Sign in to follow this  
Brill_C-37M_Bus

Blue or green film for backlighting gauges... what’s it called?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I’m still working on the gauges for my old bus, and I’m wondering about the plastic-like colored film that lets light in from the sides of some Stewart-Warner gauges.  Does anyone know a name for this material, or where to get it?  Or any suggestions for replacing it?

 

CECBE043-67D1-4B70-A3C2-80247DED3C61.thumb.jpeg.8bddc59a4174542838629f5e2d4e4d69.jpeg

 

My bus came with a mix of non-original gauges, probably from an Army rebuild.  I bought more accurate 1950s gauges off eBay, but they all had different colors of this plastic film, and different overall condition.  So I’ve removed all the colored film, and want to start from scratch with something that matches on all the gauges.  I do want to drive this bus at night, so good backlight for the gauges is a must.

 

6674E43F-E0F6-4985-877D-8BC01AA9FC92.thumb.jpeg.a726685f005553c469dcf76cd1db9710.jpeg

 

If possible, I’d prefer to imitate the function of this material, but avoid opening up the gauges to replace it directly.  I considered sandwiching blue seran wrap behind an acetate-like plastic sheet, but I’m wondering if that might melt from the nearby 12V light bulbs.  I’d welcome any suggestions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If keiser's suggestion doesn't do it  I would try an office supply store and look at their clear brief covers that come in many colors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

When I had to make red plastic inserts for repro tail light lenses, I found the correct ruby red colored thin plastic sheets at a Plexiglas supply house near Albany NY. They carried plastic sheets in many colors and thicknesses. I don't remember the company name.   I didn't need a lot so they sold me some cut-off pieces they had laying around.

 

You can try a web search for a commercial sheet plastic suppliers.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually go to an office supply store and get file folder sleeves - and they have great color, but at times can be a little thin so I double them up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Matt, you can use bulb covers for an even more intense color (aka I have done several times with the exact approach you presented), but the plastic covers on the gauges also serve to cut down dust/dirt/bugs in the gauges 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a pinch a piece cut from an appropriately colored soft drink bottle works very well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also try an Art Supply Store, look for Acetate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are probably several things that would work, However since it will be close to a heat source (light bulbs) this would not be a good place to cheap out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You can probably get LEDs that emit the color light that you want so you don't need to find colored lenses. Maybe something like this:

 

https://www.ledlight.com/g18-s25-2_6-watt-1157-6-volt-ac-non-polarity.aspx

 

They have MANY different sizes and shapes. I'm a big fan of LEDs and this might solve the problem altogether. Then you can just use something clear to seal the gauges so they don't fill with dust and bugs, as John points out.

 

If your bus is 12V, it gets even easier as the selection for 12V is MASSIVE.

 

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, those are a lot of good suggestions.  I think I’ll try the theater lighting “gel” idea (it’s actually a thin sheet of colored film, not sure why it’s called gel).  I remember working with that stuff in high school.

 

Thanks again for the ideas, and have a great day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theatrical lighting uses what as known as "gels" to tint lighting, and they come in many colors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this