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ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount!
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:40 pm    Post subject: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

So, I purchased an ARB 2500 awning.

While waiting for it to arrive I read all 15 pages of posts here about the awning and mounting options.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=555872

I have a PopTop so it must be side/Gutter mounted.

I see the big Vanagon parts players all of mounting brackets and that some have Stainless Steel mounts and charge accordingly.

As an average It will $70 easy for a basic steel 2 mount mounting kit. The $230 purchase price of the awning wasn't planned for so if I can save $70 with a few hours work, something yanked out of the garage and a weld bead or two..... I'll be happy!

I'm a big DIY guy and hate to buy things that I can fix or make.......
I really wasn't sure how to begin but then I stumbled upon Sodo's post.... He made his own mounting!
Yes!!!!

Sodo used 3/16" x 3" inch Steel Bar.

Here is what Sodo made.......... Genius!!
I find the gutter clamp fascinating in it's simplicity!
I do wonder if a small length of angle would be good there instead of the flat bar...... Give more "grip" for the clamping piece? I could be over thinking this though....... Rolling Eyes

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The ones you buy seem overly complex, many bends..... They of course are designed for the heavy Fiamma awnings........ We are using them for ARB's because they already exist.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is NorthWesty's Stainless mount......

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Dave
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Last edited by djkeev on Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Here is my bar of steel, it is 3/16" x 3" x 36".

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I must have picked it up for something that I never did.....

I first cut off two 13 1/2" lengths being careful to keep square ends.

I used my Bosch angle finder to get an angle to bend the tab that rests on the body to..... 163* or 17* depends how you look at it! Laughing

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I scribed a line 1 1/2" back from the square end.
I scribed it because I will be heating it red hot to bend and any pencil or marker will burn off.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


After heating it I carefully clamped the steel in the vise on my scribed line across the steel..... I thrn bent it to the angle needed.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


After they were both bent to 17* I went to the bench grinder to round off the sharp corners........

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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Last edited by djkeev on Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

After grinding I took a file and smoothed the grinding marks off and made each radii the same......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now the front mount is fine at 3" wide, the rear mount will overhang the window rubber, something that I don't like in all the store purchased mounts. (Sodo used a narrower metal bar here, 1 3/4" wide to avoid the overhang problem)

I decided to mark, cut off and clear the rubber glass seal......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I filed the rear mount in a similar manner smoothing off any sharp edges....
I do think I'll go back and arc that cut to mimic the arc of the rubber seal better.....

Here they are side by side......
The black line across both units marks the bottom of the rain gutter......

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Last edited by djkeev on Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Notice on the Store purchased ones, there is a small metal tab welded at 90* from the vertical.

This tab clamps the bottom of the rain gutter.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It is a lot of work to take a big piece of steel and make a little piece out of it.

What do I have?
In a corner I have a stack of wood, plastic and steel gathering dirt......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I pawed through it and found some 3/16" x 3/4" Steel bar......

PERFECT!!!!!

******************
EDIT: NOT PERFECT!!! 3/4" is too narrow..........
******************

I cut off 2 7/8" of 3/4" bar. Why not 3" to match my bar? The 2 7/8" leaves a 1/16" step in in each side giving a finished look......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I ground the corners to a radius and filed them smooth......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I decided that I want a slight upward angle to better grab under the gutter....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here it is clamped and ready to weld.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


But Alas...... That will be tomorrow!

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Last edited by djkeev on Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Been looking at more photos and having a big think..... That 3/4" tab under the gutter will be too narrow.

It looks like the premade mounts and even Sodo have that tab bottoming out in the channel below the gutter...... Hmmmmm.....

Here is an excellent photo of Sodo's mounts.

That tab is obviously longer than 3/4" ..... Back to the junk corner tomorrow!

Is there a chunk of 1" flat bar in there I wonder?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Looking at this photo that joetiger posted of his ARB, one can easily see that the "standard" purchased awning mount brackets stick up above the awning.

Is there any reason for this?
I don't see a reason and am thinking of clipping mine quite close to the aluminum extrusion on the awning.

This photo also shows the mounting height, just above the gutter.

Nice informative photo!
Thanks for posting it!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

That's a sweet write up Djkeev - Thanks for compiling it!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Well done! (Nice vice)

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

TO THE SCRAP PILE!!!!

Went to the garage and started pawing through the pile seeking 1 1/4" steel bar.....

Found a 3/16" x 1 1/2" steel bar, a 1/8" x 1" steel angle (a lot of that ?!? Shocked ) and a 3/16" x 1 1/2" x 2" Steel angle.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The 1" x 1" is too small, too thin and the legs are too short.... REJECT!!!

A little holding up of pieces shows me that the 1 1/2" leg of the 1 1/2" x 2 is too wide.......
Too wide by about 1/4"....... just as I suspected.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


But, I've got this angle in hand and with a little work it will fit perfectly.
I need to shorten the 1 1/2" leg and round the edge to mate nicely with the body's shape under the rain gutter.

I'm only dealing with inches here so it is totally doable.....

As a DIY project, most of you probably don't have a welder sitting in your garage.
I think that I am going to utilize the "L" of the angle and use fasteners instead of welding. (You can weld yours if you desire)

This may have just morphed into a DIY "No Weld" ARB awning gutter mount system!



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Go, Dave, go! Show us how it's done!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

Sweet Dave, thanks for the documentation
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

Well...... I got that far this morning and work summoned me! Evil or Very Mad

I so hate it when work interferes with my projects! Wink

I did end up at the supply store and they had "RivNuts"..... Alcoa's version.

They had metric but I'm using standard hardware on this but as of now I am unsure of 1/4" or 5/16" ....... So I picked up both......

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own gutter mount brackets Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Looking at this photo that joetiger posted of his ARB, one can easily see that the "standard" purchased awning mount brackets stick up above the awning.

Is there any reason for this?


Those brackets were originally designed/made for the Fiamma. Wink

I agree with your plan: shorten them so that they won't be seen.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

During lunch I did some figuring and cutting.

I cut a 2 3/4" length of 3/16" x " x 1 1/2" x 2" angle.

I held it up where it would sit in the rain gutter and figured that 1 3/16" would be perfect!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I scribed a line and used my saw-z-all to slice the iron length wise.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Off to the grinder and smoothed things out, I also created the bevel needed for under the rain gutter.

A bit of file work removing the grinding marks and viola' !! one bottom angle ready to be mounted!
I did set it back from the edges 1/8" for pleasant visual proportions......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


At this stage you could easily weld it, but I'm going to do a weld-less bracket and bolt it together.......
I discovered that by using the angle the vertical portion no longer touches the rain gutter. The line for the bottom of the gutter relocated because of this......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

nice R&D David

For those without power tools or an Oxy/Acetylene set up.....

I've had good success using a propane torch to heat mild steel at least cherry red. Depending on gauge, I can get it closer to orange in colour. Even cherry red seems to be enough to allow a bend or two. MAPP gas would likely get the metal hotter. Just be patient, set up your work safely, turn off a light or two so you can see the metal change colour on both sides while heating it. It takes a lot longer but even just a hacksaw and good files can work just fine. Scrap piles are a great resource but this dimension metal should be available at an Ace or up here in Canada, Home Depot or Canadian Tire.

Neil.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
nice R&D David

For those without power tools or an Oxy/Acetylene set up.....

I've had good success using a propane torch to heat mild steel at least cherry red. Depending on gauge, I can get it closer to orange in colour. Even cherry red seems to be enough to allow a bend or two. MAPP gas would likely get the metal hotter. Just be patient, set up your work safely, turn off a light or two so you can see the metal change colour on both sides while heating it. It takes a lot longer but even just a hacksaw and good files can work just fine. Scrap piles are a great resource but this dimension metal should be available at an Ace or up here in Canada, Home Depot or Canadian Tire.

Neil.


I agree 100%!! ^^^^

Power tools make it quicker but hand tools work too.

I am NOT welding my mounts simply to show that one can make mounts without spending big $$'s and do I dare say that you end up with a superior product to boot!

I could weld these but it's kind of fun developing this as a no weld concept.

Ask your metal supplier if they have scraps! A 1' length of 1 1/4" angle is darn near worthless to a supplier. Same for the 3/16" x 3" stock. Two 12" pieces will work just fine and be very cheap. A nice supplier with toss them at you and say "get out of here!!".... So you slip him a $10 to buy coffee and donuts for the guys.......

Dave
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:

I am NOT welding my mounts simply to show that one can make mounts without spending big $$'s and do I dare say that you end up with a superior product to boot!



Cool. I get it. I've tried a similar approach many times before; make something with the average Vanagon owner in mind. Not as easy as it looks. e.g. taking into account what basic tools a Vanagon owner may have access to.



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

Continuing on........

I determined where the Right angle lower rain gutter post clamp will be located.

I decided to tap the angle with a 5/16-18 hole. With 3/16" steel, there's a lot of bite in there and nuts may not be needed!
I also plan on replacing my Hex head hardware with Torx Tamperproof bolts.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Because the bolt heads are to be seen, I'm careful on layout, equal spacing is important!

Drilling the angle for 5/16-18.....

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Cutting the threads with a tap......

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Here is the Angle mounted onto the vertical, for now I used nuts but I do hope to not have to.......

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Holding on the mount for trial fitting..... I am pleased thus far.....

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

How to clamp the upper rain gutter to the mount?

The off the shelf units have a right angle bend and an "S" shaped clamp wedges between the gutter and the mount.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Sodo used a steel plate bolted to the upright and an angled plate that wedged between the gutter and the bolted steel plate....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


His angled plate is drawn tight with a proprietary "T" bolt. This "T" bolt allows rotatation of the fastener as the clamp plate is drawn in and that angle changes as it is drawn in.......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is nit a purchased bolt but while clever, requires a welder.

How can I do this without welding?



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: ARB Awning, Making your own NO WELD gutter mount! Reply with quote

I cut some 3/16" x 1 1/2" bar into 2 3/4" lengths and stacked them in the gutter in various ways to see how they could work.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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None of these left me with the warm "Fuzzies"...... I only saw binding/bending bolts and proprietary solutions.

Hmmmmm back to the scrap corner!

I found a 2" x 1/2" "U"........ The gauge is fairly thin so there are strength concerns, it's maybe an 1/8" or so????? ( I think I picked it up a few years ago at Tractor Supply thinking I could use it for my running board mounting in my Super Convertible but ended up buying the "proper" replacement panel.)

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I hacked off a 2 3/4" length and placed it in the gutter..... Just for giggles.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I wasn't as repulsed as I thought I would be...... If I made that "U" an "S"......

Hmmmmm........

Dave
_________________
Stop Dead Photo Links how to post photos

Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


Last edited by djkeev on Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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