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Old 09-12-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
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Tee nuts for PH top.

I made these Tnuts to replace the collection of washers, nuts and bolts SMB uses to secure the PH top lifting rods and the 3 latches. The main reason I made them was that I was unable to remove the push pad with the handles on the inside with out removing my solar panels, which had been glued down. I knew this would be a problem in the future when I did it 3 years ago. I needed something that I could unscrew only from the inside. When I started having trouble with my solar panels and had to remove them, I decided that I would do it right this time. And while I was making 4 of them to put under the panels, why not make all 11. There are 4 different lengths, 1@ 3/4", 2@ 1" those are for the latches. Then there are 4@ 2 1/2" for the rear pad and 4@ 2" for the front pad. Not that what SMB is using is not strong enough, but this design is clearly much stronger. The 3" washers that I took off where all bent so I used 1/8" thick stainless steel for the top plate. The shaft is 1/2" rod that I drilled and tapped for 1/4"-20 thread. This 1/2" rod will give a lot more shear strength and each screw has about 3/4" of thread to hang on to, as opposed to the 1/4" you have with the lock-nut their using. I used a S.S. screw and a black finish washer (the same one I use with the Door Talon) on the inside. It make for a much cleaner look on the top and when the time comes to coat the top with Raptor Liner, I'll most likely just coat over these to.
Here are some pics.

There are a few more pics on my gallery.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

Very nice, a very clean look.

-greg
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:23 AM   #3
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

VERY NICE, You have a real talent.


Paul
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

Kudos. Nice looking welds too. How did you cut the stainless steel disks?
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

How much for a set?
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

ditto, hopefully won't need them for a while, but would be interested...
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

Very Cool John! So much cleaner. Wow.

I will be by after work to pick up a set

steve
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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Tee nuts for PH top.

Slick. Great craftsmanship.


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Old 09-12-2011, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

Sign me up. I'll get to work on a name for them (still waiting on that first royalty check!).

You do nice work!

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Old 09-12-2011, 10:12 PM   #10
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Re: Tee nuts for PH top.

Thanks all, I have to confess that I did not do the welding. I had a local fabricator do that and cut the disks with a plasma cuter and I provided them with the 1/2" rods already cut to length and tapped. I agree that the welds look really good, I wish I had that kind of skill. But I had to do a lot of cleaning up on the disks. I didn't have access to a lathe, it would have made that job much faster. I had to use a grinder and a drill press, not fun. In retrospect I should have had them cut with a water jet or laser cutter.
I'm not sure I'd be up for making these things. If I did, I would have to farm them out and that would mean I would have to make a lot of them to bring the price to a realistic spot. These things cost me about $15 each out of pocket and a lot of hours to get them ready for install. I'm thinking that if I could find someone to make a finished product for $15 to $20 each I'd be lucky. That puts it at a $165 to $220 set, I'm thinking that is kind of expensive. But that being said, this is a pretty unique piece of stainless steel hardware. What do you all think? If there is enough interest I would be willing to make a few phone calls to try to find someone to do it. And pjpvi will most certainly come up with a great name.

John
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