Carpeting and Gun Doors

First off I’d like to wish all the fathers out there a happy belated Fathers Day.  In honours of Father’s Day the picture at the top of this post is one of my favorites when my Dad was visiting and helping me with the car 🙂

My weekend was spent working on carpet for the BatBerry.  My original plan was to use some red vinyl as a template material which I could lay down on the cabin floor and trace to then transfer over onto the carpet.  But that didn’t work out very well because the material was just too floppy on the vertical sections.  So I ended up using good old bristol board as the templating material which was much easier to work with and I could cut and fold it to my will.

 

The templating process took FOREVER!  Getting all of the little angles and folds correct took most of the weekend and I had to bust out my knee pads that I use when laying down floor tiles.  Between kneeling on the steel and concrete my knees were killing me 😦

The templates were then reversed and traced out onto the back of the black carpet.  I used a utility knife and a straight edge to make sure I had nice straight cuts and I also marked out the fold lines with a paint pen.

I specifically picked out carpet that had a rubber backing for two reasons.  First was that it makes for a good water proof barrier, and second was that it could be heated and formed.  I knew that I was going to be heating it up which is why I used a paint pen for my markings instead of a wax pencil.  The wax would have just melted away once I added the heat.  Each line was heated with a heating gun and then folded and pressed using the straight edge and my body weight.

There were a lot of complex bends but they all turned out really well.  Below you can see how a nice 90 degree angle can be achieved as well as one of the seating area carpets folded up like an accordion after all of its bends were completed.

I was actually quite amazed at how well it worked after my dismal start with the vinyl temple material.  Each piece of the template was created independently so that my measurements weren’t off by placing a completed piece of carpet in before making the measurements.  This ensured that each piece was actually slightly too big creating a friction fit which holds everything in place.

By finishing up the area around the center console it allowed me to re-install the dashboard and center console pieces to double check how they fit and make any necessary adjustments.  There were a few bits to trim here and there but overall everything fit like a glove.  All the trim pieces provide pressure on the top folds of the carpet to ensure the carpet does not move.

I also managed to get a start on covering the top back wall trim piece with carpet by first tacking it down with the staple gun and then gluing it all down with contact cement.  I’ll need to build some nice cap pieces that go around the opening of where the seat belts come out from the back wall.

I have a couple of carpet pieces to finish in the passenger/driver foot wells along with the small lower side pieces.  With those finished I’ll be able to do the final trimming on the side panels and then we’re ready for vinyl 🙂

On Friday we were also able to test fit the new laser cut and stamped steel 30 cal machine gun doors.  I gotta say these things are an absolute work of art.  I’m totally loving them!  They are designed with a skeleton of layers so that you can adjust the height of the door to fit perfectly.  I can’t wait to get them installed on the BatBerry!

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