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I'm getting ready to build one for my 98 F150. Plywood over frame construction. Trying to decide straight 2' sides, sides angled to match cab angle, rear door structure, what size material for frame (2x3, 2x4?) (May haul 2 canoes on top so will need to be able to hold at least 200# on roof), etc.
Figuring on 4" fiberglass tape on all seams & painting it with bed liner.
Love to see pics of yours & hear/see construction details.
 

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I helped a buddy build one back in the 70's, on a '53 Chevy pickup he'd restored from a rusted hulk. It was framed in 1X2's and 2X4's, then covered in thin sheet steel, with a crank-up vent on top. It looked great, but it wasn't very secure........his first night at Yellowstone a couple raccoons decided they needed the food inside, and ripped out the roof vent to get inside, pretty well destroying the whole top in the process. Duct tape and green tarps became the roof for the rest of the trip!

I'll take sturdy and secure over pretty any time! The fact that you're im Alaska just makes it more imperative that it's stoutly constructed. 8)
 

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I've built a couple over the years, don't have any pictures.. I think 1/4" ply would be fine and 2x2 or 2x3 frame. If I were doing another I would rip a bunch of 1/2" by 1-1/2" strips and make a curved jig and laminate the strips with a powdered glue like Titebond to give the roof a curved shape. Will help the rain shed better and give the roof more strength. You don't need much arch and it is fairly easy to do if you have access to a table saw. Use wax paper to keep the laminated beams from being glued to the jig. As for what to paint it, if you want to try an awesome product that will completely waterproof the plywood forever I suggest this:
http://www.sanitred.com/ I used it on the cockpit of the boat I built and can't say enough good about it..
Epoxy works too but you need fiberglass cloth or it will break out.
Laminated beam, (have lots of clamps!) Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys!

Eaglesnest, if I build any pitch into the roof I was thinking of simply taking the 2x4s (if I use 2x4s) that will run cross ways to support the roof & cutting .5" of pitch into each end from center (outboard ends .5' less height than center). On projects like this I don't have the patience to be the craftsman you obviously are.
Now when I start on my wood drift boat that will be different! ;)
I love your boat & house work!
On the Sanitred, how's that for shipping up here?
 

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Vance in AK. said:
Thanks guys!

Eaglesnest, if I build any pitch into the roof I was thinking of simply taking the 2x4s (if I use 2x4s) that will run cross ways to support the roof & cutting .5" of pitch into each end from center (outboard ends .5' less height than center). On projects like this I don't have the patience to be the craftsman you obviously are.
Now when I start on my wood drift boat that will be different! ;)
I love your boat & house work!
On the Sanitred, how's that for shipping up here?
Thanks!
A little pitch in the roof should work fine too, just something to get the water to drain.. As for Sanitred, they normally ship either UPS or FedEX, but if you call them to place your order they will ship USPS too and save you a ton of money to AK. There are no restrictions on it for air shipping. I probably should say this stuff isn't exactly cheap, and you really need to follow the directions, but it will waterproof it and is about as tough as a tire..
 

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I dont know about that stuff called timber but I made a canopy for my ute a few years ago using 1" square steel for the frame and steel sheet to close it up. Done in the back yard with a stick welder and grinder only.

Made a few at work with 3/4" pipe for frames, for canvass canopys. A common thing around here. A luxury at work having benders and a press to use.

Unfortunatly all pictures of mine are on another computer, have not transfered them yet.

Im a fabricator/welder by trade, so if metal is an option I would be happy to give input there.
 

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Greetings,
I know this is a n old thread, and it might already be a done deal. I just wanted to offer another suggestion. When we built out home, and it came time to organize the master closet, we decided we needed curved coat hanger rods. I looked at the ready made ones and they seemed to be flimsy pieces of junk. So after doing what I do sometimes, like wandering the isles of Home Depot, it finally hit me.

I got a piece of 1" galvanized electric conduit, I believe it's called thinwall, but not sure. I next found, after trial and error, that a 1" hardwood dowel rod could be made (as in hammered in) to fit inside the thinwall. I got some 10ft straight sections, and some of the ready made 90 deg elbows. The dowels were harder to hammer into the elbows, but still doable. Still, it became an easy way to join the straight sections to the elbows. I did this to all my closet rods, and they are incredibly strong, and stable, sooooo.

I got to reading this thread, and you could use the same methods to make rounded corners for the roof of a shell. You could even spot weld the sections together for a little extra strength. This would make a very strong and stable frame for the shell.
 
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