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Picture of Jeep TJ Rocker Panels in 1 Hour

I do love a good challenge. For this one-hour challenge, I'm going to attempt to build a set of rocker panels for my Jeep TJ in under an hour.

For those of you unfamiliar with the offroading world, a rocker panel is a thick steel plate designed to save your body panels from damage when going over rocks or other obstacles.

I started with a set of drawings that I slapped together during lunch and a half sheet of 3/16" stainless steel. I also have a few more tools available to me than your average DIYer would...

Step 1: 5:25 Start Time; Minute 0-6

Picture of 5:25 Start Time; Minute 0-6
Rocker panel drawing.jpg

The first thing to do: cut the heavy sheet into two manageable pieces that will become the left and right sides.

Rough dimension of each rocker panel: 48" x 11.75".

Aesthetically, it would probably look a little better if it were 48.5" wide, but that would be a horrible use of material, so I compromised with 48". It also saves me a cut by using a 48" wide piece of material and not having to cut down a 60" sheet. The numeric-controlled backstop on the sheer saved me some time by not having to mark out those two cuts. Time to finish two cuts: 3 minutes.

Next, I've got to mark out the angled cuts that will follow the fender angles on the jeep. If I were laser cutting these like most major manufacturers would, these angles would only be 5-6" long and would end where I place my first bend. But that would take too long to send off to the laser cutter... no way I'm getting that back within an hour.

It took me an additional 3 minutes to mark and cut those four cuts.