The WhirlyJig Page

WhaddaYaMeanWhatsaWhirlyJig !?!

Well, How more obvious can it be???

OOPS, Wrong picture, thats a different project. please accept my humblest apologies

Well, How more obvious can it be???

OK Hows about now??

Getting it yet??

Allright, One last clue-

Consider this a "Gimme"-

Have you actually even gone this far before getting bored & going back to looking for online porno????

Is the little Lite Bulb on now :)?

Astounded? Amazed ?? Incredulous??? Motion Sick????

Now For The Rest Of The Story:
As I write this (Oct. 06) I've spent pretty much all my spare time for the last four months working on rebuilding Tonk's front floor pan. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out which parts came from where :). Anyhoo, I've been working with the panel sitting flat on the floor, on it's side, jacked up on axle stands etc. One problem was that every time I flipped the thing around Things Bent :(.
Another problem was the braces- I was continually running short on straight stuff to use as well as clamps to hold them in place, I'd have to steal them from one or more spots everytime I started a new section.
The big problem was the braces getting in the way- at times getting from one side around to the other side involved going for a 50 foot walk. :(
Finally, winters a'comin & my parents are gonna want to be able to park the car in there sooner rather than later.


Now I knew that when it came time to start re-attaching the various body panels to each other that I'd need some sort of jig to hold everything in the proper relative positions. The obvious choice would be to use the chassis as it conveniently comes with all the correctly positioned body mount holes in place. Unfortunately its also heavy & hard to move, plus I'd also like to keep it free to install the drive train some day. So-

I needed a jig.
I needed a convenient way of manuvering the panel(s) around to work on them.
I needed some way to easily stash the tub outta the way of the Subaru.


I've been reading about auto body "Rotisseries" on the net for the last few years that various people have put together- Here's one that was built out of engine stands. I actually bought a couple of stands to do this before I Had A Better Idea(tm). Still got them if anyone is interested, never even opened the boxes. :\
Another route is to build one straight from stock steel, this is the way I sorta ended up going.
(Lots of other great stuff on both these sites as well :))
These designs have one big drawback for me though- They both require the tub to be more or less complete. That obviously wasn't going to work in my case & I still needed a jig for re-assembly.

The obvious solution is a Jig that Whirls

Get it Now??? A jig that whirls, WhirlyJig??
Oh Lord, I give up. Get your kids to explain it to you.

I elected to build my ThingamaJig, um, I mean WhirlyJig primarily out of Unistrut. For those not in the know unistrut is u-shaped 1 5/8" x .125" channel with the edges rolled over to accept little dooeys called "spring nuts". You can install a spring nut anywheres along the length of the strut & when bolted in tight they ain't a goin nowheres. A big bonus was that at the time of this writing steel prices are through the roof & the unistrut was a real bargain compared to stock steel tubing, they were a touch bit over $20 bucks Canuck per length. Unistrut comes in 10" lengths so I designed the WhirlyGig, um, I mean WhirlyJig around that. I ended up with 40" uprights & cross pieces. The rails I kept at 10", that leaves me about a foot & a half at each end for access. Total unistrut used was 5 & 1/2 pieces, probably could have got away with 5 if I had planned it a little better. Some 6" angle to secure the cross pieces, a few feet of 2" tube to hold the uprights & build the swivels plus some strapping to stiffen the corners completes the material list. Pretty much everything is held together with spring nuts & bolts.

Now on a Jeep tub the body mount holes are rather inconveniently located at at different widths & heights. I spaced the rails to line up with the holes in the front pan. I installed lengths of 1/2" threaded rod into spring nuts & located them appropriately. For mounting holes that have a different width spacing such as the riser panel I use cross pieces. I placed nuts on the upper ends of the rods to give 6" of clearance between the rails & the tub bottom. When time comes to add the back floor I'll use longer lengths of rod to get it at the right height.

I actually had the rods lined up so well the tub slipped onto them first try :). With a little fine tuning using a tape measure & a wrench I should have had had the tub straight & level.
This is where I discovered that things weren't quite as straight & level as I thought they were :(.
The kick panel support hat channels were bent down, the front end on the drivers side one was about 1 1/2" outta whack. With another cross piece & threaded rod placed across underneath the ends I was able to persuade them back into the the proper place :).

Now, the fact of the matter is I started building the DooHickey, um, I mean WhirlyJig before I really had any idea how to finish it, particularly the tilt lock. The rotisseries built from engine stands have heads with holes drilled in them at various angles to insert locking pins. Some people use clamping nuts. Of course, as it ended up, I Had a Better Idea (tm). I built the actual swivel mechanism out of 2" tubing & a couple of bearings I had leftover from overhauling my transfer case. Works well but once welded together they are_not coming apart again.

Heres what I ended up doing- four rings cut from 1/8" plate. Had to make the center holes big enough to slip over the swivel tubes. All four were punched & drilled with two holes 180 degrees apart. Two were also marked with for holes every 22.5 degrees.
I Thought. :(
Now I grabbed the plate out of the scrap pile @ the local Metal Supermarket. Two of them cut fairly well. One of them wasn't too bad.
# 4 was the most miserable piece of S%&! that I've ever had the misfortune of meeting. Not only did it break the cutting tool, it broke the &*($@! cutting tool holder. :( :(

Well anyhoo, after a trip to BusyBee the next day for a new holder here it is finished. I welded nuts on the two holes of the 180 rings, a short bolt inserted into each is threaded through to engage opposite holes on the 22.5 rings giving me 16 positions.

Theres a joke there somewheres.

Every 22.5 degrees is probably overkill, every 45 likely would have sufficed but what the hey, extra holes are cheap. :) As it turned out a few of them aren't at 22.5 anyhow, not sure how I did that but with two locking bolts per at least one on each end is in the right spot. You can also see how I attached the uprights to the swivels. A couple of spring nuts & bolts on each section allow me to move the swivels up & down to adjust work height. I can also to adjust the rails relative to the spin center, this will come in handy when the balance changes as I add more pieces.

Well, thats it for the WhatchamaCallit, um, I mean WhirlyJig. Total cost was about $200 bucks Canuck for the steel plus about another $40 for the wheels as I didn't have anything suitable in the junk pile :(. When I'm done with it I'll either sell it outright or I may find other uses for the unistrut, its darned handy stuff to have around. :)

Comments? Questions? Spieling Erorrs?

Please feel free to contact me Here :)

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