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Thread: Instrument Faces

  1. #21
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    It's about as you describe, Doug. I went through every font I had, and none were right, so it was a matter of building each letter and number, one line at a time. When I said I had to "dumb down" the program...I actually had to add radii to every edge to mimick the way the screened ink flowed on the original. The more you build, the easier it gets, as you can then use the previous work as a starting point and just modify. The only font I did use is the Jaeger. It is a Times Roman for the letters, but I had to build the lamp with the loops at the ends to fit it. The laser has a .005" width, so some of the characters may have to be narrowed to account for the width of the "knife". I tried to adjust for kerf, but sometimes it's just a matter of try and see. Tomorrow will be test day.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  2. #22
    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the first try.
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1
    '72 Spifire Mk4

  3. #23
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    The Rover lost a fuel pump while I was out shopping for flourescent white paint. Spent the whole day working on that...maybe tomorrow on the test. No luck with flourescent paint either...
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  4. #24
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    Here is the first cut:



    This is blue vinyl on a wood background. Most of it is good...it will need some size adjustments. I cannot see how the small lettering is working, though. With the fine detail the underlying wood charred some, so I can't quite tell if the detail is there or not. I need a better backing and a higher power magnifying glass...

    I am toying with the thought of painting the large lettering, and decalling the fine lettering. Anyway, the testing goes on.

    It's looking like I'll have to test paints too. Nobody has any experience with paint types out there?
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  5. #25
    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I think it is a great start! I printed countless drafts of my artwork before committing to printing the decal. I anticipate you will find the same.

    I don't remember the seller's name but I do remember there was a guy on eBay selling different fluorescent gauge paints (red, orange, and white). I have used fluorescent acrylic paints from AC Moore to touch up gauge needles but I have never given any thought at all to directly painting with it on the gauge face.
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1
    '72 Spifire Mk4

  6. #26
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    Finally made the first real trial from mask to paint. I am pretty excited, as it came out the first time. Here is what I've got:



    Now, the tearing is the fact that I was using a paper backplate for the trial, and the mask is not a real mask, but high-tack vinyl sign material, so the mask ripped the backing. That is fixable, by changing to a low tack mask. But, here is what I am really excited about:



    Look at the fine detail in the lettering...first try! I now know enough to say this will work, so I will start over to pick up the rest of you guys left out. What I plan to do is post the complete restoration of the gages, start to finish.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  7. #27
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces




    This is the typical state of a basket case gage. Dirty and ugly.

    For starters. The glass face has to come off the gages. The bezel has tabs, so the bezel need to rotate so the tabs line up with the cut-outs in the housing. Here is how it looks on the smaller gages:



    And this is the large speedo and tach:



    You will notice a small drift punch on the table. The bezels are frequently glued with dirt and grime, so a gentle tap in the same direction around the bezel will get it started. Once loosened, the bezel can be rotated by hand and pops off. The glass may fall out, or have to be encouraged gently.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  8. #28
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces




    The faces on the small gages just rest on the housing rim. By slightly bending the needle up, they slide right out.





    Now you have a good look at the face. I use a very soft paint brush to dust the face. The light for the small gages is not internal, but comes through slots in the housing from bulbs mounted on the instrument panel. The problem with the "slot" method of letting light in is that dust also gets in, so the gages are normally full of dirt. After brushing the dirt, you can see what you are dealing with. This face is chalky and faded.




    Here is the inside of either the temp or oil pressure gages. All it is is a coiled brass bellows. When pressure is applied, it tried to unwrap. This motion is transferred to the needle. Simple. The ammeter and fuel gage are both electric. No need to mess with any of the internals...yet.




    So here are the faces of the small gages.



    I do not have an extra ammeter, as the donor car had an aftermarket. Once I perfect my face restoration technique on the "extra" gages, I will tackle the valuable ammeter (at least to me it is).

    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  9. #29
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    At this point, you have a good view of the faces, and have cleaned them with a soft brush. If you are lucky, they will be good and re-usable as-is. You can skip ahead to where I rebuild them and calibrate. If you are like me, and not so lucky, the following many posts will be about restoring the faces, so I can get to the rebuilding and calibrating. So, here goes the face resto...

    The tach and speedo are built under similar principals. A magnet spins, which imparts a force on an aluminum spinner. The needle is attached to the spinner, and a small spring brings the needle back to zero. The speedo is complicated by the addition of the odometer.




    2 screws remove the assemblies from the housing. Remove the needle by holding the aluminum disc in the rear as you gently twist the needle away from the "0" and pull. Do not force...it comes off easily if you are doing it right. Now remove the face by removing 2 small jewelers screws. Here is what I had on the speedo, showing the small light for the high beam:



    The light comes out by gently punching the back while supporting the front:





    Here is the back of a typcial gage. Note that there is a bit of overspray around the edges. This tells me that the factory painted the white first, and then just flipped it over and sprayed the black on the front, with little or no masking.




    I photo's the faces in very fine detail. It will be the last time I get a chance to see them as...here is the sanded tach face:





    There is no turning back now! My only fear in repaintinf is that the mask will pull up the base paint. I made sure to get a very rough surface to bond the paint to, to at least give it a fighting chance of staying on.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  10. #30
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I have so many pics the forum is not letting me edit...so I know that was the speedo face!?!

    Here is the way the housing came to me:



    Notice how yellowed the paint is. The white is used to reflect the bulb light to the face. The whiter it is, the brighter the face. Here I have beed blasted the whole housing, using the cheapo Norther Tool $100 blaster with $29 in beads.



    A pair of scissors and scrap cardboard make a nice little mask disc to fit in the bottom:



    And now the housings are repainted and ready to set aside for the rebuild.

    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  11. #31
    Darth Vader glemon's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I too consider myself a do it yourselfer, and tend to do most everything myself but machine work, for which I regrettably don't have the tools, but I don't think I am nearly ambitious or talented enough to try what you are doing, very impressive, can't wait to see the final results.

    My solution to gauges I am not happy with cosmetically (that need more than simple clean up) has always been the e-bay trade in program, buy one with the good parts you need on e-bay, use the good one or swap out the best parts to make one good one, and sell what is left on ebay for parts or restoration.

    Look forward to seeing the final results.

  12. #32
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    Wow John

    Great thread. I really appreciate all the photos and detail. Thanks for developing this and sharing with all of us.

    Pat
    Pat
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  13. #33
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    Looks Fantastic. I was thinking about paint, What about auto pinstriping paint? It should be dense enough to cover.

  14. #34
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    So what paints did you settle on (for the interior too)?

    Scott
    1966 TR4A IRS CTC69123L (first car and first love!)
    1966 TR4A IRS CTC72159LO
    1959 TR3A TS51339L

  15. #35
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I settled on Krylon...although I am not all that happy with it. The temps have been way to cold to pull out the expensive epoxy paints, and the Krylon was easily available at Hobby Lobby. I also could get all the colors in the same brand...so compatibility will not be an issue. If I mess these blanks up, I will re-spray them with PPG epoxy primer. I'll also have to look into the pin striping paint. Here are the blank plates, with Krylon front and back:





    This is the finished housing...again with Krylon



    And finally, these are the reflector rings. They are black in the front, and white on the back. Their purpose to both to reflect the light back towards the gage face, and also to prevent the light from shining in your eyes.



    Now I am back to the face itself. This is bogging me down a bit. To experiment, I took a metal pizza sheet and painted it exactly as I did the gage faces. The good news, I have had absolutely no problem with the masking pulling up the paint. The bad news it that I am having trouble getting the fine detail I did with the paper backings



    So this is my best to date:



    I have about 2 weeks of real work ahead, so the faces will be on hold. But, I will pick up the thread soon.

    Cheers!
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  16. #36
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I was checking that final post before I took off. I apologize for the poor clarity...but I found myself sitting here staring at it playing "where's Waldo" with all the markings. It's kinda fun trying to pick out the differences. Feel free to let me know what you guys can find, as it is all adjustable until the final spray! For example, I see the "5" is not quite right...but the fun is trying to judge how it is not right.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  17. #37
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    Still away from home, but had some time to draft the speedo. Here's how it looks as a drawing file:



    Passing through home, and looking at Pat's pics on the chrome thread, I realized I was getting too critical. Most of the tiny lettering is hidden behind the needle hub and I need a magnifying glass to see the differences. Next weekend I should be ready to print the large gage faces. Weather is supposed to be nice for a change
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  18. #38
    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    I look forward to seeing the next set of pictures.
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1
    '72 Spifire Mk4

  19. #39
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    Re: Instrument Faces

    Here is the first little gage drawing.



    I feel like I've been gone at work for 2 weeks...can't wait to get back to work on the instruments. I goofed the first set of small face plates by bead blasting the paint off. The blasting warped the thin brass, so they "oil canned". I thought I was able to relax the stress by heating and cooling...and it looked like I did. But after painting the small waves were apparent. So lesson learned...do not blast the paint of the faces!! I will have to use the TR2 faces, and this time I plan to chemically strip the paint, then lightly rough with 600 grit.
    John

    Most of a 1955 TR2

  20. #40

    Re: Instrument Faces

    Great thread John.....I am sure you will knock it out!

    JP
    JP TS 35123 L (Family Resto)
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