View Full Version : TR6 TR6 Gauge Restoration may become easier

11-13-2006, 03:09 PM
Today I finally obtained the elusive oil pressure gauge to complete my set of spare TR6 gauges. With that, I was able to contact a gentleman that I met at a trade show, whose company creates overlays or "gauge faces" digitally, then silk screens them onto a material that can be installed in a plate or over an original.

I guess that my question is, if I can obtain these would anyone be interested in having a set for their car? I'm not sure it will even be feasible, cost wise, to do this but if there is an interest, perhaps it can benefit everyone, without killing me with costs. I'm not interested in making a profit as much as I'm interested in getting nice new shiny faces for my gauges.

11-13-2006, 05:07 PM
i am looking for exactly that.new faces.absolutely interested. 1962 tr4 jaeger faces, complete set with new reproduction chrome bezel rings to go with them for a price of $100. it might take TRF or MOSS to do it with their buying power.

11-13-2006, 05:18 PM
I have done some of this myself. I would like to see pictures of the transfers when and if you buy them.

I have recently done a partial set of custom gauge faces for a friend of mine. I used DIY decal printing stock from MicroMark. These were strictly black and white decals and I created their layout using AutoCad and MS-Word. If you have access to those programs and a laser printer you can do this yourself with reasonable results.

I can post a picture of the gauge faces I created if you're interested in seeing the results. Just let me know.

11-13-2006, 05:28 PM
Sure, I'm interested, but don't have those programs. I'd just like to find a way for owners (including me) to be able to make a gauge face look like new if it is worn or faded without having to spend big $$$$. Also, many have washed away the white letters when trying to clean.

I'd like to see your picture too.

I would imagine that once a layout is done, that the colors (white on black) could be reversed or changed if one so desired, which might be neat if the right colors were chosen.

11-13-2006, 06:52 PM

I'm interested. A bit of the lettering came off my oil pressure gauge when I refurbished it.


11-13-2006, 08:58 PM
Dale, you are the gauge restoration guru around here. I'll keep you posted. I'm going to meet with them Weds afternoon and give them a speedo head, which is in pieces, to see what they can do and how much it will cost, before I take all of the others apart.

11-14-2006, 08:31 AM
I took a picture of the work I'm doing for my friend.
These are gauges from a '67 Triumph 2000 Estate. The speedometer is stock. I made a new center disk for the triple gauge, made the voltmeter section of the triple gauge (it used to be an ammeter), made the 2" tach (to the best of my knowledge, Smiths never made one), and I made the new face for the oil pressure gauge (the oil pressure gauge is a traditional, vertical one for a mid-1970s MGB).

The materials I used came most recently from MicroMark (www.micromark.com ). AutoCad allows me to accurately lay out the faces and tweak the position of the chaplets (calibration marks). I export image files from AutoCad and array them on an 8.5x11 sheet in MS-Word. This lets me get the greatest number of decals on each sheet of material. The time consuming part (other than calibration) is finding fonts to match (or closely match) the other gauges you're working with.

11-14-2006, 09:19 AM
I'm using ACAD 2007 for civil engineering,
could you email me the files?

Bill /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/england.gif

11-14-2006, 10:41 AM
Doug- Nice layouts.

I gave a couple of attempts at using my AC 2006
to design new TR Smith gauge faces. The design end
was not a problem since I have designed gauge faces
for my high wind testing devices.

But I could not come up with a medium on which to
print the TR gauges. Could you go into a little more detail on your process?



11-14-2006, 10:45 AM
Well, there you have it Bill!
The fundamental difference.

I use AutoCad 2006 for architects and wear
red and yellow socks to design meeting and
I am left handed as well!

This explains much about the A/E thing! LOL

You ever notice it's always A/E firms. Never E/A firms?
Why is that do you suppose?


11-14-2006, 10:47 AM
Well, there you have it Bill!
The fundamental difference.

I use AutoCad 2006 for architects and wear
red and yellow socks to design meeting and
I am left handed as well!

This explains much about the A/E thing! LOL

You ever notice it's always A/E firms. Never E/A firms?
Why is that do you suppose?


[/ QUOTE ]

Is there something wrong with being left-handed? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

11-14-2006, 12:31 PM
Dale, I typically use AutoCad to make a paper overlay tracing the arc of the needle swing. I lay out marks every 1 degree if possible and mark every 10 degrees. I mount that on the face of the gauge and run the instrument through a full scale swing of the needle recording the needle's angular position relative to the scale. Then I make a pattern for the real scale based on the measurements. Once I have the marks where I want them I search for a suitable font and scale it accordingly. Then I make another paper scale proof to confirm that I laid everything out correctly and that it's visually OK.

Once I'm happy with the paper proof, I create a Windows MetaFile (WMF) from AutoCad's export feature and import it into MS-Word. I fill the 8.5x11 paper size in Word with as many decals as I can fit (being sure to use the re-size image feature to get the scale exactly right). Once I'm happy I print on the decal material. MicroMark sells decal material for laser and injet printers. I use a laser printer since the toner is not as likely as ink to fade over time. I use white decal material and print the entire face in black. You could try painting the gauge face white and applying a clear decal over it but I think this is more likely to show up and discolor over the years. I don't know of a way to print white.

Once you run the decal material through the printer you apply a flat lacquer top coat over the toner to seal it. After that, decal application is exactly like what you may have done in your youth building plastic models.

Prior to finding MicroMark's decal material I had been using a HammerMill DIY bumpersticker material for printing faces. However, I haven't seen that product on store shelves in a while.

11-14-2006, 12:46 PM
Thanks Doug: Pretty similar to my failed attempt.

I drew the face in AC and then used CaptureWiz softare
to create a BMP file out of the image.

I tried printing the faces on some HM bumpersticker
stock I had laying around and was not at all happy
with the result.


11-14-2006, 12:46 PM
An Architect is said to be a man who knows a very little about a great deal and keeps knowing less and less about more and more untill he knows practically nothing about everything:

Whereas on the other hand an Engineer is a man who goes along knowing more and more about less and less untill finally he knows practically everything about nothing.

A contractor starts out knowing everything about everything, but ends up knowing nothing about everything, due to his association with Architects and Engineers!

11-14-2006, 12:58 PM
"Is there something wrong with being left-handed?"

Not in the least!!

Statistically, a higher % of architects are lefties
while a higher % of engineers are righties.

Many highly creative folks are lefties
while many highly organized folks are righties.

I am of the old school (1950's) where teachers
tied my left arm behind my school chair so I would
use only my right hand. And baseball gloves came in
right handed function only, back in the day.

Now, go find yourself a left handed structural engineer,
and you'll meet a gentleman who can conceive and design
the most breathtaking suspension bridges ever seen.

The you have the neither handed- no brained folks. We
all know a few of them.


11-14-2006, 02:26 PM
Kodanja, Tinster + dklawson:
"And the Reprographer (like me) just waits to take the blame for all of it" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cryin.gif
We have a saying at our company:
"If you wanted yesterday, why didn't you drop it of tomorrow like you thought you did earlier today?" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif

11-14-2006, 03:30 PM
Doug: Here's an AutoCad jpg of the only
gauge face I ever designed and took all
the way thru production into a working machine.

The gauge incorporates the engineering of my hydraulic
testing device and presents in final numbers actual
hurricane force wind pressures placed upon buildings
during our field testing. 510 #/SF is well over 250 MPH
wind speeds. I thought you'd enjoy the photo.


11-14-2006, 03:36 PM
ok shoot me, I'm a left handed Civl Engineer /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/england.gif

11-14-2006, 05:13 PM
Dale, try your method again using ANY other format than BMP for the export from Acad. The bitmap files are very low resolution. The WMF format isn't used by too many non-Microsoft programs but it does retain a lot of detail. I assume Acad 2006 has retained the WMF export format. I'm using R14 and/or 2000 but haven't seen anything newer.

The HM bumpersticker material I used gave a nice matte finish but was only for use with inkjet printers. It's also a little harder to apply because you have to locate it "just right" the first time. By comparison, if you're careful, you can shift the position of the decal material.

11-14-2006, 06:48 PM

AC 2006 is kinda funky when you first start to use it.
But then, you'll enjoy it a lot.

I pretty much use CaptureWiz or print to pdf to e-mail details to my clients. Greatly reduces the file size.

I am now saving all my "keeper" photos as TIFF format.

11-14-2006, 08:00 PM
Hey, you guys are way ahead of me on the AutoCad stuff. Bill, I never knew that you were into this stuff either. Nice job on that dash.

I'm going to talk to them tomorrow and see what they say. I do have gauges that could be disassembled, photographed and touched up to correct any blemishes and maybe then imported into an AutoCad program for final sizing?

What do you guys think about that idea?

11-14-2006, 10:26 PM
TIFFs are great for importing into word processors. I don't believe Acad 14 or 2000 can export TIFFs but I sure wish it could.

11-14-2006, 10:44 PM
So Dale, what do you want me to do with the gauge faces? Shall I digitally photo them and email a tiff file to you to set up and we can get some of the paper from Micromark that Doug suggested?

I guess I'll see what he says tomorrow then get back in here.

11-15-2006, 08:01 AM
BTW Dale, sorry I didn't comment about your JPGs earlier. They look great. For some reason the pictures didn't load during the day while I was checking the board from work.

I don't do much work in Acad anymore (hence my using R14 and 2000). I spend most of my design time working in SolidWorks. SolidWorks has been a very handy tool for modeling assemblies (including gauges) so I get the parts right the first time. Still, there is no substitute for Acad when it comes to 2D drawing.

11-15-2006, 10:07 PM
As luck would have it, I was not able to meet with the gauge plate guy today. Now I have to try for Friday due to that nasty habit called a job getting in the way of my hobby again.

That is, unless Doug and Dale have any better ideas for using their cad systems to make these bad boys look good again.

11-16-2006, 08:03 AM
When I work on these things I sit with a similar, matching gauge and can spend hours trying fonts and printing samples. In the end I try and come up with a compromise that reasonably matches existing gauges. I'm not trying to blow you off, but with my family, jobs and cars, I don't think I could contemplate making new gauge faces for your '6 in a reasonable time. I suspect that a screen printed transfer or face like your contact suggests would give more original looking results and could be produced quicker than I could get to it.