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gweaver 05-25-2012 08:55 PM

Dash panels- 88 Prostar
The mount holes on my dash panels are cracking, so I figured I'd CAD up new ones and fab them. Right now, I've only got the left panel drawn out, I'll have the right side switch panel done early next week. I have a laser cutter in my classroom, and will make a trial set out of plastic, but I might have nicer ones done out of sheet metal and powder coated, depending on cost.

Top two holes are 2" in diameter, I have a depth gauge and hour meter there, the lower holes are for horn (left) and ignition key (right). The switch panel will be a copy of the original. I'm thinking for the switch labels, I might see if I can have vinyl letters cut, rather than trying to mess with silk-screening. (Possible to do on metal, but adds to cost.)

Once I get them done, I'll start a thread in 'For Sale' if anyone's interested in buying a set.


Philscbx 05-26-2012 10:49 AM

As long as it's Lexan, they won't crack.
Anything less will crumble.
Hint - LED

gweaver 05-26-2012 06:06 PM

The laser cutter will cut anything combustable. It's not too happy with some plastics, because of the particulate matter that comes off- I was leaning towards black lexan, so it looks factory. Wouldn't be too hard to do something translucent instead, with LED backlighting. :)

gweaver 05-29-2012 03:29 PM

Paper prototypes cut- assuming they fit well, I'll have plastic pieces cut Friday. :)
Then it's just a matter of getting vinyl letters for labeling the switches.

gweaver 06-03-2012 05:52 PM

Tried something new for a prototype- got some engraving stock- black with a white underlayer. By setting line colors in the drawing and changing power settings on the laser cutter, I can cut through the panel on the black lines while only etching the blue text. Etching allows me to burn away the black plastic, exposing the white underneath.

I still want to play around with aligning the text for the switches, but I really like how these are looking. I made a practice panel with a plain font, then found the Hemi-Head font. I forgot to take a picture of the actual panel, so I couldn't label the various reset buttons. I'll correct that tomorrow and run another set of panels (hopefully the final set).

A little more playing around and I should have something that's a pretty reasonable replica of the original panel, but with a few personal touches.


Spork 06-03-2012 06:04 PM


nkorep2 06-03-2012 06:09 PM

I would quite possibly be interested in this. I have a 1990 Prostar that Im restoring, and I need to replace these panels. The arrangement I have is different for the left panel. I dont have a depth gauge, although I kinda want to install one. But I also do have a safety switch there.

Here's what it looks like:

I would like what you have designed above with a cut out for the safety switch also. But I would like the panel to be black with white lettering. Is that possible?

PM me with more info please.

gweaver 06-03-2012 07:53 PM

Thanks for the interest. I'll certainly make extra sets if people want to buy some.
nkorep2: I can do custom plates as well, but I'd need measurements for the cut-outs and a layout. (pm sent)
The image in my previous post shows blue text- that's just part of the drawing software. The coloring of the final pieces would look like the image below- a black plate with white text. The one below was made before I found the HemiHead font, but you get the general idea of what the final piece would look like.
FWIW, I haven't done a cut on plastic with the HemiHead font, so when I get that done, I'll be able to show exactly what the final will look like.


d2jp 06-03-2012 07:56 PM

looks great, keep us posted, my '89 will be needing some tlc soon!

Philscbx 06-04-2012 01:06 AM

What a very cool process - this will definitely get me brainstorming on an old 78 S&S makeover.

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