Working on my pop up top this week. It is down from the roof and lying upside down on a table. I had to replace all of the wood that was against the roof as it was badly rotted. I wanted to make my own composite wood and it was easy to cast but turned out to be too heat sensitive when I really needed it to be very stable. So I cut new wood pieces from an IPE deck board material. IPE is a very hard and oily wood, sometimes called poor man's teak. It should last a a very long time. (Yes all you worry warts types I already know all the precautions for safety and tool use for that species of wood). I won't try to paint
the IPE as it does not take paint
well because of the high oil content. It will eventually turn a dark grey which will look just fine with my color scheme. The IPE will not be touching the aluminum pieces ofthe track rail and all the fasteners that do touch it are stainless steel so there won't be any corrosion issue with the metals.
Fortunately all of the wood framing pieces that are directly against the underside of the fiberglass top are in sound condition with no rot on them. So I will just put a fresh coat of paint
Before removing the top I secured it in the open position so it would be easy to adjust and install the new fabric with it in that position while it was out on the table top. To brace it in that position on each of the two sides I took four pieces of plywood. Two on each side of the two braces. Then I screwed them together. At the moment I have taken off the springs and taken out all the old rusted fasteners so much of the mechanism is now disassembled. But when I want to reassemble everything it will go back together into the same exact position because of those plywood plates. Except I will have to turn those screws around to face the outside, oh well. My pitiful excuse for putting them in on the wrong side to start with is there was no one around to help bring the big heavy wood ladder down the stairs and I was too impatient to wait for the help with it.
Today I brushed rust off the steel pieces such as the springs and some other fittings and coated them wit Ospho which is a product that converts the rust from iron oxide into iron phospate. If you want to know more about what Ospho
is just click the blue link on its name. Tomorrow I will paint those metal pieces to protect them and of course that will make them look much nicer. They will get put back together with new stainless steel fasteners.
But before I put things back together I am going to paint the fiberglass with primer and also put my new color scheme on it.
It is a slightly rainy evening so I am going to cut my fabric and start sewing the new canvas. I have my measured plan ready for cutting. Now if I can find where I stashed the fabric I bought a few weeks ago