Friday, 29 December 2017

A roof over my head

Softbits FINALLY delivered my roof (on Dec 22nd), a mere 5 months after I ordered it. However, they still managed to screw up by sending only 8 poppers (the first roof had 10) although I've measured for 11 anyway, so I'll need to ask them to send me a few more - it will be interesting to see if they charge me for that.

I couldn't find any other blog that explained how they fitted a roof so this was my technique (not necessarily the best).

First, I decided to do the central popper, so lots of measuring and re-measuring to ensure I found the centre of the screen frame and the centre of the roof. Then, the scariest bit, drilling very slowly into my frame and hoping to not shatter the glass underneath. Fortunately, the glass seems to be more resilient than I was led to believe because, even though I definitely did briefly hit it, it's still in one piece. Riveted the first popper in screen and roof:

The yellow dots are the locations for the other poppers - with the central popper on, I drilled a hole through each yellow dot and onto the frame. I then took the roof off and drilled through the pilot holes in the frame, very slowly as before. I used a 2mm drill bit to start with and then the 3.2mm bit for the rivets afterwards.

I then riveted on the 8 half-poppers to the screen frame - I can't do the rest until Softbits send me a few more and gawd knows how long that will take.

Note that there is a special technique needed for riveting poppers. The problem is that a normal rivet gun cannot get to the head of the rivet inside the popper body. You either buy a special, narrow head rivet gun or you use a couple of small washers that do fit inside the popper body. You put the rivet in as normal and then run the washers down the rivet pin. Then fit the rivet gun and rivet as normal. The washers act as an extension to the rivet gun head and ensure you get tight-fitting poppers. I didn't know about this technique when doing my boot cover and all the poppers there rotate freely - I plan to drill them all out and re-do them using the washers.

At the rear, there are 2 side straps that need to share the same popper as the boot cover uses. Softbits provide a special type of double popper for this, so I've drilled out the existing popper in readiness. Unfortunately, I need longer rivets for these holes as they go through side panel and frame at this point - on order.

So not far off having a roof at last and then I can start on the doors.

Happy New Year to you all...


  1. Hi I intend to get a roof off soft bits as well ,have you ordered doors off them as well? Are they full doors? Also what length of rivets have you ordered for the rear ,sorry about all questions .

    1. Softbits don't do full doors for a GBS so I'm going to make my own. Should be... er... interesting.

      I only need a couple of longer rivets, I've ordered 16mm (normal size are 8-10mm).

    2. Thanks look forward to seeing your results.