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Gauge faces - anyone make their own?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scootermcrad, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Has anyone out there made their own custom gauge faces? If so, tell us how you did it and show us some pictures. I'm ordering some gauges in the very near future, but always wanted my own face designs. The quotes I've been getting are INSANE for custom faces. There HAS to be a clever idea out there!

    Screen printing on aluminum plates? Vinyl stick-ons? Painted? What's the process.

    I don't know what anyone else thinks, but I've always believed that one of the most important details inside a car's interior is it's gauges. They can make or break the whole thing.

    Let's hear it!
     
  2. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Man, I don't know. I think all the processes listed above will work even a Water Slide decal might to the trick. It really is one of the most important parts of an interior if not the whole car. I could go back and forth on which ones I would like to use but availability has led me to my '39 Cadillac sweep cluster. Early European ones would be cool but who has that kind of money.

    I would say that screen printing on an aluminum plate would be the best bet. I would try to stick to the original typeface that was used but differ them in the slightest but so that it does not become obvious.
     
  3. TurboHaddix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 184

    TurboHaddix
    Member

    You could just print your designs with a printer on plastic sheet. I bet you have local printers that can do it for you for under $20. Draw up what you want on photoshop and take the file to them. Shade the numbers the color you want them to light up or leave them semi clear and use colored bulbs.
     
  4. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 645

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Ogden, UT

    Scooter,

    There are a couple ways you could do it. Some mentioned above.
    There are other digital printing service that can print to plastic like photo paper called cibachrome or lambda film.
    Its pretty high tech shit though.
    Silk screen would have a cool raised look and would be real easy to do.
    Most early ones I would guess had been silk screened using the techniques of the time.
    I know an artist designer guy you could talk to about it.... :)~
     

  5. kustomizingkid
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 225

    kustomizingkid
    Member

    http://www.customgaugefaces.com/index.htm

    He makes stuff for OT cars... but his prices are way way cheap and I'm sure he could whip something up if you persuaded him. I've bought from him before, really nice guy.
     
  6. Scooter, search Kirk! s thread, he did em using an acid etch.

    Also Whizzerick had a thread here and one on the Jockey (pics gone) may need to PM him


    Several others as well, I forget the posters though
     
  7. scooter,

    valkokir did a thread on the subject- did a nice job, too.
     
  8. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Any decent sign shop can handle this.... you'll get small vinyl stickers that fit your guage and stick in place. You can choose font, size, colors, the whole nine.....
     
  9. katzenhammer
    Joined: Aug 26, 2002
    Posts: 398

    katzenhammer
    Member

    Acid etch. That is the way to go, plus you can do that at home. I did a lot of printmaking when I was in college and I believe this method can achieve some great results. Like Tman said PM Whizzerick his tech over on the Jockey Journal kicked ass!

    I would really like to match my tach to my gauges so I had thoughts of cutting a vinyl graphic using the same font as my gauges and then getting some litho plates made and printing my own gauge face. I believe lithography is how they printed them back then.
     
  10. Chaoticcustoms
    Joined: Sep 20, 2008
    Posts: 270

    Chaoticcustoms
    Member

    Ive talked to this guy personally, super nice guy. My friend had some gauge faces made for his car and they are AMAZING, he says basically whatever you want he can do...but im really telling you guys he does badass work at a very reasonable price. I think the custom gauges for his car were like 120bucks.
     
  11. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow! Some good feedback here!

    The etching thread that Kirk did is AWESOME. I've long subscribed to that. Didn't think of doing that for gauges. That would be pretty neat!

    Why YES! I do! You are correct! I'll have to keep that in mind! :D:D

    I checked out that guy's website from customgaugefaces. Interesting. I would be curious to see some more examples. Anyone who has used him, care to share some pictures?
     
  12. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  13. bloodyjack
    Joined: Aug 29, 2007
    Posts: 649

    bloodyjack
    Member

    I am in the process of making a fake cop special for my 27 roadster. I have a T5 with electronic speedometer sensor. So I pulled an electronic speedo for 7 bucks at the "Pull a Part" I also built an electronic speedometer adjust circuit from a kit that allows you to change the speed + and - 100%

    [​IMG]

    For the face I made a file in photoshop including creating a font for the stewart warner logo and useing the same speed numbers as the donner speedometer. I then had that silkscreened on to alumminum sheet (I work for a printing place) I also obtained a curved 5" glass from a clock repair place. all I have to do now is order a bezel and make a case, you can get a cheap 5" bezel as a replacment Harley one from Harley after market places

    [​IMG]
     
  14. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    AWESOME!! Keep us posted! Can't wait to see!
     
  15. That Police Special project is cool!
     
  16. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    woooord!
     
  17. marks914
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 330

    marks914
    Alliance Vendor

    That is how my side business got started!
    I started printing on adhesive backed vinyl, them moved to rub-down transfers on painted laer cut aluminum. Now I have a local screen printing shop screen onto polycarbonate and laser cut them. I use adobe illustrator for the artwork.

    Here is a pic of the first set I made in my 914:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do you have a website?
     
  19. marks914
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 330

    marks914
    Alliance Vendor

    Is it OK with admins to post business websites? Some folks are kind of uptite about that.

    Mark
     
  20. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You're not spamming and we're asking for your info, so unless the boss says otherwise, I would say you're more than fine with posting the info. It would be different if you started a thread to promote your business, or something. I say post your link. :cool:
     
  21. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    Django
    Member
    from Chicago

    the Police Special is killer.
     
  22. marks914
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 330

    marks914
    Alliance Vendor


    Ok then.
    You guys will probably be mopre interested in the woodward series stuff.
    our website is :
    http://newvintageusa.com

    I would suggest having parts screened onto polycarbonate and laser cut. Or doing some water jet aluminum pieces with rub-downs would be good too. The paints/colors can be all color matched. If you can do the artwork and assembly, then the cheaper it will be.
    Here is an example of the gauges that started out as home made gauges and are going into production now. I have the real pics being taked this week, this is the home made prototype:

    Mark

    admins, if this is inappropriate, please let me know and I will edit it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  23. That is some gooood looking stuff!
     
  24. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,368

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    WOW! Those are super neat!!!!!! I would say you are definitely within your rights to post here!!!
     
  25. Hey marks914, I see that you offer LED light kits, I have a neat NOS guage (thanks to GMC BUbba) that needs light so we will be talking!
     
  26. really nice work!
     
  27. marks914
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 330

    marks914
    Alliance Vendor

    Guys,
    Thanks for the compliments. The side stuff just keeps us afloat, we have 2 little boys and my wife does not work now, so the gauge stuff helps.

    On doing your own faces, just remember, the more work you can do the cheaper it gets. If you can do all of your artwork, it will pretty much just the cost of the dials/rub-downs. Its really pretty easy to do. If you really want to be cheapo, order some printable adhesive backed vinyl onlune, that is how I started, or have some printed at a sign shop.

    Hope this helps, any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  28. old-hermit
    Joined: Sep 16, 2007
    Posts: 39

    old-hermit
    Member
    from SC

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