Dashboard II

Dashboard II

I continued on the dash by making a new foam section for the driver’s side of the dashboard. It’s a much smaller piece because most of the dash on this side is made up of the instrument cluster. After I removed the leather cover, I can see that someone tried to repair the crumbling foam, but too much of it is gone to make it worth keeping.

I built up the foam much like the other side, and sanded away the excess until I liked the shape. This required me to take a step back every now and again to make sure the basic shape matched the opposite side of the dash.

Once both sides were done, I wrapped the whole dash with a thin layer of foam, glued it down, and trimmed off the excess. With the foam wrap, I can really see how nice the dash is taking shape!

Frank took some measurements off the dash so he could sew the cover. There is stitch on the leather that lays just under the foam nose of the dash pad, and it needs to follow the contour of the foam I shaped. I’ll fit this piece after Frank sews it on his machine.

I cut out the rough size of the leather for the instrument cluster, and sprayed the pieces with some contact cement.

I’ve found I love working with leather, and am amazed at the things it does, like the way it stretches over the compound curves of this instrument cluster. There’s something about the richness and feel of this natural product that man-made materials just can’t match!

After stretching and gluing the leather into place, I cut off the excess. This seam will be hidden behind the other part of the dash with the foam sections I made.

Flipping over the hood, you can see how I managed to use one continuous piece of leather without seams or cuts like the previous person who tried to cover this dash:

Looking back at this picture of the old dash, I’m sure glad I took the time to redo the dash. Now I can display my dashboard with pride, and no excuses for shotty workmanship!

The next section I have to rebuild are the knee pads that attach to the bottom of the dashboard. These thin pieces of foam are covered with leather, but the foam is all dry rotted, and unusable, so I’ll have to make new pieces.

I think I’ll be using the same white foam I’ve been using for the other part of the dash since it is pretty easy to work with, and has a nice resiliency to it, but this will have to wait until my next work day on the car!

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