Building Bimini Frames  
By Lee Martin - College Station, Texas - USA

I was taught how to build bimini frames by an expert a few years ago. Chuck Ruhl was building frames for a shop in Kemah when I stopped by for a lesson. Talk about low tech, I was surprised to find a plywood round about 16” to 18” diameter was used to bend the tubing and a piece of P.V.C. pipe was the cheater bar.

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The basis is 2--3/4” plywood rounds nailed together and then nailed to the floor. The clamp for the tubing is built with 2 pieces of 2X4” drop, placed with a pipe width spacing.

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Once the decision is made on the foot and top width and height, the pipe is cut to length, and the “bend to” mark can be placed. This allows all bends and lengths to be the same.

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Slowly bend pipe with cheater bar to the” bend to” mark. Start the bending process as close to the round as possible and move the cheater out when necessary.

Each bend should end at the mark on the floor, this mark can be moved for final adjustment, but the bends should all end at the same place.

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Two or three bow bimini frames are easy to build. You can buy the ends, hinges and all fittings from Duckworks

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The layout and sewing of the bimini cover is far beyond my ken and should be left to a top hand. Actually this work is easy to learn and if you jump right in you can finish this project.

It will take some fitting to get the canvas part perfect, but it’s far from impossible.

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Happy camper safely tucked away under her homemade bimini/tent.

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