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post #1 of 10 Old 05-13-2006, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
tommaho
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Another DIY Tonneau

(I'm not sure if this is better suited for the fabshop as it's a small project but a large writeup and is decidedly very low tech..)

After spending some time looking at covers and thinking about what I'd like to have in one, I decided to build my own. My primary requirements were:

- to have something that would work with my soft top
- to ensure stuff was easily accessible
- to have the ability to stack stuff on top of the cover and tie it down

Here's what I ended up with after a couple mock-ups:











The frame is made of 2"x4" and covers are made of 3/4" plywood. I made the brackets, picked up the rest of the hardware at a local ACE, and picked up the vinyl at a craft store. So far I have about $25 and 6 hours invested in the project.

It's not perfect, but I'm not sure if I'll change the design yet so I don't want to waste too much time making it pretty.

My plans now are to make a removable hinged shelf to go between the rear of the cover and the tailgate. It'll need to sit level with the bottom of the cover to allow space to tuck in the top neatly.

I'm still not sure what I want to do on the front side of the cover. I'm thinking about separating the rear of the tub from the front and putting some shelves or pockets within reach of the front. Maybe something to hold a small toolbox.

Details to follow.


Last edited by tommaho; 05-14-2006 at 08:10 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-13-2006, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Here are the pics of the construction process:

I already had these cut from a previous mock-up. The longer boards are 50.5" and shorter ones 19.5". Before I started covering the boards, I also drilled 1/4" holes at each end of the longer pieces for eye bolts.




The panels are about 19"x20". I wanted to leave some space around these because I wasn't sure how much room the vinyl would use. The gaps could've been tighter, so I should've picked up another 1/8th and gone with 19.125"x20.125". I'm marking the center points for the latch holes in this pic as well.



Here I'm using the template that came with the latches to get an idea of what size holesaw and how much chiseling I'd need to do. My latches required a 2.5" holesaw.



Drilling.



Chiseling.



Looks good.



Now the fun begins. Here I'm covering the smaller sections. I'm using cheap automotive / marine grade vinyl and spray glue. The glue isn't super strong, but does a pretty good job of keeping things tight and wrinkle free while your stapling.



I just wrapped it up like a Christmas present, stapling along the bottom edge.



Definitely didn't get fancy on these ends. If you look at the first couple pics in the first post, you'll see that the ends of these smaller boards aren't even seen; they only need to look good on their upper edge.


Last edited by tommaho; 05-13-2006 at 10:38 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-13-2006, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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And the small ones are done.



And magically, they're all done,



I thought the panels were really going to suck, but as it turned out they weren't too bad.



This is the top side of the panel.



I guess I should've taken more pics to show how I folded and stapled to get to this point, but I basically covered both sides with a single piece of material. This is the bottom.



And a really lousy picture of the finished product.



Here are the wood tee nuts and the eye bolts.





I had another lapse here and didn't photograph any of the frame assembly. By looking at the pic in the first post with both covers off, it should be pretty obvious what I did.

What I'm doing in this pic is screwing in the brackets that the covers rest on. I just turned the frame upside down, placed the cover in it's spot, and set the brackets instead of having to measure each one.


Last edited by tommaho; 05-13-2006 at 11:30 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-13-2006, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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One side finished.



Both sides GTG. You'll also see here that I trimmed off the excess thread from the eye bolts.



I set the finished frame in the jeep, mounting the rear corners with little L brackets.



In addition to these brackets, there'll be some kind of connection securing the front of the cover to the seat bolts in the tub floor. At the same time I secure the front side, I'll fix the little frame tweak that crept in as I was assembling stuff.


Last edited by tommaho; 05-13-2006 at 11:33 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-13-2006, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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PH Top-down, deck cover pics.

Last edited by tommaho; 05-13-2006 at 11:26 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-13-2006, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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PH tool tray / shelf pics.

Last edited by tommaho; 05-13-2006 at 11:27 PM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-22-2006, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I finished the rear part of the deck cover and toolbox tray, but the pics are gonna have to wait as the digicam met it's demise at the paw of my damn nosey cat.

Tom
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-22-2006, 08:41 AM
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Very nice work so far...

Old accountants don't die, they just lose their balance
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-29-2006, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmylev
Very nice work so far...
X2.........

Btw,like the eye patch on the girl on TV.

2003 T4R
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-08-2006, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
tommaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael k
X2.........

Btw,like the eye patch on the girl on TV.

What eyepatch? I have no idea what you're talking about.
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