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  #1  
Old October 9th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Rack of a Different Color

After a long hot summer here in Oklahoma it has finally begun to cool down and rain. This led to a perfect weekend spent in the shop working on a project that has been consuming the better part of my day dreams for a while now. Recently I was commissioned to build a ladder for a friend's 110 which only heightened my desire for a roof rack and ladder of my own.

Lots of hours spent looking at different racks on the market only left me frustrated and discouraged with my options. I came close to ordering an exo cage but couldn't bring myself to cutting the holes in the body.

The criteria:

It must be stout.
It must be completely reversible. I do not want to drill any non factory holes in my body in order to mount it (I had to make a small concession here).
It must be easily removable. Or at least the basket in order for it to fit in the garage.
It must hold my roof top tent and camping gear including extra water and fuel cans.
It must be well built. The quality must exceed anything I've done in the past.
It must match the body lines of the truck.
It must look good, and I mean really good.

First order of business was to figure out where to attach it. Have to give Wolf credit here; I borrowed some some of his ideas. I chose to use a soft top tire carrier for two reasons. 1) was to keep a somewhat stock appearance though I will probably end up rebuilding it as there is always room for improvement. I also plan to use the upper carrier bracket to attach the ladder. 2) was to take some of the weight of the spare tire off of the rear door.

In order to use the ST carrier on a SW I had to install the bracket on the corner of the tub. This did require drilling four holes in the body which was the one concession I've made so far. In looking ahead at how I was going to attach the passengers side of the ladder I chose to make a new upper bracket and backing plate. I have flipped the bolt so that it enters from the bottom of the bracket which will attach to the bottom side of the ladder. See Pic's
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  #2  
Old October 9th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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The most difficult part so far has been multiple bends going different directions and then getting the end coped on the exact angle. It is no wonder the mass produced racks all have straight lines with as few of bends as possible. I'm sure there is an easier way to do this... hopefully I will figure it out before I finish. If I weren't so anal this would probably be going a lot faster. I think its paying off though. Notice how the bends match the lines of the door and the outside of the body.

Having the right tool for the job makes a huge difference. It wasn't until this past year when I purchased the FEIN abrasive coper that coping became a simple task. It is so easy to adjust the angle of a cope or remove the smallest amount of material. I can't believe I did it by hand for so long. There really is nothing like a nice tight fit. No gaps means less pulling when you go to weld it out.

For the small bends that match the outside roll in the tub I had to ordered a 2" center line radius 90's from Sharpe Products. Baileigh Industrial does not offer dies that small for my bender.
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  #3  
Old October 9th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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Very nice work!
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  #4  
Old October 9th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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Mike Barnett
110
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James, where in OK do you live? Been contemplating something similar for the 110, but with that kind of work it might be better to hire you for the job! What diameter tube are you using for the ladder?
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  #5  
Old October 9th, 2011, 11:14 PM
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William Skidmore
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F'in sweet looking
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  #6  
Old October 10th, 2011, 12:03 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Thanks


Mike, I am just east of OKC pm me or email me james at eurorestorations dot com and we can talk. I hope to be camping / hiking at either Devils Den or White Rock Mountain next weekend for fall break.

The ladder is being made of 1.5" HREW.
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  #7  
Old October 10th, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Jeff Payne
'83 110 3 Door
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Hey that looks great. Do you have the Baileigh bender? I have been looking at the JD squared stuff. It looks decent, and affordable. Any opinions about either one?

Keep up the good work!
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  #8  
Old October 11th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpayne View Post
Hey that looks great. Do you have the Baileigh bender? I have been looking at the JD squared stuff. It looks decent, and affordable. Any opinions about either one?

Keep up the good work!
The JD Squared bender is a good hobbyist/entry level bender. It'll do up to 2" with some effort without hydraulics. Even with hydraulics it has it's limitations though. I still have a JD2 and it gets the job done, but bending by hand gets old real quick!
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  #9  
Old October 12th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Don Bunnell
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Very nice looking work! Those notches look good, tight, and clean. Should take a bead nicely. I was just reading a thread on a mtn bike frame forum about different methods to notch tubing. I think someone mentioned that with abrasive notching you pull it off the machine and there is very little if any more cleaning to do before welding. Can't wait to see the progress of this project.
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  #10  
Old October 12th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Update

Hey Jeff,

I really like the Baileigh bender. The JD2 is a good option as well and considerably cheaper. The JD2 is also easier to convert over to hydraulics' at a later date. For me I chose the Baileigh for several reasons. 1st the option of having 3 speeds. When I'm doing the 1.5" tube I can throw it into high and get 3 teeth per movement of the arm. 2nd you don't have to pull pins and rotate your arm around the die every 30deg or so. With the Baileigh you just keep clicking away. It does take up more floor space compared to the JD2 but I have a pallet I bolt it to and fork it upstairs when I'm not using it. Some day when I have a bigger shop that won't be an issue. Not everyone has a forklift or an upstairs though. One other thing I'm not happy about is the back Die has a brass bushing the pipe is drawn against. At this point I'm not sure how long that will last or how expensive it would be to replace. If I were buying another I would want to know the tool life up front. With it being brass though it does not leave scratch marks on the pipe.


Don,

I am very please with the coper. When I'm not doing pipe the front of it pulls off and you can install a smaller belt and use it as a horizontal belt grinder. It makes such a nice cope very little clean up is required. You can open the top and use the belt to clean up the edges. I have a vice mounted to the floor right next to it and I usually just clamp the piece off and hit it with a soft pad.

Pics 4,5 and 6 are of the plate I made for the rear door for the ST tire carrier to attach to. I sheared a few extra if someone is thinking of doing the same.

Pic 7 is of a weld... don't know why but in most fab threads people have pic's of their welds. Anyway here's mine

Pic 8, 9 and 10 You can get an idea of where I'm headed from here.
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  #11  
Old October 12th, 2011, 06:09 PM
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Joshua
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The rack look like it was meant to be there, the way it follows the exterior lines of the truck, and the lines of rear door. Very nice work.
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  #12  
Old October 12th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Thanks Josh,

I remember seeing an interview with Chip Foose many years ago where he had worked on a mustang for a car show. People were asking him what it was he had actually done to the car. They couldn't tell. For him it was his greatest compliment because even though he had hundreds of hours in the car the mods looked like they belonged. They looked factory. That changed the way I approach the design and fabrication of something. I'll never be as talented as him but its fun trying
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  #13  
Old November 22nd, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Russell
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Outstanding work. Those look to be the cleanest lines of all the racks.
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  #14  
Old November 27th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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Real4X4
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What a great job!
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  #15  
Old January 20th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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Brent
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Update?
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  #16  
Old March 30th, 2012, 10:54 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Long Over Due Update

Well needless to say I've been a little busy. I got side tracked outfitting Brandy's new JKUR. I finished the cage and rear ladder portion of the rack a few months ago. I still have to build the basket.
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  #17  
Old March 30th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
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A few more. And part of the reason I haven't finished is because I've been playing. In the water crossing pic's you will see my old front crossbar installed. This was just to mount my roof top tent for the weekend. Once the basket is finished I will not need it.
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  #18  
Old June 15th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Mike
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James,

Would you be willing to build a rack to sell?

Cheers...
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  #19  
Old June 16th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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That’s incredible work! Nice.
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  #20  
Old June 16th, 2012, 12:15 AM
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James Pierce
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Mike,

I'd be happy to talk to you about what you have in mind. Shoot me a PM.

James
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