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Old 06-24-2021, 09:40 AM
MPG MPG is offline
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Boston Massachusetts
Posts: 2
Default Hammer Formed Dash

I'm just a beginner, but I do have one project I can share that some folks might find interesting.

A couple of years ago, I built a Lotus 7 clone. I started with a kit I got from Westfield. But I went off script in a number of places where I didn't like the kit. One thing I didn't like was the cheap looking plastic dash. The originals used an aluminum panel covered in red vinyl. A lot of modern ones use a carbon fibre panel. I decided to combine those by doing aluminum and covering it in carbon-look vinyl.

The problem was that a flat panel was going to interfere with the shifter. So I decided to use hammer forming to add a pocket in front of the shifter. I also added a radius along the lower edge which helps stiffen the panel.

First I created a big form out of several sheets of 1/2" particle board. Then I used a roundover bit on my router to radius the edges and a little Bondo to smooth things out.

Then I cut out piece of 5052 Al, annealed it using the "sharpie trick", and clamped it in.

Then I used hammers & home-made corking tools to work it onto the form.

After that, I cut holes for the instruments and wrapped the whole thing in 3M 1080.

The result looks something like this:

You can find more details here, here, & here.

One thing I didn't talk about in those posts was the first try that I threw away. The problem was that I left some rough spots when I cut the Al. Several of those seeded tears when all of the stretching started. I was more careful getting a smooth edge when I cut out my second blank.

Last edited by MPG; 06-24-2021 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:51 AM
Pehr Pehr is offline
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Öckerö Sweden
Posts: 42

The results looks great
Thanx for sharing
Pehr Norström
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:03 PM
Sprint Relic Sprint Relic is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Mesquite, TX.
Posts: 124

That looks great.
Skip Wilson
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:44 PM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
MetalShaper of the Month January 2020
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Spartanburg, SC
Posts: 2,636

Very cool. Looks good.
AC Button II Carolina Sculpture Studio Channel
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:13 PM
Charlie Myres Charlie Myres is online now
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Narrogin, Western Australia
Posts: 463

Really nice work with great explanations on your links,

Cheers Charlie
Why does dust stick to everything, but nothing sticks to dust?
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Old 06-25-2021, 02:02 AM
galooph galooph is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Alsager, United Kingdom
Posts: 844

Very nicely done!
Dan Smith
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Old 06-25-2021, 04:11 AM
metalmarks metalmarks is offline
MetalShaper of the Month October 2020
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Richmond, Vermont
Posts: 63

Looks good, and it has style, too!
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Old 06-26-2021, 06:26 AM
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123pugsy 123pugsy is offline
MetalShaper of the Month Dec. 2019
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Markham,ON
Posts: 1,883

Looks good.

my project:
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