how to make custom door panels - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 01:10 AM   #1
jonnyc

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how to make custom door panels

i've seen quite a few people asking how to make door panels.so i thought i would share with you how i did mine.

i started with blank cardboard patterns i got from c2o.

i know some people have used plastic sheets and i'm sure 1/8" masonite would also work and be cheaper.my wagon didn't have panels in it when i got it so i had nothing to use as a template so these where the easiest for me.

next i found an upholstery supply company online and order 1/8" foam and vinyl.


the vinyl is real nice to work with.it streches well and doesn't wrinkle.

here are a few of the supplies i used.

the contact spray glue is 3m 94.you can get 3m 90 at the hardware store and that will also work well.my work uses the 94 so that's what i got.i also use wax paper(not pictured)more on that later.

the hardest part in making panels is coming up with a design.i didn't want anything fancy and was wanting a look that could have been factory.here is what i came up with
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
jonnyc

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now lets start making a panel

the first thing i did was take the foam and rough cut out the shape of the panels.


next i transfered my design onto the cardboard(sorry no pics of that).then cut my foam to the design and glued it to the cardboard with the spray adhesive.it ended up looking like this.


at this point you are ready to cover the panel with the fabric.cut you fabric about 1 1/2" or so bigger than the panel.you can trim it later.spray the adhesive on both,the vinyl and panel.
for those that don't know,you need to let the adhesive set-up for a few minutes before you stick the 2 together.it should feel dry to the touch and not transfer glue to your finger.
once the glue is ready,i take the wax paper i mentioned earlier and laid it over the panel.

this lets you lay the fabric over the panel without it sticking together.i started in the middle and worked out.

pull the vinyl tight while working the 2 pieces together,using your hand to smooth out the vinyl as you go.also,keep pulling the wax paper down as you work the vinyl.


after i have the vinyl laid down,i took a credit card and a wooden shim and worked the vinyl tight into the groove.


and here is the final product

tomorrow i will lay it in the sun and see if that will help tighten everything up.

so with a little thought and some creativity you can make your own door panels.it's time consuming,but all in all it's a pretty easy job that anyone can do.

Last edited by jonnyc; 22nd-August-2009 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 01:33 AM   #3
luepke75
 
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Wow you made that look very easy. I have been wanting to do my own. Thanks for the post.
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 01:38 AM   #4
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You did a good job!! Maybe consider a small business making panels.
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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looks great. ive been wanting to tackle my third gen panels. gotta get some blanks. i did upholstry for 10 yrs right out of high school. if you heat the material up before you glue it it will stretch easier but i would be satisfied with what you have done. you got some skills
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
bbissell
 
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great job looks good
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 10:13 AM   #7
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Now that's a nice contribution to the site...........or should I say "contributing to the delinquency of a Nova Nut" Your great tutorial and skills have got me convinced that even I could do this Thanks for sharing this, now I gotta get busy coming up with a design! I'll be ready for door panels in a couple................years
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
jonnyc

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70novarookie View Post
looks great. ive been wanting to tackle my third gen panels. gotta get some blanks. i did upholstry for 10 yrs right out of high school. if you heat the material up before you glue it it will stretch easier but i would be satisfied with what you have done. you got some skills
actually the vinyl i got stretches real easy.it also can tighten up and conform to angles well.i was suprised how easy it was to work with.at first i was going to get tweed because i've heard that was easy to work with.but i'm glad i went with this vinyl.
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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Nice job.......( oh, can you flip that card over so I can read the number??? )
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 10:20 PM   #10
70novarookie
 
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 70novarookie
looks great. ive been wanting to tackle my third gen panels. gotta get some blanks. i did upholstry for 10 yrs right out of high school. if you heat the material up before you glue it it will stretch easier but i would be satisfied with what you have done. you got some skills

actually the vinyl i got stretches real easy.it also can tighten up and conform to angles well.i was suprised how easy it was to work with.at first i was going to get tweed because i've heard that was easy to work with.but i'm glad i went with this vinyl

The vinyl looks waaaaay better great instruction and pics will help alot of people tackle this.
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Old 22nd-August-2009, 11:35 PM   #11
jacobgiles

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looks great, do you have a link for the company you got the vinyl and foam? thanks.
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Old 23rd-August-2009, 11:36 PM   #12
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THANKS!! Keeper thread for me. One of my biggest problems is how to fasten the panels up to the metal parts of the car. With a door panel Im sure I could come up with an idea. Still wanna hear your method.

What is killing me is the headliner. How the heck do you attach a custom headliner to the ceiling???? Not trying to butt in on your great post, just thought you sound like a guy that has some good ideas. Just looking to milk you for all you have Thanks for the lesson!!! JR
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Old 24th-August-2009, 12:00 AM   #13
jonnyc

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Originally Posted by jacobgiles View Post
looks great, do you have a link for the company you got the vinyl and foam? thanks.
sent you a pm
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Old 24th-August-2009, 12:13 AM   #14
jonnyc

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRouche View Post
THANKS!! Keeper thread for me. One of my biggest problems is how to fasten the panels up to the metal parts of the car. With a door panel Im sure I could come up with an idea. Still wanna hear your method.

What is killing me is the headliner. How the heck do you attach a custom headliner to the ceiling???? Not trying to butt in on your great post, just thought you sound like a guy that has some good ideas. Just looking to milk you for all you have Thanks for the lesson!!! JR
the spray adhesive will stick to metal.just use 2 coats of the 94 or 3 coats with the 90.
the door panels attach just like the factory ones.the clips insert into the cardboard part of the panels and then clip into the holes on the door.

the custom headliner i can't answer for sure.this is my first attempt at doing upholstery work.i used a pre-made headliner in my car.i don't have the skills or sewing machine to do my own headliner.so if i was to spend the money on a custom one,i would just have them install it to.
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Old 24th-August-2009, 12:23 AM   #15
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Awesome! Somehow I always thought it couldn't be that hard, and you've laid it all out for us to see. I dig it. How do you think that method would work on my 74 door panels, with built in arm-wrest and more 3-dimensional stuff?
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