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Old 03-13-2010, 01:56 PM
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Working with vinyl

I'm building a custom truck bed cover. My goal is to have 4 panels with a removable hinge between them that are completely self contained; there won't be any rails or supports that are attached to the bed.

The basic design for the panels is to use 3/4" hardwood plywood and attach 1"x1"x1/16" aluminum L-channel to the outer edges, so then panel itself rests on top of the rail, but sits flush. I plan on coating the wood with a polyurathane sealer for protection and to make it look nice, then attach marine grade vinyl to the top and inner sides. I'll then use brass L-channel along on the bottom inner edge to protect the edge and act as a trim piece to hide the edge of the vinyl. The end result will be a cover that looks like a "normal" flat cover when its closed, but opens up to reveal a nice wood finish.

The problem I'm facing is that I'm not sure the best method to attach the vinyl, especially where it goes over the aluminum L-channel. What sort of adhesive would you recommend to bond the vinyl to the finished wood and aluminum? I'm particularly worried about the edges of the aluminum, as there won't be a trim piece there to cover the raw edge of the vinyl. Also, any suggestions for a good sealer for the wood? It shouldn't take too much abuse, but I don't want to have to keep resealing it every year.

If none of that makes sense, I can get some pictures to explain better tomorrow or monday.

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Old 03-13-2010, 05:40 PM
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Working with vinyl

as far as wood sealer , glidon in-durance is best . 6 - 8 year better .
glue , the 3-m in a can .
my opinion .
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:28 AM
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I'm worried about spray adhesive holding on the bottom edge of the aluminum L-channel. There will only be about 1/8" of material, and a raw edge that I want to make sure is sealed. Is there some sort of epoxy or liquid-vinyl type adhesive that will give a solid, water tight bond between the vinyl and the aluminum?
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vortmax
I'm worried about spray adhesive holding on the bottom edge of the aluminum L-channel. There will only be about 1/8" of material, and a raw edge that I want to make sure is sealed. Is there some sort of epoxy or liquid-vinyl type adhesive that will give a solid, water tight bond between the vinyl and the aluminum?
any photo's of it ?
would you wrap wood with vinyl and then put into alumni piece . that way it's bounded better .when you install the alumni over vinyl squirt the silicone to seal water out .
leave the excess till hard , to prevent smearing on vinyl
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vortmax
... I can get some pictures to explain better tomorrow or monday...
Pictures would help a lot, so my response may be premature since I may be misunderstanding your design.

It seems to me you'll end up with 7 "seams", one at each end of the cover, one on each side of the cover, and then three seams or joints where the four sections butt up to one another. My concern here would be water resistance.

The four edges can be dealt with pretty effectively, but the three butt joints might be a different matter. I understand your bed cover to be absolutely flat (no crown in it) so you'll tend to have water standing and puddling up on it. And chances are, one or more of these puddles is going to be right over one of your butt joints. Which can lead to some serious water on the floor of your nice bed.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bed cover I made for my '32 pickup using a design somewhat similar to yours. The first shot shows the cover in plywood and the second shows it with the vinyl fabric glued over the plywood (and 1/4" closed cell foam). Notice that I have one butt joint in the center of the cover.

And even though I try pretty hard to get things dried off as soon as possible after a rain, I still get leakage into the bed itself. So much so that after 5 years of use, I've ended up with a small area of the bed floor where I've got a section of rotting.

I guess this is just the long way of saying, pay particular attention not only to your vinyl installation but to your method of weather stripping those butt joints. They are going to be a magnet for water.



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Old 03-14-2010, 01:37 PM
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Nothing is built yet, so no photos, but I'll post some cad drawings tomorrow.

You are absolutely right about the butt joints. My plan is attach marine grade velcro along those (top) edges, then make a strip of vinyl backed with velcro that will cover the joint. This will keep out water and act as a hinge. For the edges along the tailgate and bulkhead, I'll have a similar strip with velcro along one edge and strip magnets along the other. I may have to add a small bead of rubber weatherstriping along the middle (to sit in and seal the seam, but I'll burn that bridge when I get there.

The area I'm concerned with is the edge along the bed rail. In your picture, it looks like you cut a rabbit into the wood to sit on the bed rail. I'm taking aluminum L-channel and screwing it the side of the panel to form that rabbit. I want to cover the top of the panel and the top of the L-channel with the vinyl, concealing the seam, and wrap it around the edge of the L-channel, gluing it to the bottom (the part that rests on the bed). I don't want to cover too much of the underside of the L-channel though, because I plan on putting a thin foam weather striping on it and want to keep the thickness to a minimum.

If that doesn't make more sense, I think the drawings will help
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:51 AM
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Here are some rough cad drawings with the corner cut away. You can see how I plan on using the L-channel to support the cover in the bed, and wrap the vinyl around the edge
Attached Images
File Type: png bottom.png (156.0 KB, 50 views)
File Type: png cutaway.png (32.2 KB, 51 views)
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