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Old 11-29-2007, 08:54 PM
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tail light lens material

Can a tail light lens be made using any red plastic or glass?

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Old 11-29-2007, 09:26 PM
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Plain plastic does not diffuse the light properly like the prismatic lense material can.

I used to be able to get lense material from Lambert enterprises, but I don't think they sell it like that anymore .

I seem to remember seeing the clear prismatic material at TAP plastics, or one of the other plastic supply houses,, and there is a glue that you can use to stick the clear onto the back of the red polycarbonate, and make a really nice lense.


I know you won't want to buy it, because you are such a innovative and thrifty fellow, but I'll post the link anyway.

Here is a lense kit, scroll down the page about halfway.
http://www.customdynamics.com/led_flush_mount_kits.htm



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Old 11-29-2007, 09:59 PM
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This question was asked a year or so ago. Search this site or search willys36 postings. He made some custom lenses I believe.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-manytoyzs
This question was asked a year or so ago. Search this site or search willys36 postings. He made some custom lenses I believe.
This one?

Where to get tail light lense red plastic

later, mikey
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:09 PM
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Have you considered the stuff that they use for the lenses on overhead florecent lights then tent it red or what ever color you chose with som candy paint on the inside. Have you thought about those narrow cadilliac lights or 3rd breaklights from the cadilliac escilade(that looks like an avalanche) and possibly putting your reverse lights at the bed rail curl in the end cap?
Shane
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Mikey and Toyz. In the Willys36 thread there is this link to an outfit that sells lens material. http://www.hitechledproducts.com/pro...fff220c59bb734
It's actually a two-part product, the prism material which looks clear and then what looks like red colored plastic. You cut the shape you want and then laminate the two pieces together. I'm wondering, however, if you used a red LED would you even need the red plastic? Would the clear prism be just as effective or even more effective - since you'd have no tinted plastic the light would have to go through. Or what about 4x4's suggestion of just using clear prism material from some other source. BTW, I've tried cutting those overhead plastic panels into rounded shapes...and they are a real bear to prevent splintering and breaking.
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:16 AM
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cboy,

I like the Prism idea because, at least in my State, you have to have some sort of reflective material on the rear of the car (and I really don't want those tacky License plate reflectors!)-and, I think that you could get away with a red LED (although don't you want a red Tail light lense?)-
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
Thanks Mikey and Toyz. In the Willys36 thread there is this link to an outfit that sells lens material. http://www.hitechledproducts.com/pro...fff220c59bb734
It's actually a two-part product, the prism material which looks clear and then what looks like red colored plastic. You cut the shape you want and then laminate the two pieces together. I'm wondering, however, if you used a red LED would you even need the red plastic? Would the clear prism be just as effective or even more effective - since you'd have no tinted plastic the light would have to go through. Or what about 4x4's suggestion of just using clear prism material from some other source. BTW, I've tried cutting those overhead plastic panels into rounded shapes...and they are a real bear to prevent splintering and breaking.

The link to the Hitech lens material is the same stuff that I posted, and is polycarbonate, (lexan), while most of the stuff that is in home and office light fixtures is just clear plastic,..
That's why it breaks. I can't hardly change a lightbulb in one of those fixtures that uses that stuff without breaking it.


I suppose you could glue some of the clear prismatic stuff onto the lexan, but then I think you need a different glue. I did some hard laminating of some emergency room reference cards in lexan for the local hospital and used an ultra clear epoxy made by Loctite, but it was expensive.

If you use clear lens material, you will be able to see inside of your light bucket and see your LED ...doesn't sound real aesthetically pleasing..... to me, anyway...I know when it gets cold up there in Wisconsin, you guys start to think up all kinds of stuff.

Later, mikey
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
...I know when it gets cold up there in Wisconsin, you guys start to think up all kinds of stuff.
It's 3 degrees as we speak...maybe that's why I'm inside obsessing on tail light lenses rather than out in the shop sanding body filler.

And in light of your post on the shattering qualities of ceiling panels maybe this post not too relevant. But anyway...

Here are some comparisons I just made. The first shot is from a plastic ceiling tile which I just happened to have down in the basement.



The second shot is from one section of an older F-150 tail light lens. Quite similar in pattern it seems.



The third shot is from another section of that F-150 lens. Obviously quite a different pattern with the circular features. This is the section directly in front of the dual filament bulb.



The fourth shot is from lower section of my 2005 Ranger lens. Again, a very similar pattern to the ceiling tile.



And the last shot is from the upper section of my Ranger lens, the area directly in front of the bulb. This pattern is a very simple ridge which runs around the lens...no complicated circular pattern like in the F-150 lens.



I guess where I'm going with these pictures is that I think a workable lens could be crafted from the ceiling tile and a plain red plastic (or even stained glass) IF, as you say Mikey, you can cut the darn ceiling tile without shattering it AND you can either glue of clamp the two pieces together in some sort of sandwich.

The other option I may now take, after discovering the F-150 lenses hidden up in my shop, is to cut the circular patterned portion of the lens to fit my needs for the main 1157 bulb and then just use plain old tinted red plastic in the other portions of my tail light array.

I might still fiddle with the ceiling tile idea, however, since it would provide rodders with an affordable material for making their own custom lenses. Plus.....I'm from Wisconsin....it's dang cold today....and it makes us crazy. Oh, and BTW, Dallas is NOT "America's Team"!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:54 AM
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Dallas? Por que Dallas?

I got a nice milkhouse heater I'll send you...it sounds like you need one.

Anyway..


Try warming that light fixture material up to 120 or so and see if it will cut easier.

Or.

Maybe glue it to the lexan first, then try cutting it. (or red soda bottle or saran wrap painted with your wife's toenail polish or whatever red material you scrounge up.)


Later.
BTW, There is an "I" in "america's team", I guess that can be ME, ....Me, my, I, Mikey
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:03 AM
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Tail light lens material

My first driver was a '52 Ford, nosed ,decked, shaved and lowered. What a sweet heart! anyway, the trick low buck tail light treatment at the time was to cut circles out of red Plexiglas and use them for lenses. To get the reflective quality, we would line the light bucket with alum. foil. If you were artistic, you would add small chrome bullets to the lens. If your tail light had a curve to it, you just made a stretch out pattern and a buck out of card board. Then a few minutes in moms oven and you had a shaped lens. The down side of that was a really mad Mom 'cause the hot dish had a slight plastic taste to it for a while. We later found out that her hair dryer would get the same results and the hot dish tasted better too!

Youngster
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
I might still fiddle with the ceiling tile idea, however, since it would provide rodders with an affordable material for making their own custom lenses. Plus.....I'm from Wisconsin....it's dang cold today....and it makes us crazy. Oh, and BTW, Dallas is NOT "America's Team"!!!!!!!!!!
The owner of the rod shop that currently has my '36 Terraplane said that he's used this technique before and that it can work very well, especially if the lens in question is custom shaped or unavailable. The truck seems to have Guide 682-C headlights on it, but the glass lenses for the pods were broken. We were considering this option to make new lenses (I do know that the shark-fin shaped lenses are available aftermarket, but I think the less-popular rounded style would look better).

I don't know what he would use to color the panel, but he said that it was easily shaped with a heat-gun, or other focused heat source. Bit of practice needed in order to not burn it or form bubbles, but he sounded pretty confident in the whole process.

- Mike
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:20 PM
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Ceiling panel as lens material

I you cut a piece out of your ceiling panel won't all of the dead flies fall out on your car?
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
Oh, and BTW, Dallas is NOT "America's Team"!!!!!!!!!!

Careful there, cboy (no I'm not a Dallas fan, but)-

I've often wondered about everyone's likes and dislikes around here regarding NFL Teams but never brought it up because I want to keep all of you as friends-let's not go there!
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
Careful there, cboy (no I'm not a Dallas fan, but)-

I've often wondered about everyone's likes and dislikes around here regarding NFL Teams but never brought it up because I want to keep all of you as friends-let's not go there!

I don't do sports I like Cars ~Music & looking @ women @ cars shows better than watching over fed ,over paid giants pound each other over someone's ball

CBOY just paint the bulb red

Or put some candles in there for heat.

Brrrr it was only n the 70's today I

had to ware a sweat shirt!

Has anyone tried cutting the plastic with a sharp razor blade thus scoring it like glass?




R
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