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Old 01-30-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Laminated Dash Knobs

I stopped by the Hollywood Hot Rods booth at the GNRS and pretty much fell in love with the cloned Hirohata Merc dash that they were using as a display. The owner made and laminated dash knobs and radio buttons were just incredible. As luck would hav...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

I was pretty mesmerized by the dash also. I was hoping that it was going to be put in "The Idol" that HHR will soon be working on but I think it was explained to just a stand alone piece. Beautiful none the less.

As far as the tech article, I wasn't all that sure how those were made. I never gave it much thought because I thought they were hand blown glass. Definitely a cool article to save for when I start my '54.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

i remember that thread. great stuff!
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

This looks very cool, and time consuming but hey what isn't, when I was a youngster the cool guy on the block had a 49 Merc with these knobs, the one thing he had that I don't see much of nowadays was a rolled and pleated steering wheel cover, anyone remember those ? I guess they were mostly for the shows but that was one very cool Merc!
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
1950ChevySuburban
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

We made these clear candlestick holders in 8th grade shop with the exact same process. Mom still has them.

When your making your dash knobs, don't forget your seat adjust knob, and maybe oil dipstick too...........
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

cool! here's another example from the GNRS

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Old 01-30-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Yeah, these were big high school projects in the early 60's, before the Beatles got everybody sidetracked...
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Yep!----Ryan, all those are "modern" examples of acrylic plastic knobs. Back when I was in hi school (1946-1950) & after WWII, there was an abundent supply of aircraft grade acrylic clear plastic sheets, usually 1/4 inch thick & could be bought very cheap at the surplus stores all around SO.Cal. area.
It did not take long for ingenuity to begin, as the car guys back then sought out something different to decorate their dash boards, radio knobs, shift levers, glove boxes, etc., so by glueing small pieces together with colored dye mixed with the glue, then rough ground on a grinder to desired shape, then the final buffer wheel, you came up with a personel shaped knob,with your favorite color(s).
There were many other ideas that sprouted up also, such as ear rings, necklaces, cigarette boxes, knife handles,etc., some guys took to etching designs from the rear of object, like flowers, then covering back with thin piece & buffing everything out for a nice finish!--------YEP, that was a long time ago!!-------------Don
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

gotta love 'em...beauty is in the details for sure
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Thanks for pulling the article back to the top. I've been wanting to make those and knew there had to be an easy way. Now, the hard part, finding a plastics supply place...
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

thats a great tech post..I made some of these a couple years ago after reading it. I didn't realize how easy they were to make
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh m View Post
Yeah, these were big high school projects in the early 60's, before the Beatles got everybody sidetracked...
Yeah, I was going to say that my Dad made some when he was in high school. Red and white swirl.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

i made one of those using an article from "Rod & Custom, November 1953"







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Old 01-31-2009, 03:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Just got off the phone with Jack Walker {personal friend} & the Hirohata Merc will be in KCMO World of wheels show Feb 27 - 28 { QUOTE }He claims it to be the ONLY true Re creation {Clone } that exist today He said there are alot of them out there that have duplicated the paint ECT Basicly got this from the horses mouth So don't argue with me about it I grew up with this guy & his cars & helped on several of them. Larry

Last edited by vintageozarks; 02-04-2009 at 12:15 PM. Reason: add worded wrong
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Great Post
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

I did a few in high school. Instead of buffing them out we sanded down to 600 grit and then dipped them quickly in acetone (nail polish remover)
it softens it up just enough to take out any scratches and make it real shiny super quick.
Great post
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Great stuff. I have been wanting to make some for my truck for a while now.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh m View Post
Yeah, these were big high school projects in the early 60's, before the Beatles got everybody sidetracked...
Damn those Beatles and their "British Invasion"!
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageozarks View Post
Just got off the phone with Jack Walker {personal friend} & the Hirohata Merc will be in KCMO World of wheels show Feb 27 - 28 { QUOTE }He claims it to be the ONLY true one that exist today He said there are alot of them out there that have duplicated the paint ECT Basicly got this from the horses mouth So don't argue with me about it I grew up with this guy & his cars & helped on several of them. Larry
Huh?
Jack Walkers car is a clone.

The only true one that exists, and has ever existed is owned by Jim Mc.Neil.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Laminated Dash Knobs

A tip for drilling plastics..........dull the sharp cutting edges (the first part that contacts the plastic) by touching them on a grinding wheel and make abt 1/16" flat edge .......parallel to the centerline........from the center all the way to the outer corner so the new edge scrapes square to the plastic surface instead of digging-in. Also prevents the drill bit from bursting out the back of the part and splitting the material.

Also experiment with drill speed/pressure........about half normal speed and pressure will be good.........too fast or too light will melt instead of cutting.
Flame polishing is also great for the edge of plastic sheet.......medium wet-sand first.

Jim
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