Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

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CarveOne
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Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by CarveOne »

I haven't posted anything new here in a while. This is a project that a nearby neighbor asked me to make for his hot rod rebuild project. He supplied the 1" thick by 33-1/2" by 12-1/2" walnut slab and a poster board template for me to go by. He requested the Celtic weave and stars border and cut the panel to shape to fit the fiberglass body. I did the layout yesterday and then cut it today. The weave needs a lot of work to clean it up due to the walnut being very stringy and the 1/16" tapered ball nose end mill should have been a new one. He's going to do some sanding on the edges and flat surfaces and I'll get it back tomorrow to clean up the weave and star areas and round over the front edges. He will spray the clear gloss lacquer finish layers on it.

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zeeway
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by zeeway »

That will be very classy.

Angie

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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by CarveOne »

We'll see.

I'll post another photo when the finish has been applied. When the car has been reassembled I'll post a photo of the instrument panel installation and of the finished car here. He bought the hot rod at a car auction and drove it about a year. Then he stripped it apart and has powder coated the frame, had the fiberglass body repainted and airbrushed. It's at the point of being ready to reassemble and rewire. The body is shaped like a stubby Model T pickup.

I will take some photos of it and have a couple of stand-up posters to display at the upcoming Aspire Camp if it's completed in time. See ya there?

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fretsman68
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by fretsman68 »

That looks fantastic, can't wait to see the finished product.

It's funny, I would have been nervous as hell cutting a piece of solid walnut that large! :lol:

Dave
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by CarveOne »

You can bet that I was intensely nervous also Dave. He had already cut it to the shape he wanted and I had to match it. The border vector outline has to follow the shape very closely and the top corner radius has to be near perfect. There are no straight 90 degree sides to measure from or corner to locate on so I had to find the center point somehow. It would have been better to have him round the top corners and give me a rectangular block to work with. A profile cut could have cut the angled sides to match the weave border precisely. As it happened, he did not have the short bottom straight edge perfectly centered and the right side angled edge is narrower than the left side. It will be belt sanded to match.

I shimmed the block of wood so that the top surface was as near the same height to the table top everywhere around it as much as possible. It isn't perfect due to having a little twist in the block of walnut. I had set the 3D Finish tool path to start cutting at 0.010" below the surface, and at the top left is flat topped just a tiny amount. It can be corrected with minor sanding.

The holes were cut as pockets so that there was no need to deal with plugs getting sucked into the dust collector or having compaction of chips causing smoldering wood chip problems in the bottom of an inside profile cut. It just takes longer to cut the pockets.

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bill_w
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by bill_w »

This should be fantastic when finished

and would love to see it when it's complete.

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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by galerdude »

Like it a lot!
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fretsman68
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by fretsman68 »

CarveOne wrote:You can bet that I was intensely nervous also Dave. He had already cut it to the shape he wanted and I had to match it. The border vector outline has to follow the shape very closely and the top corner radius has to be near perfect. There are no straight 90 degree sides to measure from or corner to locate on so I had to find the center point somehow. It would have been better to have him round the top corners and give me a rectangular block to work with. A profile cut could have cut the angled sides to match the weave border precisely. As it happened, he did not have the short bottom straight edge perfectly centered and the right side angled edge is narrower than the left side. It will be belt sanded to match.

I shimmed the block of wood so that the top surface was as near the same height to the table top everywhere around it as much as possible. It isn't perfect due to having a little twist in the block of walnut. I had set the 3D Finish tool path to start cutting at 0.010" below the surface, and at the top left is flat topped just a tiny amount. It can be corrected with minor sanding.

The holes were cut as pockets so that there was no need to deal with plugs getting sucked into the dust collector or having compaction of chips causing smoldering wood chip problems in the bottom of an inside profile cut. It just takes longer to cut the pockets.

CarveOne


Excellent execution, thank you for explaining your process. You have a created a beauty for sure,,,,, good on you!

Dave
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by Timvmax »

Love it. Can't wait for the finished pics

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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by CarveOne »

We ran into a couple of problems already. He discovered that the two large holes were cut too large, 3.75" instead of 3.375" (oops! my bad) The bezel of the speedometer and tachometer gauges almost drop through the large holes. I cut two walnut filler rings from a scrap block of the walnut on the CNC machine yesterday evening and fitted them into the holes with Titebond III to dry overnight. Today I block sanded the rings flat with the panel surface. The rings and glue line can't be seen with the gauges in place. Titebond III dries with a brown color that fades into the walnut.

When we held the panel in place on the body to see how it looks I asked him if he had enough room for the gas and brake pedals so that his big feet would not get caught on the panel. Now we think the panel needs to be sawn off just below the two large holes. :shock:

He has another walnut board that we can use to make a second instrument panel. Any weave border down under the large holes would just be a simple one row weave. The four small holes would need to be placed in-line even with the top of the large holes.

It's his call. We'll install it as it is now, and after the car is reassembled and he tries sitting in it he'll make a judgment call as to what to do next. Saw it off or make a new one. Meanwhile, I'm still sanding and removing wood fibers from the weave.

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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by zeeway »

Those dang one-off prototypes are difficult....

Angie

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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by CarveOne »

Update:

The owner has decided that this instrument panel won't work as it is, due to the lack of room at the bottom for safely operating the gas and brake pedals. He doesn't want to mess it up by sawing off the lower part of the panel, so he will save this one for his V-8 engine powered "Trike" build that has a larger cockpit area instead. He says this panel will work in that one just fine. He likes my repair of the large gauge holes just fine. With the gauges in place the repair is invisible.

So, now I get to start all over :roll: and change the shape and layout of the gauges. I'll make the weave just two rows high (instead of three) and see how that works visually. That should increase the size of the openings and make it easier to clean up if the second piece of walnut is stringy also.

More to come ...

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fretsman68
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by fretsman68 »

Just think of it as job security :wink:

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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by ChrisInEstes »

That's a fun project to get to work on. I'd route the new design on some cheap wood to make sure it's just right... If it comes out just right, sell it on eBay!

I'm a car guy, so I'd like to know what car it's going in.

Thanks for posting this,
Chris
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CarveOne
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Re: Hot Rod Instrument Panel - Celtic weave and stars

Post by CarveOne »

It's a T-bucket style hot rod Chris.

Don't know much about the details. The interior has new upholstery, black with orange stitching. Black powder coated chassis, lots of chromed parts, wide fat tires on the rear, narrow spoked wheels on the front. Way too much V8 power up front. :) I can only describe it with a photo. The silver airbrush work (tribal type stuff) over black looks really good to me. He will start reassembly soon, and I'll lend a hand when he needs help holding things while he install bolts. We're both retired and needing more work to do to fill the time we already don't have nearly enough of ...
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