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Old 05-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #261 (permalink)
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You have done a tremendous job; I am following vicariously.

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Old 05-06-2013, 08:03 PM   #262 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a8ksh4 View Post
If I did it again, I might hit any transitions like this with a belt sander and smooth them out.
What about a router?
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:45 PM   #263 (permalink)
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Really looking forward to the finished product. I'll be curious to see if you get as many people who like the style with the extended tail. I gets lots of random thumbs up on the road with my cap, including the guys at the auto body shop (don't text and drive...) and a random pimped out Ram on the highway today. You know you've got something cool when a Ram guy likes a Ford truck!
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:56 AM   #264 (permalink)
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How high is your opening in the back?? Wondering when I build mine if I should make the top like a tonneau cover with lift springs to be easy to get in and out of?

When I build mine I am going to inlay a solar panel in the roof and I will have shelving like area along each side and I will sleep in the middle
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:24 AM   #265 (permalink)
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if I had a router, that would certainly be the way to do things. I'm lucky that I stumbled across the belt sander... I bought it at a thrift store a long time ago and it was buried in a box that I went through getting ready to move in a few weeks. Belt-sander -> chamfered edges!:


Spent some time this evening cleaning things up getting ready to lay fiberglass over the box on the side:




@ aktacoma - The top of the opening at the back is about 6" higher than where the top of the tailgate would be. I think the rear door will be hinged at the top, so the opening'll probably be a couple inches lower than where it is now when the shell's done. That's a good idea, using a couple lift springs/pistons at the back... I'll have to see how that'll fit w/ the whole pop-top thing...

Do you have any ideas on how do do the solar panels proper? They're pretty fragile, so they need to be laid over a rigid base... and if hail hits them they could crack, so maybe pour a layer of resin over them? There are optically clear resins, I think, that might work for that.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:57 AM   #266 (permalink)
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yeah i will inlay them just below the surface and then resin over them and I talked to my local Battery remote power store and they didnt mention anything about fragility;
hail could hit them if they were mounted on your house or rv too...

Alaska doesnt see much hail where im at anyways but i will use it when i tour the US and do lots of skiing next fall

so ill ask them when i go back in there
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #267 (permalink)
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I recently bought a bunch of solar cells and soldered them together. It only took a cat walking across one to shatter it! (note: my cats are all fat) So yeah, they don't take much. If you planned to do an array over the top, I'm not sure what options you have to seal them up and protect them, but would be interested if you find something other than throwing them under an acrylic sheet. I know there are encapsulating layers people use that are silicone based, but doubt that would keep hail from destroying them.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:42 AM   #268 (permalink)
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A bit more fiberglass was done today...






I ended up buying one of the grooved rollers for helping to work the bubbles out of the cloth. It seems to work well, and is easy to clean just by setting it in a cup of acetone after use. When I roll it across a piece of saturated cloth, it'll bubble little beads of resin up through the weave of the cloth.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:56 AM   #269 (permalink)
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how did you cut out the supports that you originally had? Also do you have an estimate of how many hours you have into the topper so far?
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:11 AM   #270 (permalink)
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The x-sections that I originally used to form everything around were cut by hand w/ a razor blade. I got the dimensions from my drawings, traced lines onto the foam w/ a pen, and went for it.

I have no idea on the number of hours... 100? 200? I've been working on this off and on for about 8 months. There was a couple month dry spell in the middle w/o much progress.

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