Looking to reproduce Dino Door Pockets

Discussion in '206/246' started by rosemeyer, Nov 29, 2010.

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  1. rosemeyer

    rosemeyer Karting
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    While Rob 'Nuvolari' takes care of the mechanical components for our recently started Dino restoration, I am attending to refurbishment/replacement of body and trim items.

    As most of you know there are several cosmetic parts which are either NLA, or available only as reproductions not faithful to the orginal items. One such component are the interior door pockets which came on the M-series and later cars. In most cars these are usually damaged/cracked and accurate reproductions are not available from any vendor.

    I have already spoken with a few companies about the possibility of having exact copies (including the metal trim) of the door pockets produced. Among those I have been communicating with has been F-chat's own Verell (unobtaniumsupply.com). Verell's reputation on F-chat speaks for itself. He has been receptive to the idea and shares my conviction that the parts either be reproduced precisely or not at all.

    Having done my initial research I would now be interested in hearing from the f-chat community to see if there would be enough interest to justify pursuing this project further. Based on my initial conversations with Verell and others I would anticipate the finished cost of these to be approx. $350-$400 per set. If at this price point there is sufficient interest to proceed I would then get confirmed orders and would require an undamaged original from which to create the mold (left and right pockets are identical). The original would be absolutely undamaged and would be returned. No idea yet on lead times as I am trying to gauge interest before proceeding further.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  2. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    My recently acquired 71 Euro Dino GT (M-series) was in the Anthony Wang collection for 20yrs. Its door pockets look pretty new, and do have the metal trim on them. So how I determine if they're original or not-so-accurate repros?
     
  3. mechaniker

    mechaniker Formula Junior
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    Aren´t they the same as used in an old Fiat 500 ?

    I think, they are still available new.
     
  4. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Rookie
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    The Fiat 500 pockets are the ones most vendors sell. They are similar in size and shape but the finish is well off and they have no metal trim. As such they are far from an accurate replacement.
     
  5. rosemeyer

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    HMB-Dino, don't yet know how to post photos so I will provide a verbal description. The metal trim strip is near the upper edge of the pockets. The area above the strip has a pattern of horizontal lines molded into the plastic. The area below the metal strip has a very lightly grained pattern. The repros look nothing like this so it should be immediately obvious which ones you have based on the above description.
     
  6. GermanDino

    GermanDino F1 Rookie
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    Hello Paul,
    would be great to have original looking replacements. You are right, everything you get these days are non acceptable replacements.
    If you can get the price down to $ 250,- per pair I think this could interest a few guys.
    Maybe you can get a deal with one of the big parts supplier and so reduce costs further.
    These things crack quite often, there should be a market for a quality replacement.
    I would certainly buy one or two sets.
    Regards Matthias
     
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  8. rosemeyer

    rosemeyer Karting
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    Matthias,

    I would like to see the cost as low as possible as well. I did want to mention that the price I suggested represents zero profit for me and only a modest one for the company/person doing the manufacturing. I simply want to make available a product which I think the Dino community could use. You only need to look at the cost of other low-volume reproduction plastic parts to see how reasonable (in a relative sense at least) the cost is for parts of this size and this production quantity

    The problem with higher volumes is that while it reduces your piece price you require more expensive/advanced tooling and production techniques which raises your up front costs significantly. It is all about balancing conflicting considerations in order to make the project viable at a price we can live with.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  9. synchro

    synchro F1 Veteran

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    I'm in

    PS - I think you should have made this post a poll so you could get an easy tally
     
  10. Verell

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    Plastic parts are only cheap with make in very high volumes. Try pricing a comparable door panel for a current production car. It will be around $100 - $150, and those parts are run off a thousand or so at a time.

    This is a pretty big piece of plastic. The mold as I envision it would take me something like 12 to 16 hours to make, would make 1 - 2 parts/day & would be good for a run of 30 to 40 parts.

    A machined injection mold would cost in the ballpark of $10K to $20K and would have a lifetime of 1000 or more parts. You would still have to find a plastic shop that would be willing to run off a relatively small run (20-50 or so) parts. Even so, I think the run setup & mold amortization costs would still put the final cost into the ballpark rosemeyer are discussing, or even higher.
     
  11. GermanDino

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    ok, understood, regards Matthias
     
  12. HMB-Dino

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    I'll have to look and take a couple pix of mine when I get home, but your description sounds familiar. But then again, the door pockets aren't something I ever really notice when I enter/exit the car.
     
  13. pk246gt

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    #12 pk246gt, Nov 30, 2010
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    I had a similar problem: my E series came with two different door pockets; one original and one after market (the one I believe to be original has the metal band -stainless or spring steel?- with a small flat tag in the centre of the band see image, presumably to hold the band down? I wondering whether this is the “original” style. See images- 1st one is commonly available replacement (Fiat?) which doesn’t have the band or match the original. Next 2 are original I beleive and last one a file image of original from Abstamaria's car (I think).

    In my case I purchased a second hand original pocket but as often happens, when the part arrived, while it was the real McCoy with metal band (no flat tag), the general condition was very much poorer than it appeared in the sellers image (this may not have been intentional). But I was still glad to get it.

    I’ve removed the metal bands and am prepping/repainting the plastic to match then I’ll clean up the bands and refit; a fair bit of work.

    Your idea for making up ‘originals’ has merit and I would be in for a couple of sets.
    Paul.
    door pocket after market IMG_1303.JPG
    door pocket image 1 front IMG_1297.JPG
    door pocket image 2 inside IMG_1296.JPG
    abstamaria door card and pocket IMG_4788.jpg
     
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  15. HMB-Dino

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    #13 HMB-Dino, Nov 30, 2010
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    I just checked my 71 Euro GT #01712 (early M-Series), and my door pockets seem to be the same as those you indicate are original except mine do not have the small piece midway along the metal strip. Inside the door pocket, I can feel some lettering/numbering, but wasn't sure how to remove the door pocket after removing the (2) visible screws and didn't want to force it just to get a `read' on the imprinting.

    So the question is...are they originals or repros?
    EndView.jpg
    SideView.jpg
    CloseUp.jpg
     
  16. racerboy9

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    Is it possible to go back to the original manufacturer (if still in existence) and see if a run of these could be made? Maybe they still have the tooling for the door pockets. FIM made a run of the heat exchangers a few years back. You never know till you ask!
     
  17. rosemeyer

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    HMB, the photos posted by pk246gt and my earlier description tell the story. Yours are the originals. In the pics you can see the one without the metal strip is totally different than the correct ones.

    BTW I have never seen the small tab on the metal strip either in photos or in person. This may be a production variant or may be something installed on this particular car to replace a damaged original. The pocket itself, however, is absolutely correct.

    I appreciate replies from those who have expressed interest and would encourage anyone else considering these to post or PM me. Looks like we may already be at 5 or 6 sets. I am going to find out how many sets would be needed to make this work.

    In the meantime, anyone with a pocket willing to loan for molding purposes please PM me. Because the molding process captures even the slightest flaw which then needs to be corrected, an NOS one still in unmolested factory wrapping would be preferred :) As mentioned earlier the original will be absolutely undamaged and will be returned.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  18. rosemeyer

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    racerboy, if someone has this info I'll be glad to call them in Italy myself.

    One thing I learned while doing the intial research for this project is that Ferrari only gave a passing thought to spare parts availability back when these cars were new (some things never change?). Plastic parts in particular pose a problem today because they were typically produced as follows. At the end of a production run of a particular model Ferrai would order a modest overrun of parts to satisfy spare parts requirements. The tools would then be destroyed since tool steel was expensive and could be re-used.
     
  19. synchro

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    Verell,

    I understand what you are saying but there may a discrepancy in communication here. He doesn't want to repro the whole inner door panel but just the pocket. The pocket separates and attaches with 4 bolt on points.

    Hope this helps clarify.

    Scott


     
  20. pk246gt

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    Ron, removal is by removal of the door card: the pockey comes with two studs at the bottom (so fixed through from from with screws and nuts at the back of the card.
     
  21. HMB-Dino

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    Australia speak "door card" = American speak "door panel"?
     
  22. Verell

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    Synchro,
    There only discrepancy is that I should have typed:
    "Try pricing a comparable door pocket..."
     
  23. Verell

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    #21 Verell, Dec 5, 2010
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    Unless the pocket was a generic off the shelf part (which we don't believe it is), Ferrari would own the tooling. Even if the tooling is still in existance, the supplier's contract with Ferrari would preclude the tooling from being used to make parts for anyone not licensed to use the tooling by Ferrari (standard practice for tooling to make custom parts).
     
  24. rosemeyer

    rosemeyer Karting
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    Guys,

    An update on the door pockets. I spoke to Verell on Friday and it looks like we have enough interest to move forward.

    To those who have posted that they are in on the opening batch, thank you for your confidence and for making it possible to proceed with this project . I will be contacting you directly. Anyone else interested, please feel free to contact either myself or Verell.

    I will be sending Verell one of my damaged pockets on Monday so that he has one to examine in person while figuring out the best way to make the tooling and the parts themselves. Tentatively I would like to have an undamaged pocket in Verell's hands by very early January in order to make the mold. Assume 2 months from early January before parts are rolling out of the mold with any regularity (1 to 2 parts per day)

    As I indicated in a previous post it is important that we get a pocket that is in as perfect condition as possible for the mold. Even the slightest details are captured by the molding process and transferred to the finished parts. Having to compensate for a flawed 'master' part is extremely time consuming and I would like to make Verell's job as easy as possible. Again, any part loaned will be absolutely undamaged and will be returned. Anyone who can help with this part of the project, please contact either myself or Verell.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  25. racerboy9

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    I have a NOS door pocket that you can use.
     
  26. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    racerboy9,
    That's great news!
     
  27. rosemeyer

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    Racerboy9,

    I think 'bloody awesome' just about sums it up. PM sent!

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  28. pk246gt

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    Justa thought, what will we do regarding the metal trim strip?

    Will we need to fabricate these or will Verell make and fit prior to shipping?
     
  29. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Rookie
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    This issue was adressed in the first post where it was assured that the pockets would INCLUDE new metal trim. This will be a ready to bolt on item.
     
  30. Pantdino

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    There are two types of pockets.
    I know because I just looked and my car has one of each.

    They differ in that the pocket with the small, additional piece of metal in the middle of the metal trim band has a circular hole in it moulded into the inside surface of the pocket. With a mirror you can see the ends of bent metal tabs that are holding it to the pocket.

    My car is 2840 and I have owned it since 1987.

    My guess is that the metal trim piece began coming adrift (mine does a little) so Ferrari added the little metal tab midway across to hold it.
     
  31. rosemeyer

    rosemeyer Karting
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    pantdino,

    The pockets themselves are the same (i.e. the plastic part). However you are correct that there are 2 methods by which Ferrari fastened the metal strip. The earlier cars had it without the tab, the later cars with. Until I started this thread I was unaware that the later method even existed as I had never seen it. Matthias set me straight :)

    No decision yet on wether we will offer options on the type of strip. For now the plan is to make the strip w/no tab. Keep in mind that the important part really is the pocket itself since this is what is damaged 95% of the time and is the same regardless of the strip fastening method used. The metal strips -with or without tab- can be transferred over.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  32. Pantdino

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    But the early pocket does not have the moulded-in countersink for the hole for the little metal tabs to go into.

    I guess one could be drilled, but then it would be obvious to anyone who knew what to look for that it was a replacement part.
     
  33. rosemeyer

    rosemeyer Karting
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    I have not yet held one of the later pockets in my hands however Matthias did confirm that the pockets are the same except for the hole that you refer to.

    Look at it this way. Holes can be drilled; they can't be undrilled. If we start with an undrilled pocket that gives us options to make an adjustment for a small detent/hole for the tab.

    For the time being the plan is to produce the undrilled pocket/metal tab with no strip so that we can cover the most number of fitments. The metal strip (tab or not), as I indicated before, is something most people have undamaged and can be transferred to the pockets.

    On that subject if you have clear hi-res images of the area where the tab goes I would be like to see them. I will gladly investigate anything we can do to incorporate these details into the tooling. Of course anyone else with photos of the hole in the later pockets, please PM me and I will send my contact details.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  34. Pantdino

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    I agree with your analysis and plans
    I just wanted to make sure you knew the parts were not identical

    I think we all appreciate your efforts and I thank you for them.

    Jim
     
  35. swift53

    swift53 F1 Rookie
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    #33 swift53, Dec 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    This one, from a Seriers E, has two extra studs, the other being on the other half of the pocket, same location. These, appear to have been cut-off. The door panel, is not an original one and cannot tell if it had the six holes or not, as not off door.
    The pocket is an original, now I don't know if orig. FIAT 500, or orig. Dino.

    Regards, Alberto
    IMG_0013-1.jpg
     
  36. rosemeyer

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    Alberto,

    The pockets I have on my car look exactly like the one you have pictured. There are 2 bolts which have obviously been cut and the pocket is fixed to the panel via the remaining 4 mounting points. This is not the first time I have seen this either. I can only speculate that these pockets were used in another application and were modified (crudely) by Ferrari for use on the Dino.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  37. racerboy9

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    #35 racerboy9, Dec 11, 2010
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    This is the NOS door pocket to be used as the sample. It shows all the studs in place.
    IMG_0414.jpg
    IMG_0415.jpg
     
  38. GermanDino

    GermanDino F1 Rookie
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    Alberto it`s original Dino, the two extra studs and the two been cut-off i correct
    regards Matthias
     
  39. GermanDino

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    it should only have the two studs, as shown by Alberto
    I didn`t came across four studs so far...
    Any other views?
    regards Matthias
     
  40. swift53

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    #38 swift53, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
    My guess, is the 4 bolt item is from a FIAT 500, and were cut down to save weight on the Dino...
    Possibly, the two cut-off studs interfered with the sheet metal on the inside of the door.
    As a reality check, FIAT 500 had been using the pockets way before the Dino was even dreamed of.

    Regards, Alberto
     
  41. rosemeyer

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    Yet again the good folks at Ferrari see fit to complicate our lives. I have never seen a pocket with the 4 studs in place. Maybe the pocket is so NOS that you are expected to cut these off before installation? :)

    Seriously, I have always seen the pockets installed via 4 mounting points as follows: 2 screws on either top corner of the pocket. You can see the holes in racerboy's photo where the screws go. These go through the pocket and grip into the panel. The other 2 points are the studs on the bottom edge of the pocket. On these, the stud which is molded into the pocket, goes through the door card and a nut is used to secure it from the backside. Really clever design; you grab a screwdriver thinking that you can pull the pocket off in two seconds and then realize that you have to remove the door card to finish the job.

    On this subject, this weekend I tackled gutting of the doors as this was the last bit of disassembly left on the car. I think there are more parts here than in the engine. I actually started laughing to myself at the prospect of reassembling this next year without putting a mark on anything as it goes back in. The next time someone tells me how 'cool' it is to own a handbuilt Italian car I'm going to beat them to death with my shoe.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
     
  42. racerboy9

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    I looked at my old door pockets and indeed the two outboard studs are cut off. Held it up to the door inner sheet metal and the cut off studs, if left intact, would interfere with the sheet metal. One of my old door pockets doesn't have the drain holes and the one off my 74 GTS does have the holes. Would be interesting to find if this exact pocket was used on another car.
     
  43. Verell

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    racerboy,
    That NOS pocket looks great, I can't see any scratches on it! Should be fine as a mold pattern.

    As for the extra studs, since the pattern has them, the mold will have them. BUT, if I don't insert studs in the holes, the mold will just make them from plastic which can easily be trimmed off.

    BTW, My current autoclaves just aren't big enough to take the mold for this part!

    I need a piece of heavy plastic pipe large enough to hold the part with at least 1", preferably 1.5" or 2" clearance on all sides. With at least 1/2" wall thickness. The filled mold will go into it and I'll pull a vacuum on to remove any air bubbles. I'm sure I've seen something like this at construction sites, possibly used for water mains.

    Anyone know where I can get something like this?
     
  44. rosemeyer

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    Verell,

    Not sure if the pipe has to be plastic. If not, there is a company called sonotube (sonotube.com) that makes round tube sections which are typically used as molds for pouring concrete columns. These come in all types of sizes. Let me know if this works.

    Kind Regards,
    Paul
     
  45. Nuvolari

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    Just to add to this, to get the wall thickness of the sonotube strong enough to handle the vaccum you can buy a larger and a smaller size of sonotube and put them inside one another. Pouring 2 part foam in the gap between the two sizes will yield a really stiff tube section for not a lot of money.

    End caps can be fashioned using plywood discs that can be sealed using old tire inner tube rubber and some large gear hose clamps (or multiples screwed together to make a big one).
     
  46. Verell

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    I've been researching the vacuum chamber, right now that's the bigh hold up on starting on the mold.

    Talked to a one of my moulding suppliers. They sell a 10" ID, 12" long chamber that's made from schedule 80 10" ID plastic pipe. I tried to find out their supplier to see if he'd make me a 28" or so chamber but they wouldn't tell me or consider special ordering one for me(sigh). They did sell me the two Lexan ends & silicone seals tho.

    Now I just need to find a 24" to 30" piece of the schedule 80 10" pipe. I spent most of an afternoon on the phone calling pipe suppliers in my area. The only supplier in New England that carries it will sell me a 20' length for about $400, but they don't cut them down. I just missed getting a stray 10' length, but someone beat me to it.

    I looked into sonotubes & they're too porous, I guess with enough sealing, etc. I might get something to work, but I can't afford to put a week into this, or rathar you wouldn't want to pay what the door pockets would cost after amortizing the week over the production run. ;)
     
  47. racerboy9

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    Verell,

    Check out Ebay item 130371635179. Sold by the foot!
     
  48. Verell

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    #46 Verell, Jan 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
    YUP, that's the stuff, THANKS!!!!

    Pricey, 2' + shipping will cost almost as much as that 10' piece I had a lead on! but at least I now know where I can get it!

    I also just found about 2 more distributors here in MA, will give them a call first.

    Appreciatively,
     
  49. Verell

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    Racerboy,
    When it is convenient go ahead & send that NOS door pocket.

    I finally located a local source for the 10" pvc pipe. They had a piece with a broken end, so cut off a 30" section for a whopping $25. I just got in the two pieces of 1/2" lexan for the ends, now need to make a pair of silicone seals, sand out the fairly fine saw marks out of the end of the pvc pipe so I can get a good seal, hook up a T fitting for the vacuum gauge, & a ball valve with an airline fitting.

    I've got a bit of a backlog right now, but I hope to have a usable vacuum chamber by the end of the month. Once I have the vacuum chamber operational I can proceed to make the mold.
     
  50. Verell

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    #48 Verell, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
    I now have all the pieces for the vacuum chamber. Just need to cut out the gaskets, drill & tap a 1/8"NPT hole for the vacuum fittings, and assemble it! Should have it usable sometime next week!

    Smoothing off the 10" pipe's ends turned out to be easy & quick once I looked at it the right way. Was talking to someone about how to get a car door sanded w/o ripples & mentioned that a panel sander was about the best way. Then it dawned on me that a panel sander would also nicely sand the ends of my PVC pipe flat. Sure 'nuff, dug out my air panel sander, about 5 minuites with 120 grit, then another 5 with 220 grit & the ends are nice and smooth, should readily seal against the rubber gasketing I bought!

    I've got my casting materials supplier investigating whether their thixotropic additive will thicken the particular silicone I prefer to use for molds. Should get an answer tomorrow.

    Due to the size of this piece, I'm going to make a 'skin' mold. A skin mold is a fairly thin (eg: about 6 to 10mm) thick layer of silicone mold material inside a rigid shell. The shell keeps the entire mold rigid while the part is curing. Then the shell is lifted off & the skin mold peeled off of the part. Skin molds are used to make parts with dimensions larger than few inches as the amount of expensive mold material grows porportionally to the cube of the part's dimensions.
     
  51. Verell

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    May 5, 2001
    6,905
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Hello Racerboy,
    Your door pocket arrived Thursday. I was flat out last week restoring column switches, so didn't get around to opening it until this morning. ( I have to confess that I didn't associate the name with this project, from the box's size I thought someone had sent me yet another column switch to restore so I sat it aside until I had a chance to breathe.)

    It looks great! Was very well packed!

    I'm still waiting to hear from my phone call to my supplier on the thixotropic additive. Just sent them an eMAIL ping.

    I'm not sure if I can start on the mold next week, if not, Would be a couple of weeks before I could start as I'm away from Monday 2nd thru Friday 16th.

    Be patient, I will be going very slow on this mold as it's new technology to me & a miss-step could force a complete re-start.
     
  52. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    6,905
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    #50 Verell, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Last week I finished making the large vacuum chamber. I haven't given it a complete test yet, so am not sure how long it will take my trusty 3CFM HVAC service pump to evacuate it. I'm not too worried as the silicone mold rubber has a very long working time relative to evacuation tme, also, de-airing will begin long before the final 29+ in. of Hg. is reached.

    I have also finished the design of the mold. It will be a 2-part 'blanket' mold comprised of a hard shell that supports about a 3/8" - 1/2" layer of silicone mold rubber. Basicly the process will be:

    1. Coat the inside of theh pattern with clay to the depth of the final mold rubber.
    2. Form the inner hard shell around the clay.
    3. Once the shell has hardened & cured, remove the clay.
    4. Mix & vacuum de-air the silicone.
    5. Pour the silicone into the gap between the pattern & the hard shell, vacuum de-air it at several points to ensure there are no air bubbles in the final silicone 'blanket'.
    6. Let the silicone blanket cure.

    Trim, etc. & then repeat to form the outer mold.

    SWAG is 3-6 weeks to having the first door pocket.

    I need your opinion:

    I had not been able to locate a stud type threaded insert to mold into the door pocket. Recently I took a good look at the door pocket rosemeyer loaned me. Two of it's mounting studs were broken off, and two were cut off. A close look at where the broken studs were broken off revealed that the end of the stud was hexagonal.

    I suspect that the stud was simply a hex head cap screw. However, in the center of the hex there is what appears to be a 4mm threaded hole going further into the mounting boss (See picture). The threads in the hole appear to be in good condition, so I can't rule out the threaded hole being made as a work around the brokdn stud. The reason I suspect this is that the threads are in good condition. I can't correlate good threads with the stud being pulled out.

    rosemeyer, anyone, can you shed some light on this anomaly?

    Does anyone happen to have a picture of one of these studs after it was broken out of the pocket?

    Alternatively, I have found several female inserts for molding in. They have the advantage of being smaller diameter than a cap screw's hex head, thus producing a stronger mounting boss. I haven't ruled out using a female threaded insert. The pocket would mount to the door panel with small hex head or allen head cap screws & washers.

    Does anyone forsee any problems with using female inserts?
    Dino Door Pocket Mounting Stud.jpg
     

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