Attaching the canvas to the pop top – I’d been thinking about this for a while. It needed to be simple, DIY-able, waterproof and removable.
The plan was to sew in a flexible strip around the edges of the canvas, then bolt through this and strip of angle ally which has been fixed to the floor. A similar arrangement for the top edge of the canvas, which will bolt directly to the roof.
This should keep the inside dry – providing a good 1″ of overlap to stop the rain coming in, plus I’ll try and tension this quite tightly to give a decent seal.
The first job was making an angle ally ledge to attach to the floor. For the corners I made a rudimentary jig out of an old monitor stand, which should give me a nicely radius’d corner
Cutting out a space in the angle to allow it to bend.
It kinda works.
Actually neater than I thought it would be.
Here are the corners joined up with lengths cut to size.
Screwed down with plenty of Sikoflex to seal the underside and give a little more adhesion. The joins are well covered too.
And Sikoflex’d the hinges as well.
I then drilled holes in the ally at regular intervals which will be the bolt holes for attaching the canvas
Next up I found this plastic bar which had the right size, thickness and bendability. This will be sewn into the hem of the canvas.
I didn’t take photos of the next step, but I wrapped the bar around the outside of the angle ally, drilling holes and bolting it through as I went. I repeated the same thing around the inside of the roof. This then gives me the exact length of fabric I need and the correct positioning for all the bolt holes.
I ordered a 2m * 8m sheet of Regentex 12oz fabric. Waterproof, flame retardent and heavy duty – usually seen in the haulage industry to cover loads on the back of lorries. Here it is folded into quarters. I may have bought too much… but I wanted a continuous sheet with as few joins as possible.
I also needed a sewing machine! I found this Willcox & Gibbs Model 101 on ebay for a bargain price. It needed a little fettling but now works perfectly.
A quick lesson from Paul got me up and running with confidence.
So this is how it will fit together, I’ll sew a hem into the Regentex, thread the hole’d plastic bar through, and can then punch holes through the canvas when it’s all in place and bolt it through the angle ally/roof to fix it to the pop top.
Top edge sewed up, with the plastic bar in place and bolted to the top part of the roof. A temporary structure to hold the canvas to the correct shape and then I can mark it up for trimming and sewing the bottom edge.
As well as the corners. I’ll sew this on the inside to avoid having stitch holes on the outside and potentially leaking.
Loosely fixed ready for sewing.
And done.I haven’t bolted this all the way round the bottom yet, but the dimensions look good and tight.
I finished off the canvas by punching through the remaining holes, inserting bolts with penny washers and nyloc nuts.
The finished article. It’s not had a full and final fitment yet, but I’m quietly confident it will fit just fine. All that’s left to do is add some industrial velcro to the two ends so that it can be sealed from the inside where they join.