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Old 04-07-2021, 02:51 PM   #1
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Sheet Metal Supply

I've run into a situation that I didn't think I would with how industrialized south Louisiana is, I can't find the right thickness sheet metal for the side panels for our bus. I can get 16ga and 24ga, but no 18ga or 20ga. I think the 16ga is going to be too heavy and hard to work with and I think the 24ga. will oil can too bad. I've called everyone I can find and anyone they would recommend, no sheet metal the right thickness.

So, I'm wondering if I can find someplace that I can get steel shipped to me via freight truck. I ship stuff all the time for my work and have the ability to receive the steel at our warehouse and hold it until I can get it to the build site for the bus.

Does anyone have recommendations for steel sheet supply? Anyone you've had a good experience with that may be able to help?

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Old 04-07-2021, 02:55 PM   #2
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Try to find a wrecked bus that you can cut sections from. When I was shortening my bus I just used roof sections when I needed to patch.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:02 PM   #3
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look into NB HANDY.
maybe there is one close enough to you
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:34 PM   #4
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I have a fantastic steel supplier 45 min away in Jersey. This is their bargain section, including some 18 ga and even 20 ga. I imagine shipping would be pretty monstrous. The 20 ga bargain pieces are 24" x 57.5" which might work pretty well if you're raising a foot or so - 57" inches will span two gaps between ribs; you could do the sides of a 12-window bus with just six of these sheets.

Tell you what, you load up your bus with crawfish and I'll load up mine with sheet metal and we'll meet in Knoxville.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldyeller View Post
Try to find a wrecked bus that you can cut sections from. When I was shortening my bus I just used roof sections when I needed to patch.

Not a bad idea, I have a guy here I've been talking to about windows, I may be able to get some sheet metal from him too.


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look into NB HANDY.
maybe there is one close enough to you

They have a Florida and a Georgia distribution center and they seem to have what I need. Thanks for the tip, I'll check pricing and shipping with them.



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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I have a fantastic steel supplier 45 min away in Jersey. This is their bargain section, including some 18 ga and even 20 ga. I imagine shipping would be pretty monstrous. The 20 ga bargain pieces are 24" x 57.5" which might work pretty well if you're raising a foot or so - 57" inches will span two gaps between ribs; you could do the sides of a 12-window bus with just six of these sheets.

Tell you what, you load up your bus with crawfish and I'll load up mine with sheet metal and we'll meet in Knoxville.

I'm going to give those guys a call. We're planning a 15" raise so I won't be able to get 2 pieces per sheets, but with my over lap I think I'm going to need 20" pieces. A pallet of 15 or 18 sheets might be all I need and easy to handle to boot at that size verses 3' x 8' sheets. LTL freight isn't stupid expensive if you're willing to be patient. It may take a week or so to get the shipment, but it may be worth the wait to do it that way.



We might be able to work something out with that swap too.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:10 PM   #6
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We might be able to work something out with that swap too.
Woo hoo! I haven't had mudbugs in more than ten years. I think it's the only thing I miss about Louisiana.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:42 PM   #7
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I have a fantastic steel supplier 45 min away in Jersey.
They are really nice folks. It's looking like they're going to get the nod, even with shipping the price is better than anything I've found locally to special order and I'm looking into one of our regular freight carriers to maybe even drop that some.

The sheet size is good too, I think I can put them up without trimming the width at all. It's going to give me like an 8" overlap but I think it will just miss the top ridge on the last panel I'm leaving below the windows. I think that will be a lot easier to handle and I'll probably waste less than 4 x 10 sheets.

I've been able to source the square tube and angle pretty easy, but the sheet material has been a bear.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:54 PM   #8
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That's awesome! How much were they per sheet? I was guessing they'd be around $8 to $10 per.

There's a dude on the skoolie discord server who is driving his bus from NYC to Texas next week - maybe he'd be willing to skoolie post these sheets to you, depending on his route. I have to go over to Fazzio's soon anyway to get some expanded sheet, and walk through their scrap warehouse while my knees get weak.
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:17 PM   #9
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That's awesome! How much were they per sheet? I was guessing they'd be around $8 to $10 per.
Looks like they're charging about $1 per pound, $14.07 per sheet. I originally talked to the young lady about 18 sheets, but at that price, I think I'm going to bump that up to 24. It qualifies me for another discount tier and I have a couple of other metal projects I could use some sheet for on the bus. Under body boxes, repair the front steps & exterior fender well extensions to slow down the road goo flying up under the bus.

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I have to go over to Fazzio's soon anyway to get some expanded sheet, and walk through their scrap warehouse while my knees get weak.
A young lady named Brandy is helping me, when we talked a bit about what I'm doing, she said someone was in there a while back getting material for a skoolie. I kinda assumed it was you.
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:42 PM   #10
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A young lady named Brandy is helping me, when we talked a bit about what I'm doing, she said someone was in there a while back getting material for a skoolie. I kinda assumed it was you.
I can't remember if I ever mentioned the skoolie thing to anybody there, but I've shown up a couple of times in my bus. I've talked to a few other area skooliers who go there. In addition to the steel supply, they have a big store with all sorts of things you can't get at the big box stores, like welding supplies, ospho, tools, a huge fasteners section etc. Too bad you're in LA.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:00 PM   #11
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In addition to the steel supply, they have a big store with all sorts of things you can't get at the big box stores, like welding supplies, ospho, tools, a huge fasteners section etc. Too bad you're in LA.
Right! Sounds like a great resource.
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:16 AM   #12
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This is what my overlap should look like with those panels. What do you guys think? I think it will work, but wanted more experienced opinions.
Attached Images
File Type: png Sheet Metal Overlay.png (20.9 KB, 15 views)
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:22 AM   #13
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Sheet steel is on it's way here from New Jersey, it should be here next Wednesday via LTL freight. Thanks for the suggestion Musigenesis! I saved a pile of money going this direction over my local resources. Next time you're passing through south Louisiana (or where ever our paths cross) the crawfish are on me!

Sheet steel on the way...check
Picking up framing steel at lunch...check
5 gallons of primer...check
2800 rivets on the way...check
Welding wire, drill bits, cutting oil...check
All tools necessary…check

Ummmm....I'm out of excuses...it won't be long now and I'm going to cut the roof off a perfectly good bus.
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