LocostUSA.com

Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
It is currently September 20, 2018, 12:37 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: September 9, 2016, 11:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Well I thought I'd start a separate build thread for this instead of adding this to my L.S.O. build. This will be a layman's account of how to build a simple convertible top with basic knowledge gained from watching many, many videos from the net, and a picture in my fuzzy mind. This top will be built more along the marine style tops that I have had on my boats.

During my L.S.O. build I had decided that in order for Wifey and I to enjoy the 7 in Sunny Alberta's ever changing weather environment, I should look at adding a convertible top to the build. Having made that decision I had fabricated the windshield stanchions from 1/4" material to be able to handle the strain of a convertible top in tension. I also welded on 1/4" posts on top of the stanchions to hold a headboard ( hey if it was good enough for Henry Ford, it's good enough for me).
Attachment:
File comment: windshield stanchion 1
img1266.jpeg
img1266.jpeg [ 137.38 KiB | Viewed 3394 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: windshield stanchion 2
img1267.jpeg
img1267.jpeg [ 124.42 KiB | Viewed 3394 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: 1/4" headboard post
image32.JPG
image32.JPG [ 85.45 KiB | Viewed 3394 times ]


I then ran across an industrial sewing machine during the build that would do the trick for sewing the top. Add that to the list of Locost tools.
Attachment:
File comment: Mason sewing machine
img1292.jpeg
img1292.jpeg [ 112.82 KiB | Viewed 3394 times ]


Once the L.S.O. build was completed, wifey and drove it for a year. We then decided it would be great to get a motorhome and car trailer to travel the world with our 7. This led me to construct a tonneau cokpit cover for the 7 so that the interior would stay dry while trailering the car. This gave me my first introduction to sewing. Watching lots of video's on the net, made some mistakes, learnt a bunch, but overall was happy with the results.
Attachment:
File comment: tonneau cover
img1290.jpeg
img1290.jpeg [ 132.91 KiB | Viewed 3394 times ]


Then during on of our trips, we realised that if we ran into a hail storm the bonnet would be toast, so I sewed up a padded "hail guard" for the bonnet.
Attachment:
File comment: Hail guard
IMG_0453.JPG
IMG_0453.JPG [ 139.98 KiB | Viewed 3394 times ]


So now I am at the point where I feel confident that I should be able to construct a convertible top for the 7 with a few simple goals.
1 - Simple construction
2 - Pleasing to the eye
3 - Quick (and easy) to deploy
4 - Fold up storage on the car

With all this in mind, this is not a top we expect to travel 100 miles in heavy rain, but something that will keep us dry in the event of unexpected rain to get us back to the campsite or hotel.

I will post as many pics as I can, so on with the build!

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 12:03 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Headboard project.
Sourced out some oak boards, made pattern, made sawdust, added some epoxy and clamps.
Attachment:
File comment: Headboard construction.
photo 3.JPG
photo 3.JPG [ 142.16 KiB | Viewed 3392 times ]


Test fit headboard on windshield frame.
Attachment:
File comment: Headboard fitment
photo 7.JPG
photo 7.JPG [ 122.11 KiB | Viewed 3392 times ]


Fabbed up some aluminum blocks to fit over the 1/4" stanchion posts. Drilled and treaded for SS wing nuts. Drilled holes for attachment to headboard. Final shaped and sanded headboard. Spray varnished the headboard.
Attachment:
File comment: Aluminum attachment blocks
image30.JPG
image30.JPG [ 112.84 KiB | Viewed 3392 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Finished varnished headboard
image31.JPG
image31.JPG [ 117.7 KiB | Viewed 3392 times ]


I decided to go this route (headboard) after looking at several hot rod tops. I also believe this will be simpler to put on or take off when using the top. This will also put less stress on the 1/8" windshield frame, in my opinion.

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 12:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Making the bows.

I fabbed the bows from 3/4" tube because that's what I had at hand. I decided to bring the sides of the bows in a bit halfway the side height for a couple of reasons - (1) it doesn't look so boxy and square, (2) the vinyl should tension to the sides better, (3) I think it looks sexier.
Attachment:
File comment: Bow shape
image28.JPG
image28.JPG [ 87.88 KiB | Viewed 3390 times ]


Fabbed the main bow br@cketz (that's for you JD) from .065" steel, the main bow is also curved to follow the side arch of the car body. Attached to body with Rivnuts and AN hardware.
Attachment:
File comment: Bow base mount
image27.JPG
image27.JPG [ 106.35 KiB | Viewed 3390 times ]


Fabbed the 2nd bow br@cketz. They will be attached using SS pop rivets. Both bows match when folded.
Attachment:
File comment: 2nd bow mount
image26.JPG
image26.JPG [ 93.52 KiB | Viewed 3390 times ]


When folded the bows fit within the lines of the car.
Attachment:
File comment: Folded bow on car
image25.JPG
image25.JPG [ 114.06 KiB | Viewed 3390 times ]

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 12:31 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
In my mind I want the vinyl fabric to tension when the 2nd bow is set in place. This is because the 2nd bow will be higher in place than when folded. In order to keep the 2nd bow in place I fabbed up some over center locking spreader br@ckets/arms. The arms fold when in storage, open and over center to lock open. This can all be done while sitting in the cockpit in the drivers seat.
Attachment:
File comment: Spreader bracket closed
image24.JPG
image24.JPG [ 105.99 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Spreader bracket opening
image23.JPG
image23.JPG [ 101.29 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Spreader bracket over center locked 2
image21.JPG
image21.JPG [ 114.09 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Spreader bracket over center locked 1
image20.JPG
image20.JPG [ 98.69 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 12:46 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
The 2nd bow is kept in place by being attached to the main bow via the over center arms. In my mind the main bow is going to be kept in place by 1" nylon webbing that is attached to the headboard and the rear of the car. I decided to use double snaps, instead of sewing, on the fore and aft main bow webbing so that it's removable if needed. It will be attached along with the vinyl fabric with snaps to the headboard and rear of car.
Attachment:
File comment: Fore and aft webbing attached to main bow
image16.JPG
image16.JPG [ 92.63 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]


When the 2nd bow is folded, the webbing is slack.
Attachment:
File comment: 2nd bow folded, no tension on webbing
image15.JPG
image15.JPG [ 111.57 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]


When the 2nd bow is deployed the webbing is in tension, my fuzzy mind theory works. This should also apply to the vinyl fabric.
Attachment:
File comment: 2nd bow in place, webbing in tension 1
image17.JPG
image17.JPG [ 133.07 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: 2nd bow in place, webbing in tension 2
image18.JPG
image18.JPG [ 118.57 KiB | Viewed 3388 times ]


I received my material today for the top. The next step will be making patterns.

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 9:36 am 
Offline

Joined: April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
Posts: 347
Perry, great project and amazing workmanship. I cannot wait to the the finished results.

Graham


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 2:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 24, 2007, 5:11 am
Posts: 767
Location: Seattle area
Following this with great interest. Been thinking of making a top for some time now.

Like the head board design. I think that is the most challenging aspect of the top design. Except for the sewing.

Cheers

_________________
Larry in Seattle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 10:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Thanks guys. Remember this is by no means a professional piece of work, but like the words I live by - "No one ever told me I couldn't do it."

So on to patterning.

I used filament tape over all the bows, and where I had to deviate from the bows to achieve my pattern. The reason for the filament tape is that it serves the base for the 2 sided basting tape. Do not put basting tape directly on the bows or the body, you'll spend the rest of the year trying to remove it. The filament tape peels right off.
I know JD may argue that blue construction tape is superior, but for light work like this filament tape's the best. :lol:
Attachment:
File comment: Filament tape
IMG_0659.JPG
IMG_0659.JPG [ 99.37 KiB | Viewed 3331 times ]


When deviating from the bows I used 3 pieces of gas welding wire to add some rigidity to the filament tape.
Attachment:
File comment: Patterning with filament tape
IMG_0660.JPG
IMG_0660.JPG [ 113.51 KiB | Viewed 3331 times ]


I also use construction paper for some of the complex pattern.
Attachment:
File comment: Filament tape and cardboard patterning
IMG_0661.JPG
IMG_0661.JPG [ 128.87 KiB | Viewed 3331 times ]


Once all the filament tape is in place and I was happy with the pattern I started applying the 2 sided basting tape working from the rear forward (does that make sense?, that's like "go ahead, back up" or "hurry up, slow down")
Attachment:
File comment: Basting tape
IMG_0662.JPG
IMG_0662.JPG [ 103.19 KiB | Viewed 3331 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Applying basting tape
IMG_0664.JPG
IMG_0664.JPG [ 119.38 KiB | Viewed 3331 times ]


Then I measured and cut the template plastic patterning material. This stuff is real nice to work with, it's like poly but reinforced with fiberglass strands so that when you pull on it, it doesn't distort.
Attachment:
File comment: Template plastic pattern material
IMG_0663.JPG
IMG_0663.JPG [ 91.91 KiB | Viewed 3331 times ]

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 10, 2016, 11:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Patterning the convertible top continued.

Now the fun begins. Marked center on the pattern material and applied it to the rear bow/rear body. Lift off the basting tape to adjust, get it as wrinckle free as possible. Once satisfied I took a sharpie and traced the pattern on the bow centers, the filament tape where it deviates from the bows, and 1" below the snaps on the rear of the body. Marked up center points, bolt heads, and alignment points.
Attachment:
File comment: Rear panel pattern
IMG_0665.JPG
IMG_0665.JPG [ 131.55 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]


Once done the rear pattern I applied basting tape over the rear bow/pattern material so the intermediate pattern will stick to it. Measured and cut the pattern material, applied to car, lifted and adjusted, trimmed, once satisfied with the fit took a sharpie and traced over the first sharpie line on the rear bow and marked up the rest of the pattern like the first.
Attachment:
File comment: Intermediate pattern 1
IMG_0666.JPG
IMG_0666.JPG [ 120.62 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Intermediate pattern 2
IMG_0667.JPG
IMG_0667.JPG [ 113.73 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Intermediate pattern 3
IMG_0668.JPG
IMG_0668.JPG [ 113.85 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]


Once done the intermediate pattern I applied basting tape to the second bow so the front pattern will stick to it. Applied basting tape to the headboard and wherever needed to achieve the pattern.
Attachment:
File comment: Front pattern 1
IMG_0669.JPG
IMG_0669.JPG [ 110.92 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Front pattern 2
IMG_0670.JPG
IMG_0670.JPG [ 123.49 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Front pattern 3
IMG_0671.JPG
IMG_0671.JPG [ 115.2 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Front pattern 4
IMG_0672.JPG
IMG_0672.JPG [ 117.35 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Front pattern 5
IMG_0674.JPG
IMG_0674.JPG [ 121.68 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]


Lastly I applied basting tape over the front pattern on the headboard and made the headboard pattern.
Attachment:
File comment: Headboard pattern
IMG_0675.JPG
IMG_0675.JPG [ 112.83 KiB | Viewed 3327 times ]


I mentioned earlier that I was making this along the lines of my boat convertible tops. That being said the car will not have doors but will have clear vinyl side curtains. I will be using zipper and hook and loop to attach the side curtains.

Here's the link to the Sailrite video that I must have watched 20 times. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to get to the video.
http://www.sailrite.com/How-to-Make-a-Replacement-Powerboat-Bimini-Video

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 11, 2016, 8:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 4690
Location: West Chicago,IL
Outstanding work Perry! And great tutorial too. I can't wait to see the end result.

_________________
Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
or my archival Locost build log: over HERE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 12, 2016, 3:57 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: Novato, CA
Just saw this, Perry. I've been thinking about doing something like this, but nowhere near as fancy. Following with great interest.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 12, 2016, 6:30 pm 
Offline
Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5900
Location: SoCal
It has to be said... now open the side and try to get in, and then out...

_________________
Midlana book: Build this mid-engine Locost!, http://www.midlana.com/
Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 12, 2016, 8:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 4690
Location: West Chicago,IL
KB58 wrote:
It has to be said... now open the side and try to get in, and then out...
And that is the exact reason I went with the flip hard-top. :) I am too old to be a contortionist. And I didn't want to subject my passengers to doing so either.

_________________
Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
or my archival Locost build log: over HERE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 13, 2016, 2:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
Posts: 1199
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Yes I did exactly that, opened the sides and got in and out with the top in place. I don't have to break in 1/2 to do it, and I'm also designing this so that the top can be pulled over your head, the headboard secured, and the intermediate bow locked in place to tension the top. The side curtains will have a top zipper, the fore side will hook and loop inside the top side and the aft side of the curtain will hook and look to the outside of the top side material.

Transferring the patterns:
So I removed all the patterns from the car, cleaned up the pattern lines and gave them the required seam allowance and perimeter allowances them cut them to size.
Attachment:
File comment: Transferring the patterns
IMG_0679.JPG
IMG_0679.JPG [ 100.63 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]


Started off with a simple project, the headboard pattern, transferred to vinyl, added some facing tape to refer it for the snaps, took it to the sewing table and committed fabrication.
Attachment:
File comment: Headboard pattern and vinyl
IMG_0677.JPG
IMG_0677.JPG [ 114.18 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Headboard vinyl sewn with facing tape reinforcement
IMG_0678.JPG
IMG_0678.JPG [ 127.07 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]


Next was figuring out the rear window placement. Transferred the pattern to vinyl, discussed with wifey window shape, cut pattern and decided on location.
Attachment:
File comment: Rear window placement
IMG_0680.JPG
IMG_0680.JPG [ 88.84 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]


Then I cut out some oval binding from vinyl, used some seamstick and basted it to the window. Then flipped the window, applied more seamstick and basted the window to the pattern. The seamstick serves two purposes, (1) holds things in place for sewing, (2) provides a waterproof seam.
Attachment:
File comment: Rear window and oval binding
IMG_0681.JPG
IMG_0681.JPG [ 83.56 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Binding basted to vinyl window
IMG_0682.JPG
IMG_0682.JPG [ 65.86 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]


Then I sewed the outside edge of the window to the pattern, flipped the pattern over and cut out the vinyl to expose the window. This leaves a raw edge around the inside perimeter of the window vinyl. This is cleaned up by pulling up the vinyl from the previously placed seamstack and tucking the raw edge in around the window. Once done the inside edge is sewn.
Attachment:
File comment: Outside sewn and starting to tuck in raw edge
IMG_0684.JPG
IMG_0684.JPG [ 73.4 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Raw edge tucked in
IMG_0685.JPG
IMG_0685.JPG [ 61.28 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]


Clamped the vinyl section to the frame to give my fuzzy brain a picture of what it looks like.
Attachment:
File comment: Rear window complete
IMG_0686.JPG
IMG_0686.JPG [ 99.08 KiB | Viewed 3244 times ]

_________________
Perry

'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 13, 2016, 8:27 am 
Offline
We are Slotus!
User avatar

Joined: October 6, 2009, 9:29 am
Posts: 7100
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Wow, Perry, that is some amazing work! Looks like a professional job to me... Great write-up too. Nicely done, all of it.

I do have a couple of questions.
"Basting" sounds like it has something to do with Bar B Cue. So where's the meat?
Did you really mark the plastic with a sharpie? Where did you find it? Are you sure it's yours? Did it have any sand or sea shells on it?

I do think you should have used blue painter's tape, but you seemed to get by with that stuff you had. :mrgreen:

I appreciate you not using "That Word" in your commentary.

Lastly, one more question: Are you wearing a chicken suit? :rofl:

:cheers:
JDK

_________________
JD, father of Quinn, Son of a... Build Log
Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
POWERED_BY