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Old 06-17-2023, 09:18 PM   #1
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Northern Virginia
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
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Crazy Window Delete Idea?

So I've been trying to make sheet metal inserts to delete my windows. I've not been successful, probably because I took the cheapest route possible by buying 28 gauge flat metal and bending it myself on a harbor freight sheet metal brake that's a piece of garbage.

While I'm sure the window deletes would be terrific, I have 23 windows and I don't want to pay $3,000 to delete my windows.

The price of metal almost triples if I get my local sheet metal shop to put a pair of flanges on them for me. The price also skyrockets if I switch to a thicker metal.

I'm aware that I could strip the structure back to the ribs and jam a couple sheets under the rub rail. I'm rather anxious about this method in execution and I generally have to work by myself. I would prefer to stick with the insert method.

Would it be crazy to glue sheet metal to plywood and put that into the opening? I'm aware I would lose up to an inch of insulation, perhaps compromise with the backing sheet being 1/4 and stack the edges so I can clamp them with the original bus window hardware?

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Old 06-18-2023, 04:44 AM   #2
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I covered my "SCHOOL BUS" signs front and back with 26 ga. steel, using stiffeners bent on my own garbage Harbor Freight sheet metal brake. It worked out very well, but doing the same sort of thing for 23 window inserts would be a lot of work and riveting, though.

I'm not sure how well gluing the steel sheets to plywood would work, since the glue probably wouldn't adhere to the steel all that well and because you'd get very different degrees of thermal expansion between the steel and the plywood when the inserts were in direct sunlight. I would probably try screwing the sheet steel to the plywood, maybe with nine screws in a tic-tac-toe pattern and the screws put in "wet" with seam sealer. I think 1/4" plywood would be too floppy; I would use 1/2" or 3/4" for good rigidity.
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Old 06-18-2023, 10:24 AM   #3
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Location: Rapid City, SD
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If your using thin sheet metal inserts I would try to intall them and then apply a thin layer of spray foam on the interior to stiffen the metal. Too thick of an application would likely warp the metal. Multiple thin layers should stiffen and insulated with out warping. You will have to be carefull that the inserts don't "oil can". If you can set the inserts in the sun to warm them up and expand the metal and then fasten them securely when they cool the metal will shrink and keep the inserts in tension.

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