Cabin Fabrication Complete

This weekend picked up were I left off from last weekend with more cabin fabrication.  I need to make sure that I have all the interior panels correctly fitted and constructed in a way that I can remove them, cover them with vinyl and/or carpet, and then re-install them without any trouble.

The first thing I wanted to finish was the center console fabrication.  I still had some mounting/anchor points to create as well as create an opening in the center console for the rear switch panel and an access hole for wiring.

I started by creating a couple of side covers for the rear of the center console.  These allow me to cover the main piece with carpet and then cover up the sides without having to try and create nice seams.  A simple cover allows me to stretch and glue the material to the main form without having to worry about the sides.

I then created some mounting tabs and attached them to the front of this rear console.  The tabs allow me to slide the front console over these tabs and then secure it to the rear console with a couple of screws.  Everything was secured temporarily so that I could do some test fitting and then the tabs were permanently glued.

Next I needed to cut an opening in the front console for the switch panel.  This hole allows me to glue some thin 1/8″ MDF to the front which is much easier to attach switches and dials.  The hole was cut to the size of the switch panel (seen at the top of this post) and then the 1/8″ MDF was cut to size and glued to the front.

I then set my attention to the upper rear wall.  I needed to create panels for the ceiling, sides of the rear wall and a panel that would cover the entire rear wall.  The small side panels were a bit tricky since they needed to be shaped to the curve of the rear canopy as well as figuring out some way to secure them.

Once the upper ceiling panel and side panels were in-place I could create the rear cover. This cover needed to have a little box on the back of it to recess into the rear wall opening.

The silver screws you see in the photo are just temporary and are holding the box frame onto the rear of the wall while the adhesive dries.  There’s also a rear cover panel that finishes off the boxed in look.  This rear cover will get some more switches knobs and dials.

The last part of the cabin I needed to create was the box around the linear actuator.  To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s a photo of the box/actuator on the actual Batmobile.

But I wanted to make something that looked a little cleaner.  I also needed a way to provide electricity and the video wires for my ceiling monitors which act as my review and side mirrors.  I purchased a telescoping rod used for closets a while ago just for this purpose, so now it was time for it to be installed.

I first needed to create a hole above the linear actuator to pass the rod through.  This was a little tricky and I ended up having to use two bolts instead of the initial one bolt installation.  The space I needed for the telescoping rod was blocked by the bolt securing the mounting brace.

This hole allows the telescoping rod to travel all the way back the length of the linear actuator so that there’s lots of length to reach the canopy at full extension.  The telescoping rod is big enough to run the three video wires as well as a 12 volt power source.  It will allow me to create a wire with a bunch of slack that’s long enough to reach all the way to the canopy when the actuator is extended and push the wiring back into the rear cabin area when closed.

Then I had to re-assemble the rear wall and rear wall cover in order to fabricate the box which will surround the actuator.  I swear I’ve installed/uninstalled every damn interior cover at least 20 times!

Creating the box wasn’t that difficult once everything was back where it need to be.  It was just a matter of measuring a few angles and tracing the opening for the actuator and telescoping rod.  Once the adhesive dries I’ll run a quarter round router bit along the bottom edge so that it has a smoother finish. I personally think it turned out really well 🙂

The upper and lower side wall covers and armrests were also finished off including their mounting positions.  The connection trim pieces between the lower rear wall and the outer side walls were also completed now that everything was secured.

All that was left to do was to disassemble everything again for one last time so that everything that was temporarily screwed was permanently glued, and any holes/seams were filled with some wood filler.  All that’s needed is a little bit of sanding/filing and they’re all ready for wrapping in vinyl or carpet.

But before I go contact cement and fabric crazy on the interior pieces I want to finish up the carpet for the floor of the cabin.  This will ensure that I won’t have to mess up a finished panel if there are any adjustments to be made to their bottom edge for clearance where they meet the carpet.

Another big job finished which gets me much closer to a finished car 🙂

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