Skoolie Roof Raise - Part 2

Oct 10, 2021
Bussedamove - Skoolie Roof Raise - Welding and metal fabrication on a School Bus Tiny House Conversion

Skoolie Roof Raise Part 2

Hopefully you already saw PART 1 of the roof raise blog. In that, we covered the spreader jacks that you weld onto the bus to actually hold it up while you weld in everything new. We also covered how to use the spreader jacks in tandem with hydraulic jacks to actually make the raise faster, cleaner, and easier. Click Here to see that post if you would like to see that information.

That was Step 1 and Step 2. Let's move on to step 3

Step 3.

Welding is a crucial step to getting the bus back together. If you don't weld properly, you could cause a lot of trouble down the line. A safety hazard is right around the corner if you don't do a good job. Your life is at stake. Other lives are at stake if you get this step wrong. A lot of people buy pre-made hat channel with little tabs to weld into the gaps. That works for a lot of people but I wanted to make absolutely sure that the bus was as safe as it was before we started cutting. We achieved this by putting 1"x1" square tubing into the hat channel with about 6 inches going into the hat channel at the top and the bottom. A welding clamp will easily squeeze the tubing into the bottom of the hat channel. After welding 6" on each side of the square tubing on the top and bottom of the joint, there was 2 feet of welding bead on each place that there had been a cut. That alone is more than enough to hold the bus. However, we then went into aesthetic mode. We wanted a wide, clean surface to glue and rivet the sheet metal to so we built something custom to help make the bus even more safe but also to give it clean lines and style when we were done.

Step 4.

We made a custom C Channel that was 2" by 4" by welding the tips of two 2"x2" Angle together. The new C Channel was used a really great topper for the new hat channel and tubing joints. This allowed us to pre-drill a series of holes that would present really clean rivet lines on the outside without wrinkling or binding the metal in any way. We welded in the new C Channel over the top of our other welds which added another 2 feet of weld bead per section. Our bus is at least as safe as it was before because of this welding and channel addition. The rivet pattern looks great on the outside of the bus also. We were able to use less rivets and more glue to get the end result of clean lines and a lot of uninterrupted sheet metal.

Side note: The glue that we used was a flexible construction adhesive with hardly any VOC emission in that is important to you.

In the next post, we'll discuss sheet metal choices and the front transition at the front of the bus. If you want to see the transitions, feel free to check them out on our Bussedamove YouTube Channel. We have a roof raise playlist with very detailed conversation on the topic.

 

Bus Love,

William

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