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whiplash 25-08-06 05:40

How to make a gauge holder for your vl
hey guys just been putting my vl together recently and just made up my gauge holder quickly so though id share how to do it fairly easily

i placed the gauges in the sunglasses holder bit under the aircon controls and that but basic concepts can be done anywhere

Stage 1: Making the template

Alright firstly to start off with you’ll need to make up the templates of your gauges. All I used was a hole saw of 2 sizes. Depending on your gauges you’ll need to select the sizes but as a guide you’ll want the hole for the gauge either almost exact if painted after or a tad bigger (say 2mm) if covered with fabric or vinyl and then the wall thickness of the template. I had a wall thickness of 5mm

1. Firstly cut the larger hole out of the piece of wood, can use any wood you like. I had some 16mm wide mdf lying about but anything will do.

2. Secure the left over to something in order to drill the middle out. I used a bench vice for mine. Be careful not to over tighten it as it may break or become oblongata when finished drilling

3. sand off the rough edges to one side of the ring and any imperfections of the ring which shouldn’t be there. Should look something like this

Stage 2: Placing rings in position

Main key task for this stage is to place the rings in the position that you would like them in. ie place at the viewing angles you wish to have or straight if preferred. Whatever tickles your fancy! It would be good idea to test fit and check that everything is ok as this is prob best time to do so you don’t hurl it across the garage in anger when it’s angled to passenger and not driver. Believe me I know haha!
  • Place the rings in the positions that you wish to have them in.
  • Stick them to the positions you wish to have them in with a hot glue gun or something similar to stick them firmly to the sunglasses holder. If you do not have a hot glue gun I suggest get one as they are the best utensil to use and there very cheap to buy. Luckily in my case I had just the right diameter of ring to squeeze them in firmly without forcing it. Make sure you don’t put the holder out of shape either so not to force it in.
  • Do the other 2 or however many you’re doing. I did 3 in my case. Try and get them to look symmetrical also otherwise it will look crap afterwards. Should look something like this

Stage 3: Placing fabric over the holder with the rings

This stage is where the fun begins and you’ll be able to visualize the final product as it comes together. As for the type of material you should find something that is nice and stretchy. Any fabric with this characteristic will work. I can’t really remember the name of the fabric I used as I got it ages ago to do my rear parcel shelf. But have a look around for some old clothes or go get some or even use the one you’re wearing. It doesn’t really matter all that much.
  • Firstly cut the fabric down to workable size for the holder. With the hot glue gun dab a lil bit on the holder and secure the fabric to the holder by pressing down with finger. I found best way to do it is lick your finger first as the glue is extremely hot and you can actually get burnt from it. Dab up and down not allowing the heat get to your finger. You can wear gloves but I found it to be too messy.
  • Next stretch the material all over the holder making sure that it’s under tension. If you do not make it taught enough it will sag when the resin is added and ruin the effect that you’re trying to create. Tie it down with the hot glue dabs all around the edges.
  • next check that the fabric is tight enough everywhere over the holder. If you find a spot your not happy with don’t freak out about it as the beauty of the hot glue is that you can rip it off so easily and then glue it back down again. Just rip up that dab and retighten it. You should have something that looks like this

Stage 4: resining the mould

This is the messy stage. Main task here is to harden the mould in which it becomes a workable state so that we will be able to sand and cut and such with ease

  • Mix the resin as per instructions on the can. Basic rules are with the catalyst which is to not put too much in summer and put just a tad more in winter. Don’t use it all as it will all harden up and you’ll need to rush down and grab another tin. Only poor enough to cover the whole holder once. Use an old container or even better a Chinese container.
  • Grab a normal paint brush of decent size and start applying it to the holder. Apply just enough so that it soaks it up nicely and leaves a slight gloss finish to the holder. When applying it also try to reframe from stroking it on but instead dab it on. This tends to release any air bubbles that the resin may contain.
  • Wait for it to dry and then give it another 2 to 3 coats or just enough to have it to a nice hardened state.
  • Clean up any bowls or brushes and such with acetone.
Stage 5: tidy up

Main idea here is to basically tidy up our beautiful work to a point where we can either paint it or cover it. And also so that it fits nice and snug in the other part of the holder
  • Now that we have finished glassing the mould the fabric around the mould needs to be cleaned up. I found the easiest way to do this was to use a small hobby knife that is used for models and such. Nice and sharp in which is able to cut through the fine film of glass that we have made. Basically run the edge of the knife along the edge of the holder on the outside. Should go from this
to this
  • Now that we have done the out side do the same to the gauge holes on the inside.
  • Sand any rough edges back and such. If you wish to paint it this will be a critical part. Make sure that the end finish is smooth as. You can place polyester bog on it if you wish to take out low spots or fill in anywhere which you would like to smooth. Because I was covering mine I did not require this all that much

Stage 6: Final product

This was my final product. I didn’t have 3 gauges yet but I was expecting them soon so I just accounted for them. I also covered mine in black valour which in the pics you can’t really see the shape all that well but the main point was to angle the gauges toward me more and to get a better viewing angle from it. hope you guys enjoy

duz360 25-08-06 06:34

nice bloody job mate! im impressed

JET-6 25-08-06 10:18

What a great thread, very informative!!!!!

poohkies 25-08-06 11:28

thanks for that :) that was superb :)

will start making mine now ! but i'm going to be differenet and put them where the stereo is !

thanks heaps

5spd Calais 25-08-06 13:12

Well done mate top thread!

trypsi 25-08-06 15:51

Nice work you been watching all those custom car shows on fox.

GOT_POWR 25-08-06 18:33

thats awesome. im gonna get myself a sunglasses holder. how much did the resin stuff cost and how much did you need dude.

AFG-WPN 25-08-06 19:40

great work there buddy, looks pretty easy as well the way you explained it, will try this soon :)

whiplash 25-08-06 20:29

yeah its not hard at all. the resin and that im not too sure how much it cost but as a rough guess i bought a litre package at bunnings. and have used it on 2 of these gauge holders as i stuffed the first one up and also on my rear pastle shelf

only need about 500ml as account for stuffups, spills and waste and experimentling. ive been doing this for a while now so waste is less an occurance

also can get the stuff from bunnings, fibre shops and boat shops. all the same stuff really

rununxt 25-08-06 20:32

what can i say dude love ya work

slo 10z 26-08-06 21:27

nice job mate ! might give it ago myself

whiplash 26-08-06 22:59


Originally Posted by trypsi
Nice work you been watching all those custom car shows on fox.

haha i wish i had fox. but im a poor ass

guys ill take a few pics of me rear shelf as well which i used this technique on. just finished doing the speaker grills after a long wait for the material to come. very simple and effective way of making nice smooth curves

ZanSta 27-08-06 00:05

So neat, do you reakon it would be possible to find the same sort of material as the calais grey roof lining?

How did you cut the holes with such accuracy?

- Chris

SEXIE-RED 27-08-06 00:10


Originally Posted by poohkies
thanks for that :) that was superb :)

will start making mine now ! but i'm going to be differenet and put them where the stereo is !

thanks heaps

:eek: what about your stereo!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

whiplash 27-08-06 10:35


Originally Posted by ZanSta
So neat, do you reakon it would be possible to find the same sort of material as the calais grey roof lining?

How did you cut the holes with such accuracy?

- Chris

if you run the knife along side the edge of the wood it will follow the contour of the wood by itself. simple as that. of are you talking about cutting the wood sections for the templates?

heres a pic of my rear shelf. as i said same technige just on bigger scale. basically make templates glue or secure them down. i used screws this time and wrap it with cloth and resin it.

ZanSta 29-08-06 16:14

Nice, very clean...

How did you secure the gauges behind the face?

whiplash 29-08-06 19:46

dont need to as they are very tight. otherwise you will need to try manage to do it from behind by drilling a peep hole or doing it in the section that unscrews

CHRGD6 30-08-06 09:22

really well done mate, a very comprehensive article. May i commend you on how tidily that dash is painted as well ;)

whiplash 30-08-06 10:43

yeah sanding back that grain does wonders. very intence job though lol

Antho 15-09-06 21:08

Awesome article man. Top work! Can't wait to start making mine :D

b1ancardi 02-11-06 10:20

so, could I basically use this method to make cup holders?

Manual_VL 06-12-06 20:27

****e that is excellent work bro!

Fr3ak+-- 06-12-06 20:57

nice work mate

Antranik 05-01-07 19:55

Hey has anyone else gone ahead with making this?

Bouras 05-01-07 23:14

looks like im not gunna be bored this weekend!!!

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