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CumberlandXstar
11-09-2012, 11:25 AM
I am starting to build a custom bimini/cargo rack for my 2004 X-Star. I bought the boat as a left over model back in Spring of 2005. Put a ton of fun hours on it with family and friends and now me and my wife a prepping for our first child in January. The boat did not come with a bimini top and I never felt like we needed one because we have a houseboat and are not in the boat all day long so we enjoy the sun. Now we will need some shade so along comes a bimini. The boat can get crowded with boards so I always wanted more racks so why not build a cargo rack style bimini. I also figured I might as well mimic the picklefork on the front of my boat.

Here is the reference marks that I used to measure the tower

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/305583_10101114336462685_1592357236_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/14165_10101114336268075_1613164536_n.jpg

Here is my super extensive rendering of what look I am going for. Lots will change but this is the overall direction I am looking to go.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/319045_10101114336692225_26080804_n.jpg

I have a tubing bender but when out and bought a tubing roller because I think that the over all look of rolled tubing looks really good. It turns out the one tool Harbor Freight makes that works well is the tubing roller that comes with 1" , 1.5" and 2" roller dies.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/552348_10101114368962555_1893934017_n.jpg

I ordered up 1/16" and 1/8" wall 6061 1" DOM Aluminum to roll some test pieces. And it worked great in both thicknesses. The rolls were very smooth and did not deform the aluminum at all. I decided to go with the 1/8" thickness for strength especially with the extra weight from carrying the boards.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/602635_10101114368742995_1421918338_n.jpg

Here is my rough layout of the tower and where the cargo rack will be.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/68346_10101114368209065_1347956254_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/486323_10101114368338805_1956490048_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/184981_10101114368483515_338356493_n.jpg

XStar08
11-09-2012, 02:30 PM
Nice project. Try to get an idea of how the piping is made on the original biminis. There is more than one that connects the bimini with the tower. Guess you will need also somethig that keeps the bimini in place when on speed (force from below, wind).

willyt
11-09-2012, 03:18 PM
you really should just make bill really, really happy and buy a 2013. Let me know if you want any help with this buddy, its been too long

MASTIQUE
11-09-2012, 08:52 PM
This pic may help you??86461

CumberlandXstar
11-13-2012, 06:49 PM
I laid out the outer structure with steel electrical conduit and held the shape up to the boat to see how I liked it. Looks pretty good and I am happy enough with the shape to keep going with it. I will post up some pictures tomorrow to show the progress.

CumberlandXstar
11-14-2012, 01:00 PM
I propped it up to get an idea of how its going to look.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/485009_10101121914680875_1789496631_n.jpg

Here are the clevis that I am going to use on the rolled strut to support the front of the bimini.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/29579_10101121920803605_105319629_n.jpg

76S&S
11-14-2012, 01:42 PM
Nice project!

CumberlandXstar
11-14-2012, 04:15 PM
Here are a few more pictures. I wish it would cover a little more than it does, but I want to keep the picklefork looking proportional unlike the others that have been done.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/67849_10101122134869615_1166121090_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/417160_10101122135059235_448995236_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/536766_10101122135568215_1155828406_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/530586_10101122135767815_1904452268_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/602337_10101122136167015_1299342216_n.jpg

BrooksfamX2
11-14-2012, 04:41 PM
Lookin good so far...........

bjames
11-15-2012, 05:09 PM
Dang... that is going to look awsome.

CumberlandXstar
11-16-2012, 09:29 AM
Got the rest of the layout done. Looks like realistically only going to get 2 board racks on to of the bimini because 3 would look crowded. 6 boards in racks and one in the water should be enough, but I seem to always have too many friends when we are on the boat.

I just kind of scrapped this together an none of the angles, welds or spacing is perfect, I just wanted to get a good representation of where everything would fall. Pretty happy with it and I ordered the rest of my aluminum yesterday to get started on the final product.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/558896_10101124402590085_1117210148_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/29632_10101124402759745_2088694474_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/602551_10101124406018215_579063055_n.jpg

CumberlandXstar
11-16-2012, 09:33 AM
Here she is set on the boat.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/533504_10101124398443395_569019867_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/406823_10101124398752775_1616043632_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/72108_10101124401577115_1816125124_n.jpg

Here is a picture to show how tall the bimini is. I am just over 6' tall. I am going to raise up the front a few inches so it will be right at 6' when it is mounted.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/559168_10101124401816635_1249232968_n.jpg

Changes to be made: lower the rear board support tube. Make custom tips that mimic the shape on the front of the boat (not sharp points).

BrooksfamX2
11-16-2012, 09:45 AM
I like it, wish I could weld aluminum...

VP46
11-16-2012, 12:00 PM
I like it, wish I could weld aluminum...

Ditto... but then I don't think anything but a standard tower mounted bimini would look good on a 02 x-star anyway.

willyt
11-16-2012, 12:06 PM
That's a sexy man right there

CumberlandXstar
11-21-2012, 04:38 PM
Found a supplier for my fabric for the bimini. Going with the Logo Red color.

http://www.sailmakerssupply.com/prod_detail_list/49

I received my aluminum today but will be busy this weekend. Will start rolling tube on Monday.

MattsCraft
11-21-2012, 07:30 PM
Tight "T", love the pickle forks:D Now just clean up the leaves or whatever is sitting on the floor will you, I am loosing sleep over this:rolleyes:

CumberlandXstar
11-27-2012, 07:27 PM
Matt, I will clean out the interior but climbing in and out of the boat in the warehouse made the whole interior pretty dirty.

Been too busy at work and haven't started with the aluminum yet. Hoping to he started wednesday

CumberlandXstar
11-29-2012, 02:30 PM
Picked up a Aluminum spool gun, some argon and some consumables so I can weld the 6061. Started rolling tube yesterday but didn't get very far. Hopefully have something started by tomorrow.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/28081_10101143314450565_568433219_n.jpg

Aric'sX15
12-07-2012, 07:53 PM
any updates??!

TOO-TALL
12-07-2012, 08:03 PM
Looks sweet

JohnE
12-08-2012, 10:24 AM
Looks great. I can't wait to see the final product.

CumberlandXstar
12-10-2012, 09:11 AM
Not much to update right now. Been very busy around the house getting ready for the baby. Only 4 weeks until he is due.

I have been working on the front tips for the bimini. Was going to have them CNC out but decided to do it on my own and they are looking pretty good but still need some work.
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/537705_10101159142545935_557135340_n.jpg

I have been playing around with my new Aluminum spool gun and testing all the welds.
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/65177_10101159149516965_1485492550_n.jpg

Rolled all the tube for the outer structure and it curled a little so I laid it under a bunch of weight to straighten it out. Been there for about 5 days so it should be flat my now.
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/45324_10101159157121725_2000497480_n.jpg

Hoping to tack the outer structure together today.

CumberlandXstar
12-12-2012, 09:05 AM
I got the outer structure all tacked together. Now I have to run the two tubes that support the board racks. I changed the attachment points from the board rack tubes and the bimini tubes. It will make it easier to make the canvas and quicker to attach it. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/543888_10101161658119705_1483417773_n.jpg

VP46
12-12-2012, 10:51 PM
Nice! Keep the updates coming!

CumberlandXstar
12-13-2012, 09:03 AM
The small pieces of tube that complete the picklefork look took me way longer than they should have, but they are tacked in. Now I just have to build the board rack tubes with the removable support to make the canvas easy to put on and take off.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/182312_10101163516839815_1293906076_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/61817_10101163516889715_807680408_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/399343_10101163516964565_1287791994_n.jpg

(The tube welded on the front of the tips was just used to keep the spacing and angle of the tips correct until it was supported on the back side. It will be cut off soon.)

CumberlandXstar
12-15-2012, 03:48 PM
Finished with the structure. Now need to work on mounting it.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/479745_10101166715005665_825424576_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/154926_10101166715220235_299186580_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/8868_10101166715469735_290579973_n.jpg

TOO-TALL
12-15-2012, 05:16 PM
Looks great.....


Will you beable to travel down the hwy with it.Or will it have to be removed?

CumberlandXstar
12-15-2012, 05:55 PM
I will remove the canvas when drivin on the highway, but the rack will be plenty strong to drive on the highway.

I am planning on having it anadoized but would like to run it on the boat to make sure I don't want to change anything on it first.

TOO-TALL
12-15-2012, 06:00 PM
cool.....

How will you attach the canvas to the bars? buttons,zipper?

This is a cool project

skijwr
12-15-2012, 09:27 PM
This is an awesome project. I too enjoy working with metal.
Thanks for posting all of the photos. This bimini looks sharp. Keep the updates coming.

About a year ago when I was bimini shopping, I was disgusted with the $800 to $1200 + pricing for a MC bimini, and shopped online for months. Finally found a used MC bimini that fit a larger boat, and had to do some modification to the stainless tubing, and also did some tube bending myself. I now get some shade in the summer. very happy with mine.

CumberlandXstar
12-15-2012, 09:28 PM
I have not gotten that far on the canvas. I am going to research it a little more and I will post up how I am going to make it.

skijwr
12-15-2012, 09:32 PM
by the way, one of the options I was considering when I was shopping for a bimini was one from Apex Canvas. They were the supplier to MC for several years.
If you are still looking for other quotes, you might consider them for the canvas. They are in TN near the MC plant.

http://www.apexcanvas.com/

CumberlandXstar
12-16-2012, 04:25 PM
My plan is to do it myself. I found the canvas to use and I my sister is really into sewing. I am going to sew up a template and see how hard it is. If I feel like its too much I will take it to a canvas shop have them see it up.

CumberlandXstar
12-17-2012, 09:09 AM
Using tube clamps to connect the bimini to the tower. Here are the pieces that will bolt to the clamp.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/282411_10101169201298115_1356592932_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/16051_10101169201407895_464646202_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/r270/68909_10101169205240215_2141035167_n.jpg

Here is how they will fit together.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/44386_10101169201652405_234704576_n.jpg

CumberlandXstar
12-17-2012, 05:57 PM
Got the back tower clamps on and set it on so that I can measure for the front struts.

Here are the clamps
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/76721_10101169871519985_904198149_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/44441_10101169870786455_964872751_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/381992_10101169870287455_306936961_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/34726_10101169870027975_258178809_n.jpg

Here is where the front strut needs to go and the structure will be ready for finish welding.
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/61873_10101169872048925_103157852_n.jpg

Aric'sX15
12-17-2012, 07:09 PM
That is SLICK!!

snork
12-17-2012, 07:21 PM
coming together nicely

VP46
12-18-2012, 12:49 AM
That is exactly how it should look - really nice!

sand2snow22
12-18-2012, 01:25 AM
Very nice!

CumberlandXstar
12-21-2012, 10:06 AM
Tacked the supports on and it is much more sturdy than I though it would be tacked together. Hoping it will even get more stiff when I finish weld it. I am going to start on a template for the canvas this weekend if I have time.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/407322_10101175102047965_1459182948_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/393143_10101175099078915_1641646892_n.jpg

CumberlandXstar
12-26-2012, 11:58 AM
Didn't get anything done during Christmas time due to family and friends, but will get going soon.

CumberlandXstar
01-10-2013, 02:19 PM
The welding is all finish and I could not be happier. I was worried about the lateral movement of the rack and it is solid as a rock. Solid enough to have 2 guys do chin ups on at the same time.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/405979_10101206778183735_31394797_n.jpg

I am in the process of polishing it to match the tower as close as possible. It is looking really good on the small section I have done. I am starting out with 150 grit emory cloth to get out the imperfections, then taking a Maroon (300) grit scotch brite pad and wrapping it around the tube and gripping it really tight and twisting. It leaves very small uniform scratches perpendicular to the tube. I will post up a close up to show the finish. Not sure what I will use to clear coat it. Was going to have it anodized, but I think I changed my mind to just clearcoating it.

CumberlandXstar
01-10-2013, 02:20 PM
double post

Gnargnar
01-10-2013, 05:57 PM
Sweet *** sweet man

LaRue
01-10-2013, 07:03 PM
nice project and it appears well thought out. I look forward to seeing the final product.

coz
01-10-2013, 07:30 PM
Outstanding! :headbang:

46Chief
01-11-2013, 01:15 AM
Nice work can't wait to see the canvas.

CumberlandXstar
01-14-2013, 02:54 PM
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/429133_10100667045113452_145704872_n.jpg

This is why no progress has been made.

JDC
01-14-2013, 03:56 PM
http://http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/429133_10100667045113452_145704872_n.jpg

This is why no progress has been made.No photo showing. ?

JDC
01-14-2013, 04:08 PM
I see now... There was an additional http:// in there.

This link works. http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/429133_10100667045113452_145704872_n.jpg

Congratulations! :toast:

46Chief
01-14-2013, 08:50 PM
Outstanding congrats on the new addition!

CC2MC
01-17-2013, 10:18 PM
Congrats on the baby! First one?

The frame is looking pretty sick too.

CumberlandXstar
02-15-2013, 09:52 AM
Started a little on the canvas

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/18506_10101290627429175_1299543705_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/21822_10101290628137755_1062275338_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/223488_10101290628566895_609558831_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/5511_10101290627703625_1852944994_n.jpg

But I went new boat shopping

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/65552_10101288597801565_436232972_n.jpg

And picked up a suspension seat for the Jeep
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/164444_10101288598285595_1026309115_n.jpg

CumberlandXstar
02-20-2013, 04:39 PM
Polishing joints

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/419275_10101299702028605_383736849_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/36635_10101299701774115_1374262999_n.jpg

TN Barefooter
02-20-2013, 07:33 PM
Amazing work, congratulations on your baby!

CumberlandXstar
04-18-2013, 12:23 PM
Finally got around to ordering my fabric for the bimini. I went with the Logo Red Sunbrella fabric and its pretty close to the Viper Red my boat is. I only have the lower hull in Red so they will be far enough away that noone will know they are not a perfect match.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/554605_10101391172186675_350889046_n.jpg

GregS
05-18-2013, 10:20 AM
Looking good...can't wait to see the finished product.

CumberlandXstar
05-20-2013, 08:27 AM
Got a little further on it this weekend. Have to have it done Thursday cause I am heading out mid day Friday for the lake.

Here is the template, going to have some tweaks but close to how it is going to attach.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/9912_10101440234899605_45351634_n.jpg

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/297108_10101440235448505_103920461_n.jpg

CumberlandXstar
05-20-2013, 08:30 AM
Here is the final Sunbrella bimini taking shape.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/481525_10101440235947505_1177834534_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/310261_10101440236965465_1151107912_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/947003_10101440236331735_1044439293_n.jpg

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/923218_10101440221451555_722942022_n.jpg

Have not steamed it or pulled it yet to work out all the wrinkles and make it smooth, but its looking better than I thought at this stage.

Here are the tabs that it will tie off to. Using zip ties for the simplicity and infinite adjust ability.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/184575_10101440223522405_677350812_n.jpg

DooSPX
05-20-2013, 10:03 AM
Looking great man!

DemolitionMan
05-20-2013, 10:06 AM
That looks great!

Coffeyman76
05-20-2013, 10:07 AM
Nice job! Looks awesome

nickespi
05-20-2013, 10:25 AM
If you could just recover that in black and send it my way, that would be great. PMd you with address.

CumberlandXstar
05-21-2013, 12:33 PM
If you could just recover that in black and send it my way, that would be great. PMd you with address.

Well this one wouldn't fit a X-30 but I can make you one. I cut you a great deal. Z5's are $5000 and I will sell you one for $4995 + tax.

CumberlandXstar
05-21-2013, 12:35 PM
Thanks for the complaints. I have drug this thing out so long that I can not wait to see it finished.

robpout
05-22-2013, 05:51 AM
:DHa, love it, u can ship one over to Auz too whilst the exchange rate is so good

CumberlandXstar
05-23-2013, 10:29 PM
Finished up the canvas today. Polished and clear coated the frame and getting all packed up for the lake. I'll post some pictures once it is mounted.

CumberlandXstar
05-28-2013, 10:24 AM
Loaded up to take down to the lake.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/600988_10101448819236525_2074477447_n.jpg

CumberlandXstar
05-28-2013, 10:31 AM
Forgot to take more pictures, but here are some quick ones.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/264465_10101456276626855_2060824961_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/401088_10101456277190725_1356878334_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/943184_10101456277734635_642267849_n.jpg

Really happy with it. It does not flap at all in the wind. The frame is really strong and have no worries about boards being on top.

DemolitionMan
05-28-2013, 10:40 AM
Looks great, you need to market that.

fstaslp
05-28-2013, 10:56 AM
Tyler, looks great man. I saw it in the flesh and it was burly!

CumberlandXstar
05-31-2013, 12:41 PM
Tyler, looks great man. I saw it in the flesh and it was burly!

Thanks Jon, sorry we were not on the lake earlier. It was a little hectic the first time out for us.

Here is Brody enjoying being out on the water.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/33572a0d101ff134d29b6c62fb24d78f/tumblr_mnkcbsHYs11s7w244o1_500.jpg

And here is me enjoying Brody.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/321cace8707cb04987cabbb82e36886c/tumblr_mnh7a9x3mi1s7w244o1_500.jpg