DIY Goose Gear Style Platform

FRV

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As part of our JLUR (with manual trans) build we ordered and finally received (8 months) our Ursa Minor J30 pop up camper. It took a few days to install it and wire it into the jeep. We have also installed an engine bay mounted ARB single pump compressor.

We took the jeep up into the Appalachian mountains for five days this summer for some overlanding to get some insights into the jeep. We were pretty happy with the it overall but knew we needed a platform to make the Jeep more user friendly and maximize the storage.

So, the next project was to design and build a platform based on the Goose Gear plate system. I studied pictures and watched a view videos of people installing the GG system to see how it was constructed. It did not look difficult to build. We used marine grade 1/2” BS 1088 okume plywood for the platform. We removed the rear seat. We used doorskin ply strips and a hot glue gun to build the templates. We templated all the original fastener holes. We build the hatches in the same style as the GG plate system. We used some fiberglass right angle supports that I had on hand to frame under the forward half of the platform. The L shaped brackets that secure the main transverse bulkheads (to the bolts that held the seat in place) I replicated using two layers of 1708 biaxial and epoxy laid over a right angle form (simple 2x4 taped and waxed). When I removed it from the mold I cut them into sections with a hack saw and sanded them smooth.

We thought about line x or bullet liner over the platform but it’s expensive and black is the only color available in our area. But, we also thought it made the inside of the Jeep very dark. Our plan is to paint it with a marine grade single part linear polyurethane in light grey. If it scratches it’s easy enough to remove the platform, sand, fair, repaint and reinstall. The platform is light, dead flat, and stiff.

We found flush mounted keyed compression latches ($18 each) made by Pacific Sierra. They look to be the same as the GG latches that sell for $45 each. They arrive next week. So far, with the plywood, fasteners, paint, and locks we have about $200 in the project. That’s a savings of about $1,300 from a GG plate.

if this is a project that interests others I can write a little about the tools and techniques we used.

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ExpeditionBuilds

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As part of our JLUR manual transmission build we ordered and finally received (8 months) our Ursa Minor J30 pop up camper. It took a few days to install it and wire it into the jeep. We have also installed an engine bay mounted ARB single pump compressor.

We took the jeep up into the Appalachian mountains for five days this summer for some overlanding to get some insights into the jeep. We were pretty happy with the it overall but knew we needed a platform to make the Jeep more user friendly and maximize the storage.

So, the next project was to design and build a platform based on the Goose Gear plate system. I studied pictures and watched a view videos of people installing the GG system to see how it was constructed. It did not look difficult to build. We used marine grade 1/2” BS 1088 okume plywood for the platform. We removed the rear seat. We used doorskin ply strips and a hot glue gun to build the templates. We templated all the original fastener holes. We build the hatches in the same style as the GG plate system. We used some fiberglass right angle supports that I had on hand to frame under the forward half of the platform. The L shaped brackets that secure the main transverse bulkheads (to the bolts that held the seat in place) I replicated using two layers of 1708 biaxial and epoxy laid over a right angle form (simple 2x4 taped and waxed). When I removed it from the mold I cut them into sections with a hack saw and sanded them smooth.

We thought about line x or bullet liner over the platform but it’s expensive and black is the only color available in our area. But, we also thought it made the inside of the Jeep very dark. Our plan is to paint it with a marine grade single part linear polyurethane in light grey. If it scratches it’s easy enough to remove the platform, sand, fair, repaint and reinstall. The platform is light, dead flat, and stiff.

We found flush mounted keyed compression latches ($18 each) made by Pacific Sierra. They look to be the same as the GG latches that sell for $45 each. They arrive next week. So far, with the plywood, fasteners, paint, and locks we have about $200 in the project. That’s a savings of about $1,300 from a GG plate.

if this is a project that interests others I can write a little about the tools and techniques we used.

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Really nice job on this...design, build :like:


-Steven
 

Yellow Cake Kid

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Your project looks very nicely designed and executed.

The rabbited panel access hatches with the rounded corners are "deluxe".

A while ago, another forum user, @BDinTX, built a rear seat replace that is similar to what you did in that area of the Jeep, and he kindly posted a dimensional drawing of the parts he made.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/rear-seat-removal.62092/#post-1325030

I plan to construct something like this for my Jeep, and greatly appreciated getting to reference his drawings.

If you could post some dimensional drawings of your platform design, it will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 
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ArtC

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Beautiful job on the plate system. How did you cut out the access doors? It really looks like a CNC was used. I am sure many of us would be very interested in the techniques and tools you used.

Art
 
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Tpom

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Great job with this build. I love the attention to detail. Looking forward to seeing the latches installed and paint.
 
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FRV

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Thanks for the kind words everyone. I didn't take a lot of pictures while building the plate but I put a few things together below since a few folks seem interested in the steps to build the plate. Take a look at the pictures and then the narrative might make more sense. My wife gave me a hand through the whole process because she is a enjoyable companion but you can do this as a one person show.

There are no dimensions to provide because I made templates for everything I built. I think templates are better than diagrams for this kind of project. I have built hundreds of templates over the years using this method. Templates for those that have not made them are quick and easy. As I built the templates I wrote notes on then such as "bevel cut" or "add 1/8". I always write on the template which side is up and aft.

I used doorskin ply for the templates. It's 1/8" thick and usually runs about 36" x 78". I rip the ply into full length 1.5" wide strips. I cut the ply with tin snips as I build the template. That's the real advantage. If you try to use 1/4" ply you can't easily and quickly cut the strips.

I use a hot glue gun (Lowe's, Home Depot, Harbor Freight) to assemble the strips. Fast easy and strong enough for what you are doing.

One of the keys to building accurate templates is to lay down strips of wood on the jeep bed that will raise the template to the same height as the finished ply. This step will ensure it's as accurate as possible especially if there are any required bevel cuts. You'll mess it up to understand why it's important but you'll only make that mistake once.

You don't build all the templates at one time because you will create compound errors. For example, I built the template for the aft end of the plate system first. And I did it with the rear seat in the vehicle so I could be certain that I could use the aft plate with the seat. With the template assembled I laid it over the plywood and traced it with a pencil. Then I made the long straight cuts with a circle saw and a guide bar or the jig saw depending on the requirement. I use quality saws and tools because they cut more precise then cheap tools. I use sharp blades. Jig saws and circle saws cut clean on the bottom side of the wood while a table saw cuts clean on the top side. Its due to the direction blade turns. Taking this into consideration helps make the final product look more precise and professional.

Once I cut the rear section of the plate I test fit it. I use hand planes to cut the bevels and my pattern making files to smooth edges and make minor alterations to the plate. When satisfied I build the next template fit to that part of the plate. This techniques helps avoid compound errors.

To template the holes I went to ace hardware and found some metric bolts same size as the bolts that fit in the rear of the jeep bed. I cut the bolt heads off with a hack saw then sharpened one end of the bolt on a bench top grinder. You can do it just as well with a hand file or a right angle grinder. But lock it into a vise so it can't move. Then screw the bolts into the jeep bed with the points up and proud. Carefully lay the plate back down so it's positioned perfectly. Then whack the plate with a dead blow or wood mallet where the bolts are located and they will mark the underside of the plate. Then remove the plate and drill for the fasteners. Simple and dead accurate.

With the rear plate secure in position I made the transverse bulkheads (or joists). I used a 4" wide strip of plywood laid on edge flat to the rear plate. The straight edge extends out over the footwell to create a level surface for the next template. Then, I used a hot glue gun and the door skin ply strips to construct the templates. Don't forget that the straight edge is on top of the rear plate and the transverse bulkheads are underneath the forward plate. In my case I used 1/2" ply for the plate so I taped 1/2" shims to the underside of the straight edge to depict the thickness of the 1/2" ply that would lay across the top of the transverse bulkhead (or joist if you prefer that term).
Don't forget to put the front seats all the way back before you make the template for the forward plate section.

I built the template then removed it and laid the template on the plywood and traced it with a pencil and cut it out with my Bosch jig saw.

While I was doing this I made the L shaped composite hardware with biaxial fiberglass tape and West Systems Epoxy. I made a perfect 90° composite bracket by first taping 2x4 with packing tape and smearing paste wax on it. Then wet out the biaxial tape with epoxy and laid it over the 2x4 and squeegeed out the excess epoxy. I laid a piece of peel ply over the epoxy and squeegeed it smooth. The peel ply leaves a smooth finished surface in the epoxy when it cures.
With the transverse bulkheads in place I used the doorskin ply and hot glue gun to make the template for the forward plate carefully fitting the doorskin strips to the aft plate.

Then, I removed the template and laid it over the okume ply, traced out the pattern, and cut the plate.

With all the parts built we put the forward part of the plate system together. Goose gear uses box aluminum bars that accommodate special bolts to secure the bulkheads and add stiffness to the plates. We accomplished the same thing by using left over 1" fiberglass L shaped 90° angles which I purchased from McMaster Carr for another project. https://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/127/3943
We secured the right angle fiberglass to the plate and bulkhead with SS 1/4-20 bolts and nylock nuts.
When the epoxy brackets were cured I popped them from the mold and cut it into sections lightly sanding the edges. Then we drilled holes snd assembled the entire plate system using the Jeep floor bolts.
With the plate installed we decided on the hatch sizes. We went with 16x12 for the large and 15x11 for the small ones. The single offset hatch in the aft plate is 7.5x 12".

I made a mock up with some of the doorskin ply and we placed them on the plate to see how it fit and looked. We liked it. So we cut those dimensions from 1/2" BS 1088 marine ply on the table and chop saw. No free handing. They needed to be exact. To make the radius corners we tried out jars, cups, glasses from the kitchen to see what looked right to us. Once we decided we traced the radius edge with a pencil and I made the cuts with the jig saw.
Next we positioned the hatches back on the plates and traced them with a pencil. Then I scribed an inner line with a pencil and a straight edge 1/2" from the outer line. This represented the rabbit layout marks. I used the jig saw to cut out the inner section of the plate. There is no way to use that cut out section as a hatch. Maybe if one was much smaller than the large one you could repurpose the large cut out for a small hatch....


I then used the hatch to trace another pattern on to some birch plywood I had on hand and carefully cut that out. That became the jig for routering the rabbit cut. I added 1/2" spacer blocks on the underside of the jig to help get the right depth for the router. You can see that jig in the attached picture. The tools are laying on it. The okume hatch fit in it perfectly.

We positioned the hatch jig onto the plate (which we removed from the jeep) and used the hatch layout lines to make sure it was perfectly positioned on the plate. We clamped it into place.

Next I used my small Bosch laminate router with a straight fluted bit with a guide bearing at the top. Normally you see the bearings on the opposite end which won't work for this techniques. The guide bearing rides on the jig snd duplicate the cut all along the length of the straight bit. Guide bearing router bits are very handy.

I made some practice cuts in scrap ply to get the depth right. Then I routered around the edge of the plate cutout with the guide bearing and the jig doing all the work. That step resulted in the rabets in the plate.

Next I took the hatches to my simple $100 bench top router table. With a straight bit installed and the fence set so I could router around the edge of the hatch 1/2" back from the edge I cut some samples to make sure the two rabbets (the one in the plate I already cut with the jig and the one I am about to cut cut into the hatch on the bench top table) match to ensure the hatch surface is flush with the plate. This is really all about setting the depth of the router cut. Once I was sure so had it right I cut the rabbets in all four hatches.
The fit was very close. I then used my bull nose plane and the pattern making files to refine the rabbets for the best possible fit.

It sounds complicated but it's not difficult. It is not the same as making raised panel cabinet doors or anything like that. It's mostly understanding the steps and setting up your tools for success. Make jigs and mock ups. Take your time. You will be impressed with the results. The results are very precise and it didn't take a $50,000 CNG to achieve it. We have $200 in materials and so far have saved about $1,300. Hmmm...that's the same price for a Warn XeonS 10,000 winch.

Couple things I would add. Goose Gear uses birch ply, witch is nice plywood but not great plywood. Since they applied bullet liner or line x it doesn't need to be great plywood I guess. But that birch has voids. The glue between the ply wood layers is not waterproof. The plywood is not dead flat. And it's heavy. BS 1088 okume marine ply is manufactured to Lloyds of London standards for ship building. It's dead flat. No voids and constructed with resorcinol waterproof glue. Its light. It's certified for building airplanes. A 1/2" 4x8 sheet coat about $120. I can get if for about $90.
You can make the flat part of the plate with one sheet. But you need another 1/2 sheet to make the transverse bulkheads (joists) and the hatches.
Would I make it from birch? Yes. Absolutely. If I didn't have access to BS 1088 or my budget would not support it. The quality won't be quite as high but it will do the job just as well especially if you apply some kind of bed liner. But that bed liner will cost about the same or more than the second sheet of BS 1088.

I hope this yammering soliloquy is useful. If I have confused you or if you have a question I'll do my best to share what I know.

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Ronbo Ranger

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Wow, that's like a far more intricate platform build than what I have done with my jeep. Your attention to detail is impeccable. Well done sir.
 

Ronbo Ranger

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The Goose platform was considered at first for me. But then I saw Cheeper Jeepers videos and used his plans .
The end flips open 90 degrees for additional table space. The Cotton print material is fiberglass Resin to the door. The build cost was less than $200.00 ..

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ArtC

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Great information, I used door skin to make templates for some counter tops and it is so much easier than trying to measure an irregular shape exactly. I really like how you built your router template and the results really speak for themselves. Thank you for sharing some great ideas and introducing me to BS 1088 which I have never considered before.
 
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FRV

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The Goose platform was considered at first for me. But then I saw Cheeper Jeepers videos and used his plans .
The end flips open 90 degrees for additional table space. The Cotton print material is fiberglass Resin to the door. The build cost was less than $200.00 ..

IMG_20210824_170644050_HDR.jpg


IMG_20210824_170732941.jpg
That's a nice platform with a lot of extra storage space. We considered such a design but ruled it out as we needed the height above the floor more than we needed storage under the floor. I like the motif design. Very cool.
 
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FRV

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Applied and sanded Interprotect wood Sealer then followed it with Interlux primer. Rolling and tipping paint next.

Made progress building cubby shelf for left rear of jeep. Installing small remote Blue Seas fuse block. Also installed three 12v receptacles for USBs etc.

More to follow....

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BullMoose1776

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This will be for sale on this site later this month. Look for "Swan Storage" .
 
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FRV

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This will be for sale on this site later this month. Look for "Swan Storage" .
What are you talking about? This thread is about a platform build.
 

BullMoose1776

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What are you talking about? This thread is about a platform build.
Just making a joke, that's all. Goose Gear Swan Storage.

Impressive work, you might have a market.
 
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