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Old 10-31-2003, 06:26 PM
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Making door panels

I am working on a 57 F100 interior. What is the best material to make door panels out of? If I wish to make three dimensional panels would I just laminate a second layer and blend/feather the edges? I need to make a rear cab cover and have relocated my gas tank. The flat areas are easy but how do I get smooth radiused corners? I guess I should add that no one that I know of sells the rear cab panel for a 57 w/o the tank cut out.

Charles in Pensacola

Restomodding at the speed of a slow sick snail!

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Old 10-31-2003, 08:59 PM
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I've always used lite-weight masonite type hardboard for the base, then add layers of different density and thickness foam for the sculptured look. I use an electric carving knife to cut foam.
You can scribe or lightly cut lines on the back side of the panel and then bend it gently till you get the curve you want.
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Old 11-01-2003, 01:37 PM
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Hey, Charles

Check this book out -- it'll explain everything you need to know:
Custom Auto Interiors

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 11-01-2003, 02:26 PM
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Forget the panel board or wood. Find a plastic supplier in your area, and buy some PVC plastic sheets. We buy 4x8 sheets for a little under $24 a sheet. You can bend the stuff and mold it to shapes. We have recently completed switched all of our panels to PVC sheet plastic, 1/8" thick.

For your rear cab, you would bend the plastic into the shape/curve of the cab, screw it temporarily into shape, then heat it with a heat gun where the plastic is bent/curved. Let it cool. It will cool and stay in the shape you heated it to, pretty damn handy if you ask me. Then trim, add your choice of fasteners, cover and your done.

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Old 11-02-2003, 06:58 PM
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Thanks everyone,

From all my sources I'm getting ABS plastic and various types of wood. I'm VERY comfortable with wood. Plastic will be a new experience. My biggest concern is the rear cab corners.

Alan I'll check out the book. It must be good as I have had several people recommend it and another one he wrote.

Thanks all,
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Old 11-02-2003, 07:28 PM
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The book is excellent ... no doubt about it.


Happy trails, bro' ... keep us posted on your progress, eh?

Alan
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Old 11-04-2003, 01:09 PM
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I've always used the masonite, then added sculpturing with fiberglas. 3M spray adhesive to stick on fabric. Kris- in the past I've had difficulty with stuff sticking to plastic- what adhesive do you recommend? Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2003, 02:47 PM
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Dragon J

Why would you use masonite over say Luan paneling or some other thin wood?
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Old 11-04-2003, 02:48 PM
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Dragon J, www.roddoors.com has a spray glue to use with their plastic panels but its $16.00 a can it could get expensive real quick.

I may go with their universal door panels for the pattern but they want $100.00 per sheet for flat stock. I think I will look around for a plastic supplier in my area.
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Old 11-04-2003, 02:57 PM
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I can get eighth inch masonite from a supplier in town (and cheap!) And I also like the flexibility without breaking- just easy to use, cut and glue up into any shape!! Also foam and fabric sticks GREAT to it without creeping. I am interested in the plastics however on the next project.
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Old 11-10-2003, 03:52 PM
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KristKustoms,
Could you give a little more detail on what kind of plastic I would be looking for and also brands or national dist.
Thanks
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Old 11-10-2003, 04:36 PM
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Check out this '52 Suburban.

'52 Suburban

He discovered the plastic sheeting too. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page where he talks about the headliner and his custom dash.

He hasn't updated the site since August, but it looks very trick so far. If you're into old Suburbans or Panel Vans, check the whole site out. He's really kicking butt on this project.

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Cheers!

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Old 11-10-2003, 07:13 PM
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1/8" Thick PVC plastic sheet. There isnt really a brand, any plastic supplier would have it. Id look under plastic in the yellow pages of your phone book. Let me know if you cant find it.
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Old 11-13-2003, 04:32 PM
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I found the PVC plastic sheets. The thickness they had was 3mm which looks like 1/8" to me. This is really nice looking stuff. Can't wait to start working with it.
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Old 11-13-2003, 05:32 PM
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Cool! Keep us posted on your progress, eh? Will you be taking pics, too?

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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