SuperTruck: Four-Way Foam Cover

by Ben N on December 2, 2012

 

I did a little more work today on my experimental flat foam pickup truck cover.

I had originally left the front (the cab end) a little long. I used my hand-saw to cut that end flush with the end of the bed. I pointed the saw right down the slot between the bed and the cab. As long as I hold the shop-vac hose in one hand while sawing with the other, it keeps the horrible white plastic snow to a minimum. After the cut, I used the belt sander to smooth out that end, and then add a bevel to it. I bought a stepped adapter for the shop-vac a few days ago, so I can now properly run the hose straight into the sander’s exhaust port.

I also sanded across the tailgate end and put a little curve on the  back as well.

Since I now have a little bit of shape to all four sides, I’d LOVE to be able to take this thing out for a test drive. Unfortunately, I CAN’T. There’s nothing holding the cover on except gravity, and LIFT will quickly take care of that at anything but the lowest speeds. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to hold the cover down. Ideally, I want something simple, something that doesn’t mean making too many holes in the truck bed, and some way that makes it easy to completely remove the cover when needed.

I also often reach the point in a project where I realize that I’m working on something that’s not only DIFFERENT than what can be simply purchased, but that it’s actually BETTER – that it has some feature or benefit unique to my project that you simply can’t find elsewhere.

So here it is: This cover will open on ALL FOUR SIDES. You heard me right. The cover opens FOUR WAYS! Essentially, the cover will be hinged on each of the front, back, and both sides.

But if there are four sets of hinges, won’t the cover not be able to open at all? Well, if they were traditional hinges, yes.

But they aren’t. My idea is to use recycled HIGH-POWER COMPUTER HARD-DRIVE MAGNETS as non-traditional hinges. With two on each side, the entire cover will be held down solid and can be flipped open from other direction. The two magnets on the opposite side will hold the cover on and act as a hinge.

For example, if the truck is parallel parked on a busy road, I could flip up the lid from the passenger side, and easily load and unload the front passenger corner of the bed from the sidewalk.

I only have one of these magnets right now. I’ll have to pick up a few more from my computer salvage buddy next time I see him. I also need to figure out how to attach the magnets to the foam. I’m thinking about routing into the foam and then using urethane glue to stick the magnet in place, and then fiberglass right over the top of it.

Here’s some photos of the foam cover as it looks right now, using my current pickup as a template for the cover.

Things are starting to shape up! More updates soon!

-Ben

 

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