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19-Dec-07 Finishing Behind the Seats Part 4

Bending plastic

ImageI picked up a sheet of 3/16-inch thick plastic at a local plastics company that comes with a black leather looking texture on one side and can be heated up and shaped. A heat gun and 5-gallon bucked were used as a buck to bend the panels around.
ImageThe bottoms of each side panel have a sharper bend than the top, so the pieces were worked accordingly. This stuff is sort of the sheet plastic equivalent of shrink tubing, in that it forms easily and stays where you want it once it cools.
ImageA wet rag was used to cool the panels quickly so that there wasn't time for any unwanted distortion to happen.
ImageA new center panel was also made from the lightweight yet stiff plastic.
Here are the new side panels with cutouts for speakers, roll cage and seat belt mounts.