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The acrylic pockets dropped into the openings and I found uniform spots for each pocket to rest on to ensure they were all at the same angle.

The acrylic pockets were bonded to the doors with a mixture of duraglass and polyester resin.

When wrapping the panels, I had to be careful to make sure there was enough upholstery to cover the entire perimeter of the opening.

I broke the panel re-upholstery into two steps, the area around the grille, and then the rest of the panel. of wiggle room for any cut areas that weren’t perfectly straight. Next, I glued the pocket into the new opening. I test fit each pocket as I cut the doors, and noticed the pockets didn’t sit completely flat. I was concerned that when I molded them in, they might warp. The pocket was only ¼-inch deep, so any slight amount of deflection would be very visible with the grille inserted. To

68  Mobile Electronics July 2019

keep them completely flat, I decided to make the aluminum inserts. That way I could secure the aluminum pieces in the pocket to help keep them from warping.

Door Grille Aluminum Bits I’d only cut a few small keychains out of aluminum on my CNC. I did some research and found that a single flute bit was supposed to be superior for cutting

aluminum. In making these rings, I would use the single flute bit, and also a 90-degree V-bit for the etched details. While laying the piece out in VCarvePro, I realized how much empty space there was in the middle of the grille opening. To keep from wasting that space, I inserted the four Continental Star logos in one of the grilles. I didn’t know what the design of the trunk would be yet, but I knew I wanted to incorporate the star logo there, too, so in another one of the grille centers I inserted three large star logos. This would give me the ability to have matching accent pieces in the trunk. Once all the aluminum pieces were cut, it was time to add the epoxy to the engraved areas. I shared a few photos of this process in my CNC article a few months ago. One important thing I learned about epoxy is to let it sit a few days before sanding it. Otherwise, it won’t adhere as well to the aluminum. Not giving it enough time to cure increases the likelihood that it will gum up the sandpaper. Another trick I have learned is to mask off the surrounding areas before applying epoxy. Protecting the non-epoxied areas helps reduce sanding and cleanup time. I mixed the two-part epoxy and added the black dye. It takes just a very small amount of dye to color the epoxy. Depending on the piece and how precise I need to be with the epoxy application, I apply it with either a syringe with a large 16-gauge tip, or just a popsicle stick. While the epoxy self-levels, I will typically smooth it out with a filler spreader.

Profile for Mobile Electronics

Mobile Electronics Magazine - July 2019