Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Awesome - thanks! Such a great solution for keeping the kit out of the way, yet very accessible. And you don't even need to remove it and spread it all out on the ground to find what you are looking for . . . likely in a hurry!
Thanks. "In a hurry" was one of my top design criteria for this bag. That's why the translucent/clear pockets, to make it quick to find the correct supplies. The preproduction sample the company sewed (and I posted photos of the other day) was sewn with cloth pockets; they didn't have the correct material on hand at the factory so they went ahead with red fabric to get the sewing pattern and details correct. I'm waiting for them to sew preproduction ones with clear pockets and I'm waiting for them to ship samples to me for final verification and testing.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I finished the propane tank/ammo can holder for the Overland Rack. I don't have a reason to install the full rack right now so just one leg of it is in the workshop. The diamond plate in the bottom of the tray is a rubber mat.



The project was very straightforward, one piece of sheet metal and a few bends. I welded the corners of the tray, although that wasn't strictly necessary. A few bolts and one small piece of aluminum angle secure it to the rack. Shot it with 2-part epoxy primer followed by rattle can satin black.

Probably won't put the full rack on until the next expedition or show (maybe Easter Jeep Safari), so I won't have any final photos of it until then.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Thanks! I will happily contact them. Those pointless nets need to go...
I received this message from Overland Outfitters this morning:
Door Panel sampling in process. The master is working on 3 designs of a Door Panel and will be developing both left and right side.
Explanation: "sampling" means they are creating preproduction prototypes. They take the prototypes I have sewn, make whatever detail improvements they decide for production sewing purposes, develop their production patterns and sew samples for verification and testing. Usually they send samples to the designer (in this case, me) for the verification and testing. The "master" is the lead person at the factory that does the preproduction and pattern work.

Back when I submitted the design to them there were 3 different variations - one with Molle in the front and a large pocket in the back, one with a large pocket in front and large pocket in the back and one with a cell phone pocket plus Molle in the front and a large pocket in the back. Sounds like they're doing the patterns and samples for all 3 variants.

As I get updates from them I'll pass the updates alone here.
 

pith helmet

Active member
I received this message from Overland Outfitters this morning:

Explanation: "sampling" means they are creating preproduction prototypes. They take the prototypes I have sewn, make whatever detail improvements they decide for production sewing purposes, develop their production patterns and sew samples for verification and testing. Usually they send samples to the designer (in this case, me) for the verification and testing. The "master" is the lead person at the factory that does the preproduction and pattern work.

Back when I submitted the design to them there were 3 different variations - one with Molle in the front and a large pocket in the back, one with a large pocket in front and large pocket in the back and one with a cell phone pocket plus Molle in the front and a large pocket in the back. Sounds like they're doing the patterns and samples for all 3 variants.

As I get updates from them I'll pass the updates alone here.
Great! I contacted them about them and they emailed back saying something similar. I didn’t realize there may be a dual pocket version. That would serve my purpose better than the Molle panel. Thanks!
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Great! I contacted them about them and they emailed back saying something similar. I didn’t realize there may be a dual pocket version. That would serve my purpose better than the Molle panel. Thanks!
The first version I sewed was this one with a Molle panel up front and a large pocket behind it:



Then I did one with a smaller Molle grid and includes a water bottle pocket:



And one with two leather pockets but no Molle in addition to the map pocket.



I don't know which will make it into production but it sounds like they may be doing preproduction samples of all 3 versions. We'll have to see what they come up with, I'll report back whenever they share more info with me.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Over the past few weeks I've sewn Molle sleeves for the roll bars in both the LJ and the JKU, I posted photos of the JKU ones here and the LJ ones in my LJ thread. Yesterday I sewed one for the main hoop of the JKU, which is not a simple roll bar, it's got a massive speaker/light housing all around it. It's got leather Molle strips on both the front and the back and it works pretty well.





With some Molle bags and Tool Belt clip pouches:





Next I'll do some for the rear down bars and that'll complete the set.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
My Cricut supplies finally arrived so I've been experimenting with the machine to learn its capabilities. I got vinyl in several colors and stickiness (permanent and removable) along with iron on and infusible ink materials. A few things I've made...

I made a few larger 4 Wheel Drive decals like the one I made with the sample vinyl that came with the machine but these are the same size as the original stencil that was painted on the back of early CJ's. This white one is removable vinyl and I stuck it on the back of an extra Dinoot jeep-style trailer tub that's set up in the workshop. Obviously a trailer wouldn't be 4wd, but it's removable vinyl, I put the decal there to see how it might look on the back corner of a TJ. I've also got a graphics file for the large Jeep letters on the tailgate so if I ever decide to finish that tailgate I can make decals for it.





Another one I cut from permanent silver:



When I do a large project like a hardtop, I usually make graphics for it. I designed a Safari logo for my JKU Safari Cab hardtop and had a local sign shop make decals for the side of the hardtop. I used the same graphics file to make a Safari decal with the Cricut and looking for a place to stick it I tried it on the new cargo box I recently finished up for my roof rack. It also is removable vinyl so I'll peel it off.





I made another 4 Wheel Drive decal, this one in tan to match the tan Sahara decals on the JKU, and stuck it on the rear corner. I didn't wash off the entire salt-encrusted Jeep for this photo, just enough to make a clean place to apply the decal.





Over the years I've collected a bunch of original Willys/Jeep emblems, some of the collection is in this photo:



When I built my Wrangler pickup, I scanned some of the original Willys emblems, turned them into vector drawings and had a sign shop make decals for me.



I used one of those graphics files to make a pair of "4-Wheel Drive" script decals today in the Cricut. The original metal emblems were on the cowl side of some years of Willys pickups and station wagons, and I used the decals the sign shop made for me in the same place on my Wrangler pickup as you can see in the photo above. Here are the ones I cut in the Cricut:



I've got a few more things to try - the Cricut can make multi-color decals so I am going to try a "TJ-7" decal. Some years of the CJ5/7/8 had die-cast emblems on them; they had silver letters on a black background. I've done the artwork to make a "TJ-7" version so I'll try cutting that.



I also have both iron-on and infusible ink materials so I'll be trying to add artwork to cloth next.

The Cricut Joy is a small machine with a capacity only 5 1/2" wide. They sell larger machines but the Joy will meet most of the needs I can think up now and if I ever need something a lot larger I can have the sign shop do large decals for me but one very cool feature of the Joy is that it can handle cutting up to 4' long. The material comes in rolls, and the machine can automatically feed and cut up to 4' at a time. A 5 1/2" height and 4' width is more than enough to make hood-side decals like the factory Rubicon hood decals.



I still have a lot to learn about the capabilities of the Cricut but pretty much anything I can scan/draw can be turned into a decal so I'm sure I'll find plenty of uses for it.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Moving right along... my first attempt at multi-color decals.

Back in the 70's/80's CJ5/7/8's had emblems on the rear quarter panel. My Scrambler had one:





Some of them are available today from the aftermarket, here's one from Quadratec: https://www.quadratec.com/products/55010_1028.htm.

When I built the CJ grille kit for my LJ, I made a mold and molded LJ-8 emblems for it:







Making a master pattern for a mold, making a mold, molding the emblems and then painting them wasn't terribly difficult but it was a bit of work, so I thought it would be cool to be able to make custom ones in vinyl. I did the artwork last night for a TJ-7 emblem in two colors and today I cut some on the Cricut. Not having a TJ-7 :) to stick it on, I used a coffee cup:



Making a two-color decal was pretty easy, the Cricut software manages most of the process automatically.


Two other materials available are iron-on vinyl and infusible ink. Both come in a range of colors, but for testing I picked white iron on and black infusible ink. Everyone is familiar with iron-on transfers, but maybe not so much with infusible ink - this is ink that melts into the fabric with heat and actually dies the fabric so it's permanent. The infusible ink is intended for polyester blend fabrics for best results but I rarely sew anything out of polyester, most of what I sew is from heavy military-grade cotton duck canvas so I did all my tests on different colors of canvas. In this next photo the white star and U.S. are iron-ons and the rest are infusible ink. The ink is supposed to be black, and it would be on a polyester blend, but the colors turn out a little off on pure cotton. Even so, I like the aged look of the infusible ink on the cotton, so I'm sure I'll find a use for it on some of my Jeep sewing proejcts.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A friend sent me a PM yesterday suggesting a side business - making trail name stickers. He thought people might enjoy putting the names of the trails they've done on their Jeeps. I made a few this morning to see what the idea might look like (Don't mind the salt-encrusted Jeep, it's been doing plow duty). I made these in removable vinyl so I could peel them off after taking the photo.





They could be made larger or smaller, with a different font or in a different color, I just picked this size, font and color quickly as a test.

Maybe someone will want to start a business making these (not me, I have no interest in being in business).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Overland Outfitters sent me some preproduction photos of the Compressor bag:



It's heavy black canvas and the brown accents are leather.

Also in the email - photos of a preproduction Kitchen Keeper:



And a preproduction Camp Cabinet (vanity bag). I can't tell if the black rectangle is a mirror reflecting something black or if there's no mirror in it yet and it's been blacked out with Photoshop.



They haven't done photos of a preproduction First Responder Bag yet because so far their prototypes don't have the clear pockets as I designed them (If someone is interested in a First Responder bag with black cloth pockets instead of clear ones I'll bet I could get them to give you a good deal ;)).

Also in the same email they said they're finishing the preproduction samples of the door pockets; they're doing all 3 versions I posted above. (Well, they said they're doing 3 versions, I assume they're the versions I posted above but it's possible they did something different).

Hopefully they'll send me examples of all of the above soon for testing.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
My better half made a suggestion about the First Responder bag design (that's why she's my better half). She suggested I add a zipper to the bag so it can hang on the seat back using the zipper strip that other Overland Outfitter products use to hang from the seat. Sounded like it might be a good idea so this morning I attached a zipper to the bag with safety pins to give it a try.

Hangs nicely:



It's actually usable when opened:



Another benefit of hanging it there is that it's always within easy reach (not buried under other cargo in the Jeep somewhere), and with the zipper it can be removed from the seat back very quickly if needed outside of the Jeep.

What do people think of this idea? Would people want it hanging there? Should I suggest it to Overland Outfitters to add to the bag before they begin production?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Over the past few weeks I've been sewing roll-bar Molle/Tool Belt sleeves for the roll bars. I've done the horizontal bars over the doors and a larger one to wrap the center hoop/overhead light housing. I just finished ones for the rear down bars to complete the set.





The tan bag is Molle, the Husky pouch has a tool belt clip.

The rest of the set:






The new down bar sleeves also fit the LJ (and would fit the TJ as well):



The horizontal ones in the LJ:

 
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