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Thread: 36 chevy coupe custom dash and sub dash build

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    Dead on as always my friend. Classic cars are my true passion and hobby, period. I have never had any desire to do what Len does in a production shop setting. I very much admire Len's work and know he can and has produced custom show quality cars beyond my skill level (not to mention the fact that I have had to bug him on the phone occasionally for advise). Since the early 70's I have been racing and building hot rods with the same group of classic car enthusiasts and wouldn't have it any other way. This is my one true life passion in which I could never put a value on nor would I want to. A friend once said to me "I would love to put a value on your abilities too build hot rods", my reply "the value is not in the build or my abilities, it's in the friendships I have gained through the decades".
    amen to that my friend.
    b marler

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    This dash reconstruction pictorial is for you S-C, I think you will find it interseting.
    For the better part of 5 years I have been restoring and highly modifying a 36' Chevy coupe. It is now down to paint, wiring and assembly. Unfortunately I don't get to work on it every day as I have classic car buddies drop by the shop nearly every day in which we are doing repairs, restoring, etc.. I have the honor to work on and be around some of the most unique classics builds ever produced. With the exception of upholstery I do all my own work (my passion is in sheet metal work and engine building). Here are a few pics on the dash rebuild as well as the sub dash I build that holds all the modern conveniences such as; hvac vents, hvac controls, radio head that includes am, fm, cd, dvd, and gps driving. Dash was originally a 3 gauge set up in which I converted it too a 5 gauge with modern electronics for the LS1/4l60e that I installed some time back. Attachment 31194Attachment 31195Attachment 31196Attachment 31197Attachment 31198

    After finishing gauge package I moved on to welding up original dash too start with a blank canvas
    Question, On the last picture how did you finish the transition to go from the flat gauge panel to the original dash? I would like to do that with my truck as well. I see you started with some spot welds but not sure where to go after that to get a consistent radius.
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marten View Post
    Question, On the last picture how did you finish the transition to go from the flat gauge panel to the original dash? I would like to do that with my truck as well. I see you started with some spot welds but not sure where to go after that to get a consistent radius.
    not positive what ron did there, but i would guess he stitch welded and blended the welds. that's what i would do there. it takes a little time, but it's not as difficult as you think. plus, there's a little curve to the metal, so a small inconsistency in the radius won't really draw your eye to it. plus, there's always a small amount of filler or filler primer to help tweak the surface.
    i would think you wouldn't have much trouble doing it based on the things you've already accomplished on your truck.
    b marler

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marten View Post
    Question, On the last picture how did you finish the transition to go from the flat gauge panel to the original dash? I would like to do that with my truck as well. I see you started with some spot welds but not sure where to go after that to get a consistent radius.
    Marten,

    I used several steps to get the dash panel perfect. I started with what I'll call a "dirty print" of the panel using tracing paper and dry guide coat (see pic). After pattern is produced it is a simple matter of transferring it to wood for producing a buck (have a pic of buck somewhere, I'll see if I can find it) that replicates exact dimensions of panel and outer radius. Prior to starting the dash curve radius on the buck I'll do a rough in on outside curve edge of panel using a slapper spoons on a piece of 12" railroad track that I use for shaping sheet metal. Once on the buck it is a simple matter of tapping down edges to a perfect fit. I work the sheet metal on buck and check fitment often to the original dash. Once I have a good fit I'll trim the edges to allow a .063" gap between edge of new panel curve radius and lower flat dash area, this allows me just enough room to stitch weld the panel solid all the way around. Welding was then ground to dash surface.
    After the pattern was traced onto sheet metal and prior to working the sheet metal on buck I used the inside dimensions to center my 5 gauge package and bored the gauges using 2 hole saw blades to spec.
    While this covers "most" of the fab work, I went one extra step in which I frenched in all the gauges .375", this made for a really nice clean looking custom dash.
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  5. #20
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    lol, i guess i may have over-simplified my explanation to marten...i thought he was only referring to the final step of grafting the new panel onto the dashboard.
    great job btw with the gauge panel, i like when a modification looks as though it was always that way from the factory. you know it wasn't, but can't put your finger on how it's different. (aside from the modern gauges anyway)
    b marler

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    lol, i guess i may have over-simplified my explanation to marten...i thought he was only referring to the final step of grafting the new panel onto the dashboard.
    great job btw with the gauge panel, i like when a modification looks as though it was always that way from the factory. you know it wasn't, but can't put your finger on how it's different. (aside from the modern gauges anyway)
    Actually I think you are correct, but you know me..lol, I'm not going to take an easy route.

    " i like when a modification looks as though it was always that way from the factory. you know it wasn't, but can't put your finger on how it's different.(aside from the modern gauges anyway)"
    This is exactly the whole point of all this extra work.
    Last edited by Ronf; 05-03-2021 at 11:08 AM.

  7. #22
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    Thanks guys. Yes I wanted to know the final step but...I like the way you explained how you made the dash as well. I to love the look of changing something but it blends in so well that most people won't even know it. That has been the goal of my truck as well. Early Chip Foose stuff was great for that. Last couple of times I watched him, he was just buying bolt on parts and painting the car.
    Thanks
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marten View Post
    Thanks guys. Yes I wanted to know the final step but...I like the way you explained how you made the dash as well. I to love the look of changing something but it blends in so well that most people won't even know it. That has been the goal of my truck as well. Early Chip Foose stuff was great for that. Last couple of times I watched him, he was just buying bolt on parts and painting the car.
    Thanks
    Marten,

    It's hard to believe you had no prior experience in relation to body work, you do really nice work with lots of attention to detail. You are obviously good with your hands and I think your carpenter skills really gave you a one up. Keep us posted!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    Marten,

    It's hard to believe you had no prior experience in relation to body work, you do really nice work with lots of attention to detail. You are obviously good with your hands and I think your carpenter skills really gave you a one up. Keep us posted!
    Thanks Ronf. I get such a kick when someone says they find it hard to believe I have no previous experience. Makes me feel really good. It is true. I have always worked with my hands so the coordination is very good. I have always been a car nut, not sure why as I didn't grow up with a parent that was into cars at all. My brother was a mechanic until about 4 years ago but really didn't talk much to him. I can look at something and can picture how it will look after some changes. Works most of the time but, well you don't get to see the mistakes or opps moments.
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

  10. #25
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    Default Restoring trim work

    Finishing up restoring hood trim and doghouse stainless steel trim. 85 year old trim was beat up pretty bad with dimples, pimples, bends and twists. It took just over 2 days to get all the trim picked out, straightened, sanded and polished. After pic'n and filing the trim it got sanded with 180, 320, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500 and 2500 before hitting buffer for polishing. Polish was completed using brown, green and white rouge. I make most of my own trim picking tools, which is very easy too do, as it makes removing pings and dents much easier. Large heavy gauge trim can be worked with standard trim tools.
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  11. #26
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    Finishing up the hood trim
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  12. #27
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    Default Picking the grill surround trim

    Today I am finishing the grill surround trim. Last of the trim to work on my 36' project. This trim was particularly hard to work as it had many fold overs and curves that attach to grill.
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  13. #28
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    WOW!!!!! That looks awesome.
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

  14. #29
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    nice work ron, that trim looks fantastic. the home made picks are the only way to get into some of those complex shapes. i have a couple of tiny picking hammers i bought decades ago that i still use, but i have a drawer full of little homemade stuff for those special pieces.
    i might have some things that could save you some time when doing the stainless polishing work. i use a process using red scotchbrite roloc discs, followed by a unitized silicone carbide 3 inch roloc. then a polish made by chemithon. comes in these huge green bricks that last forever. i can go from a bare weld to mirror finish with only those products. i used to use two or three different grits and polishes till i found this stuff. when i'm all done i'll use flitz on it for protection.
    the chemithon polish is really amazing. if you lean on it it will cut quickly but when you back off it comes up to mirror without leaving marks.
    i'm out at my cabin right now so i can't get any pictures for you, but when i get back i'll show you what i do.
    of course there are times you need to get more aggressive, like bringing mill finish up, or repairing bad road rash. i start with 60 grit in those instances, (or maybe a coarse scotchbrite, it depends on the size of the repair.) work my way up to 600. gotta be so careful not to work harden the surface. once i get to 600 i switch to the roloc stuff.
    b marler

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    nice work ron, that trim looks fantastic. the home made picks are the only way to get into some of those complex shapes. i have a couple of tiny picking hammers i bought decades ago that i still use, but i have a drawer full of little homemade stuff for those special pieces.
    i might have some things that could save you some time when doing the stainless polishing work. i use a process using red scotchbrite roloc discs, followed by a unitized silicone carbide 3 inch roloc. then a polish made by chemithon. comes in these huge green bricks that last forever. i can go from a bare weld to mirror finish with only those products. i used to use two or three different grits and polishes till i found this stuff. when i'm all done i'll use flitz on it for protection.
    the chemithon polish is really amazing. if you lean on it it will cut quickly but when you back off it comes up to mirror without leaving marks.
    i'm out at my cabin right now so i can't get any pictures for you, but when i get back i'll show you what i do.
    of course there are times you need to get more aggressive, like bringing mill finish up, or repairing bad road rash. i start with 60 grit in those instances, (or maybe a coarse scotchbrite, it depends on the size of the repair.) work my way up to 600. gotta be so careful not to work harden the surface. once i get to 600 i switch to the roloc stuff.
    bmarler,

    I am very interested in the Chemithon polish and the Flitz for protection. I use the fine grade unitized silicone carbide roloc discs now on stainless trim and on occasion the roloc 320 grit flap discs (I don't use flap discs on 26 ga., just scares me). You are absolutely dead on with bluing or hardening the metal during polish out, big problem when this occurs. I looked for the Chemithon polish (brick) but cannot find it, I would really like to give this product a shot. Maybe when you have time you could demo it? I assume it can be used on 8" wheel buffers? Do you apply it in the same manner as rouge, 1-2 seconds on the buffing wheel? Any additional info you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks buddy for taking the time to respond and look forward too hearing more on these products!

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