PM   #821
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oh yeah lookin good!! Looks a lot more like a camper now and lot less like a school bus!! seems to me thats the right direction!!!

-Christopher

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Old 08-30-2016, 02:24 PM   #822
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It's looking fantastic. Having that base color finished must feel like a big milestone, and a big relief to have a lot of work now protected against the weather.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:50 AM   #823
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Got the second color on.



Rub rails and wheel well fender strip get truck bed liner black.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:10 AM   #824
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This is looking awesome!! Congrats Aaron!
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:47 AM   #825
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Your bus is looking really close to the drawings I have for mine.
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:40 PM   #826
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Just binge read all 83 pages of this. By far the most impressive build I've found so far. I'll be borrowing numerous design features from you and will continue to follow your thread.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:08 AM   #827
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb View Post
Fix some of the bent luggage bay doors properly, stripping off thick layers of bondo and hammer/dolly back to straight and true. (There's a relatively easy way to do this, ask and I will explain)
I'm asking.

Looks awesome!
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:56 AM   #828
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OK, so here goes. If you got questions just ask.

So I'm assuming you don't have completely destroyed doors, like no tears in the sheet metal or completely folded over. Bent, creased curved is what I started with.


Tools and stuff:

4x rivet gun with plenishing hammer

Sturdy solid saw horse, about the height needed to prop the door open horizontally.

A length of angle iron, probably 1.5x1.5x.125, and just short enough to fit one side in the inside groove where the bulb seal would go.

A bigass piece of flatbar, 6x.5x some length long enough to also prop the door about horizontal. This will be part of the strong back to keep things from bouncing around.

A gravel driveway, or some very solid surface to absorb impact.

Hammer and dolly set.

Straight edge.

Sorry I don't have pictures right now but I'll do my best.

Let's assume you have a concave bent door (where it has been pushed outward), with a bend about midline horizontal inward, and a crunched forward corner, as well as a large horizontal crease.

The first thing to remember is that the steel has stretched, and we will basically be shrinking this steel back together. I like to visualize sheet metal as a kind of very thin rigid clay.

You can mash it together and stretch it apart.

We will tackle the large concave bend first.

The side flanges will have poked out, so start by balancing the lower edge of the door against the saw horse, and find the peak of the bend on both ends. Lay your angle iron on the bend and press upon it (even sit on it) concentrating on the ends.

The middle sheet is flexible and most of the rigidity comes from the braked ends. As you press down, the front and back edge will bow in or out.

Get the door fairly flat(ish) then address the flanges with the plenishing hammer to return them to 90 degree angles. The door will pop back to a bent shape, but not as much. Repeat the process until you have diminished returns, and you'll find its pretty darn flat. Its easy to overdo this and bend the whole thing the other direction, so use little moves once its getting close.

You may need to use a large dead blow to knock the center of the panel a bit flatter, but be careful not to make a big dent the other direction. Use lots of small strong blows.

Next is the bent corner.

Prop the door up with an edge of your angle iron under it, resting on the saw horse, and the edge tucked into where the bulb seal would sit. This will be your hammer guide.

Note that it arches high towards where your inward bend is at. This is where you will work first. Use the plenishing hammer to smoothly apply blows back and forth over the arched section, against the edge of the angle iron below. You'll start to see immediate results, with the outside edge bowing in or out. You'd like to encourage it to bow outwards, so if its not going that way, hammer that edge a bit outwards first to give it a start in the right direction. If you let it bend inwards its a lot more work to accurately bend it straight again, so don't do that.

As you hammer the edge back to a 90 degree angle, the bow will form again. Like the first step, you need to repeat the process a few times until diminishing returns.

Now for the crease.

Use the bigass bar to place it under the crease, (inwards or outwards crease, doesn't really matter)

The bar will transfer the energy into the ground, backing blows from your dolly hammer or plenishing hammer. I highly recommended the plenishing hammer because I'd guess several thousand strokes are necessary to get it right (for all these operations)

Be sure you're not supporting the weight of the door only on that bar. The bar should just be there to resist the blows, and the saw horse to support the door. Otherwise you'll end up creating a large bullseye in the middle where youve been hammering at.

Anyway work back and forth on the crease, moving your bar with you to back the blows. Note that it may cause the metal to oil can if you just use a couple big strikes, if you use hundreds of small ones it tends to shrink the metal more. I haven't had to use a shrinking hammer, disc, or torch yet to remove oil cans when I use a plenishing hammer.

Finally, use the hammer (manual or plenisbing) and dolly,bar,or angle iron to continue to true the corners and faces until you're happy with it. You can over work it, so at some point its best to use a little body skim filler to finish it.

A little skim filler is 100 times better than a giant glob of bondo to fill a bent door flat. It just needs to be geometricly close.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wunderhut View Post
I'm asking.

Looks awesome!
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:14 AM   #829
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Looks great!!

You said "Rub rails and wheel well fender strip get truck bed liner black."

We're doing the same thing but am also considering painting the entire bus in bed liner. We're not looking for a high finish vehicle on the outside but rather a more utility look since a school bus is basically already that. We're thinking the tough finish of bed liner will wear well boondocking and also quiet and seal the structure. Still looking in to how to spray it on to give a more smooth texture than the splattered orange peel so common with bed liner coatings. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:11 AM   #830
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Catalyst cured urethane paint is extremely tough. Its on our bus with a medium orange peel for just that reason, to resist scratching.

If you don't sand the vehicle, then remove dust and grease and wax, the paint will fall off. Truck bed liner will just come off in big sheets.

Also, the finer the grit of sanding, up to a point, the better the adhesion. I sanded just to 120 and called it done. The fleet color urethane cost $150 a gallon.

I used a Wagner flexio turbine sprayer, with the smaller finish sprayer. Mostly because my air compressor has lots of blowby and seems prone to moisture, so I would need a lot of expensive prefiltering to use a regulat hvlp gun.

This gave surprisingly good results. Shoot your first tack coat, then go back and apply your additional coats for coverage.

Like everyone else says, preparing the paint job is the most important part, so sanding, priming bare metal, then masking and cleaning everything.

I guess this is a roundabout way of saying I would not use bed liner on the sides, I think it will look like a giant marshmallow. I fully endorse it on the roof though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
Looks great!!

You said "Rub rails and wheel well fender strip get truck bed liner black."

We're doing the same thing but am also considering painting the entire bus in bed liner. We're not looking for a high finish vehicle on the outside but rather a more utility look since a school bus is basically already that. We're thinking the tough finish of bed liner will wear well boondocking and also quiet and seal the structure. Still looking in to how to spray it on to give a more smooth texture than the splattered orange peel so common with bed liner coatings. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:32 AM   #831
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I hear you on the prep. No shortcuts there for sure! I painted a trailer for my music equipment over 25 years ago with three part Urethane. Still there with minimal maintenance. It was a foam composite project (lots of longboard sanding). Came out beautiful. On my skoolie, with all the rivets, rub rails, storage bay doors I've added and corrugation, I'm thinking it won't come out so monolithic. Especially when using contrasting colors to break up the scheme. Also, we didn't do a roof raise so the profile is smaller. Thanks for the info on the sprayer. I'll look into it. My Air compressor is old too. Here in SC humidity can be high and end up in the lines. Yea, that can totally mess up ones day and prep!!
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Old 09-04-2016, 02:33 PM   #832
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I think all the rivets, doors, and rub rails make a urethane single stage look really awesome. I used a cheap media blaster ($35) with walnuts to remove old and flaking paint from rivet dimples and hard to get locations.

Washington state also can get really humid in the winter months, I've had to take stuff down to metal then pickle with a phosphoric acid to eliminate flash oxidization.

Its a bummer when you spray for 5 minutes and fisheyes because of water in the lines. It makes me wonder if waterborne auto paints are more immune to that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
I hear you on the prep. No shortcuts there for sure! I painted a trailer for my music equipment over 25 years ago with three part Urethane. Still there with minimal maintenance. It was a foam composite project (lots of longboard sanding). Came out beautiful. On my skoolie, with all the rivets, rub rails, storage bay doors I've added and corrugation, I'm thinking it won't come out so monolithic. Especially when using contrasting colors to break up the scheme. Also, we didn't do a roof raise so the profile is smaller. Thanks for the info on the sprayer. I'll look into it. My Air compressor is old too. Here in SC humidity can be high and end up in the lines. Yea, that can totally mess up ones day and prep!!
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:28 PM   #833
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is water in the lines from not having an air dryer for your shop air? a buddy of mine that paints cars for himself and friends always swears by using the air from his big rig for painting rather than his shop compressor... makes me wonder if its because of the dryer on big rigs.. that usually only larger or true body shops have on their shop air..

-Christopher
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:00 PM   #834
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Yeah I think a dryer dessicant system on a truck would make pretty clean air. I'd still want to process it for oil mist though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
is water in the lines from not having an air dryer for your shop air? a buddy of mine that paints cars for himself and friends always swears by using the air from his big rig for painting rather than his shop compressor... makes me wonder if its because of the dryer on big rigs.. that usually only larger or true body shops have on their shop air..

-Christopher
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:01 PM   #835
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Bolting bits back on, progress picture.

Bus bumpers heavy urgh.

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Old 09-04-2016, 08:38 PM   #836
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Looking good will be interested in what additions you choose to do next.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:09 PM   #837
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Originally Posted by aaronsb View Post
Washington state also can get really humid in the winter months, I've had to take stuff down to metal then pickle with a phosphoric acid to eliminate flash oxidization.
I've lived in both Shelton and Bellingham. Built the afore mentioned trailer in B'ham. Sure do miss it there. Humidity yes but LOTS cooler than SC. Heat index's this year were in excess of 125 at times. If I do get to paint here it'll most likely have to be select days in the winter. I too treat with phosphoric acid on almost anything de-rusted during the summer. Saved my bacon many times. Fish eye? Oh yea, that which happens when you sweat in your paint job .
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:18 PM   #838
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Some progress photos. Couch lids and storage, closet with telescoping rods (spreads the clothes out when you open it, and compresses more than you could pack in there without the telescoping)
Reflectors added back to the outside, made the bluebird placard nice and reinstalled it. I'm hacking away at a bunch of other stuff right now too. Engine fluids changed, fixed some leaks...

The school district I got it from has all the history and records, so I think next week we are going to drive out to the district maintainance shop and show and tell (they are excited)





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Old 09-18-2016, 12:04 AM   #839
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Is it looking like it will be ready for skoolie-palooza in Quartzite in
early January? I'm sure lots of members would be totally thrilled
to see your workmanship in person and the family would enjoy
getting away from the two types of weather they offer in the Seattle
area (rain and chance of rain). Sunshine in January is always a
bonus, helps cut down on moss growth on the extremities.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:12 AM   #840
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That's definitely a target we are aiming for. To be honest if it was just me I'd be able to make it the way things are now, but kids, comfort, convenience are all drivers to get electrical and plumbing functional next.

I just cleaned up and checked out the original cab heaters (the big ones) for service again. One is going in the bay below, and the other will be in the cabin. I want to make driving in January as cozy as possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonpop View Post
Is it looking like it will be ready for skoolie-palooza in Quartzite in
early January? I'm sure lots of members would be totally thrilled
to see your workmanship in person and the family would enjoy
getting away from the two types of weather they offer in the Seattle
area (rain and chance of rain). Sunshine in January is always a
bonus, helps cut down on moss growth on the extremities.
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