Since my last post I built a console for my Fairlane. I did it the same way they do all speaker boxers. This is the 1st time I have done this so we watched a couple videos online. I first made a frame. I used steel instead of MDF though. I made the bottom first since I knew how much space I had to work with.
I then added a wood cutout out for the top 1/4 birch worked well for me as it will look good when finished and I planned on having a wood outside on it. When I had the length for the base & I knew the angle I wanted on the front & back It determined the length for the top.
Masking and making the 1st form I used my previously made top since precut all my holes in the wood before fiber-glassing since it would be a good guide later. Cardboard was considered for the inside but was too flimsy to take the stretched fabric. . The cardboard was scrapped for wood which didnít deform. I also checked for interference then. I sat the seats back in the car & made sure it would all line up. After that the seats were removed again & I finished up the steel frame to work with my cutouts and brace where I didn't have them. Next we messed around with the fleece. The 1st one was a Dora the explorer blanket my daughter has multiple of. It got cut too small and trashed. We found a red blanket we got from a blood drive or something and used that. The second one we had a better idea of how much it stretched.
We still had difficulty figuring out what to attach the fleece to on the bottom and then it came to me while sleeping. We rolled some more sound deadener on the floor and pinned it to the sound deadener. Actually my wife did the stretching & pinning as she sews and has a better feel for fabric than I do.
Once pinned down we could then paint on the resin. As we painted the resin caused it to sag and wrinkle it was stretched and repined along the way. We painted on as deep as it would go. We used one small can of resin mixed up 1/4 at a time. This isn't perfect & there were a couple wrinkles at the base still.
After it dried we removed it and found the resin went 1/2 way though. It had shape but was very flimsy. We took it out of the car flipped it over & painted the inside with resin. This soaked the fleece all the way down. It used up 1/2 of the second small can of resin. Small can is 28.8oz. We stuck it back in the car. Pushed it into place and blocked up the sides with bricks to keep in in place until it dried.
When the inside coat dried it was solid. It could be stronger though so we laid fiberglass cloth down and mixed up the rest of the second can in 2 batches and painted it on. In hindsight it would have been best to cut the cloth into strips and lay it in in strips. I had to cut way some in the corners where I interfered with my frame and it had some air bubbles in it which don't really help strength at the bubbles. It did help though now is much stiffer.
After the mat dried I did my cutting to shape. I used a Dremel, a drill, a sharpie, and a belt sander for this. The drill was used to drill holes along the edge of the wood on the inside. This helped me get started with the Dremel and cutoff wheel & made the hole space weaker and easier to cut. I then test fit for interference again. It bound in a few areas on the frame from the buildup of the new glass but that was it. I then ground away the interference and refit it. We refit it and cut away as close to the pinned area as possible. Then we put the old carpet part of the way in and fit it again and cut away a little. A sharpie drew on it easily. We sneaked up on the cuts because Dremel wheels are cheap and you canít put it back on. Well not easily. After it was a cut down I smoothed out the straightness of my cuts with a belt sander with my wife running the sander upside down on a sawhorse and me lightly gliding the edge over the belt. This took all the jaggedness out of my cuts.
A little test fit to make sure its coming the right way.
Then came many many layers of fiberglass reinforced filler. It was laid down & then sanded out. This was to build it up to take out any wrinkles, smooth lines, and contour.
After the fiberglass reinforced filler came the finishing putty to get all the details right and fix any pits and scratches.
All done and ready for primer. I didnít photo this part but I used a filler primer. I primed, sanded away imperfections and repeated.
Test fitting again before staining.
I stained the wood to match the steering wheel color. To match my grant steering wheel I used a mixture of Minwax dark walnut & Minwax gunstock. I mixed until the color was right & then applied. After applying I topped with several coats of polyurethane.
Beats the heck out of the black plastic box the B&M StarShifter shifter is made with. Plus now I have cupholders. I also have places for my bluetooth receiver & garage door opener.
Not too bad considering I've never done this kind of thing before. I learned alot of lessons and I learned it's a ton of work. If I ever do another one I would do a few things different to make it easier but I am happy with the results. Next I need to install the carpet & I will show that later on.