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dash design

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Forum Name: Fiberglass, Fabrication, and Interiors
Forum Discription: Fiberglass Kick Panels, Subwoofer Enclosures, Plexiglas, Fabrics, Materials, Finishes, etc.
Printed Date: January 24, 2022 at 11:55 AM

Topic: dash design

Posted By: vmog23
Subject: dash design
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 11:55 AM

I have a 93 Chevy suburban and am tired or that squared off dash.  So I decided to design a new dash for it.  I did the design and the drawings for it but I am not sure of how to go about making it from scratch.  Due to the fact that I am rounding it off a little bit but am not sure of how to get the curves using wood. Then I have all the cut outs I need to layout for the vents and the stereo ect. If anyone could help me on the best materials to use I would greatly appreciate it.


Posted By: sk8ingsmurf
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 12:51 PM
Fiberglass, make whatever framework you will need (structurally to stretch the fabric over it) and then get to work on glassin' the crap out of it.  Not a small project but it definitely gives it a very custom look.

Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 3:14 PM
so could i use a bunch of wood dowel rods to get my curves and then glass over it and not worry about having wood to reinfoce it. 

Posted By: sk8ingsmurf
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 11:13 PM
The wood is really just to help shape it and mount it, if you can get the shapes you need and adequate mounting with just dowel rods then yes that should do.  Just make sure that when you do glass it you use a few layers, probably dont need to go to the extent of the "thumb test" as there will be no pressure like a sub would exert, but a like 6-8 layers would be my guess for good strength.

Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 1:25 PM

so i still need the wood to mount it.  if i make it thick enough would that also work.

Posted By: sk8ingsmurf
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 1:38 PM
As I said, the wood might be required to mount it, but that would really depend on the dash and the design, if you need a solid wood backing (which in most cases I would imagine you would) in order to bolt it onto the firewall, then yes, that would be required.  Not sure what your question was on the thickness, the fiberglass will need to be somewhat thick in order to take the stress of everyday driving and to provide strength for mounting various things to it.  However that one also depends greatly on the car itself, only you know how you want it to look, what you want it to do, and what types of pressure, stress, and damage it is likely to encounter.

Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 2:20 PM
ok thanks.  what would you recomend as far as the type of wood to use if i do need the wood to mount it .  the reason i ask is cause it is going to be 5'lx1'w so i need it to flex to get the contures i am looking for.  i'll try scaning my drawing in to give you a rough idea of what i am looking to do.

Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 4:11 PM

here is the side view which will give an idea of the curve on the top and front.


Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: February 24, 2006 at 8:25 AM

here are the other pics. one is the front view and the other is the top.


Posted By: arrivalanche
Date Posted: February 24, 2006 at 8:58 PM
i think you might be in over your head with this one bro

Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: February 28, 2006 at 4:26 PM
no i dont think so.  if i could just get the curves i need i will be fine.  oh and a lot of time posted_image

Posted By: cdoolittle16
Date Posted: February 28, 2006 at 6:54 PM

What about expansion foam. You could get all the curve you want with that stuff!

I love custom audio like a fat kid loves cake!

Posted By: vmog23
Date Posted: March 01, 2006 at 10:03 AM

thats an idea. thanks

i think something else that might work is molding it flexes just enough to give me the slight curve i am looking for. thanks for all your help i will post pics as i goposted_image

Posted By: crazyoldcougar
Date Posted: March 03, 2006 at 10:38 AM

A: your gonna want to do it in at least two pieces...a top one and bottom one, make the top overlap the bottom one with a rabbit joint.

B: your gonna have to remove the windshield for this, and cover the entire interior of your truck in aluminum foil..

C: your gonna have to build it all up using MDF most likely, you will need a scroll saw and jig saw to cut out the shapes...start where the dash meets the doors...trace it out cut pieces to match where they meet and go from there on the rest of the design..eith make multiple copies of those pieces or change them to the contours you want. you will want to build and cut a piece that will follow the windshield along the top of the fire wall..incorporate factory mounting points aswell.

D: your gonna have to build a colar for around the steering coloum...this may also have to be done in a couple separate pieces

E: if you gonna round out your dash you may want to hit a wreckers and get some up to date dash vents and stuff too cause the squres ones are going to look like poop in a nice smooth round dash.

F: you will have to make mounting rings for all your factory stuff to go back in, much like sub woofer rings, rabbit the edges so can afford build up room.

G: once the frame work is made up for the top, armature will most likely require braces at ten inch or so intervals...any larger and you risk serious sagging in your final product you may want to go as close as 6" anyrate you will need verticle and horizontal braces. again 1/2 strips of MDF will work fine for this..BTW you want to build all this into the truck as you go. and then make sure it will come out as well.  once it is fitted and can come out WITHOUT flexing you can remove it and stretch the fabric and glass it up..

H: Mount it back in the truck make sure it fits ( this is where if you have to crack it to make it fit you should..cut away pieces to account for oops and then reconfigure it) and then add a couple layers of glass to it in the truck and then a layer of Kitty hair to it...this will prevent it from warping, mind you so will a super strong armature...

J: once the top is all sanded out you can begin framing up the bottom portion of the dash...this will be mucheasier since it wont have to many things going on...

K: i too think you maybe in over head on this, but give it a go, it will be a very steep learning curve and fun at the same time...

Fiberglass Guru.

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