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Make a 5-Speed Shift Knob the Old Fashioned Way

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Old 03-20-2017, 01:14 PM   #91
Jerry Feather
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That worked too. I beat on them a little bit with a mallet then clamped the shaft in my mill vise and pulled real hard and they both came apart. Then they clean up pretty good. There are a few very tiny bubbles in the surface in a couple of places, but they will never show with leather over them.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:37 PM   #92
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The only way to get those air bubbles out is a vacuum chamber. You can build your own with a re-purposed paint pot and use your AC evac pump, or this place sells rigs for an affordable price:

https://www.bestvaluevacs.com/

The other option is using a thinner casting media, they will be easier to get the air to settle out. This urethane is pretty easy to work with. Its 1:1 (so no advanced measuring), has a pot life of around 10min, and pours very nicely. I still vacuum it when I can, but i have had very good results without:

http://www.reynoldsam.com/product/econ-80/

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Old 03-21-2017, 11:49 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans14914 View Post
The only way to get those air bubbles out is a vacuum chamber. You can build your own with a re-purposed paint pot and use your AC evac pump, or this place sells rigs for an affordable price: Regards Hans
Thanks Hans. I was kind of wondering what Rob had in mind about "degassing." I guess I'll need to order a new vacuum pump for the vacuum sump I was developing for another of my latent projects. Then I'll find a used paint pot and work it into the equation. Great idea.

I also found that the Rubber Compound does not stick to the Syringe so it can be cleaned up for reuse. However I find that for some reason it does not want to push and pull very smoothly after the first couple of uses. A little oil off my nose helped some, but if that doesn't cure it I guess I'll still be using one of these only for one pair of *****.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:57 AM   #94
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I just free-pour after degassing, but have seen people using the syringe method apply the same mold release stuff to the o-ring in the plunger.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:41 PM   #95
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I just free-pour after degassing, but have seen people using the syringe method apply the same mold release stuff to the o-ring in the plunger.
Another good idea. Thanks, Hans.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:37 PM   #96
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I received a big bundle of 100 ml syringes from a far away land and my order of 10 pounds of Devcon Rubber from somewhere closer. I am waiting on the degassing set-up I bought on eBay for under $130 so I wont have to do a lot of configuring to put that into service. When that arrives I'll be able to try molding again.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:41 PM   #97
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Now I have to make two molds off of the top of the rubber *****, but with them covered with leather. I have them covered with leather that I have first soaked with water to make it more formable, and I have milled two mold bodies to cut rough recesses in and then I'll use some of the same compound that I used to make the other molds and form it around the tops of these leather covered *****.

When these dry I'll cut the openings in the tops so I can align them in the mold bodies with the tool I made for that purpose and for the purpose of later forming the top edge of the leather into the recess.

That will give me a form to use later to form the leather boot material over the tops and smoothly into the top recess for the shift pattern insert. It's going to be interesting to see if it will work as planned.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:11 PM   #98
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Here is where it stands now. I have one of the leather covered ***** bedded in Aluminum F-2 and curing overnight. Since I have to use the same aluminum turned piece for both of them I wont be able to bed the other one until tomorrow.

They are or will be bedded in a composition wood and aluminum plate that I made before for this purpose. When they are cured and if I can get them apart I'll then dress the mold or form aspect of them so they will perform the function I have planned for them.
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:26 AM   #99
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I woke up in the night wondering about how difficult it might be to pull the **** out of the new form. I got up and found that the two-part compound I was bedding it in was set pretty firm but not yet hard, so I cut the zip tie and pulled the **** out. I'll let it cure this way the rest of the night then pull the leather out and let it cure some more before I finish it.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:07 AM   #100
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Now it's all pulled apart and shows only a couple of minor defects. I think I can repair them well enough to use this form just the way I intended.

You can see that the leather I used to cover the **** and which started out flat, is now very round shaped and pretty much gathered from the top down to about the biggest part of the ****. That is essentially what we need to figure out how to do with the leather shift boot that covers the big part of the ****, but by doing it from the other direction. I think it's going to work.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:26 AM   #101
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The little aluminum thing with the 3/4 inch shaft on it is the first one of those that I had made for the other molds, but it has a mistake in it for that purpose, so I made two others. I'm glad that I didn't throw this one away because, with a little modification it is perfect for this project and will be the main tool to use later in the leather forming process where the leather, after being gathered smoothly at the top, will need to be trimmed and then the top edge forced into the recess in the top of the ****. It worked perfectly in doing that with the leather in making this form.

Last edited by Jerry Feather; 04-23-2017 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:46 AM   #102
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I have the second ****, the early version one, bedded in compound now and it has been curing overnight. I used some of the left over compound to patch the first one and put it in the oven to cure a little faster. Next I'll try to finish both of them out and smooth them up to put into service.

Then I have to make a sort of stand to use the two leather forms I'm making to actually form or gather the leather over the tops of the ***** smoothly and into the top recess of each. I have that pretty well designed in my mind and will be working that up shortly. I have made two different posts out of aluminum plate for the ***** to stand on and will finish them out in the mill later.

The degassing setup I ordered came yesterday, so I'll try to put that into service and make some more *****.

I cut the leather boot apart that came out of the 89 5-speed I just bought and will use it as one of the patterns. Actually I'm going to make permanent patterns out of aluminum sheet for about 6 different versions of the boot that I'm going to need over time.

Then, I'm going to have to determine whether skiving of the leather is going to be needed in any of this process. I think the Factory skived the leather in the early 5-speed *****, but it looks like they abandoned doing that with the later *****. The boot out of the 89 shows no evidence of skiving nor does the boot off of Rob's GTS ****. The earlier ones look to have been skived to some degree. I think it might turn on just how heavy the leather is to start with.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:19 PM   #103
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Skiving. I had to look it up...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiving_(leathercraft)

It's always fun reading your updates. This project is very interesting. Keep up the good work!
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:37 AM   #104
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I bought a skiving machine some time ago for use in these kinds of projects. I have it out at my other shop at Doug's upholstery place. I bought it when I saw one of the How Its Made programs on cars in which they showed the use of one in making the leather interior parts. Up til then I was kind of puzzled about how factory leather coverings always looked so much better than what even Doug can do in his shop, and he is one of the best.

Anyway, the machine is quite complex. It can cut a skived swath across a piece of leather about 3 inches wide to varying depths. It can be adjusted to cut a tapered skive along the edge of a piece of leather from about any width, up to three inches, and varying from zero depth to tapered out to nothing or next to nothing.

There is a plethora of adjustments in the machine; and I have not mastered, or even found all of them. One I need to locate is the one that adjusts the circular rotating knife in or out in relation to the stone wheel that drives the leather into the cutting edge of the knife. When I figure that one out I think I can master the machine; and even if I might get away with no skiving with these **** coverings, I may utilize it to some degree anyway, just to refine the seams and the leather over the top of the *****.

Yesterday I pulled the other **** out of it's composition setting and found that it worked a little better than the first one. I'll cure it some in the oven and then trim it out for use as planned. It finished out without any defects that I noticed so far, so it will take much less hand work to put into service. So far I haven't begun the stand to stand the ***** up in for covering; but maybe later today.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:51 PM   #105
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I cleaned up the two leather forming dies as best as I could by hand and have trimmed them to fit into the new leather forming stand that I am started on. I'll drill some mounting holes in them later.

I have some carpentry to do on the stand still, but here are some pictures of how it will be configured.
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