This past weekend, I finally got around to starting on my blatant copy of Rinking's light bar. The design is pretty much identical to his with only a few minor differences. I will be using a total of 8 Code 3 Three Up Optix LED modules for the light source.
The materials are otherwise the same, so I will try to keep the wording here limited. I do have a few minor changes in mind toward the end, but we'll have to see how that works out. Started with a stick of 2x4x1/8 rectangle. I figured that the final length would be around 55.5", so I started with a 5' piece.
While I was measuring for the total length, I decided to also look at where I wanted it to end up height wise. I secured two pieces of unistrut across my hardtop to hang it on for measurement.
The final height will be 1.5" lower than what you see here. I didn't want the bar to sit any higher than the windshield frame. The 2x4 also was not cut to final length here. Just doing a little measuring and planning.
I started by finding the center point of the 2x4 and based my measurements off of that point since I did not have it cut to my final length yet. After laying out the lights and LED marker lights, I sectioned the bar at two points.
Because these modules project so well, I didn't want to pull the ends back too far and have 4 of the total 8 lights projecting way off to the sides. To pull the ends back just a bit, I only sectioned the bar the width of the kerf from a cutting wheel. This worked out well. You can see there is only a gentle curve over the span of the bar now. If the lights on the ends don't project the way I have planned, I'll make note of that at the end.
After sectioning the bar, I determined my final width and brought the ends back to square from the center line with my final length cuts. Now it was time to eliminate some weight and create access for mounting the lights and wiring. I tried to maintain some structural integrity while eliminating as much weight as possible. I'm not an engineer, but I'm comfortable with the outcome.
This decreased the weight fairly well. This is the bottom and rear of the bar you see above. There will also be another 8 cutouts for the LEDs along the front edge in addition to 5 holes for the amber marker lights. I think the final weight is going to be fine. It was about 0230 when I got to this point, so I cleaned it up a bit and called it a night.
Next on the list is to mark and cut the openings for the lights and marker lights. Then on to making the mounts for it. I think those are going to take a little time and patience. I've learned that while the design is fairly simple, taking time to measure properly and plan a few steps down the road is critical. I think I measured every point at least 3 times each before cutting.
While I was doing this, FirefighterJeep finished painting his 8.8 that we are working on simultaneously and got around to starting his light bar as well. He will be using all of the same components. Here he is welding his bar back after sectioning.
Hopefully, I can get back at it this weekend. I'll talk about the minor changes when I get to that point. They are nothing major, just a few cosmetic changes. Thanks for taking time to check this thread out !