Car Club Plaque 2            01-2016

I bought some Lexan sheet (Polycarbonate) to cover all the pictures with. The sheet size is 18" X 24" which is more than enough for both plaques. The thickness is 3/32" which should work great for this project.



I also bought this scraper tool to help cut it with. What you do is score the plastic a few times by dragging the barbed edge towards you, making sure to cut from end-to-end. Then place that scored line along a square edge (piece of wood is what I used) and then snap it. I used clamps to score the edge so it stayed put and just used my hand to hold it down while snapping it. This worked pretty well and was very easy to do.



I used 150 grit sandpaper placed on a flat steel plate to finish the edges with. This was another step that went fast and easy. I could have machined all the edges in my milling machine but this made life that much easier.



I'm putting holes in the plastic to fasten it down with. By using a nest and a thin piece of wood below, I could turn the plastic 90 degrees and then drill each hole.

Here I'm using a #2 center drill to make a starter hole which is slightly less than 1/4" from each corner. The reason I'm using a center drill here is two fold: it's short so it doesn't flex or walk like a normal length drill can and second it puts a hole through the plastic which is large enough for my countersink. When using a countersink and thin material you need to have some kind of through-hole for the countersink to work correctly because they're not designed to be used as a drill. This saved me a step because otherwise it would have been, center drill, drill and then countersink.



Once I had clearance holes in all the plastic pieces, I used an 82 degree countersink for my flathead screws.



I painted the whole plaque and then sanded the top to reveal all the detail. I used a dark blue paint, not exactly like Larry's Camaro, but it's close.



I drilled and tapped two 8-32 threads into the back of the aluminum plaque (casting) and now I'm ready to mount it to the wooden plaque. To locate the casting in exactly the right spot,  I made some small transfer screws out of a long 8-32 screw. I used my belt sander to put a point at the end and then cut it with my wire cutters (larger hole near the center).



Here are the two transfer screws threaded into the casting.



 A close up of one of them. All I did was carefully measure where I wanted the casting placed and then with some easy hand pressure I pushed down on it. This made small dents in the wooden plaque which told me exactly where to drill my holes.



I'm laying out the spots for the pictures here. The size of the two pictures near the bottom will be 7" X 4.5". To locate the pictures I measured from each side and bottom the amount that I wanted and then used an awl to make a dent in the wood. This dent would be the location where I drilled a hole 1/2" deep for my flathead screws. I'm also putting a picture at the top that will be 5 1/2" X 4" which will be of our buddy Gary.



Now that everything fits and looks right, it's time to put a clear finish on the black walnut. I used Zar Ultra on my gun vise awhile back and it worked great so I thought I'd use it again. I brushed the first coat on the front side and then let it dry overnight. The next day I sanded that first coat lightly with 400 grit paper before applying the second coat.

This is an oil based product and to apply it I used some cheap paint brushes that were 2" wide and tossed them out when I was finished. I also put one coat on the back the same day I was putting on the second coat. With this product being oil based it smells bad for days so I'm glad I was able to have Larry's present sit in my garage for almost a week before giving it to him. I did the same thing to my project once Larry's was finished, let it hang out in the garage for a week and bleed off some of the smell before bringing it in the house.



Here is Larry's birthday present which came out like I wanted. The picture at the top is from the handout they gave everyone at his funeral. I scanned it in and then printed it full size. The picture that has our three cars in it was taken by me back in 2006 at the Cherry Fest Car Show in Beaumont, CA. I didn't know it at the time but this would be one of the last car shows that Gary would ever attend before he passed. The picture of Larry's car was also taken by me at the Optimist Car Show in Redlands, CA. a few years ago.

I used #6 brass flat screws for all the pictures and note that I clocked them all the same way.



I screwed a hanger on both our plaques so it's easy to place on the wall, or Larry can prop it up against something if he'd like. In this shot you can see the three pieces of wood much easier.



And here is the one that I made for myself. The same picture of Gary is at the top but I added something special underneath it.

The 55 Chevy on the left was the Shifters Club Car back in the early 70's. The day I was introduced to Gary back in 1972, my buddy and I had been dirt bike riding that day and we stopped by. This visit and the whole experience that day ended up being a core memory for me because as we were leaving, Gary told me that I could come back and visit if I wanted. That put a big grin on my face after he told me that and I took him up on his offer a few weeks later. And since that day we've been friends. Just thinking about it all over again, that's exactly what I have on my face right now, a big grin again!

The green car to the right is a 1958 Anglia, which is an English Ford. This was originally a street car but soon became a dedicated drag racing machine which was a lot of fun. We'd go to race tracks all over southern California and had a great time doing so.

My Shifter's plaque in the middle is something I'll treasure for the rest of my life. Even though the car club fell apart years ago, it's a huge part of who I am today.

The picture at the bottom left is the same one that's on Larry's present, which is at the Cherry Fest Car Show in Beaumont, Ca. in 2006. And my car on the right will be nice to look at once in awhile after I sell it.

If you liked what this project represents and some of the history that went into it, I highly recommend that you check out more about each car (in much more detail) along with some really great stories of Gary and I by clicking on the link above.


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