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T-Top prototype...hillbilly style

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  • T-Top prototype...hillbilly style

    As you guys are figuring out probably, I have decided lately I should be posting up more of my work. This is what I have been doing as sort of my job that I work on when the little jobs quit coming in or when it's too rainy to weld outside, or whatever.
    I'm sorry for some of the pics quality but I am not as familiar with my cameras as I should be. The flash really does seem to become a factor when it's dark outside and the lighting is reflecting or whatever. Maybe I'll get better at this as I go.
    My same friend that is building his own boats has begun making a 32' twin outboard, center console style boat. He asked me to make a t-top for it. So this is what I have come up with so far. I know there are folks here that could do these things in their sleep.
    One thing I believe and tell folks is "anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you get good at it" I already have done things that I will do different next time. I simply had to experience it firsthand.
    This is also one of those type of deals where you pretty much have to simply be able to "wing it" or you will never get done. One reason is because if you take a tape measure to a boat you will soon find out nothing is square or level or plumb... just sorta close!.... But looks rules!
    So I at least got the console over to my shop for awhile to work off of. This was after I was all over the boat coming up with ideas of course. I looked at hundreds of pics on the internet and pretty much knew I wanted this to look sorta racey but don't have a 3 roll bender at the time. My new Dynasty has pretty much ended that for awhile.



    As you can see getting things to stay in place so I can visualize it is quite a challenge...thank God for ratchet straps!!



    Coming up with a design for the canopy was also a challenge without a 3 roll bender as well. Most T-Tops I have seen are generously radiused at both ends. This is what I came up with in my mind and just drawing it out on the floor.
    I have done a lot of crap off of the floor over the years. I wish I lived about a thousand miles closer to the coast so I could watch how the big boys do all this.
    I thought it was pretty amazing that I got 2 completely different shapes to come together in the middle and be straight and flat.




    This was what I decided to do as far as crossmembers. My thought was shedding water and not having sections pooling water either. it will have fabric stretched over it and laced to the sides around the entire perimeter.
    This will be powder coated also as was the swim platforms in my earlier thread.

  • #2
    I think it is looking quite well,keep showing more.

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    • #3
      looks good,keep up the good work. Keep us updated on the progress too.

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      • #4
        Pointy front

        I like the pointy front end, very different.Another good reason for the arch is the fabric cannot flog when the fabric is adjusted to the proper tension. We usally use 18 oz vinyl with grommets on 6'' centers on something that size.The vinyl is much more durable then the sumbrella type fabrics. I have a list I go over with the customer to see what they want and were they want it, radio antena mounts, running lights,anchor light,eburb mount,water proof radio box. Sometimes the list gets way to long but thats better then when your looking at the finished product and they say do ya thing we could add a. Anyways I hope ya don't mind if I sort of copy the pointy end idea.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sailor View Post
          I like the pointy front end, very different.Another good reason for the arch is the fabric cannot flog when the fabric is adjusted to the proper tension. We usally use 18 oz vinyl with grommets on 6'' centers on something that size.The vinyl is much more durable then the sumbrella type fabrics. I have a list I go over with the customer to see what they want and were they want it, radio antena mounts, running lights,anchor light,eburb mount,water proof radio box. Sometimes the list gets way to long but thats better then when your looking at the finished product and they say do ya thing we could add a. Anyways I hope ya don't mind if I sort of copy the pointy end idea.

          Not a bit...I would be flattered considering it is my first t-top
          Thanks on the vinyl suggestion as well, I will pass that on.
          Also what all kinds of work do you do? I am on here to learn and share ideas all I can, so feel free to post pics or whatever
          I have also decided that making these things in sections on large wooden tables might be a better way. Is that how you do it? I realize everything can't be done like that but it would keep the nicer material from becoming all marred up.
          When I built the ambulances we used cardboard a lot that came between the aluminum sheet stock from the mill.

          Comment


          • #6
            FK,
            looking awsome!!! If the pic is correct, looks like the crossmembers have a slight curve on them?? How did you bend that, since you just have the bender you just got??? I'm gonna finish up my pro-tools 105 bender in the next couple weeks, thanks to TS-OFFROAD and his help with me copying his bender stand.......
            bert

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            • #7
              Looks pretty slick FK

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              • #8
                looks great, never know it was a first try. bet they love it.

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                • #9
                  We mostly do custom awnings for commerial and residental buildings, steel and aluminum. Also boat stuff,stainless and aluminum. Keeping the aluminum from getting mared seems impossible some times,especially the big stuff. The fancy commercial we usually make a series of frames on a table that is made from hollow block (legs), aluminum 2'' by 4'' box (table frame, nice straight edge.) We use fiber board, the stuff some furniture is made out of. Two 1/2'' layers with staggered start. With this method the table can be made as long as needed. The aluminum splater hardly makes a mark on this stuff but has to be brushed regularly. Making the jig for the frame we screw 2''by3'', 1/2'' plywood peices with sheet rock screws,no prehole required.On making large radius (usally useing 1'' sch 40 aluminum) we weld 1'' by 1'' sq pipe 4'' apart on a steel table. It is possible to get high quality repetable bends with this method. A 40'' radius with the sq pipe will give ya about a 48'' radius on the 1'' aluminum pipe. For the smaller radius we use the 16 ton harbor freight bender. Slow but good bends when you measure the highth of your finish stroke,we also slide some half pipe peices inbetween the pipe your bending and the funky rollers on the top side.Also using a degital angle indicater allows bypassing the measuring of the cyclinder height. I really need to study the picture posting procedure.So nobody has to suffer through this long winded explanation. Be back with more later, Keep up the good work.

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                  • #10
                    Interesting looking project.
                    I always like seeing how people do things, it reminds me that I don't need EVERY tool to be able to do the job, it just might take me more time and more head scratching to get it done!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bert View Post
                      FK,
                      looking awsome!!! If the pic is correct, looks like the crossmembers have a slight curve on them?? How did you bend that, since you just have the bender you just got??? I'm gonna finish up my pro-tools 105 bender in the next couple weeks, thanks to TS-OFFROAD and his help with me copying his bender stand.......
                      bert
                      I just made two 5 degree bends 16" apart and it came out pretty close to the tail. I decided to leave the nose flat
                      Get that bender going

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So I made another bar and got it off the floor. Welded it up.



                        Then I sanded all the nicks and scratches out. Most of them came from my metal supplier
                        I also ground down the splice between the two hoops. I put a piece inside between them...I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me someday. I just thought it made it look better. Maybe if I throw enuff braces in it will keep it from being a problem.





                        View from the back.

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                        • #13
                          Got my helper to jump in and help me finish the sanding so he could help me hang the canopy from the trusses with ratchet straps. Then I would be able to work by myself C. Wagner style...scratching my head





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                          • #14
                            Boy!...Sure is a nice lookin machine in the right of the bottom picture!Sure wish I had one. the one before your last post
                            Last edited by welderdude402; 04-02-2009, 08:17 PM. Reason: he posted quicker than i replied

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by welderdude402 View Post
                              Boy!...Sure is a nice lookin machine in the right of the bottom picture!Sure wish I had one. the one before your last post
                              Yeah, but ya GOTTA love that cammo trailer

                              FK, thanks for the explantion about the crossbars!!! I see those bends in the new pics!!!!!!! TOTALLY AWSOME DUE!!!!!!!!
                              (Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Adventure)

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