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Old 07-30-2008, 03:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hostages freed!!

Well, finally got my pictures. I didn't have to pay ransom or anything. It actually happened with a sneaky rescue mission involving a double agent, a well trained sniper, a talented but cocky helicopter pilot and some homemade cookies. No, this didn't actually happen, but I thought I would just put the suggestion in the thread for when it eventually gets made into "Conservation and the Frozen Tundra: THE MOVIE!"

Anyway, here are the pictures which are cool, but not nearly as interesting as my nifty plot device...

So, here are some shots of the completed framework.




Mind you, I'm not the photographer for any of these...


The stringers on the sides were difficult. Where the other ones just had to bend a bit, the ones on the sides had to be twisted. We managed to do this while only accumulating a few splinters.






And then we upholstered the thing.







I don't have pictures of it since we coated it in resin, but just try to picture it looking goopier and kinda amber colored. I may take those pictures eventually, or I may just wait til it's sanded and painted. Not sure.

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Old 08-04-2008, 10:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That's a thing of rural New Hampshire redneck beauty, right there. It "looks fast", doesn't it?

By the way, bonus points for the biodiesel drums in the shot.. and 1/4 extra points for getting my Yaris in there too.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Your bed cover look a lot like mine. You'll find they work well. Now to make mine more practical.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Frozen Tundra - '03 Toyota Tundra 4WD SR5 Access Cab
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I think mine will be pretty practical once I cut out a section of that center bulkhead. Then there will be a nice amount of usable space under the thing. I should be able to accommodate most types of cargo that I carry with the exception of my four wheeler. Plus, now my bed should be water resistant!

I've actually attached it to my truck and I got to drive with it on my way to work tonight. I got to make some seat-of-my-pants observations and initially, they look promising. I'll do all the nice sciency stuff when I have it 100% completed. For now, I've seen roughly about a 1mpg increase. There are a few caveats which make that more interesting though. First, it's not completed. There is a decent sized gap between the cap and the cab which is prolly destroying some of my air flow. On my way to work, I was, well, a little excited and as a result maybe a little heavier on the throttle than usual. I was also trying to maintain higher speeds to take more advantage of the aero improvements. If I had to guess at what my mileage would have been with the heavier throttle and no cap, the cap may have caused closer to a 2-3mpg increase.

It seemed like it coasted a little better at the 40-55 mph range, which is the fastest that my commute gets. During one of the EOC downhills, it approached speeds 2-3 miles faster than usual. Nothing is very precise about these observations and there is a ton of variables that could make them invalid, so I won't know anything for sure until I can do some hard, precise, number-based testing. For now though, it looks promising. And my personal educated guess is that once the gap is filled, I could see a 2-4 mpg increase on my commuting mileage. For any other trips which involve a lot of highway travel, my mpg increase might be more significant. That's what I'm hoping, anyway...
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yeah, you gotta deal with that gap. I found my cab slants away at a seven degree angle. Yours is probably about the same angle, plus or minus. As a result I had to take a seven degree cut off the bottom of the front bulkhead, so the gap at the top doesn’t get too big. You might consider removing your center brake light fixture to enable you to scooch the bed cover tighter to the cab. I also fishscaled the bed cover versus the cab by about an eighth of an inch to allow for seasonal variation in the wood structure. Even plywood swells a little.

One thing I noticed right away was the reduction in wind noise in the cab of my truck. Energy was not being converted into noise. I occasionally have to take my fairing off and am amazed at the roar from the bed area.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My plan is actually to pour some of that liquid foam into the gap and then sculpt it flush from there. I plan on stretching some plastic over the back of my cab and then masking the gap between the bed and the cab. I will then put the cap on and mask the gap on the sides between it and the cab, creating a little bucket to pour the liquid foam into. If everything goes according to plan, it will adhere to the cap and I'll just have to smooth out the top a little and it will be pretty flush with the cab. I will then remove the cap and strip the plastic away. I will grind it down a little bit and put a skim coat of body filler on it and the rest of the cap. After a bit of sanding, it should be ready for paint.

I've discovered that Rustoleum's dark gray metallic is a perfect match for the color of my truck. A few coats of that along with a few coats of clear coat should make the thing look like a Toyota accessory.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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looks nice,cant wait to see the finished product!
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Neither can I. I've been roaming around with this thing on the back of my truck and it totally makes my truck look like a covered wagon. Once it's all painted, it will totally look like it belongs there.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Cab slant

I just wanted to point out that when we were making it I designed it with about a 5 to 10 degree forward slant at the front, and the rearmost bulkhead perpendicular to the plane of the bed. A bit of shortsightedness on my part resulted in the rear bulkhead leaning back, so now both ends "splay" out a few degrees each, and the front gap grows toward the top. The "stringers" are actually stressed members in the design and the whole thing "corrected" itself.

The other secret is that we tried a slightly different method of "glassing".. The secret being there is no glass involved. The substrate for the resin is some hefty hemp burlap backed sail cloth we found cheap at a local fabric supply shop. I bound two 54" pieces to make up the width and upholstered the cap like a piece of furniture.. Then Twerp and I applied the resin to both sides (He did about twice as much of that than I did). I haven't had a chance to see it since the second such application, but the first made it fairly stiff and certainly strong enough for the task. I was concerned about weight but the two of us can still move it fairly easily.
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Frozen Tundra - '03 Toyota Tundra 4WD SR5 Access Cab
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After running around with it on in the rain, I noticed water marks beginning to form around the bottom edges of the cover. It looks like I'll have to do a little extra waterproofing to the cloth at the attachment points. Hopefully the weather will let up this weekend and I will be able to do that and get the front part of it foamed and sculpted.

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