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best material for building a center console?


flyingjolly

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I'm in the process of building a center console for my car. I'm in the CAD-phase at the moment, meaning i have a cardboard mockup of what i want.

 

Question is: what material do i take to make my center console. I want something light. Wy lighter than the actual material BMW used.

 

The only things that come to my mind are: carbon, aluminium and a very light wood. 

 

I don't want carbon or any other material i'd need laminating skills for. And i don't want to use aluminium, at least not for the sides, as i want to achieve a factory look.

 

This only leaves wood - do you know any light wood to use? Or any other materials? What did you use for interiorbuilding?

 

Thanks!

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I'd stay away from MDF which WILL absorb any moisture present, is not at all strong compared to plywood. Balsa wood would be way too weak.  If 10 mm Baltic Birch or Appleply is heavier than you want try 2 layers of 3mm underlayment glued  together with yellow glue.  It is the 3 layer luan ply used to  cover  old ( Asbestos containing)  tile you do not want to chip up before putting down another layer of new  vinyl flooring. It is the same ply that D Vacarro uses for his door panel kits

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Best material is 1/2 "expanded PVC, goes by the names SINTRA, TROVICELL,

or KOMATEX.  A display/ exhibit or sign shop may have it.

it's dead flat-waterproof-easily cut/machined-textured surface--BUT not cheap.

 

I make a 'between the seats' console from this material, I can route out side

panels for you ( either long or short sided console)

 

Anton

Anton Flyers (1) (1) (1).pdf

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Years ago I went to a Tap Plastics and purchased a 1/4 thick sheet of plastic (I think it was ABS) that had texture.

http://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/plastic_sheets_rolls/abs_sheets/524

A local plastics shop should have a similar product

 

I sandwiched this to 1/4 plywood for added rigidity to replace the old Behr console that had cracked.

console-1.jpg

 

Good luck.

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Ever made a one piece version of that extended console design? 

 

 

Best material is 1/2 "expanded PVC, goes by the names SINTRA, TROVICELL,

or KOMATEX.  A display/ exhibit or sign shop may have it.

it's dead flat-waterproof-easily cut/machined-textured surface--BUT not cheap.

 

I make a 'between the seats' console from this material, I can route out side

panels for you ( either long or short sided console)

 

Anton

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I am in this very process right now. I also built a cardboard mockup, in fact, serveral mockups, until it fitted perfect. 

 

I selected MDF for the body, and already have both sides cutted up. I took duly note of the fact that it can absorb moisture. Let's see what happens.

 

I am currently working in the faceplate to accomodate the radio, hazard switch, fog switch and ashtray.

 

Since it seems that you are some steps ahead of me, I will keep track of your progress.

 

Cheers and a lot of success!

 

 

Santiago

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To do the job as well as possible, It's not just what you use, but also how you use it. 

 

If you are using wood based products (plywood of any type, MDF), once the parts are made, take the time to seal them with polyurethane varnish.

 

Take care to cover both inside and out, and the edges. Assuming you are covering the wood with the usual vinyl material, you don't need any special grade of varnish (eg. marine grade with UV inhibitors or worry about which level of gloss.  Use the same number of coats inside and out to avoid the panels warping due to uneven moisture absorption.  The edges are what are most likely to contact other materials in the car and take in condensation moisture.  You're not looking for furniture grade finish on this wood, just good sealing.  Let the varnish dry well before proceeding with vinyl covering and the usual contact adhesives will work with it (but at they say on all the cans of paint and glue, try a small area before proceeding to be certain).

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