Started with some bristol board - which is easy to cut and shape:
Once I had the side shape done I traced it onto a piece of 3/16" fiber board:
I cut two sides and a front panel and then screwed it all together with some wood blocks in between:
After some quick shaping and some adjustments, I installed it in place in the car. Looks pretty good for a first go!
Once the general shape is decided on, the hard work can begin. Car audio guys are experts at this kind of work as they build a lot of custom consoles, amp and speaker enclosures. Starting with an MDF buck, fabric is draped and stapled over to start the rounded edges, then it's all filled and shaped with fiberglass and body filler. A custom console like this may end up with 30 hours or more into it.
After a quick pass with the grinder, I saw what appeared to be lead filler. The grinder marks are much deeper in the soft lead.
A quick swipe with the torch proved my hunch.
...and within seconds it was on the floor.
Another swipe with some coarse steel wool and it was all gone.
Now we can see the cracked edges that need welding right were the latch plate bolts on. It doesn't look like it was welded in the prior repair many years back and if it had even a tiny crack it would have gotten worse with the constant flexing that would occur every time the hood was closed and latched. I'll be sure to strengthen this area to ensure that won't happen again.
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