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FLUSH Center Console Development

 
Old 07-24-2010, 11:07 PM
  #46  
Jerry Feather
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While I was waiting for company to come for dinner tonight I got to drill and counterbore the last forming member for the forming machine and got it mounted and located where I want it. In the morning I am going to form the first of the latest ganeration of flush console lower trim pieces and see how close we are coming to what I have in mind.

While I am waiting for the oven to heat up and warm the plastic I am going to start the form member for the upper insert for this conversion system. I have some preliminary measurements made and some fabrication criteria developed, so it ought to go pretty smoothly. If I get some significant progress made I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Have a nice evening.

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Old 07-24-2010, 11:21 PM
  #47  
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I couldn't sleep without trying it out!
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:42 PM
  #48  
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I know the feeling. The problem is that it takes about an hour for the oven to heat up, so that would put me kind of late testing it out. Too, there is a little more work to be done just the get the machine loaded with the new thinner material I am gong to try. Also I find that I do not like to finish a project when I am tired. If I get close to the finish of something and am also at the end of the day or otherwise tired, I find that I am much better off to wait until the next day or available time to finish and do it when I am more on the upside of a work session rather than the down side. That is probably why, in part, that I have so many unfinished projects.

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Old 07-24-2010, 11:43 PM
  #49  
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And all your fingers, I presume.

Safety is impossible when tired.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:00 PM
  #50  
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I had the pleasure tody of entertaining Rod DeM. From Mass. who with his son. had occasion tod rop by and see what I was doing in the shop.

What I had started was the form for the upper flush console insert. I was using a piece of lhalf inch aluminum plate and beveled it and curved it to closly match the contour of the upper console. I used the flycutter and was able to get the contour pretty close.

I also loaded the form machine with the first piece of 3/32 inch plastic to try the form for the first auto shifter lower trim panel. We cooked it for about an hour until it was up to temperature and then pressed it all together. The first pull came out pretty nice, but showed where a couple oflminor adjustments were needed. I made the adjustment and loaded it up again and now have the second one cooling in the machine.

In the meantime here are a couple of pictures.

The first picture shows the newly formed trim piece for the auto shifter compared with the last of the prototype trim pieces I did in the HOW TO thread.

The second picture shows the plate in the mill, but it doesn't look like much right here.

The other two are close ups of the plate edges which show the curvature and bevel of the plate to match the upper edge of the console. Sorry one of them is out of focus.

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Old 07-25-2010, 08:33 PM
  #51  
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Well done Jerry.

Your skill as a machinist and initial results are more than impressive. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:56 PM
  #52  
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Thanks, Mike. Doing this stuff is a lot of fun and even more fun sharing the progress with all of you.

What I have to do next is continue the development of the machine to form the upper insert. I have an idea to make the machine without a base plate as with the present machine, but the design has not come into very clear focus in my mind yet. I think it is going to be sort of an organic process like I have described before.

When I get the next one or two lower trim pieces finished and trimmed to fit like I want, then I will be able to finalize the long dimension for the upper insert form. Right now I have the form plate in the mill, as shown, and with the width measurement milled onto it, but I need to determine the length before I can finalize that and then round the upper corners and taper the lower curved end. In the meantine I'll continue to process the overall design in my head.

Thanks for your feedback.

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Old 07-25-2010, 10:28 PM
  #53  
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I opened up the last plastic and found that it had failed. It has an opening in the plastic that I don't quite understand, but probably related to the temperature and closeness of the forming members.

Nevertheless I cut it out and trimmed it a little to see how it is goinjg to fit. Here are the pictures of the very preliminary fit in one of the consoles.

There is some adjustment to be done yet to get this item to fit properly and go where it is supposed to go without too much force. I'll be working on that in the next few days. Nevertheless these pictures show how it fits with some force for now, and shows the concept of flushness that I am presently striving for.

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Old 07-26-2010, 12:11 AM
  #54  
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:52 AM
  #55  
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Jerry would love one for a 5 speed. I have an old analog clock (pre 84? I'd like to use). Will the pictured one work? Seems like it would.

nice work!!
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:11 AM
  #56  
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having seen Jerry's 5sp prototype lower console, I think this is going to turn out really nice. With a "modern" clock and possibly some of the raised panels covered in leather ..it's going to be NICE....

I look forward to seeing what you are doing for the upper part of the console ...
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:58 AM
  #57  
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Stefan, the pictured one is for the cars with the auto shifter. The space above the shifter recess is pretty narrow and I think too narrow for the factory analog clock. However, the other form I have made will form a lower trim piece much like this one except the shifter recess in it for lthe 5 speed is shaped differently. It is wider and shorter. It is going to have the clock area somewhat wider, from top to bottom, and I think the original factory clock will fit in it. Go back in this thread and look at the difference in the two forms.

Thanks for watching.

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:04 PM
  #58  
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Its time to get some serious adjustment made in the forming machine. I found what made that nice little hole in the last trim piece I formed. The inside forming member was just touching the opening in the basic form, and when the plastic is hot and soft it cut right through. I was afraid it was the foming temperature, but now that is adjusted out.

I also find that the sides of the new trim piece (and actually the last ones made that I call prototypes) are not just where they ought to be. Therefore, I spent the evening making new side forming members to solve the problem. I hope these do the trick. I'll finish those up tomorrow and then try to form some more pieces.

When I get to that point then I can make some more progress on the next machine, the one for the upper insert. I did take a little time today and made a sketch of what I think the next machine out to look like and I think it is going to take shape real quick. I can do that while the oven is cooking. I did trim the basic form plate to the gross dimensions that I hope will work out and will next make the final trim of that in the bandsaw and with a rasp. I also got some mounting holes drilled and countersunk in it for mounting, so it is almost ready to go in the new machine.

NO PICTURES TONIGHT.

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Old 07-27-2010, 06:32 PM
  #59  
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I took the rought drawingI made of the machine for the upper console insert and converted it to a one-half scale drawing on graph paper and now have it pretty well finalized. I don't know why it was causing me so much trouble to do it in my head, but putting it down on paper really helped.

The other thing it seemed to do was free up my brain for some of the next phases of development of this proect and in particular how I am going to plan on mounting the stuff this conversion is all about in the console. I had been thinking of a particular way to hand the Pioneer Navigation/DVD/Etc. in the console and after studying the console closely about how th cut the air vent out I think I have also figured out how best to mount the unit. I was holping to use as much of the original stuff as possible rather that having to develop much new stuff, and I think I have figured out how. If I am right, it will make the conversion a lot easier for anyone who might want to try this conversion.

Right now I am busy trying to make the final adjustments for the next effort at forming a lower trim piece for the auto shifter cars.

Stand-by for more.

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Old 07-28-2010, 10:26 AM
  #60  
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I formed another of the lower trim pieces for the auto cars last night. I think I have the side forming members pretty close now. One more adjustment on one side and I think it will be forming to just the right depth for a proper fit. I may also want to adjust the upper cross forming bar to allow for a little less angle of the upper flange.

Then, I started cutting some material for the next forming machine. There are several pieces, so I will be spending a lot of busy time trimming, drilling, and tapping that material. When I get that done that machine will go together pretty quickly. It is going to come out pretty compact and a lot lighter than the first one, so it will be easier to handle.

I also did some measuring for the final shape of the upper foming plate. What I discovered is that the upper corners of the console recess that one might think of a circular or round in shape are actually more parabolic in shape. I think I will try to trim a piece of scrap aluminum to the shape I need before I try to do it on the real form.

More tonight, I hope.

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