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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In case you're wondering if the JD2 model 32 pipe bender is worth it... my answer is yes! They make bending pipe EASY. That and I highly recommend using the method shown at at Pirate 4x4 Tube Bending 101.

The cage took some time but in the end it was well worth it. I have just under $200 in material between tubing, brackets off ebay, welding wire, grinder & cutoff disks and painting supplies. I scored a fee jeep wrangler seat and got a neoprene seat cover off ebay for $25. Also scored the set of 4ea Crow seatbelts off ebay for the price of one new one.

I simply copied the design off the web of other units I seen and started building it. It was pretty much a learn as you go. First tube took me 3 hours to bend, second one 15mins. The how to above was key and I tried to keep it pretty simple with bends. It really isn't as hard as it looks if you ask me. Time consuming yes, but not difficult as far as metal working goes. A tube notcher would have been nice but I'm to cheap to invest in one knowing a 4" grinder wheel does the job. I'm now in the process of building a front luggage rack with a 1" die and tubing.






I added in a small piece of 1" pipe in between the two down turned bars so the kids have a grab handle. I failed to get a pic of that part. Also I built a box of angle iron that the seat mounts to. That box then mounts to the support angle iron mounts in the picture below. This allows me to unbolt the seat and there is room for two coolers or boxes in between the mounts for when I do remote hunts and no kids are traveling. I plan to add a rack that can replace the seat in the back to hold lightweight stuff up high above the coolers or boxes. Call that phase 2 but will probably be something done next year.


I also bought some sunbrella material and 2" velcro (purchased from sailrite.com) and made the soft top myself. For my first ever sewing project I'm happy with the outcome. My wife cracked up when I told her I wanted a sewing machine for fathers day then followed it up with, no I'm serious and here's the model and where she could buy it. Now having done a few other projects I'll say the Singer 4411 has stitched everything I throw at it and all for $125 from walmart. I got quotes for $300 for a soft top. I have $80 in material, then $125 for the singer unit. I've been modifying backpacks for hunting and other gear so the sewing machine has more than paid for itself.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Lastly thanks to the guys that have posted info or pics of their cages and builds. It was a major help to me and hope that my posting can help the next guy looking to embark on such a project.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It was somewhat of a learning curve that I now have more down pat. I first started with a piece of pipe and started grinding it with a 4" grinder to make the shape. Once I got that one fitting nice and snug I took a piece of paper and wrapped it around the end of the pipe and cut out a template. Then I'd transfer that over to ends I needed to cut. I switched my grinder wheel over to a 4" cutoff wheel and made the needed cuts. Later on I learned other ways of cutting them with a band saw when you don't have a tubing notcher. I wish someone would have showed me that at the beginning of my project but oh well. I actually just use the cutoff wheel instead of the band saw and they come out near as good and just as fast. If you're going to get into some weird angles than I recommend the investment in a quality notcher but if you're only doing 90's then the grinder/bandsaw method works well. Oh.... Just be sure to line up your notches at both ends. You'll feel pretty dumb when you go to slip the notched tube in between the two cages pieces and the notches are way off in alignment. What's the line - measure twice and cut once?

Google 'tube notching with band saw'.


You did a great job, can you tell me how you con-caved the pipe at your weld joint so there is a nice tight fit? Thanks
 

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very cool pic are good will be trying that thanks
 
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