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Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof)
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rugblaster
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

When I bought my camper it had a canvas top, but it wasn't installed. I later found out why. It took me an entire day to install it.....I remember it being a bitch and no fun at all. It has been years ago, but if I recall, I marked the center of the bus roof front and rear and also the pop top center, front and rear. Then found the center of the canvas front and rear. The canvas was then centered on the pop top first and stapled in a few places and then checked to make sure there was plenty of material for the bottom. I don't remember specifically attaching the bottom other than all the screws.

That may be the problem your having. The four center line marks and the centers of the canvas need to be indexed to one another. I have a reprint from a Dune Buggies and Hot VW's magazine that came with my tent if you want me to send you that.
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Bala
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

fes wrote:
khalimadeath wrote:
I havent done anything to it.

Well I'm not going to piss on The Amish, but that stitching looks pretty bad..but anything handmade is not going to be perfect..maybe excellent, but not perfect..
I wish I could be more positive here, but without another one to compare measurements to, You might be SOL..


That is odd that they left those open seams. When I did mine I joined the material like in this image. I'm sure there is a technical term for it, but not sure what it is.

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


OP, I agree with the walk away thought. Come back to it later, you'll get it!
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khalimadeath
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

I am kinda worried about the seams but I can always go back and stitch up the corners if need be, id just rather not. It seems the consensus is to find the center marks and start from the center out, I did not do that so finders crossed that helps me line up the corners better with more slack.
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OB Bus
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

And a couple of other suggestions once you get back from your trip and face the canvas again:
1. How is your vinyl strip that you have to staple through? If it is old and really hard you will find stapling is very frustrating if not impossible. Soften the vinyl in the sun (or very warm water) or consider one of the work-arounds for a replacement strip.
2. My electric staple gun would not push staples through a supple vinyl strip, the canvas and then into the wood. I got a $20 air powered staple gun from HF that shoots T-50 staples. That worked wonderfully.
3. To get the screws in the corners it would have been nice to have one of those drills with a 90 degree head. If I ever do another canvas (which is very unlikely) I will buy or borrow one of those.
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beatles4
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

Since I will be facing this and have questions, were you able to use a small pancake compressor for the staple gun or did you need a much beefier compressor? Currently all of my tools are cordless and I have shied away from air.

I was thinking maybe something like this just for the stapler.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-gallon-100-psi-oilless-pancake-air-compressor-95275.html
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OB Bus
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

beatles4 wrote:
Since I will be facing this and have questions, were you able to use a small pancake compressor for the staple gun or did you need a much beefier compressor? Currently all of my tools are cordless and I have shied away from air.
I was thinking maybe something like this just for the stapler.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-gallon-100-psi-oilless-pancake-air-compressor-95275.html

That is the first one I got but quickly found it was inadequate to run several basic tools that I wanted to use.
I returned it and got something very similar to this: http://www.harborfreight.com/4-gal-2-hp-125-psi-twin-tank-air-compressor-62763.html It is frequently on sale for $99 or less…or use your 20% reg price coupon.
I have not used it for DA sanding or for spraying paint, but for the other tools -- staplers, lug wrench, etc. -- it has been fine.
Maybe a different corded electric or cordless staple gun might work and save all the investment? Perhaps. I bough the "heavy duty" electric gun from Home Depot and it simply did not have the power.
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fes
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

A 5-7 gallon compressor is enough, forget about it for running pnuematic impact drivers etc..Buy the air stapler, you wont regret it, it comes in handy for all kinds of other jobs, (interior upholstery comes to mind) make sure the pressure is not too high or the staples will go right through, (and yes make sure that tack strip is warm, cold and brittle and it will crack) ..too little pressure and the staples will protrude and rub and fray the canvas..
It took me a complete weekend to complete my project,( Top not removed) including marking and removing my old one..I actually half enjoyed it, but I had lots of beer and they were doing a tribute weekend to BB King after he died on sirius the whole time Wink
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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

I used a hand staple gun for mine with no issues. It set the stainless staples I bought perfectly but I did go back through and tap them all again with a hammer just to be sure.
Absolutely the first thing you need to do is find and mark the center of the front, rear and sides of the poptop and then do the same on the canvas. Those are your starting points.
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khalimadeath
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

VDubTech wrote:
I used a hand staple gun for mine with no issues. It set the stainless staples I bought perfectly but I did go back through and tap them all again with a hammer just to be sure.
Absolutely the first thing you need to do is find and mark the center of the front, rear and sides of the poptop and then do the same on the canvas. Those are your starting points.


I used a hand stapler as well. I did that with mine, in fact when I stapled it to the wood the corners lined up damn near perfect.

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


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Thrasher22
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

Since it's spring I'll add that make sure the tack strips aren't cold when you staple it in. I shattered mine in a bunch of places and had a much harder time getting the staples in.

Didn't think to mark mine in the center and it was a HUGE pain in the ass to install, so you're not alone.
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

Fwiw, I have installed 3 and never did measure out where the center is. I just used the corner seams. You just hold the two corner seams to the corners and staple it. Same with the bottom. I put in a screw on each corner right through the seam before I put the aluminum strips on. I put the four corners on and then put the aluminum strips on and take out the temporary corner scews when I get to them. Perfect fit each time. I think the corners are most important to line up. But I know everyone says to measure out the center and I never quite understood that when you have corners and seams to match up.
With no measuring at all, all three went on perfect. I'm sure there are a few different techniques but this one worked for me.
Good luck, the final two corners can be a challenge. I used a stubby screw driver and the stock screws. Stock screws are just fine.
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

Thrasher22 wrote:
Since it's spring I'll add that make sure the tack strips aren't cold when you staple it in. I shattered mine in a bunch of places and had a much harder time getting the staples in.

Through em in the dryer on low heat.
Tcash
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Thrasher22
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

Tcash wrote:
Thrasher22 wrote:
Since it's spring I'll add that make sure the tack strips aren't cold when you staple it in. I shattered mine in a bunch of places and had a much harder time getting the staples in.

Through em in the dryer on low heat.
Tcash


Good idea! I just used a hair dryer as I went.
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mfemenel
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:25 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

I did this job last year. In July, in the driveway in NC. I never sweat so much in my life.
Here is what worked for me with some advice from an interior and convertible top guy mixed in.
As mentioned measure dead center front and back. You must do this to make sure things start off just right.
Put in 2 screws front center
Now go to the back, do the same thing, mark dead center, put in 2 screws.
With a helper, starting in the front of the canvas on the right or left side, have the helper pull as hard as they can without ripping on the outside of the canvas so that it stretches outward. Work your way toward your helper putting in screws.
Have your helper get remaining side now, pulling outward as far as possible, work your way toward your helper again.
Now go to the back, do the same thing, helper outside, pulling while you screw in towards them.

For me the hardest part was getting the screws in at the bends. In addition to a helper pulling on the canvas I also had a clamp in place pulling the metal trim out and into alignment while a helper pulled on the canvas and I screwed things down. It is not a fun job.

Also, as soon as you feel yourself getting pissed off at it, walk away for a while. That's when mistakes happen and you ruin your nice expensive top. I did mine a little bit each night over the course of a week after the kids went to bed. Do this one in small chunks, don't think you'll do it all in one night.

Finally, invest in a small ratchet screwdriver. You will never get the canvas taut and get a regular screwdriver into those corners.

Something like this from Harbor Freight, Lowes, HD will do:
http://www.hisco.com/Catalog/Hand-Power-Tools/Scre...Amsx8P8HAQ

Good luck!
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khalimadeath
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

Good advice, since Ive had issues with a tight fit I may have to do just as you described.
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mfemenel
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:27 am    Post subject: Re: Pop top problems.... AGAIN. (canvas to roof) Reply with quote

One other thing I forgot to mention that I'd heard. If you wet the canvas you can get some more stretch out of it. Unfortunately mine was the synthetic canvas from GoWesty so that piece of advice didn't help me. Figured I'd mention it. Sometimes getting an extra couple of millimeters makes the difference between success and throwing your screwdriver through the top.
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