Toyota Celica Supra Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are alot of rare parts that just aren't being made anymore. One of my latest projects involves just that...Chastain Shadow louver clips.

Fortunately the project is small and doesn't require alot of cost/time to prototype.

I started with carbon fiber in a crude mould:





After a while the epoxy started to dull...so they just didn't cut it IMHO. That turned me on to a brand new epoxy system :woot:

Anyway, I wanted to get the OEM look, so I went with a rigid plastic resin like the original Chastain clip:



This was my first attempt = abortion



Second attempt, need to adjust the measure and mix



Third, mix correct, measure correct, air bubbles = need to degas



Fourth, degassed @ 23psi (my current system max), mix correct, minor air bubbles



Fifth, close but no cigar



Last pull compared to an original clip:





Even with some minor air bubbles and mould deterioration the clip passes :thumbsup:

New vacuum degasser on order! :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Gauging interest

These were just a trial. I suppose they'd sell if I put more time and money into perfecting the moulds.

In that case, what I'd like to know is: how many are interested, what colour(s) and at what suggested price point?

This applies to both Chastain louver clips and defrost vents shown above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That's about what I figured. It would end up being roughly $75 shipped. That's fair, but I'll have to put the project on the backburner for now...btw I recall somebody with a 3D printer was making them already :whatever:

I don't suspect there will be big demand for the louver clips, but they work great and really dress up the hatch. I have a set ready for you SuprAmitikk :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
True that Jim, especially in small batches.

They could be made in cheaper in China, oh yeah, 500 minimum order. Then they'd have the mould forever that nobody in the west could produce for the price. Filesharing 3D printing is the only way to compete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Same as the original clip for fitment:





It's a PITA if you lose one clip :rolleyes: ...I can make more, PM if needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Right on, I'm all for that! :mm_emthup:cool:

I could get better results by pouring a new mould of the defrost vent - not exactly OEM, but one that could be made to fit.

It is the front plate that gets toasty and cracks, or the fins break when trying to remove them. The long rectangular back section is only there to connect to the tube. It is that rectangular section with fins at one end which creates a lock in the mould. You can see by it's construction, it appears to have been made in sections.

If I poured the mould of the front section only (up to the fins), that would prevent the lock and produce a clean replica that would fit perfectly. The old defrost vent could be cut and glued on or another section added if necessary. This would definitely help to cut cost as well. Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,008 Posts
Right on, I'm all for that! :mm_emthup:cool:

I could get better results by pouring a new mold of the defrost vent - not exactly OEM, but one that could be made to fit.

It is the front plate that gets toasty and cracks, or the fins break when trying to remove them. The long rectangular back section is only there to connect to the tube. It is that rectangular section with fins at one end which creates a lock in the mould. You can see by it's construction, it appears to have been made in sections.

If I poured the mould of the front section only (up to the fins), that would prevent the lock and produce a clean replica that would fit perfectly. The old defrost vent could be cut and glued on or another section added if necessary. This would definitely help to cut cost as well. Any thoughts?

I don't think it was made in sections and somehow "joined".

Parts like this are typically made by injection molding, and the molds can be quite complex. Before my Dad was a manufacturer's representative he was a Tool and Die maker, and I remember him helping people to make the molds for plastic toys. One of his customers was the design firm in Chicago (Glass and Associates, IIRC) that deigned the "Robot Commando" toy for REMCO, and it had some very complex molds he helped design.

Mold making for either casting or injection molding parts can be quite complex, as you're learning, involving things such as including allowances for shrinkage of the material being molded, and making subtle changes to the shape of the molds to allow the parts to be removed.

One of his other customers was Monogram Models (In Elk Grove Village or Des Plaines at the time IIRC), and he used to get me pre-production model cars and airplanes that I would build and then talk to their support staff about what I thought could be done to make the kits "build better".

Pretty heady stuff for a 10 year old kid!

- Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Pretty cool story Doc. Your input was appreciated then as it is now.

I have brief experience with industrial injection moulding having seen facilities in China. Of course this is on another level, but not without it's own unique challenges. I'll admit, some injection moulds structures are simply beyond my limitations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
I think we're all thankful that there's a seriously talented and helpful community / family here and we all will contribute in just about any way we can. It's this spirit that makes this such a cool place. Personally I also enjoy the occasional nuclear flamings that go to the deserving and occasionally toss a little toxic fuel on their fires.... Yeah, my Mom let me keep my chemistry set until the third minor house fire but that's really something she should have been questioned about. From my recollections, fuzzy and hazy as they are oh so many years later, she really liked the minor renovations and upgrades / updates the first couple of times. By the time the third "incident" happened, my total lack of actual chemical knowledge had long since been overcome by observation and the resulting excitement and joy of finding the combinations that produced the biggest (fill in the blank). That third incident was probably the first and definitely the last time that I may have found the ideal immediate disaster combination. It scared the crap out of both of us even though the damage was quite minor. Then a couple of years later I actually took a chemistry class and right away realized that in way too many ways, I'd learned way too much about all the wrong things way before it would have been unsafe even with a lot more real knowledge. So just like those fun to kill your friends and family with "Jarts", the toss in the air and wait for them to fall back to earth and impale someone for an increasing number of "points" depending on accuracy, lawn darts, neither is legal to sell anywhere now and hasn't been for many years. Funny they never mentioned how many bonus points for death... Supposedly even any old original ones found can't be sold and are supposed to be destroyed. Considering that I once owned both, I now wonder why either was allowed to be sold in the first place.....
Now back on subject. I applaud the effort and commitment made to produce all the items Mr. Whiskers has produced and especially the ongoing reaching out for new possibilities. There's something extra special about making a commitment to produce a limited number of an item that will never create much demand itself just because it's still a good idea and therefore should be done anyway. It probably would have been even better if it hadn't contributed to the demise of a close personal relationship unless it just helped accelerate the inevitable. Then the detour really was the intended path, even if it didn't seem that way in the beginning.
My thoughts on the small defroster vents is that the projected shipped price per pair is indeed realistic and reasonable enough to create a demand for a significant number of them. And I agree with Dr. Jim that while they could be produced in all colors, the additional time and costs to get the color matches close enough that everyone would be happy would drive up the costs and profitable selling price beyond that which would make them a no brainer, buy right now purchase for a good percentage of us to maybe later or never.
I'd also suggest black only and painting as necessary, even to match black well. My limited experience with painting the odd plastic pieces has been that the available colors have been better than a close enough color match even though none have been the exact color needed. But I would have thought they were if I hadn't known that they were only from a small selection of general industry colors. Maybe some effort was put into developing a limited number of colors that are good matches to as many reasonably close colors as possible. Maybe I've been lucky and all three I've had a reason to use just happened to be very close to my particular applications. But I doubt it was luck or coincidence. And with very little prep except for a good cleaning and very light surface scuffing, all have stayed looking as good as they initially did for many years and none have shown any signs of wear or deterioration in any way.
And given the typical areas where these vents get damaged as has been accurately noted, and the fact that they likely were injection molded, either in one piece or possibly in two pieces and then joined to make the complete pieces, I'd be happy with just the front face if it included the fins or if necessary 2 separate pieces that could be joined and then grafted on to what remains behind it.
It might not take much more effort to determine an easy place to cut the very front off both vents and to make the visible part that's being grafted on to it simply slide over what remains which could make them virtually foolproof to attach successfully and lead to even more potential buyers. But I would think that a high percentage of us would be willing to put a bit of time and effort into making something work in this case because there really isn't any other option. And if the added costs necessary to make something like this more user friendly and virtually foolproof increased the profitable delivered price significantly, there might not be nearly as many willing buyers.
We all certainly want to encourage Mr. Whiskers in any way that we can. He certainly deserves to reap some rewards from everything he's done already. So I'm in for a pair at the current proposed price as well and black would be my preference. I'd be more than willing to test any prototypes too as I have an old pair of vents that both have some damage. So potentially sacrificing them to further this project in any way is the best possible use for them.
And the dogpile front cover that Dave gave me isn't bad looking at all. And if it really mattered to me, I probably could reform it a little to fit slightly better. But I love it just the way it is. Just like Dave said, it sure keeps tools from falling through to the ground like they inevitably would without it. So the car must have more of your cool stuff sir, even if I have to make a slight detour the next time I come back your way to visit friends and family. I've driven the Cabot Trail a time or two many, many years ago when I lived in Maine and even though I won't ever be driving across the country in the Supra, there's always a few reasonably entertaining rental car choices. And being the only non Canadian in my family, I've been to NB, NS and much of the rest of eastern CA a zillion times to visit friends and family there. Maybe there's more than one reason for a little detour... Where in NS are you?
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top