Project Assistance for Aluminum fabrication $$

I have two aluminum arches that I have been on my ‘project list’ for a while. I took welding in college a very long time ago, so I’m not useless; however, my skills are nowhere near some other makers. I have one arch that is complete but may require some modification and/or an ‘add-on’ piece.

My forward arch is complete, but it was not built for a hardtop. The aft/ rear arch is actually two separate pieces (port and starboard) which are mirror images of each other. There are actually two ‘factory’ versions of this setup, so I am open to replicating with either design and/or a hybrid of the two. For any of you who know me, I am known around DMS for being a fiberglass guy, so the tops themselves will be fiberglass (just like the factory tops). More specifically, the tops will be foam core and epoxy, so the structural requirements are modest (wind loads). They will also carry 1,200 watts of solar panels, a radar, and some antennas, but the combined weight across the four pillars will be about 800 pounds.

With the closure of DMS and the chaos of Covid, I would welcome some maker assistance on this project. I can handle all the paint, fairing, wiring, and grinding, as we know that paint and large scale grinding is not possible at DMS. At this stage I am willing/ able to fund some assistance for a maker who is looking for some work. I realize that ‘commercial’ work is a delicate subject for some at Makerspace. We will be careful not to violate DMS policies, but at this stage a completed project is more attractive to me than a project that is 100% my own.

I am not looking for shop recommendations, as I doubt a I have a ‘shop’ budget; but if anyone is interested in helping with this project, we can go over the details. I had a Maker offer to make these for me last fall, but I can’t remember the guy’s name or number. Since this is going to get painted, the welds do not have to be perfect and with the scale the tolerances are well-within ‘amateur’ status. I will be building the tops to fit ‘our’ pieces, so if they aren’t exactly to factory dimensions, no one will know/ care. The big pieces are small enough to be cut on the Plasma cutter. Technically, this could be done with saws, clamps, and a welder, but DMS equipment would result in some huge time savings and better accuracy, thus this may be project that will need to be completed once DMS re-opens. I also have a storage unit just down the road from DMS, as these are a bit larger than anyone wants to see in project storage.

I am ready to get started now, and we can have materials, Plasma tips, Fusion files, etc. ready to go when DMS re-opens. I have included a photo of an example piece, but I am open to variations based on your input/ budget. The arch in the photo is the ‘more complex’ variant, but I can get you images of a simpler version; however, the simpler version will require more material/ welding.

You may respond here (via Talk), Private message, email ([email protected]), or phone (865)384-8353.


Stay Safe!

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