How many bows do you want? They are not all the same width!
The real hard part as I am starting to learn is where to put the feet of the frame in the right places so they do not interfere with your winches and cleats; and get the height correct, meaning as high as possible without interfering with your boom, all the while keeping the top level.
Now, how do you want it to fold? forward or aft, and what will that interfere with?
Not so simple.
Dick if you are familiar with the tool that electricians use to bind conduit, then bower or buy one, along with a pipe cutter and get some sticks of half inch conduit. You can use this as a cheep way to figure out the “Leg Length” of your bows
First off don’t worry about your mock up going all the way across to cockpit. You are looking to find the height of the bimini or dodger, and how it will look. So what you are making will only go from the intended mounting point to where the bow bends, plus a foot or two across.
Have someone hold a tape measure at the point you think you want the “Deck Hinge” to be mounted.
Pull the tape on about a 45 degree angle to the height and distance you want the frame to cover
With that measurement you can start to experiment with the conduit
Put a 90 degree bend a foot or so from the end of the tubing
Measure the distance (including the radius of the arc) and cut it
Have someone hold it in place and see if it looks right (be sure to tape the end of the tube, so you don’t scratch anything)
Start longer then you think and cut as needed until it is just right
Now check if it will interfere with anything
The secondary bow will attach to this bow so you can figure it’s leg length making sure it will fold even to the other (if you intend on having a frame that folds)
It may seem like a lot of work and some extra cost, but ending up with the right frame is priceless