Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Project XTracker: Number plate

A number plate is key for setting off the look of a classic street tracker. The number plate was one of the first things I bought for the project. Its an aluminum number plate that is 10" x 12" with a bead rolled edge that I picked up off ebay here.
The headlight is an Optilux mini LED light bar (H71020411) that I scored from one of the suppliers at my day job.
I really wanted to be able to flare the opening for the light so that it wasn't just a straight cut out. Since it wasn't a standard size to use a dimple die and I'd need to fine tune the opening size I needed to figure out a maual method. I saw a post in a hot rod forum where a guy did it manually using some flat bar with a slit cut in it to fit the material thickness. I tested it on a scrap piece of aluminum and seemed to work ok. I used a scale print out of the CAD model I've been working off to locate the mounting holes and the location of the cut out on the number plate. I cut it using a dremel tool and a cut off wheel - multiple cut off wheels as they wear out quick and break.... For the corners I cut them straight across then used the dremel again with a rotary sanding bit to sand back to the marked out lines. Then started flaring making multiple passes around the opening bending a short angle each pass.

I slipped off the plate a coule times when sanding back the one radius and scraped the front of the plate. Pissed me off... I guess I'll need to buff that out...

After the hole was cut I pulled the tape of the front and put a layer on the back so the flaring tools wouldn't scrape it up as much.

Turned out pretty good. The fit around the light is still a bit tight so I'll flare back more material in those areas.

The flaring tools. I used the wider one on the long edges and the skinny one in the corners.