Since I purchased two hardtops, I have needed a place to store them when off the car. There are many ways mentioned on the internet about how to store them. The suggestions ranged from lifts that mount to the ceiling to carts that rolled around on the floor to wall racks for hanging the hardtops. I chose to make a wall rack and hang them.
My garage has the room with a 10’ ceiling, but the only wall that had enough room had two rows of shelves with the lower shelf in the way. I needed to clear out the garage some anyway so I removed the lower shelf making room for the new hardtop rack.
I decided to attach a 2 x 4 to the wall and use it to attach anchors made like the Frankenstein bolts that attach to the rear of the car. The hardtops will be hung from these attachments. Since I have two tops to hang I used a 2 x 4 x 12’. I centered and marked the distance between the bolt locations at 41-1/4” and left enough room between them to allow for both tops.
I found that a ½ x 3” lag bolt from the local hardware store could be modified to closely match the top of the Frankenstein bolts. I turned them on my mini-lathe to the proper dimensions.
Once a bolt was centered in the chuck, the shank, I tapered the shank to mimic the Frankenstein bolt diameter at the top.
Then I rounded the hex head.
Next I flattened the top of the head and smoothed the edges.
I cut a slot in the top with a die grinder wheel for installing them with a screwdriver.
I cleaned them up on a wire wheel and sprayed them with primer to keep them from rusting.
Then I drilled a 3/8” pilot hole in locations marked earlier in the 2 x 4 to accept the lag bolts. Since I failed to buy an extra bolt, I screwed one of the bolts in with a wrench to make threads before I turned the bolt in the lathe. It would have been easier to buy one more bolt.
This is the one I was looking for. The last one is finished after using it to make the threads.
Today I hung the first top on the rack by myself. Once it was attached to the bolts the top hung perfectly. There is also room for my other hardtop beside this one.
Here is a picture of both hard tops mounted on the wall.
I had planned to add a 2×4 to allow the top to rest on just at the window opening, but since my walls are not sheathed, the top sides hang between the studs. This gives more room clearance, so I will leave the second 2×4 off.
This was one of the simpler projects I have done to date. It will pay off in more room in the shop and hopefully protect my hardtops better than a roll around cart.
I also plan to find some form of cover to keep the tops dust free. I have not determined the best solution for that yet.
One more project completed! Many more to go!