Jeep XMJ build update: working on those buns of steel

Here’s how I spent my time last weekend. Things are moving along even nicer than what I was expecting when I started the project. Loving every minute of it!

First, I salvaged the tailgate from my donor car, and adapted it to my new needs. I’ve lost a couple of inches in the back, thanks to having trimmed it to only its sheet metal, since the tailgate will mostly be a visual placeholder, without any structural need.

Took a break from making noise on Sunday morning, and tried my hand at bending steel tube for the first time, starting to work on the 1″ tube fenders I’d envisioned. The trick that seems to work best to bend DOM tube without kinking it using that press, which is technically a pipe bender, is to use the die for half the tube’s size. 1″ pipe is inside diameter, 1″ tube is outside diameter. 1/2″ schedule 40 pipe is about 1″ to the outside walls, and cradles the 1″ 1/8″ tube snugly.

I resumed working on the back in the afternoon, by starting fabricating a bed cover out of 1/8″ steel plate. I want to protect the bed from the elements, and make it a giant parts and tools box, with drawers. The spare will be flat mounted on top (with additional framing), easy to slide in and out, and accommodating up to 40″ tires.

Still have a lot to do, but starting to see a light at the end of that tunnel. :D