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Old 07-06-2020, 07:02 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Anybody weld to cover windows ???

I took all my windows out because they were too big bulky and were not sealed well. I want to cover the spaces with aluminum sheet metal and then cut new windows. Looking for someone in the north Jersey area to do this for as I do not have a welder not do I know how to weld.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:52 AM   #2
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Just a heads up: you won't be able to weld aluminum to the steel bus structure. Not without some seriously advanced welding techniques, which also means serious dough.


You'll want steel sheet metal.


Even using sheet metal, welding all those seams will be prohibitively expensive and only the best welder will be able to do it without oil canning (crinkling) the steel.


You'd be better off taking a mechanical fastener approach, or building window inserts.



Search around the site for different approaches. There are many.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:03 AM   #3
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Here, try a search like this to get some ideas:


https://www.google.com/search?q=site...w=1440&bih=811


Tango approached the window covering somewhere between my suggestions. He cut thick sheet steel to fit the window opening then tack welded and seam sealed it.
Faster and less prone to oil canning.


My approach was to put full sheets over the window openings and rivet them in place.
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/a...rust-8870.html
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:10 AM   #4
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I built window inserts which were basically a steel sheet with a 1.5 inch lip around the inner edge. I riveted them to the rails from inside the bus.



Wherever possible it's best to simply use rivets since that is the best fastening design for these buses.



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Old 07-07-2020, 07:33 PM   #5
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Hey thanks for the advice guys! Hereís a picture. I have a shuttle bus with curved windows. Do you still think it would be easier/better to use rivets?

Also, I am toying with the idea of just resealing the existing windows back in ? I feel it may be less expensive but donít know if it will be as effective.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:55 PM   #6
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Hey thanks for the advice guys! Hereís a picture. I have a shuttle bus with curved windows. Do you still think it would be easier/better to use rivets?

Also, I am toying with the idea of just resealing the existing windows back in ? I feel it may be less expensive but donít know if it will be as effective.
Personally, I couldn't bear being inside a bus without all the windows, but some people like coffins, I guess. I would at least attempt to reseal the original windows and see if I could stop them from leaking and then reinstall them.

If you intend to put in different window, it might be best to wait until you have the windows you want to install, then figure out and weld (or bolt) in the framing you'll need to hold them, and then cover over the non-windowy bits. It's common for people to re-skin their sides during roof raises and then cut new window openings later, but if you're putting in a lot of new windows that could be wasteful of sheet metal.

With the skinning, riveting probably looks the best with the least effort - you just drill the holes and pop the rivets and it looks good. Welding sheet over the opening would probably take more time because although the welding proper would be quick, you'd have to grind it and give it a couple of coats of Bondo for it to look OK. Maybe it would be the same amount of time either way, I dunno.

Either option (welding or riveting) would be a good learning opportunity, although learning welding is probably much more generally useful.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:41 PM   #7
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Hi Carlos, if your shuttle bus is Fiberglas then obviously welding is not going to work.. You can try some aluminum sheet and self drilling/ tapping stainless screws to position your panel. Ones you are happy with it then drill small holes every 6" . take it off ,clean every thing and use sikaflex or other adhesive caulking to glue it on. Reposition again with you locater screws. And use rivets or self tapping stainless screws in the predrilled holes.

If you use rivets and can access the inside the use a longer rivet and have a helper put a washer on the inside over the rivet head before you expand it. That will prevent the fiberglass from cracking.

If you use self yapping screw then be careful not to over tighten them since they will strip out in the fiberglass.

At last you can also use screws and washers and nuts.

Good luck. Johan
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:53 PM   #8
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If the bus is fiberglass, I'd fiberglass them closed, making it looks seamless, which is my plan for the windows I am removing. It can be a lot of work if not done carefully, basically make a form from the old window so it is smooth, and then just fill-sand the edges.

I personally think it looks ghetto to have the windows patched closed (sorry WIbluebird ;)

I'd also add that bus windows are single pane, so very poor insulation. I was thinking of taking a removed one and use the same shaped glass to make a dual pane one.
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:17 AM   #9
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If the bus is fiberglass, I'd fiberglass them closed, making it looks seamless, which is my plan for the windows I am removing. It can be a lot of work if not done carefully, basically make a form from the old window so it is smooth, and then just fill-sand the edges.

I personally think it looks ghetto to have the windows patched closed (sorry WIbluebird ;)

I'd also add that bus windows are single pane, so very poor insulation. I was thinking of taking a removed one and use the same shaped glass to make a dual pane one.
Dual pane windows don't provide better insulation than single pane unless the space between the panes is hermetically sealed (i.e. airtight) and the gas inside is completely dry. This is notoriously hard to achieve with a DIY project, even without considering that it will be placed in a moving vehicle.
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:09 PM   #10
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Dual pane windows don't provide better insulation than single pane unless the space between the panes is hermetically sealed (i.e. airtight) and the gas inside is completely dry. This is notoriously hard to achieve with a DIY project, even without considering that it will be placed in a moving vehicle.
I would have to disagree. Two panes even if not sealed completely is better than one as insulation. I find it curious people go to such lengths to insulate a bus that is completely filled with single pane windows.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:59 PM   #11
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I would have to disagree. Two panes even if not sealed completely is better than one as insulation.
Air does a great job of transferring heat if it can circulate freely. If it can't circulate freely, it does a great job of insulating, because air (like all gases) has a lower thermal conductivity than solids. This is the core principle that makes insulation (like XPS foam, fiberglas batts, rock wool etc. all of which trap tiny pockets of air inside a lightweight structure) work, and it's the core principle that makes double-paned windows into effective (kind of) insulators - as long as the seal remains intact.

Glass on its own, being a solid material, is a good conductor of heat and thus is a bad insulator. Add in the fact that it is so thin and the R-value it provides is negligible. Even if the two panes of glass in a DIY double-paned window were providing their small insulating value, it would be 2 X negligible, which is still pretty negligible. But in fact, the whole problem with the failed seal is that it allows air to bypass the outer pane, so it's still just 1 X negligible.

Two other problems with the DIY approach: factory double-paned windows use gases that have a lower thermal conductivity than regular air. Doing this yourself would be effectively impossible, and once your seal fails all of these gases escape anyway. And also, once your seal fails you will get humid air in between the panes and start having problems with fogging and condensation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
I find it curious people go to such lengths to insulate a bus that is completely filled with single pane windows.
It's probably less curious when you realize that people often cover the windows with removable insulation, as weather dictates.
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:58 PM   #12
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Sorry, have to agree with BeNimble, double windows or storm windows work pretty darn well. The amount of air leakage is important but if properly installed it works very well. Also the air leakage depends on the wind outside .. hence, storm windows. I made several double pane windows in both our busses and my thermal camera agrees that the interior temperature of the glass is a lot higher with two panes.

In Elfie, our small bus, on the pane in the rear door I glued magnetic strip and "clicked" it against the steel frame of the door.
In Dory, we put panels on the inside with a spacing of 1/2" and sealed with tape. works all good to very good.


We are in the process of doing all of Dory's side windows like that.


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Old 07-13-2020, 08:53 PM   #13
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Check out aluminum composite sheets, might work best and honestly you can rivet or even screw them in like many buses have on other panels. It wont crinkle as bad as aluminum og metal, and some better insulation... (new airstream use it now)
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:18 PM   #14
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I gotta agree also with BeNimble. If musigenisis was right, clothing would be pointless. It does not seal out the cold air. It does not seal out moisture. But when it's 20į outside, I really want my knit sweater. It gets warmer with a windbreaker over the sweater. Etc...
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:20 PM   #15
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Window "Deletes"

Skoolie.com sells panels (https://www.skoolie.com/products1) to cover deleted windows.

We're using sheets for to cover the sides of our bus after our roof raise. Will post pics once we get our build thread going.

I'm sure that there are videos linked around these forums somewhere...

Here is one ( :: 6 minutes in or so) that shows a way to replace the windows.
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