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Customs Custom Tail Light Fabrication?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JDeacon52, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. JDeacon52
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 12


    I’ve got some pretty rare tail lights on my 52 Ford and a mechanic recently busted one of them. I was able to replace the lens from another set I picked up, but the entire ordeal made me realize I may not be able to do that too many more times in case anything like this happens again.

    Is there anyone out there who fabricates, or knows someone who fabricates, plastic tail lights?

    I’ve seen all these DIY videos, but to do it properly you need a pressure pot, and even then your chances of getting it right without a lot of trial and error is pretty slim. I’m all for DIY, but I’d rather not buy a piece of equipment and go through a bunch of smooth-on and silicone for a one off.

    I’ve looked online but can’t seem to find a shop or even a hobbyist who does it. Seems to me like it could be a pretty lucrative business or side business. If I didn’t work so much already I’d corner the market myself.

    Both the existing and replacement lenses have “crazed”, so they do the job, but compared to how complete the rest of the car is, the hairline cracks don’t look great contrasting with the polished chrome of the bezel.

    Any help is appreciated! Adjustments.JPG

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  2. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 979


    I can't help, but beautiful custom.
    loudbang and kidcampbell71 like this.
  3. chargin03
    Joined: Jan 8, 2013
    Posts: 484


  4. There is a bloke here (in Queensland, I think), who will re-cast tail light lenses. mgtstumpy may know where he's at.
    loudbang, JDeacon52 and kidcampbell71 like this.

  5. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,896

    oldiron 440

    Isn't that what 3D printers are for or do, replicate plastic parts.
    loudbang, CME1 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  6. young51
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 27


    Try Evod industries;
    They are the ones who make some really nice wheels, like 20" Eldorado rims and specialty trim for high end Ridler and AMBR cars. Their instagram account shows a bunch of tail light lens they can reproduce or custom make.
    loudbang, JDeacon52 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  7. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 814


    What a ham-fisted mechanic.
    loudbang and JDeacon52 like this.
  8. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,339

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    I’ve made a lot of cast plastic parts using silicone molds and two part urethane. The first few are the hardest.


    To do it right, you need:

    Vacuum - to pull the bubbles out of your materials after mixing. So a vacuum pump, and chamber.

    Pressure - to crush any remaining bubbles in your cast part. Pressure pot from HF and an air compressor.

    Heat - to cure the urethane. A toaster oven from Salvation Army works for small parts.

    Rubber - Enough to pour 1” thick around your part.

    Urethane - Smooth On is the brand I use. I’m making impact resistant parts, so need strength more than anything else. You need something that won’t melt in the sun. Different resin, it’ll have different properties, but the process is the same.

    Dye - there is a rainbow of dye colours for the resin. You have to pick a colour, then figure out how much to add to get the part to look right when done.

    You also need a good original to start from, or somebody that can make one out of something to use as a pattern.

    For something like a taillight, if you have all of the equipment, you’re looking at $250 or so in materials to cast your first part. The second part is a lot cheaper, of course, if you’re happy with the first one.

    A friend has some marker lights he wants me to make for an OT project. He hasn’t given me the originals for patterns yet.

    I need to make some new molds for parts here. I could do a tech post on how to do it if there’s interest. It’s not really “traditional”, but maybe of enough usefulness to allow it.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. krgdowdall
    Joined: Apr 3, 2015
    Posts: 105

    from Alberta

    Check with They are doing 3D printing now for custom plastic parts, but not sure if they would do tail light lenses
    JDeacon52 likes this.
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,501


    I have no freaking idea except to put a search on Ebay for those taillights with notification when they show up. Other than that, that is one beautiful car and the taillights work perfect on it. Damn I like that car.
    JDeacon52 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  11. scotts52
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,255


    @David Gersic I'd love to see a video

    Thought about doing it myself too with the whole pressure pot system. 55/56 Pontiac wagon taillights are rare to begin with and when you do find some you soon realize they're made of unobtanium and hence $$$
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  12. Chrisbcritter
    Joined: Sep 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,892


    Those look like '53-'54 Kaiser taillights. Have you checked with the Kaiser Frazer Owners Club? Their forum lists a guy named Rudy Phillips who was reproing them.
    JDeacon52 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  13. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,102


    JDeacon52 likes this.
  14. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,169

    51 mercules

    Matt Towndend made this for me. There's a thread I don;t know how to post the link:

    Attached Files:

  15. Right click the address bar at the top, a drop down list will open you then click copy, then left click where you want your link to go in your post to place the cursor, then right click and hit the paste option. Voila you have added a link. Make sure you are on the first page of the original post when you do the above or your link will got to whatever page you are on when you copy the address.
  16. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,169

    51 mercules

    Thank you!
    K13 likes this.
  17. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,421


    Yep, if the mechanic was HAMB-fisted it probably wouldn't have happened.
  18. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,796


    Arn't those Kaiser taillights?
  19. JDeacon52
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Yes, 52’s. Not easy to find. A guy contacted me and said he had a pair of NOS lenses and a set of originals in perfect condition, but we couldn’t come to an agreement on price. Considering how they came out after the lard and Novus, I think the set I have is fine.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. JDeacon52
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 12


    No but that’s a great lead! Thank you!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  21. JDeacon52
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 12


    I’ll let you know if she ever goes up for sale. She is gorgeous inside and out, and is a true custom from under the hood to the Kaiser tail lights and everything in between.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. JDeacon52
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Found someone with NOS lenses and some originals, but the price they want is a little steep. The lenses I restored are looking pretty good, so I’m gonna sit tight for now, but thank you for all the responses! [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    dana barlow and egads like this.

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