I have a `63 Nova ss. It was a bracket racer. I am in desperate need of a dash. What would be cheaper in the long run...taking it in a the THE MAN or having a go at it myself? If I were to go at it myself, what when and were do I start? Materials ect.
making a dash from scratch, very cool.you can make it whatever you want.I`ll assume you have a grinder and a decent welder right?ok, take some measurements and go buy yourself some steel or aluminum.you can build a good metal brake with some green treated 4x4`s and line it with 1/4 inch flat stock iron, use nice big clamps to hold it in between the two.the nice thing is that you can make the 4x4 rounded with a saw, and then when you fold it over,it rolls a nice rounded lip, or whatever shape you put into the metal.make sure you anneal the metal with a torch to make it more pliable first, and then give it a slight overbend and bring it back into position,or take your tape measure and spend a day at the salvage yard,find any dash you like and make it fit.hope this helps.
HEY NOVASS ,where ya from EH? I am doing the same in my chevelle. I plan on using sheet aluminum but have also thought about making a fibreglass mold of a late model dash. Just some ideas. Want some cool ideas and see how others have done it , check out www.detroitspeed.com They are inspirational to say the least. Good luck , keep in touch , maybe we can help one another?
The only problem is the fiberglass will eat and distort the styrofoam. I know because when I was designin the Flash Dash for our coupes I first used styrofoam. Bad choice, turned into a puddle of what looked like alien guts. People told me to use a specific kind which I did but to no avail. I ended up making the buck out of wood and bondo. In the ling run was harder to shape but easier to make a female mold off of.
Making the dash? I would go with cardboard template to trace/or from measurements. Grab some steel (Flat stock) lay the template on the steel cut out your dash. Hole saw where you need your gages. Build mounting brackets for the back side, fit it/take it all out, prime it/paint it or laminate it put it back in, your done for less that $30.00 in materials. Harry Hts brain storm:>
The material you need for the carving of your "Plug" is High Density Urethane.It is quite expensive, about $350. per 1 1/2" by 4' x 8' you can buy it from a Sign Supply Cne of the brand names is "Precision Board" there are others..The material can be worked with the same tools that you would work wood with..
The alternative is to use "Styrofoam"..the secret to it's sucess is once you are finished making the "Plug" you should coat it with SEVERAL coats of a Latex Primer...(Ordinary House Paint). This will seal the foam so you can apply the Fiberglass..... ( The NICE thing about this method..is you don't necessarly have to build a "Female Mold " .just simply scrape out the Foam and finish the Fiberglass accordingly) You can check out my web site for an example of using this material....just scroll down to "SCORPION" the entire car was made with this method. Also the 55 Chevy chair "Plug" was made from the High Density Foam, as well as the 55 Chevy Table Lamps. I have been using this method for years with great success......
<a href="http://artbyshep.homestead.com/index.html" target="_blank">Art by shep</a>
If you have further questions..you can email me.
Hey brother. i inquired about making a fiberglass dash a while ago and someone from ramrod bodies told me to use that blue dense foam also. The stuff can be bought at a craft store and it is usually used for flower arrangements. He suggested i take a bunch and hot glue gun them together. Once it is basically the size and shape you need you can form it to your own design, he said you can usually sand this stuff to shape with just your hands! My original idea was to make a mold of a late model dash, he cautioned me that the vapours would likely mess up the dash and bond itself to your supposed mold. He suggested that if i tried this method to invest in some "pva" i think, dont quote me i am probably wrong. i could also be picked up at a craft store , this stuff once applied to the original dash would create a barrier that the vapours would not go through. Chapters has some info on books that may also help, i think HP books published one on fibreglass and composite materials. If you can find it now , Last months Street Rod Builder Magazine had an article on making an aluminum one, check it out it is sweet. I also noticed tonight at the local variety store, that , i think its this months Truck Builder Magazine has a trick looking Ranger with a hand formed dash in it. Check it out, it showed some decent pics of the dash before and after. Good luck, hope this helps ya eh! Keep me posted. Have a great day!
The "PVA" that you are reffering to is a poly vinyl alcohol that is used as a mold release agent where appearance is not an issue. And it would need to be applied to a smooth painted surface. Is a liquid and water based. Nasty stuff im my book. Used it once in making a mold, ended up resurfacing the mold because the "plug" stuck in there cause of poor application of the PVA. If you can spray it right, even, and perfect it works good, but on a 3-D part, a little bit of a nightmare. Mostly it is reffered to someone fairly new into composites for the fact parts will release from it. But like I said before, quality of your tooling gel og gelcoat finish will greatly suffer.
I am thinking of the same way a surf board is made. I mean afterall them things take a beating right? (NO..I do not surf)
But I have seen how they are made. All I need to do to shape it is a few different files, a orbital sander and compressed air to blow away the dust. Then I coat it with whatever it is they use and forget about male female molds....just put it in. Strong, still on the light side and CUSTOM.
What say folks?
jalopy45 ........... does Chris Alstons' Chassis Works have a web site? The URL would be nice.
Now you have the right idea !!!!!!! Since this is going to be a "ONE OF " this is the only way to go....If you build it as I suggested in a previous post ........you can easily scrape out the foam....this way you don't have to build a mold or have to worry about release agents etc.etc.
Just remember if you are using foam other than rigid urethane you must first apply a "Barrier Coat" before adding any fiberglass resin....
Hope this works for you.....