26 August 2013

swirl prediction

The green 40 project took a back seat this weekend,
as the wife and kids returned back from their trip to Camarillo early.
I had considered driving Chief up there,
and then busting butt on the 40 to try and drive it too.
A great idea but not very realistic,
which made it a great idea!
custom 1940 ford dash

Instead I buttoned up a couple other responsibilities,
and hung out in front of the TV for a little bit.
What can I say we are in the netflix trap.
This got me to thinking about that dash insert for the rusty 40.
spiral layout

A couple layouts were sharpied on to the aluminum plate,
and each one wiped off.
Either not symmetrical or too trendy.
I'm not a great line drawer,
especially if distracted by craziness on this True Blood show we were watching.
hammer time

Finally a spiral idea was roughed out,
and it was something simple enough to draw,
without needing to get into too much detail for the amount of area.

Little did I know that this swirl pattern would predict the future.
The next day our toilet had multiple flushing problems.
Good times...
engraving chisel

I'm not experienced at hand stamping or engraving,
and this was probably not the best thing to start on.
A couple test lines and swirls were hammered out,
using a custom ground pointy chisel punch.
There was no going back after the first couple smacks.
macey watching progress

This was one of the harder things I've done in a while.
The chisel line was about 1/8" wide,
and you can imagine how many taps this took to complete.
Each side took about an hour and 15 minutes.
I went in waves where I'd get the hang of it,
then I'd go a little numb and go a little off-line.
It reminded me of those polynesian tattoo artists.
engraved swirls

With a little time left in the day,
I started doing this shading thing with this pointy punch.
Not realizing that each line would now need to have a million little dots.

Once I did a couple lines,
the the whole thing needed the same shading.
The next morning I finished up the last bit.
holey chit

Here you can see this is not schooled work.
It's a hand drawn sketch using simple custom shop tools,
by a guy in a junk filled backyard.
Total respect now for professionals that do this.
TP's day at the office

My Mom dropped by that morning,
and she took a look at what was going on.
Of course she had to ask "are you smoking grass?"
Hey all I need is a big ole mug of home-brewed cranberry iced tea!
This stuff will make your teeth brown.
go-go juice

Finally time for a quick pass with 600 grit sandpaper,
and a go under the buffing wheel.
I've found that WD-40 is good for removing the rubbing compound or rouge,
also pushing the dark evenly into the newly made cracks.
hand rubbed

We were taking a lunch break,
and the kids noticed the cool reflection the aluminum gave.
Hey that was really just iced tea!

I told the kids I'd give them a dollar if they counted each line and dot.
They said maybe if this was the 80's when a candy bar cost 25 cents.
Little punks!
1,000,000 taps

Let's see how it looks on the dashboard.
Let's grind every bolt head first.
I've been waiting to use these aluminum 1/4-20 fasteners forever.
button-head fasteners

The custom button-heads were way too big and shiny,
so a mini-swirl was hammered on the aluminum ones.
A bit OCD you could say.
engraving -  hot rod or hippy style?

Each hole had to be tapped,
and now that there was no screwdriver slot,
the bolts were rotated from the back side.
Nothing's easy around here.

I had to see what this was going to look like,
and some random gauges were put in place.
I've got to figure out what 7 gauges I'll be using,
even Jakob noticed there were dual ammeters.
custom 1940 ford dashboard insert

Speaking of Jakob.
He was drawn to all the tapping commotion.
Was it the fun in making noise or the outcome or both?
Bee to the flower or moth to the flame!?
Jakob Perich - engraver - 2013

He whipped out this cool keychain or zipper fob in no time.
Another skill under his belt...
Jakob's flying eyeball

Meanwhile I finished off the installation with a couple switches.
The first thought was to have a hidden switch panel,
but this is a dashboard insert not a crown jewel.
custom 1940 ford dashboard and insert

There's a good excuse for all this hammering.
It's a great way to hide any polishing blemishes!
I could have spent 3 hours sanding and buffing out all the scratch marks,
then worry about scuffing it forever.
Instead this took about 5 hours and it'll camouflage all the hack marks!

Jaxon called me out on what had happened.
He said now the rest of the car needs to be this crazy.


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