I originally planned to monkey together some kind of framework from metal tubing – I had a couple of old Ikea deck-rocking-chair frames out of swoopy-looking 5/8-inch steel and had planned to (somehow) hang them from tubing bolted to the roof rack. But David came up with something far better – a lightweight, somewhat rigid framework of 2x4s, 1x6es and 4×8-foot sheets of half-inch plywood.
The first order of business after bolting the major framing to XyloVan’s burly roof rack was to cut the plywood’s edges to fit the contours of a 1985 Ford ClubWagon XLT.
We set the sheets up on blocks beside the van, leveled them, then drew the van profile with a stick – one end of which traced the shape of the sheet metal, the other end of which held a Sharpie that drew the shape onto the wood.
Then David and John installed loose-pin hinges, which we’re using so the plywood profiles can be mounted and unmounted easily.
We had to mount it to the doorjamb – which is about 1.5 inches wide – so that both the passenger front door and the big sliding door (with xylophone keyboard #3 mounted on it – open and shut smoothly. Once we cut down the hinges a bit, removed one of the circular door gongs and trimmed the profile about six times, that panel fits perfectly, and both doors operate smoothly.
Next – cutting out the profiles’ outer shapes.