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Old 02-20-2007, 10:16 AM   #161
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Oh yeah, the best would be if I could visit you, like I may do with Les and Kevin
(Kevin is one of my Kinetic Sculpture Racing pals). But Illinois... that won't be until
April 2008, when I plan to take Millicent to Baltimore.
Mr Naess,
You're more than welcome to come on by, we've got a decently large side yard for Millicent so parking is not an issue (I think)...
We're just a little noth of I-90, a bit east of Rockford and about 20 miles south of the Cheddar Curtain. Let us know...
As for the shipping of those monsters... I'm thinking that would be less than buying four new ones... Four new ones that I wouldn't have any real use for and the wifey wouldn't let me sleep until I gave them away on Ebay...

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Old 02-20-2007, 10:55 AM   #162
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Thanks Oldog, we may indeed be able to get together some day, but please note
I said 2008!

And I still think all the jacking power we need are some two dollar scissor jacks from
Pick-A-Part.

And guides are easy. The hardest part is finding two sizes that fit inside each other --
-- not too tightly and not awful sloppy either.

One hint about designing and installing guides: I decided early on that I am willing
to drill holes in my bus. Holes can be easily plugged with bolts or rubber plugs or
something, and only you will know that there wasn't supposed to be a hole there.
It's not a space ship! If that makes sense to you, you may find it "suddenly"
easier to mount guides to the sides of your bus.

Keep brainstorming while I am distracted by Gainful Employment for a few hours.

Oh, and Mr. Naess died years ago. I'm his son, Elliot.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:13 PM   #163
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check your local junk yards..I know older cars/trucks came with a jack a lot like the ones he used and could be had for next to nothing...
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #164
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"Bumper jacks".
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:42 PM   #165
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Oh, and Mr. Naess died years ago. I'm his son, Elliot.
OK Elliot...

You had to pursue gainful employment, I had a dentist appointment... Yeah, these things ain't "spaceships"... I just wanted to avoid re-inventing the wheel here. I haven't got my grubby knurled hands on my new bus just yet, but I think I'm hot on the trail of a TC 2000, and should be able to run it to ground here shortly. None the less, I really admire your ingenuity and resourcefulness, ans yes, I did take note that it WAS April 2008 when you'll be heading out to Baltimore.... So whenever you and Millicent decide to ditty-bop this way and need a place to stop for the night or two or so, let us know...

All the best
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:37 PM   #166
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Actually, I don't seem to be getting any Gainful Work done!
It's neat having two part time jobs where I can pretty much set my own schedule,
but one of them is a "home office" job, and I can see Millicent from the window!

I'm very much in favor of joining other Skoolie-folks in roof-raising-parties --
or at least contributing is some way. But right now I'm tripping over myself
to get caught up around here. So keep brainstorming for now.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:53 AM   #167
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From a while back:

(quote) ...that crazy old coot... (end quote)

Peter just read that. And he is offended!

Of course, it’s all in good fun.

Peter is a good pal. He tells me his girlfriend troubles and I tell him my no-girlfriend troubles.
He’s been doing Kinetic Sculpture Racing longer than I have. Up until 1986, he drove
a model A Ford as his only motorized transportation.

Here’s what he plays with when he isn’t helping me with Millicent: http://whymcycles.home.comcast.net/
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:09 AM   #168
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They're so Dr. Suess! I love it. A+ to anyone that can weld on those flimsy bike frames. My welder has two settings....stick and burn through.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:17 AM   #169
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He uses a tiny wire feed welder with... I think it's called flux core wire -- no shield gas.

Myself, I use the stick-and-holes method like you mention.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:09 PM   #170
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Update

Update -- in fairness:
I mentioned that the 1/4" pop riveting tool seemed to be failing after only 300 rivets.
Turns out, it was just a minor maintenance issue -- an internal part was unscrewing itself.
Five minutes on the kitchen table and it works like a champ again.
Read the owner's manual!
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:41 PM   #171
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Re: Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
Update. . .Read the owner's manual!
But if I pull it out from under the table leg, I'll spill my coffee!
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:48 PM   #172
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It seems like I’m always jumping back and forth between various areas of the
bus, never quite finishing anything. Oh, wait... it doesn’t SEEM that way -- that IS
what I’m doing.
I’ll claim that it is all a wondrous plan to finish all aspects of the project at the
same time.

The first part of the front cap skin went on today. Millicent’s “forehead”. This skin
goes behind the top part (the raised roof), and in front of the bottom part (the
windshield header), like shingles on a roof. That way, maybe the rain won’t get in
quite so easily.

This sheet of aluminum is a big remnant of .032 (or thereabouts) that I have had
laying around for a couple of years. So it’s easier to bend than the other material
I used, which is around .050 and seems to be a harder alloy or temper. Sure,
today’s piece is entirely flat, but tomorrow I have to do the corners.

Here is the inside of the top left corner of the new panel. I drilled holes 1” apart,
then transferred those to the roof and drilled those, and here I’m lining it up with a
few rivets backwards in the holes for alignment, plus tape to hold it there.



Similar at the bottom (just above windshield). Holes in the bus first here, between
all the old rivets (which are ground flat).



Then transfer to the skin and drill that. All told, there are something like 268 holes
drilled, plus most have to be “chased” for perfect alignment to get the rivets in.
These are 3/16 rivets. By fluke, they happen to be steel rivets, and Boy Howdy,
they clamp a LOT better than the aluminum ¼” ones. I’ll probably switch to steel
for the rest of the bus.



That was probably the easy part. The corners should be more interesting.



You may wonder about such a large surface being so flat. Oh, yeah buddy, it “oil
cans”. But it won’t after I install a bulkhead a couple of inches behind it, and
fill that cavity with expanding foam.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:40 PM   #173
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Good gawd, that beast is gonna be fugly. I'll bet my house is more aerodynamic.

Did you ever think of putting some sort of slope in that forehead? My forehead's got plenty of slope and I'm one handsome fella.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:08 PM   #174
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So... In between the rain showers, we complete that proud forehead.

The zigzag is on account of the door mechanism, but I’m more worried about the curve. (One of the structural
cross braces is missing in this picture -- it was in the way of the (future) interior paneling, so I’m repositioning
it.)



After measuring and cutting, the panel... does not quite want to go in there. Luckily, the panel is not in charge...



...Mr. Hammer is in charge. This trick of clamping two lengths of angle to the sheet works very well -- all the
force of the hammer is still delivered, but over a MUCH larger area.



Now, here is a bigger scrap of angle (just one), and it is used to hold the new sheet tightly in place at the rear
edge as I start riveting. I expected it to be difficult to get the upper edge of the sheet tightly into the corner, but I
wedged a well-used 2x4 between the new piece and the opposite wall and voila! I did not pre-drill anything on
the corners. I just clamped, wedged and otherwise forced the sheet into place and drilled as I went.


The last step was to rivet the corners to the middle sheet. To keep this joint nice and smooth, I installed a piece
of flat stock behind the seam, then riveted.
It still doesn’t look like a Prevost, but it’s good enough for the girls I run with.
Now, if I had a dollar for every time I climbed my step ladder today, I could buy a Prevost!



The other corner is also done, but it’s raining too hard to take pictures of anything.
Final verdict -- alright, maybe not final, but... -- Getting this all smooth and gorgeous and even from side to side
and... would probably require assembling everything, then disassembling to deburr holes, remove chips,
correct poorly aligned holes and so on and so forth before final assembly. Which is what they get paid to do up
there at Prevost.
Millicent now has a proud tall forehead with some odd vertical wrinkles-- maybe I should rename her Worf.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:54 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
So... In between the rain showers, we complete that proud forehead.

The zigzag is on account of the door mechanism, but I’m more worried about the curve. (One of the structural
cross braces is missing in this picture -- it was in the way of the (future) interior paneling, so I’m repositioning
it.)



After measuring and cutting, the panel... does not quite want to go in there. Luckily, the panel is not in charge...



...Mr. Hammer is in charge. This trick of clamping two lengths of angle to the sheet works very well -- all the
force of the hammer is still delivered, but over a MUCH larger area.



Now, here is a bigger scrap of angle (just one), and it is used to hold the new sheet tightly in place at the rear
edge as I start riveting. I expected it to be difficult to get the upper edge of the sheet tightly into the corner, but I
wedged a well-used 2x4 between the new piece and the opposite wall and voila! I did not pre-drill anything on
the corners. I just clamped, wedged and otherwise forced the sheet into place and drilled as I went.


The last step was to rivet the corners to the middle sheet. To keep this joint nice and smooth, I installed a piece
of flat stock behind the seam, then riveted.
It still doesn’t look like a Prevost, but it’s good enough for the girls I run with.

Now, if I had a dollar for every time I climbed my step ladder today, I could buy a Prevost!



The other corner is also done, but it’s raining too hard to take pictures of anything.
Final verdict -- alright, maybe not final, but... -- Getting this all smooth and gorgeous and even from side to side
and... would probably require assembling everything, then disassembling to deburr holes, remove chips,
correct poorly aligned holes and so on and so forth before final assembly. Which is what they get paid to do up
there at Prevost.
Millicent now has a proud tall forehead with some odd vertical wrinkles-- maybe I should rename her Worf.
Lookin' good elliot. You are one fabricatin' fool!!! I'd say that your fabricating skills are nearly as impressive as your bravery/foolishness for undertaking such a project.

As for worf uhhh millicent's forhead character lines, how about using 1/4 plywood behind it? I would think that if you placed a piece of plywood there you could use some sort of adhesive and roll the sheet flat against it. You might want to drill a bunch of whole in the plywood to allow air bubles to escape.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:34 AM   #176
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As with much of this project, the flaws are the sort of thing that (most likely) nobody will
notice. I know they are there, but the overall "foolishness" will overwhelm most
bystanders. I think/hope. That's why I happily drill holes and slap bolts anywhere --
--only I will know.

It works like this: When I lived in a crowded subdivision in Sacramento, I always put on a bit
of a show for the kids on Halloween. Not the worm-infested-eye-socket sort of stuff, but
technical, interactive things. (The standard feature was a G scale model train that delivered
the candy to the kids -- after they earned it by hitting a target with a bean bag.) One year, I
had two gadgets out front; a nine-foot diameter flying saucer in a recreation of the 1947
Roswell Incident, and The Two Ton Tricycle. I had people WALK RIGHT PAST THE
“CRASHED” FLYING SAUCER AND NOT NOTICE IT because they were looking at the
more visually attractive Tricycle.


(The front wheel is unfinished in this shot from a different occasion.)


Same with my first bus. It was white with red rub rails. In a week’s time I had two people
refer to it as the RED bus.



That’s why I don’t sweat the little appearance stuff. It’s the overall impression that matters.

And there will be something behind this forehead to support it. Stay tuned to this station --
we are going to play with volatile chemicals, and I don’t mean cappuccino!
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:14 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
As with much of this project, the flaws are the sort of thing that (most likely) nobody will notice. . .only I will know.
Yeah, but now you've shown US, so WE know. . .I guess yer just gonna have to kill us. . .we know too much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
And there will be something behind this forehead to support it. . .
. . .wish I had something behind MY forehead to support it. . .I jarred it severely and my two remaining brain cells are now in an asynchronous orbit. . .I keep going around in lop-sided circles. . .
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:23 PM   #178
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Have been following along, and it looks great. Sheeting an open space on a bus is very difficult to get looking perfect, and you've done a great job.

My wife even commented on what a great job you're doing. I say "even" because her esthetic standards are higher than mine.

-Richard
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:42 PM   #179
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Thanks, Cap'n, but I wish you had told me earlier that it was difficult!

Didn't get much done in the rain today, but got a good start on the panel above the door.

This gives us our first view of the new proportions up front.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:53 PM   #180
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That thing needs some Rogaine...the forehead is getting mighty shiny.
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