Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-11-2016, 02:20 PM   #1
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,963
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Best tool for cutting out Skirting??

im going to need to cut a sizeable hole in my under skirting to mount an Air-conditioner coil.. trying to figure out the best tool for the job..

1. Sawzall.. seems like thats a good way to vibrate and tear up the paint or potentially end up damging things I dont want to.

2. Cutoff wheel.. if its like any of the cutoff wheel projects ive had before I spend more time waiting for my Compressor to catch up than I do cutting.. and go through a TON of wheels.. maybe there is something better? that has more power? seems like even when I turn the air up to 100 PSI I dont have much power at the wheel...

3. Nibbler.. can a nibbler be powerful enough to cut through the skirting on a bus? is it hard to cut straight?

I dont have access to a plasma cutter or cutting torch.

what do you guys use that have cut rectangular holes in school bus skirt?

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 03:22 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
I have a blade on my circular saw that cuts steel like a hot knife through butter. They're a little spendy but they last very well. Diablo brand "Steel Demon" 48 tooth for ferrious metals up to 1/4". Plan to spend $30-$40, but it lasts and lasts. It's done all the cutting for my roof raise and all the tubing I've needed to cut for the bus plus I'm planning on using it to make the hole for my hot water heater in the side of my bus...
slaughridge85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 03:30 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,963
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughridge85 View Post
I have a blade on my circular saw that cuts steel like a hot knife through butter. They're a little spendy but they last very well. Diablo brand "Steel Demon" 48 tooth for ferrious metals up to 1/4". Plan to spend $30-$40, but it lasts and lasts. It's done all the cutting for my roof raise and all the tubing I've needed to cut for the bus plus I'm planning on using it to make the hole for my hot water heater in the side of my bus...
wow what a cool idea!!

is the saw hard to control , or you just go nice N slow and it wont grab and surge?

just a standard Skil-Saw motor like about everyone has laying around in the garage with the special blade?

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 03:38 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
It's a little grabby, but yeah, if you go slow its a really smooth cut. The circular saw I use is from the late 70's early 80's so I would assume any standard circ will work just fine... You can put up a guide board too to help make a nice straight square cut with the circ.
slaughridge85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Circular saw works great with the right metal cutting blade. And I will second the notion of using a guide. I cut all the old lower panels off my bus to replace them with new steel and tack welded a length of angle iron for the guide. With the blade depth on the saw set to only cut through the sheet metal, I was able to go all the way down each side without even nicking the ribs or any other underlying materials.


Lined up with welding magnets then added a couple of tack welds that were easily ground off.


Smaller cuts should be a piece of cake. Go for it.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 07:33 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Hank's P-O-S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: MB
Posts: 279
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Tomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 54
Why not an angle grinder? I love when I can do sheet metal work with them...they cut as fast as you can feed and as long as you dont "catch" or "bounce" cut off wheel last along time too.

I wouldn't recommend using a metal blade with a circular saw that has a magnesium blade cover. My Makita has this so I use a crappy one that has a steel cover.
__________________
"...Baler twine tie downs goin' down the road
On two bald tires and an oversize load..."
Hank's P-O-S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 07:44 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,963
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
great reads.. I know my circular saw has the magnesium blade cover.. my old crappy saw died when I left it on the tailgate of my truck and drove away... it stayed there till I hit the gas getting on the highway.......

I think I'll get an angle grinder and practice my cuts on some scrap sheet metal i have... granted my A/C skirt has a trim ring so I dont have to be "perfect" but I need to cut at least reasonably straight
-christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 09:55 PM   #8
Almost There
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Silvana, WA
Posts: 69
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: DD 6V-71
Any type of grinding is going to heat the paint up to the point of burning and separation. Not sure how concerned you are about the paint job, but it's worth considering beforehand.

I prefer the circular saw idea. They can be tough to keep under control if you don't practice first, but the lines will be straighter over a short distance, and the heat is not as intense on the paint job.
RyanM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 11:08 PM   #9
Almost There
 
tincaneasybakeoven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: on the land of tejas; state of mind
Posts: 86
Year: 95
Coachwork: Amtran ss-33
Chassis: Int 3800
Engine: dt444E
Rated Cap: 29,000
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skil_jigsaw.jpg

flat shoe sides allow straight cut with a guide, variable speed allows fine control and metal changable blades that don't cost a fortune. since your below the ribs to me its a no brainier.
__________________
claim common law i, a man; claim.... on facebook

if your not a man our doing it all wrong-kp
tincaneasybakeoven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 11:21 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 719
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
Depending on what you're cutting out, and what's underneath I'd vote circular saw with the carbide tips, nibbler, 4 1/2" abrasive cut off wheel, or a scroll saw with a metal blade.

Sawzall isn't great for unsupported flat metal, but it'll work in a pinch.

I'd say with all of those except for the abrasive wheel, use cutting wax on the bits often.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
im going to need to cut a sizeable hole in my under skirting to mount an Air-conditioner coil.. trying to figure out the best tool for the job..

1. Sawzall.. seems like thats a good way to vibrate and tear up the paint or potentially end up damging things I dont want to.

2. Cutoff wheel.. if its like any of the cutoff wheel projects ive had before I spend more time waiting for my Compressor to catch up than I do cutting.. and go through a TON of wheels.. maybe there is something better? that has more power? seems like even when I turn the air up to 100 PSI I dont have much power at the wheel...

3. Nibbler.. can a nibbler be powerful enough to cut through the skirting on a bus? is it hard to cut straight?

I dont have access to a plasma cutter or cutting torch.

what do you guys use that have cut rectangular holes in school bus skirt?

-Christopher
aaronsb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 11:31 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The Valley - Arizona
Posts: 644
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
I like the nibbler idea only because of its ease of control. Only problem is its cost. You can try a harbor freight one for about 25 bucks, make sure to order extra bits for it if you do go that route. Otherwise the heavy duty ones online can get into the hundreds quick.
Docsgsxr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,963
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsb View Post
Depending on what you're cutting out, and what's underneath I'd vote circular saw with the carbide tips, nibbler, 4 1/2" abrasive cut off wheel, or a scroll saw with a metal blade.

Sawzall isn't great for unsupported flat metal, but it'll work in a pinch.

I'd say with all of those except for the abrasive wheel, use cutting wax on the bits often.
the nibbler interests me as it seems like the least "intrusive" manner... meaning I can go slow with it...

although my latest iteration is to use an under-mount condenser instead of a skirt mount.. yesterday a friend that is partner in a limo service was out and about.. he had one of their "limo busses" out which looks like an extra Long shuttle bus.. its actually built on a freightliner chassis.. I crawled underneath and it had some really nice A/C condensers that mounted up under the body and we more accessible to clean and service than a skirt mount condenser.. so I may go that route now.. of course I got the numbers off of those parts.. Im loving this Learning process!!

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 01:58 PM   #13
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Nibblers are actually quite messy in that they chomp out little crescent moon shaped bits of metal and leave an edge that requires a lot of dressing. I have all of the tools mentioned so far, including a Bosch nibbler, and that would be my very last choice for such a task.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 03:36 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The Valley - Arizona
Posts: 644
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the nibbler interests me as it seems like the least "intrusive" manner... meaning I can go slow with it...

although my latest iteration is to use an under-mount condenser instead of a skirt mount.. yesterday a friend that is partner in a limo service was out and about.. he had one of their "limo busses" out which looks like an extra Long shuttle bus.. its actually built on a freightliner chassis.. I crawled underneath and it had some really nice A/C condensers that mounted up under the body and we more accessible to clean and service than a skirt mount condenser.. so I may go that route now.. of course I got the numbers off of those parts.. Im loving this Learning process!!

-Christopher
You'll have to share the make/model. I too am looking into adding a system to my bus!
Docsgsxr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 03:40 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The Valley - Arizona
Posts: 644
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Nibblers are actually quite messy in that they chomp out little crescent moon shaped bits of metal and leave an edge that requires a lot of dressing. I have all of the tools mentioned so far, including a Bosch nibbler, and that would be my very last choice for such a task.
This is true, but you would still add a decorative trim to a flat cut saw edge wouldn't you? I would. But I am not a master fabricator like you are. My padawan skills are meager in comparison!
Docsgsxr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 03:47 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,963
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsgsxr View Post
This is true, but you would still add a decorative trim to a flat cut saw edge wouldn't you? I would. But I am not a master fabricator like you are. My padawan skills are meager in comparison!

correct, the condenser mounted to the skirt has a flange, so the main thing would be treating the ragged edge so rust doesnt form there.. the flange gets screwed to the skirting but doesnt support the weight.. the weight is supprted by drilling down from the floor and using carriage bolts on top.. preferrably where you can go through 2 of the floor support ribs..

I'll definitely share the A/C build as I get into it... im still about 2 weeks out before I actually have the bus in my possesion.. there were about 4 busses ahead of me to be painted, plus i went ahead and had the dealer order and install all new lights all the way around and paint / restore the mirror brackets and supports...

I can do a lot of stuff but body work is not one of them so I have it professionally done, and it takes time, esp since im going with a 2 tone paint scheme on my bus..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 04:17 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
So I cut in my water heater opening last night with my circular saw, took 30x longer marking and measuring and re-measuring and re-measuring again than it did to actually cut the hole. The cutting literally took about 45 seconds. Nice clean square opening. I still say the circ with a metal blade is the best quickest way to go...
slaughridge85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 05:46 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Jolly Roger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
Posts: 651
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Use a gas powered Quickie saw? (Just kidding) Why?
The bigger the blade you're using the straighter the cut.
Therefore the skil-saw with a good blade will make the straightest cuts and stop just short of the corners (to prevent over cut) and use a jig saw to finish.
Nibblers are not the best option and if you haven't ever used them you will never get a straight cut.
With a guide set properly for what you are using
A sawzall will do the job to manageable and break every blade you have unless you get the real good metal demo blades that are 3/16 thick
A jig saw will hurt you less break more blades because they dont make the heavy duty blades and the on thin metal the blade is going to wiggle and wander unless you put a strait line jig on the front and back of every cut (time consuming pain)
Circular saw with a good abrasives blade or an old wood blade turned backwards on the saw (also works). In my world commercial roofers use a circular saw with the wood blade backwards (cheaper and more durable) to cut there 12guage tin/decking no matter the angle.
The bigger the blade the straighter the cut.
Jolly Roger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 06:58 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The Valley - Arizona
Posts: 644
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
In my world commercial roofers use a circular saw with the wood blade backwards (cheaper and more durable) to cut there 12guage tin/decking no matter the angle.
The bigger the blade the straighter the cut.
Noted and retained. Thanks for the tip!
Docsgsxr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2016, 07:56 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,963
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Use a gas powered Quickie saw? (Just kidding) Why?
The bigger the blade you're using the straighter the cut.
Therefore the skil-saw with a good blade will make the straightest cuts and stop just short of the corners (to prevent over cut) and use a jig saw to finish.
Nibblers are not the best option and if you haven't ever used them you will never get a straight cut.
With a guide set properly for what you are using
A sawzall will do the job to manageable and break every blade you have unless you get the real good metal demo blades that are 3/16 thick
A jig saw will hurt you less break more blades because they dont make the heavy duty blades and the on thin metal the blade is going to wiggle and wander unless you put a strait line jig on the front and back of every cut (time consuming pain)
Circular saw with a good abrasives blade or an old wood blade turned backwards on the saw (also works). In my world commercial roofers use a circular saw with the wood blade backwards (cheaper and more durable) to cut there 12guage tin/decking no matter the angle.
The bigger the blade the straighter the cut.
interesting on the wood blade backwards.. and the bigger blade - straighter the cut totally makes sense! great info
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×