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Old 06-24-2014, 12:20 PM   #301
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Wow, this is too cool. This barndoor with a Ursa Minor top is what I've been dreaming of. I REALLY hope this comes to market. I'd also like to see a soft (roll up) or slider window inside the barn door.

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Old 06-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #302
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Wow, this is too cool. This barndoor with a Ursa Minor top is what I've been dreaming of. I REALLY hope this comes to market.
Thanks.

There's been a ton of interest in the barn door among Ursa Minor owners/potential owners that I've shown the barn door design to, far more interest than I would have guessed.

I wonder if anyone from Ursa Minor is watching this thread? I could arrange for them to get barn doors to include with their campers - I've got a friend in the fiberglass manufacturing business who would be very interested in making them for a company like Ursa Minor.

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I'd also like to see a soft (roll up) or slider window inside the barn door.
A horizontal or vertical slider could be installed, although you'd have to choose between a fixed window with optionally a wiper and/or defroster or a slider with nether of those options - wipers and defrosters aren't compatible with sliders.

But there are choices that would work if ventilation was a priority.



Pretty much any commercial RV/Marine window style could be made to the proper size. One place that makes custom size window in all kinds of different configurations is Motion Windows: Motion Windows | Perfect Choice, they could make pretty much any of their windows to fit this opening.

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Old 06-25-2014, 07:12 AM   #303
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There's been a lot of discussion about various window types for the barn door, so I'm going to present a few ideas here and ask for your input on which barn door window style you'd want to have if you installed a barn door on your JK.

The options are:

  • A. Fixed glass. Simple fixed glass, non-opening. Options that could be available with this include a wiper and a defroster, both of which would be plug-and-play with the JK's factory hardtop wiring.
  • B. Horizontal slider. Typically these have one side of the window that slides; the other is fixed. The sliding side could be either the left or the right side. Because of the center divider bar, a wiper would not be compatible with this style of window. A defroster would not be an option for this one either.
  • C. Vertical slider. Similar to option B above but slides vertically. Also not compatible with the wiper or defroster options.
  • D. Swappable hard/soft windows. There would be a glass panel could be swapped with a canvas/clear vinyl roll-up soft window. As far as I know, there are no commercial windows available that work this way, but I've been working on a design for one. I actually started working on the design for this back when I built the LJ Safari Cab; I did a preliminary design for it and even molded a special fiberglass panel for it and but never built a prototype window of this design to completion.




I should also mention a few window types that are not under consideration for this barn door:

- Swing-out/swing-up windows. They're impractical on a Jeep barn door because the third brake light bracket and the spare tire prevent them from swinging out any meaningful amount.

- Roll-down windows like on car doors. This would require somewhere for the window to roll down into, and since the barn door is designed to mount on the factory tailgate, there's nowhere for the window to roll down into.

- Motorized or otherwise powered retractable windows.

So of the options in the list above the illustration, if you were going to have a barn door on your JK, which window type would you want and why? Or, is there some window type or option you'd want that's not mentioned here?

Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:53 AM   #304
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My preference would be for the fixed glass with a wiper and defroster. None of the other options seem nearly as practical to me.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:37 AM   #305
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Fixed glass or the swappable one. I'd rather just have 2 different options though, glass or canvas.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:37 PM   #306
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I'd prefer fixed glass. Simpler and cleaner. The swappable option sounds interesting too.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:27 PM   #307
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I'd dig the slider. I generally have a bike rack preventing opening the door, and I could then more easily access the rear.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:33 PM   #308
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We made the molds for both parts of the barn door this evening. Here's Tom hard at work finishing up the inner skin mold. The outer skin mold is in the left of the photo, it's black.



Here's a look at the inner skin mold:



Tomorrow morning I'll pop these molds off the masters. I'll post photos of the inside of the molds then.

Depending on what else I've got to do tomorrow, I may mold the first set of actual barn door parts in these molds.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:58 AM   #309
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The molds popped off the mold masters just fine this morning. Here they are just after a quick trim of the rough edges and a quick washing with the hose. There's still a little mold release to wash off in places:





There's one very tiny flaw in the inner skin mold I'll fix, then I'll buff both molds, and prep them for molding. I'll make the first set of actual barn door parts in them today.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:42 AM   #310
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Here are a few photos of the molds prepped and ready to have the gelcoat shot on them. I've taped off the parts of the mold that won't be needed - there's no need to mold the inside of the window opening since that will just be cut out anyway. I am molding the inside of the window opening on the outside panel; I'll use the flat piece of fiberglass that get cut out as the cover plate for the wiper motor. I've also taped the edges of both molds because this first set of parts will be for an early model narrow barn door - don't need to mold extra width that will just be trimmed off.





I'll shoot the gelcoat shortly, and after lunch I'll do the fiberglass layup.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:37 AM   #311
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Amazing work as always! Thanks for sharing the process and pictures!
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:39 PM   #312
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Amazing work as always! Thanks for sharing the process and pictures!
Mike,
Thank you, and it's my pleasure to share the steps with everyone. Also if anyone has questions about anything I'm doing here, I'm happy to answer.

Here's the next step, the gelcoat has been shot:





In 90 minutes - 2 hours the gelcoat will be cured to the point where I can do the fiberglass layup. More photos to come.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:43 PM   #313
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Yes! I like it a lot. I especially like that it has a functional roof rack.

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:17 PM   #314
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Done. Barn door #1 has been molded. Tomorrow morning I'll pop the parts out of the molds.



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Old 06-27-2014, 06:51 PM   #315
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This is great! It's like I'm watching a Discovery channel program, but for JEEPS! Keep up the awesome work!
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:35 AM   #316
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Here's the first set of barn door parts just out of the molds. I've done a quick trim to remove the sharp edges, and washed off the mold release.



Next up: test fitting them in the hardtop opening.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:37 AM   #317
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Testing how the inner skin fits in the hardtop opening. The outer edge is roughly trimmed to fit; the window opening isn't trimmed at all yet, final trimming will happen after the inner and outer skins are bonded together:





The outer skin. This won't be trimmed at all until it's bonded to the inner skin. I've taped a printout of the window to it.



And a view from the inside with the window printout in place:



The next step is to bond the inner and outer together and do a little more fitting and trimming.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:28 AM   #318
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I'm sure it's not the first time it's been said.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #319
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@Jscherb have you filled all of your summer internship positions this year?
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:07 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
Testing how the inner skin fits in the hardtop opening. The outer edge is roughly trimmed to fit; the window opening isn't trimmed at all yet, final trimming will happen after the inner and outer skins are bonded together:





The outer skin. This won't be trimmed at all until it's bonded to the inner skin. I've taped a printout of the window to it.



And a view from the inside with the window printout in place:



The next step is to bond the inner and outer together and do a little more fitting and trimming.

Awesome! Ready to try out those half door sliders for the JKU ?!

Edit: jscherb - Why can't you live closer to me? I really wish I could help/learn/watch you work! Planning on moving to Middle TN anytime soon?
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:09 PM   #321
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That looks so awesome.
Question....have you thought at all about some kind of mount for the third brake light? some of us guys with bigger tires might thank you if we could move it inside at the top of the window.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:17 PM   #322
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I know it seems trivial, but as a potential consumer I'm all for anything in a kit that takes care of all issues, aesthetic and functional. Have you considered making some small inserts that would use factory hinge screws from lift glass to fill in the factory recesses in hardtop? Love, love, LOVE the barndoor setup and look of the first fitnents, but those two gaping holes where the glass used to attach are an eyesore. Just my $.02 but you seem like the type to cover all your bases. Anyway it is coming together nicely and looking great!
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #323
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That looks so awesome.
Question....have you thought at all about some kind of mount for the third brake light? some of us guys with bigger tires might thank you if we could move it inside at the top of the window.
A design for a third brake pod is being finalized and will be posted soon for feedback. It will cover the exposed hinge areas left from the barn door change but I'm working to ensure it works with the rear hatch glass also for people that may not choose the barn door. It will be completely plug and play with no drilling of the hardtop required.

Jeff is guiding me through this one so I can do a complete project start to finish in fiberglass!

Stay tuned....
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:23 PM   #324
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I know it seems trivial, but as a potential consumer I'm all for anything in a kit that takes care of all issues, aesthetic and functional. Have you considered making some small inserts that would use factory hinge screws from lift glass to fill in the factory recesses in hardtop? Love, love, LOVE the barndoor setup and look of the first fitnents, but those two gaping holes where the glass used to attach are an eyesore. Just my $.02 but you seem like the type to cover all your bases. Anyway it is coming together nicely and looking great!
You don't think I'd ignore an important detail like that, do you? In addition to the third brake light Tom mentioned that he's working on, I've got several different designs for filling the hinge recesses, just haven't mentioned them yet.

Tom's design is coming along very nicely, he'll be posting design concept drawings in a week or so for your review and comment.

The hinge recess fillers I've got planned I probably won't get to for a little bit, there are still other important details on this project I want to get done first.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:25 PM   #325
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:26 PM   #326
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Awesome! Ready to try out those half door sliders for the JKU ?!
Can't start any more projects at the moment, I've got to finish the barn door and another project I haven't posted here before starting something new.

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Edit: jscherb - Why can't you live closer to me? I really wish I could help/learn/watch you work! Planning on moving to Middle TN anytime soon?
Anyone's welcome to drop by to see how this stuff is done, problem is I'm not near anything. Except Tom I guess, he happens to be about 15 minutes from me, and he's been the first one to ever join me on a project.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:27 PM   #327
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That looks so awesome.
Question....have you thought at all about some kind of mount for the third brake light? some of us guys with bigger tires might thank you if we could move it inside at the top of the window.
Stay tuned, Tom will be posting his design in a week or so.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:33 PM   #328
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Thumbs up and much appreciation for detailed inside look at this entire process!!!
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:25 AM   #329
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Up early to get a little work done today, I trimmed and fitted the inner and outer skins together. To align them correctly, I cut a preliminary window opening of the same size and location in both skins and by lining up the openings the two skins will be perfectly aligned. They're temporarily clamped together in these views of both sides:





The next step is to bond the two skins together with fiberglass mat between the mating surfaces.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:30 AM   #330
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Here are a couple of drawings to simulate what the finished barn door will look like on an '07-'10 JK Unlimited.

The barn door painted to match the hardtop:



Painted to match the body color:



For comparison, here's the original photo I drew on:



I'm working on drawing some '11-present JKU simulations, showing the different hatch width options. I'll get them done and posted soon.

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