This weekend I stopped by the shop and installed headlights, some new Hella horns and painted the core supports flat black. The boys are also working on the engine bay, continuing with wiring clean up and installing one of Patrick's custom radiators as well.
We've hit a little lull as we wait for some parts to arrive. At this point, Master Patrick has kinda run out of grasshopper level stuff for me to do. He's going to start rewiring the dash area and run additional wiring for a new amp under the rear seat. I'm now on hold until he's ready for me to install carpet.
One project I decided to do on my own was to make myself some new trunk floorboards. I decided to tackle this now while there's a lull at the shop. So I bought a sheet of 4x8 quarter inch, marine grade plywood and got after it.
I started by carefully removing the old vinyl off the old boards. I wanted to save these to use as a guide later. Then I messed around with laying out the old boards on the new plywood sheet to get the most yield. Turns out you can fit 4 boards on a 4x8 sheet. Once I figured out the layout, I used the old boards as a template and traced around then with a Sharpie.
My next door neighbor has a woodshop in his garage and was kind enough cut out a pair of boards for me using his band saw. He's a pretty crafty guy. He actually made the band saw himself based off of plans he found online. Pretty cool. We ended up not having to cut out the second set of boards. I'll save the extra plywood for another time. Thanks Charles!
Now with a fresh set of boards, I brought them back to shop for a test fit. All good!
As for the new vinyl, since my car is a resto-mod I'm not super concerned about originality. I decided to go with a darker charcoal grey marine grade vinyl with a leather texture. I think this will look great against Inka and will hide dirt and stuff better than the factory light grey. Here's a tip from my wife: I ended up buying my vinyl from Joann's Fabric. She told me to make sure the check out their website for coupons first, and sure enough, there was one for 60% off one item. Perfect! Smart woman my wife is. I also borrowed her fancy fabric scissors as well. Thanks honey.
The main reason I wanted to be careful with the old vinyl is that I wanted to use it as a guide to show me how to cut for corners and inside edges. While I didn't expect to copy everything exactly, I wanted some sort of idea how and where to make my own cuts.
I'm using 3M Super 90 spray adhesive and 1/4" heavy duty staples that I picked up at Lowe's.
I recently read here how the factory only used adhesive on the edges and left the center of the vinyl unglued. I decided to glue the entire surface down instead by spraying both the vinyl and the plywood, letting them sit a bit to get tacky, then adhering them together and smoothing out air bubbles out with my hands. The final step was to smooth out the surface with a roller.
On the back, using the old vinyl as a guide, I started on one of the flat sides first and made angled cuts to be able to get nice tight corners and minimize the amount of of fabric overlap. I carefully sprayed adhesive on the inside of the vinyl and the edge of the wood, then because it was cold in the garage, I used my daughter's blow-dryer to warm the adhesive a little to make it tacky, then I stretched the vinyl over and added a staple close to the edge to hold it down. Then I slowly worked my way down a small section. Once finished with a section, I'd roller it out and then add a few additional staples on the outside edge of the vinyl. Probably a little overkill on the staples, but I want this stuff to stay put.
And there you have it, one completed floor board. Another project that I've never done before. I was purposely taking my time with the first board and it took me about 2 hours to do. The second one should go much quicker.
Tip: use a piece of cardboard as a spray shield to help keep the adhesive from spraying on stuff. I found this out when I started the second section on the back. I was so fixed on spraying the next section, that I ended up getting adhesive all over the first section I did. Learning lessons on the fly...