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Old 11th May 2012, 18:24   #1
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Default Leather grain on DIY Fibreglass molding

Hi, i have been going through a lot of posts involving fibreglass molding and thanks to a lot of helping Tbhpians finally got a hang of DIM

However all the final products i have seen, not only here but across the web, done by overseas DIY enthusiasts always have a smooth finish.

If i am adding on this molded part to say, my dashboard, i can match the color by painting it, but how do i match the leather grain like the one on OEM dash.

I have searched across the net for this query and also asked a lot of people who are in the fibreglass molding business, all of them are of the opinion that unless you have a negative die, you cannot achieve it.
I think when we DIO, we dont have a negative die to do it

In case this is too confusing, How to get a leather grain on a fibreglass molding ??
Attached here are 2 pics, one is the OEM dash with the leather grain, another is a fibreglass part molded by a fellow bhpian - blueraven316 to be more precise


I am not sure if this post belongs to this section - but couldnt find any separate subforum for interiors, requests mods to move to the correct location in case
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Old 11th May 2012, 19:58   #2
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Default Re: Leather grain on DIY Fibreglass molding

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Originally Posted by cmdalvi View Post
... unless you have a negative die, you cannot achieve it.
Isn't it logical that a negative die is the only way to do it - unless you can clone the pattern. ?
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Old 11th May 2012, 20:22   #3
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Default Re: Leather grain on DIY Fibreglass molding

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdalvi View Post
If i am adding on this molded part to say, my dashboard, i can match the color by painting it, but how do i match the leather grain like the one on OEM dash.

unless you have a negative die, you cannot achieve it.

Attached a fibreglass part molded by a fellow bhpian - blueraven316 to be more precise

The technical term you are looking for is "cavity" (not a negative die), the counter part being core (blueraven's base structure with wood can be considered as a core).


Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Isn't it logical that a negative die is the only way to do it - unless you can clone the pattern. ?
There is another logical way out - wrap your final output with leather in the required matching colour . Shouldn't be that difficult and would appear more elegant, won't it?
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Old 11th May 2012, 20:34   #4
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Default Re: Leather grain on DIY Fibreglass molding

I am not too sure this will be helpful...But you can try making a silicone rubber sheet mould of the leather grain. And then use the silicone rubber to give the leather grain to the final product.

Dont know if this would be practical, but it is possible...
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Old 12th May 2012, 14:09   #5
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Default Re: Leather grain on DIY Fibreglass molding

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Isn't it logical that a negative die is the only way to do it - unless you can clone the pattern. ?
It is indeed logical my friend, the only problem is that when you DIY, you do not make a negative die / "cavity" since you are not going for multiple reproductions, you make it using a positive. The whole process of making a positive first, then a negative ( cavity ) and then casting a final part is just too much for a small part in case of DIY, since you are making only a single part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinjosep View Post
The technical term you are looking for is "cavity" (not a negative die), the counter part being core (blueraven's base structure with wood can be considered as a core).

There is another logical way out - wrap your final output with leather in the required matching colour . Shouldn't be that difficult and would appear more elegant, won't it?
thanks for the correct terminology

Two of my classics have leather wrapped around the dashboard, i bought 'em like that and let me tell you it looks pathetic far from being elegant, i hate it to its core. I am currently restoring my third baby and go to lengths to ensure i dont use any leather to wrap on any parts, just doesnt look original, more like a TOD MOD job

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
I am not too sure this will be helpful...But you can try making a silicone rubber sheet mould of the leather grain. And then use the silicone rubber to give the leather grain to the final product.

Dont know if this would be practical, but it is possible...
thanks for the input, If you go through the process of a DIY fibreglass molding, the process involves making a framework first using angles and some shaping medium like cloth and then covering it with layers of fibreglass and resin till you get the right thickness and strength. Then you polish / grind the surface using the right abrasives to give you the final product.
I was toying with the idea of fabricating a roller like you suggested with a silicon rubber surface with a negative leather texture to roll on to the surface to get the desired effect, but the point is that when do you do it ??
You cant do it when its wet because it will stick badly and when you grind it next, all the effects will be gone. You cant do it after it is dried off because it will not give any indentations on a dry surface.

All i can think of is that you need to apply some kind of a medium on the finished dry surface, roll over it using a textured roller with the right effect and then let it dry off. I wonder if that is possible
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