Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Prepping the Knight Rider 2 TV Dash

When I began researching into how to install the dash electronics into the Knight Rider dash I noticed that a lot of people out there seem to use wood blocks, to me this seemed like a potential problem many years down the road, at least this had been my experience with wood in the past when I used to make props and miniatures. The wood is fine for a good many years but if it gets moisture in it, even treated wood it can expand and swell, not only that but if you need to make additional tweaks there are only so many times you can run a screw through the same pice of wood before the hole needs re drilling and you need a larger screw. So my though on this was for a more permanent solution where there are less likely to be any problems with temperature changes, moisture and many of the other issues that can be wood related.

Here is what I have done. First off I have chosen to use aluminum "L" brackets from the metal centre of many home hardware stores, Canadian Tire in this case ;) I cut the brackets to fit my Overlays.

Next I roughed up the surface onto which I would apply a generous amount of Contact Cement and then stuck each "L" bracket into position. I left plenty of room for the possibility of adding acrylics to my dash along with the electronics and overlays. I'll most likely use home made spaces that I'll make out of plastic or aluminum tubing along with rubber washers to get the electronics and overlays to fit nice and snug to the dash face.

I used clamps on some of the brackets to hold them in place while the contact cement sets. Once they were dry I removed the clamps.

I then began cutting up strips of fibreglass matting, the omni directional stranded stuff which I think is the same stuff the dash is fabricated from. I cut up a good deal of various sized strips in preparation for when I mix up the fibreglass resin.

I masked off the inner surface of the dash where there might be a potential chance of accidentally dripping some fibreglass resin and then mixed up my resin in small batches of two ounces. I then began laying in my fibreglass strips using a small brush with the resin. I gave each aluminum "L" bracket a good two or three layers of fibreglass and resin.

The aluminum "L" brackets are secured in very tight and will not budge so they'll make excellent supports for the dash electronics and overlays. Best of all they will never rot or deteriorate in any way, especially after I prim and paint them for good measure.

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