Dashboard Ready for Fabrication

With another afternoon of fabrication behind me, I was able to get the mock-up dashboard ready for the next phase of fabrication. In the last blog article I had completed the main base of the dashboard rig but hadn’t completed the connection points to the dashboard.

Since I’ll be re-using the main connection bar for multiple dashboards the goal was to create some mounts that would both bolt to the dashboard, and bolt to the main removable cross bar.

I decided to use some of the left over 2×2 square tube as the main supports for the dashboard.  I marked and cut a notch in both ends so that the main cross bar would fit inside.  I also trimmed the ends on a 45 degree angle so that it would be easier to reach the nuts/bolts with a wrench.

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Everything was then clamped into place and I was able to drill out some holes on the back of the dashboard and trace those holes onto the new supports.  Once they were drilled I could hold everything securely in-place with some 3/8″ nuts and bolts.

I then cut an drilled a couple of tabs that would be used to secure the mounts onto the cross bar. These were welded onto the supports and then matching holes were drilled into the cross bar so that they could be bolted together.

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All that was left to do was to raise the dashboard into position and bolt the cross bar onto the upright supports.  Having locking wheels on the rig made this a lot easier so that I didn’t have to chase it all over the place while trying to bolt things together 🙂

Before I finished up for the day I did manage to snap the spare trim piece into place and cut out its center support to better fit the screen dimensions.  To help me get a better idea of sizing and placement, I cut a piece of MDF to the size of the screen that I’ll be using.

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I still need to work through the exact placement of the screen. For now I’ve been playing around with some masking tape to hold it in a few different locations.  I’ll also have to work through the angle of the screen to see if it needs to be straight up and down or tilted backwards a bit.  As expected the screen covers up the previous center vents which will need to be re-routed.

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Hopefully the actual screen will arrive soon, but until then I’ll keep working on the outer shape of the screen enclosure.

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