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Thread: Ceiling mount control panel

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Ceiling mount control panel

    So I've got this 91 Cavalier RS that I would like to tweak out. One of the things I'm trying to design is a small control cluster on the ceiling, near the rearview mirror. I'm looking to mount the PC's power and reset buttons up there, as well as primary power, and a couple of status displays, such as drive access and temperature. Things like that.

    My question is this: has anyone ever made anything like this, and what do you think would be the best way to make an enclosure without going to either extreme. The first one is like MacGuyver level. No duct tape allowed! The other extreme is like something you would see out of Monster Garage. I'm fresh out of C&C grinder machinery, so I really don't have too many options for tooling metal. Are there any existing prefab cases that would do the trick, and look fairly stock while it's at it?
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  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate Freeman's Avatar
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    thats a neat idea one that i was thinking about...

    im sure u would be able to find something out of another model car, which would look factory and i lot better than home made.
    It aint no family car.

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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Fibreglass will do the job. You can do anything with that stuff Just use mdf to make the framing.

  4. #4
    FLAC Spaghetti's Avatar
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    Fibreglass would work, but I'm pretty sure I've seen blank pods you can buy.
    I know some cars have similar housings for sunroof winders etc (my mum's car has one and incorporates an infrared reciever for the central lock), so an idea would be to salvage one (perhaps there's one already for your car model) and use it as a starting point for some custom work.....?

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate Altimat's Avatar
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    Buy a piece of balsa foam from your local hobby shop. This is a urethane modeling foam that sands like butter. Its pricey, but there is nothing better. Shape your console, fiberglass it, and scrape/sand the foam back off the backside. If you're a perfectionist you can then add another layer to the backside too. Then just finish and paint, or just cover the front with a headliner material.
    Fabricator

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate telekineticfool's Avatar
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    Want this guy's email address? He's selling these...
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  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate riddle14's Avatar
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    I would like to have that guys email address. I need something like that for my truck. It would be perfect for what I need.
    "I'm going back to Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), I'm going back to Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), I know so!!!!" Now I'm here!!

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  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate jzgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altimat
    Buy a piece of balsa foam from your local hobby shop. This is a urethane modeling foam that sands like butter. Its pricey, but there is nothing better. Shape your console, fiberglass it, and scrape/sand the foam back off the backside. If you're a perfectionist you can then add another layer to the backside too. Then just finish and paint, or just cover the front with a headliner material.

    I've also used, with good results, home foundation foam (it's about 3 inches thick). You can find it in Home Depot or Lowe's - the foam's usually blue or bright pink). What I'll do is, say I want to make a pod for an LCD that's 6" x 6", I'll cut a few pieces 7" x 7" and epoxy them together. Then, use a serrated knife to cut the desired shape (I've also seen electric carving knives used with great success). Fiberglass mat (for increased strength) and resin the foam, let it cure and cut out the foam.

    - Jeff

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate jzgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altimat
    Buy a piece of balsa foam.

    I am definitely going to take a look at that balsa foam! It looks pretty cool. It isn't too, too expensive. I guess it depends on where and what size you get.

    Here's an art store that sells it - I have one here locally. Dick Blick's Art Supply - Balsa Foam II

    This is for the higher strength balsa foam - They also have the weaker kind which would probably be easier to remove from the finished piece, and cost less.

    Here's the link to the lesser strength version: Balsa Foam

    I'm going to look for cheaper places as I know the art supply stores are usually higher priced.

    edit:
    This place has 3 densities and many sizes with decent pricing.

    - Jeff

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate telekineticfool's Avatar
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