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1953 GMC Hydra-Matic

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I am looking for the curved glass for my 1936 Dictator Coupe 3A speedometer instrument panel.  Please let me know if you can help or where I can have one made. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

Dennis

913.702.5063

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I hope you can find one, because making one would be complicated and probably expensive.  It takes a mold, ceramic or iron, of the shape you need.  I flat piece of glass is placed on top, the mold and glass heated in a kiln to about 1200-1250 degrees F for about 10 minutes, then a slow cool to anneal the glass.  Maybe you could find a local glass artist to do this for you.  On the other hand, if you can live with a plastic lens, you could cut out the opening shape in two pieces of plywood, clamp a piece of acrylic (Plexiglas) between the sheets and use a hot air gun to slowly heat the plastic until it slumps enough or do it in a kitchen oven or toaster oven.  Good luck!

 

 

36dictator dash.jpg

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See image. You might also like an article I did for Collectible Automobile (December 2011) on the 1936-37 Studebakers. Approx. 12 pages, 4000 words with 30 photos. Usually available on ebay or from the publisher. 

36 instrument cluster copy.jpg

36-37 cars.jpg

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an option to Gary's suggestion would be maybe to cast it.  Here is a link where a headlight glass was cast with resin.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMe9MOBjkmc&feature=youtu.be&rel=0   

The problem would be that you would need an original to make the pattern by.  The mold materials are not that cheap either.   

Wonder how clear and smooth it would be for an instrument gage?   

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I wondered if one of those covers could be 3D printed.  It is difficult to make truly transparent objects that way, but sculpteo.com offers parts in VeroClear resin which is pretty close to transparent, slight blue tint maybe in thin parts, say 0.040"-.060" thick.  The finished part has properties about like Plexiglas.  I didn't know what the actual size of the cover is but I assumed about 6.6" across.  Just for fun, I laid out the part in my TurboCad Platinum program, added a rim about 0.3" wide, made the thickness 0.06", then did "pressure loading" to deform the central area by about .25".  It's easy to change the "pressure" to obtain a bulge of the needed height.  I uploaded the file to Sulpteo and they gave me a price of $128 and a shipping time of about 2 weeks.  The price didn't change when I made the thickness 0.040", so it must be based on area and other things for a part like this.

 

I think a 3D printed part would still need a lot of hand polishing, perhaps working your way up to about 2000 grit.   See this page about VeroClear:  Stratasys VeroClear. The computer-generated images attached show about what it would look like.  I made the model in "blue glass" so it could be seen.  If nothing else, a 3D printed part could serve as a master for making a silicone mold for casting multiple parts.  Interesting, eh?

 

You would still be better off finding an original glass. 

1936 speedo glass4 side.png

1936 speedo glass4 iso.png

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