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Old 06-16-2019, 01:06 AM   #21
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BTW, the HF riveter in the link (spec - 4.5cfm @ 90psi) should have no problem operating with the DeWalt 5.1cfm @ 90psi

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Old 12-13-2020, 07:03 AM   #22
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What ARE Rivets, what do they DO, and WHERE do they go!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I need to rivet some patches on my bus. I was planning to use my crappy Harbor Freight hand-riveter but I realized I'm not going to have the arm strength for doing that. What's a good rivet gun/air compressor combo that will do the job (I might have to put in a few hundred 1/4" rivets all told) without being super-expensive? I'm willing to consider Harbor Freight's own offerings although their stuff is certainly questionable.

What's a good source for rivets?
Helo folks -

I've read just about every post on rivets, so helpful and I'm sure it will all click once I have the big picture - What ARE Rivets, what do they DO, and WHERE do they go!?

My guess is this:

1) The bus is put together with rivets or screws, in places like the ceiling, walls, and windows?
2) You have to remove those rivets to get **** down (like the ceiling and windows) without damaging the rivet holes.
3) Then you have to put rivets back in for things like ... windows? and skinning a bus?

I have no idea what "skinning a bus" means. A google search turned up "skin bus" in urban dictionary, and I am confident that is not what you all are referring to. I concluded "skinning" means adding new metal walls, like covering up windows completely, which I dont think I'm going to do.

If I am replacing my metal ceiling with wood, I dont need rivets for the ceiling again, correct?

I am cleaning, resealing, and putting my windows back in, so do I need rivets for that? I thought it was just two little screws and a bunch of proper goo. I certainly dont want to be bashing rivets out and ruin the windows and/or their fastening holes.

I am replacing the emergency exits with air fans. Process for that is to first cover the too big hole in the roof with welded sheet metal, then cut a right size hole in that and install the air fan. Do I use rivets to attach that air fan to the sheet metal roof instead of screws? I had planned on glueing a wood frame around the perimeter of the hole to create something for the fan to grip onto when installing, and using goo to seal the screws.

I think its also possbile for rivets to be missing along the seams of the bus walls or roof and they need to be replaced, not just goo-ed over?

And then .... there are a million different rivets, and I can read all your posts recommendations to others, but I cant make sense of why each rivet was chosen for each project!

What Ive gathered so far is steel double-blind sealed pop rivets with a mushroom cap are most appropriate for jsut about everything we'd have to do? Steel because they wont cause corrosion from unlike metals and blind because there usually isnt anything for the rivet to grip. Mushroom cap because it looks nicer and curves to connect to metal better.

??

But again, I dont know what one uses a rivet for! And I dont know what size to choose.

Thankyou thankyou!!
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:30 AM   #23
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Lot of questions but I can answer a few.

Your windows are not involved with rivets or riveting in any way (technically, the window itself has a couple of small rivets but they're not anything to muck with).

When people here talk about "re-skinning" a bus, they're referring to a roof raise and/or the deletion of a bunch of windows, both of which leave openings in the body frame that need to be covered with new sheet metal (or old sheet metal from the ceiling or wherever). In this case, the new sheet is riveted in place (or welded, or screwed sometimes).

To replace an emergency exit (which is a 24" x 24" opening, roughly) with an RV ventilation fan (which usually requires a 14" x 14" opening), you would rivet a new piece of sheet steel (about 26" x 26" so you have overlap) over the hatch opening, then cut a 14" x 14" opening in that sheet and install the vent fan (which is usually done with screws, but check the installation instructions). BUT: you don't necessarily need rivets for this job either, as the patch could also be installed with screws or welding (which people do sometimes).

If rivets are missing from the bus body, you could replace them with new rivets (for the most part, the bus uses solid rivets to hold the body together rather than pop rivets, and solid rivets are different beasts which require at least one friend) but you can much more easily replace them with bolts and nuts while you have your ceiling off and can access the underside of the roof panels. You shouldn't need to do a lot of this as buses don't seem to lose a lot of rivets.

Generally, the only kind of riveting you'd need to do yourself will involve closed-end blind rivets like these: https://www.rivetsonline.com/closed-...2ffph/pr62ffph. "Blind" means you don't need anybody on the other side holding a bucking bar (needed for solid rivets); "closed-end" means the center of the rivet is not open and thus the rivet itself will be watertight (although not the hole the rivet is in or the seam between the two pieces of sheet being joined - those places will likely still leak unless you use seam sealer). You do want to use stainless steel unless you're doing something like riveting a Lexan skylight to your plastic roof hatch.

Generally, you don't really need to rivet anything (self-tapping screws work just as well in almost all skoolie cases) but it's very convenient sometimes and they certainly look good. All you need equipment-wise is a Harbor Freight pneumatic riveter, a compressor and some air hose (I recommend a long hose 50'+ for convenience).

This imgur album shows one of my first projects, riveting a lightweight covering panel over the opening for the "SCHOOL BUS" sign: https://imgur.com/a/FiJrAav.
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:45 AM   #24
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Also, the easiest way I've found to attach wood to the ribs of the bus is with these: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Teks-10-x-1...-Count/3316524, no riveting required. Riveting wood to steel would I suppose be doable but it's not necessary.
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Lot of questions but I can answer a few.

Your windows are not involved with rivets or riveting in any way (technically, the window itself has a couple of small rivets but they're not anything to muck with).

When people here talk about "re-skinning" a bus, they're referring to a roof raise and/or the deletion of a bunch of windows, both of which leave openings in the body frame that need to be covered with new sheet metal (or old sheet metal from the ceiling or wherever). In this case, the new sheet is riveted in place (or welded, or screwed sometimes).

To replace an emergency exit (which is a 24" x 24" opening, roughly) with an RV ventilation fan (which usually requires a 14" x 14" opening), you would rivet a new piece of sheet steel (about 26" x 26" so you have overlap) over the hatch opening, then cut a 14" x 14" opening in that sheet and install the vent fan (which is usually done with screws, but check the installation instructions). BUT: you don't necessarily need rivets for this job either, as the patch could also be installed with screws or welding (which people do sometimes).

If rivets are missing from the bus body, you could replace them with new rivets (for the most part, the bus uses solid rivets to hold the body together rather than pop rivets, and solid rivets are different beasts which require at least one friend) but you can much more easily replace them with bolts and nuts while you have your ceiling off and can access the underside of the roof panels. You shouldn't need to do a lot of this as buses don't seem to lose a lot of rivets.

Generally, the only kind of riveting you'd need to do yourself will involve closed-end blind rivets like these: https://www.rivetsonline.com/closed-...2ffph/pr62ffph. "Blind" means you don't need anybody on the other side holding a bucking bar (needed for solid rivets); "closed-end" means the center of the rivet is not open and thus the rivet itself will be watertight (although not the hole the rivet is in or the seam between the two pieces of sheet being joined - those places will likely still leak unless you use seam sealer). You do want to use stainless steel unless you're doing something like riveting a Lexan skylight to your plastic roof hatch.

Generally, you don't really need to rivet anything (self-tapping screws work just as well in almost all skoolie cases) but it's very convenient sometimes and they certainly look good. All you need equipment-wise is a Harbor Freight pneumatic riveter, a compressor and some air hose (I recommend a long hose 50'+ for convenience).

This imgur album shows one of my first projects, riveting a lightweight covering panel over the opening for the "SCHOOL BUS" sign: https://imgur.com/a/FiJrAav.
So so helpful, and very reassuring, thankyou Musigenesis!
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:07 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Also, the easiest way I've found to attach wood to the ribs of the bus is with these: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Teks-10-x-1...-Count/3316524, no riveting required. Riveting wood to steel would I suppose be doable but it's not necessary.
Also so helpful, thankyou! I am hoping to avoid screwing/riviting into metal as much as possible, just dont want any more potentially leaky holes then necessary. But when I do, I will most definitely seal with 3M Dynatron 550 or 3M Urethane sealer (and Rustoleum Gutter Seal or Por 15 for holes under bus floor).

I think a wooden frame for the max air fan would be helpful in securely attaching it to the bus roof, and so I was just going to glue that to the bus ceiling. Or, run longer pieces of wood between the metal beams of the ceiling and attach the wood to those.

Was also going to build a "floating" grid out of 1x2's for the 1" hard foam board insulation on the floor. The wood of the grid will all be attached to itself and thus be quite sturdy, with the foam board in each grid space glued to the bus floor, further bracing the frame. Then topped with plywood sheets of course. And then the wood "beams" for the little bus walls will be attached to that grid and plywood. That way also, when I install room walls/dividers, they can be screwed into the grid and plywood sheet and not the metal floor.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
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Was also going to build a "floating" grid out of 1x2's for the 1" hard foam board insulation on the floor. The wood of the grid will all be attached to itself and thus be quite sturdy, with the foam board in each grid space glued to the bus floor, further bracing the frame. Then topped with plywood sheets of course. And then the wood "beams" for the little bus walls will be attached to that grid and plywood. That way also, when I install room walls/dividers, they can be screwed into the grid and plywood sheet and not the metal floor.
I would skip the 1x2 part of this and just glue foam board to the metal floor and then glue plywood (tongue & groove works best for this to keep the seams together) onto that. The grid of 1x2s wouldn't really add anything to this - the foam board by itself, if covered with thick plywood, has sufficient pressure resistance.

I'd also recommend Gorilla Glue construction adhesive for this, as it seems to stick to XPS foam better than other adhesives (like Liquid Nails, for example).
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:56 AM   #28
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I would skip the 1x2 part of this and just glue foam board to the metal floor and then glue plywood (tongue & groove works best for this to keep the seams together) onto that. The grid of 1x2s wouldn't really add anything to this - the foam board by itself, if covered with thick plywood, has sufficient pressure resistance.

I'd also recommend Gorilla Glue construction adhesive for this, as it seems to stick to XPS foam better than other adhesives (like Liquid Nails, for example).
Hmm, I've heard alot of people say so, and really, I dont know! Just trying to make things extra strong!

And so with just foamboard and plywood layer, you can attache wall/room dividers securely without drilling into the metal floor?

I'm using EPS Polyiso Foam Board for floors, not XPS, because it has slightly less toxicity (though I think XPS will become less toxic in 2021 w new rules). Also using AFM SafeCoat Almighty Adhesive. I know EPS is not as firm, hense the grid, but have to cut toxins wherever possible. Also using 4x8 5/8" PureBond Plywood for subfloor, which unfortunately doesnt seem to come in T&G.

I know people argue that either toxins arent "real" or that they will disperse, but I disagree and cant risk it. I rehabbed my condo a few years ago while I lived in it, and within a few months, developed frightening neurological symptoms that mimicked alzheimers, (speech, motor control, memory loss etc), insane fatigue and brain fog, autoimmune disease etc. I was a different person. Almost overnight. Im also a health care practitioner and see concequences of chemical and mold exposure all the time.

Its difficult to explain just how heartbreaking, and terrifying, losing yourself like that is, at age 35. Not something I want to reoccur building a skoolie. (this time I will use a respirator and safety suit!) It's taken me 4 years to get healthy again, can't risk that again, so ...

We all have our reasons for having to be creative, financial, skill level, etc. This is mine
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:15 AM   #29
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And so with just foamboard and plywood layer, you can attache wall/room dividers securely without drilling into the metal floor?
Sure, just screw the walls down into the plywood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevier View Post
I'm using EPS Polyiso Foam Board for floors, not XPS

Also using 4x8 5/8" PureBond Plywood for subfloor, which unfortunately doesnt seem to come in T&G.
EPS is expanded polystyrene, which is a different substance than polyiso. It does typically have a lower PSI than XPS (10 vs. 20) but check the product info for that (they make higher-PSI variants of EPS). I would still do a true floating floor even with EPS.

Not using T&G could suck, because with just glue the edges of the plywood will be prone to coming up (T&G tends to prevent this because it locks adjacent pieces together). You could run a single 2x4 (ripped to the thickness of your insulation) under each seam between each pair of plywood pieces, to give something to screw the edges into.

For my floor, to avoid putting holes in the sheet metal but also provide a mechanical connection between the plywood and the sheet metal, I welded screws upside-down onto the sheet floor and then spun 2" pieces of oak dowel down onto them through holes drilled in the XPS foam board, and then screwed the plywood into these dowels from above. I don't recommend doing all that, but if you're worried about the compression resistance of your EPS, you could just drill these holes in the foam and place dowels in them (with glue to hold them to the floor), just skipping the welded screws bit. This would give your floor all the compression resistance it would ever need, while still leaving it mostly insulation. A lot easier than laying in a grid and then cutting little squares of foam to put in it.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:31 AM   #30
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Sure, just screw the walls down into the plywood.



EPS is expanded polystyrene, which is a different substance than polyiso. It does typically have a lower PSI than XPS (10 vs. 20) but check the product info for that (they make higher-PSI variants of EPS). I would still do a true floating floor even with EPS.

Not using T&G could suck, because with just glue the edges of the plywood will be prone to coming up (T&G tends to prevent this because it locks adjacent pieces together). You could run a single 2x4 (ripped to the thickness of your insulation) under each seam between each pair of plywood pieces, to give something to screw the edges into.

For my floor, to avoid putting holes in the sheet metal but also provide a mechanical connection between the plywood and the sheet metal, I welded screws upside-down onto the sheet floor and then spun 2" pieces of oak dowel down onto them through holes drilled in the XPS foam board, and then screwed the plywood into these dowels from above. I don't recommend doing all that, but if you're worried about the compression resistance of your EPS, you could just drill these holes in the foam and place dowels in them (with glue to hold them to the floor), just skipping the welded screws bit. This would give your floor all the compression resistance it would ever need, while still leaving it mostly insulation. A lot easier than laying in a grid and then cutting little squares of foam to put in it.

I will keep thinking about the T&G then, thankyou for all the great feedback.

And re your sub floor, what a brilliant plan! It is looking increasingly like I will have to learn to weld.
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:16 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Sure, just screw the walls down into the plywood.



EPS is expanded polystyrene, which is a different substance than polyiso. It does typically have a lower PSI than XPS (10 vs. 20) but check the product info for that (they make higher-PSI variants of EPS). I would still do a true floating floor even with EPS.

Not using T&G could suck, because with just glue the edges of the plywood will be prone to coming up (T&G tends to prevent this because it locks adjacent pieces together). You could run a single 2x4 (ripped to the thickness of your insulation) under each seam between each pair of plywood pieces, to give something to screw the edges into.

For my floor, to avoid putting holes in the sheet metal but also provide a mechanical connection between the plywood and the sheet metal, I welded screws upside-down onto the sheet floor and then spun 2" pieces of oak dowel down onto them through holes drilled in the XPS foam board, and then screwed the plywood into these dowels from above. I don't recommend doing all that, but if you're worried about the compression resistance of your EPS, you could just drill these holes in the foam and place dowels in them (with glue to hold them to the floor), just skipping the welded screws bit. This would give your floor all the compression resistance it would ever need, while still leaving it mostly insulation. A lot easier than laying in a grid and then cutting little squares of foam to put in it.

Oh, but screwing holes in the foam board won’t compromise it’s waterproofness, vapor barrier-ness, or insulating stregnth?

EDIT - nevermind, of course it doesn’t matter, I’m already cutting the foam board into pieces as it is.
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:29 PM   #32
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there are alternatives to rivets such as 3/16 carriage bolts that even look like rivets from the outside
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