Archive for February, 2013

Title Porsche

Well it was time to get into the finishing stages of the Porsche dual monitor stand project. Up until this point all the fab work had been completed and it was time to disassemble, clean, and put the finishing touches on. I admit I enjoy the fabrication work more than the finishing however there is much to be said for the satisfaction one gains from seeing the project come together in the end and reach completion.

I had a specific finish in mind for each component of the stand at time of inception and the game plan never wavered. All the components received the finishing touches that were original brainstormed. Basically it came down to three processes. Powder coating, brushing, and polishing.

Disassembled and blasted

All the powder coated components were glass bead blasted and cleaned prior to getting fogged.

All the components that were to be powder coated needed a good cleaning and glass bead blasting as a preliminary step prior to fogging of the powder. The stand was completely disassembled, and few welds touched up and then all the mild steel components were tossed into the blast cabinet for an exfoliation session. Once they were rid of all external toxins it was time to shower then with some denatured alcohol and prepare them for the sprinkling of powder. My powder color choice was really not a choice at all. I felt as though I had no options except to go with the flat black powder (the same stuff I used for the CB160 engine). When I look at the marketing material, and finishes, Porsche uses in the vehicle showrooms and service reception areas the presence of brushed stainless and flat black are fairly evident. As much as it would be nice to through on a splash of color I opted to stay conservative, and with the original plan.

Black matte powder coat

Opted to go with the matte black powder. Ordered up 4 more pounds since this is the same color I am using on the CB160 cafe racer build.

Main support powdered

I bolted the stand to the oven rack so that I could just slide the complete assembly into the oven. I covered up the rack while spraying to try and prevent me from powder coating it.

Just about all of the stainless steel and aluminum were finished with a brushed look. I have always struggled to try and develop a good technique for brushing stainless. It is important to achieve a constant, and even, brushed look. The crucial piece that required this treatment was the 3 inch stainless flat bar that was backdrop to the “Porsche” logo. I was starting off with a rough finished piece of stainless. I opted to install a brand new 180 grit sanding belt onto the 6 x 48 sander and proceeded to work down as much surface area as I could fit onto the sanding belt. It hard work and it takes its toll on the horsepower but in order to reach the level of finish I wanted it was important to work the stainless down as whole. The 180 grit paper was working however I decided I would see how a 120 grit approach would work. I swapped over the belt and continued to work the metal down. I think the brushed look of the 120 grit gave me the look I was searching for so I decided to go for it. In the end I was very pleased with the end result.

Powdered rotor hub

This is a shot of the ceramic rotor aluminum hub just before it is going into the oven for baking.

Baking the goods

Powder is starting to flow in nicely. 15 minutes at 375 degrees PMT.

When it came to giving all the aluminum components the brushed look they all got mounted up on the lathe and all received hand sanding to achieve the look. Since the aluminum is much softer then the stainless I found a 320 grit finish was better suited to tie the 2 different metals in together.

Polishing hub pins

Performed a single stage polishing of all the rotor to hub pins. The slight gleam will help them pop against the matte black.

Hub pin set

Completed set of polished hub pins.

Hub pins installed

The pins were a bit tight sliding back into the rotor hub because of the thickness the powder coating added. A bit of persuasion was all that was required.

As far as the polishing goes there was not much to do. I always try to work in odd numbers if possible. In the case of the finishes I had black powder coating and brushed surfaces. Adding in a polished dimension would bring my even to odd and help create e a more pleasing look. I also opted to polish because of the purchased Porsche emblem. It was only available in a chrome/polished look and therefore I did not want to leave its finish all unto itself. I chose to polish all the locating pins of the ceramic brake rotor. I did not polish them to a chrome finish but opted to just “gleam” up a bit. The only other part of the project that was left with a polished look was the rim of the base aluminum disc that sits on top of the rotor. It is only about 3/32” that is polished however it is enough to add a subtle highlight.

Brushing aluminum base

Giving the base aluminum plate a brushed finish.

Nasty hardware

Here is the bottom of the base where it will bolt to the rotor hub. It’s not pretty but it is functional. You can see the BMW logo stamped on the bottom right corner of the plate.

Porsche emblem install

I taped off and mesured out the location of the Porsche emblem install on the front name plate.

Before and after SS

This is the stainless steel backing plate for the name plate. The top plate is the finished brushed product, the bottom plate is the finish I started with. Lots of grunt work standing in front of the belt sander.

Gel feet

Applied gel feet on the bottom of the rotor to help protect the desk surface that it will sit on.

So with all the components in a finished state all that was left was reassembly. As usual the reassembly takes the shortest amount of time but is also, usually, a highly satisfying part of the project. Too bad it is short lived. With it completely assembled I was able to stand back and determine if the end result beared any resemblance to the originating idea. I would say it came out better then expected. I had my doubts during the fabricating process whether or not I had possibly taken a wrong turn with the design. I was not sure the “Porsche” nameplate was going to blend. In the end I think it all came out fine. The combination of straight lines, flat black, and brushed highlights brings it all together. I can only hope that the dual monitor stand will meet my friend’s approval. As for me it is time to clean up the shop and regroup. I think it is time to get back onto the 65 Revive project. Not sure what will be next, perhaps I will be in the mood for some exhaust fabrication. For now I will leave you some pictures of the finished project.

Monitor completion 2

Monitor completion 3

Monitor completion 4

Monitor completion 5

Monitor completion 6

Monitor completion 7

Monitor completion 10

Monitor completion 9

Monitor completion 1

Title milling

Moving along with the Porsche themed PCCB dual monitor stand I decided I would add on an extra bit-o-bling. I was able to get my hands on a Porsche alloy wheel center cap and wanted to incorporate it into the stand somehow. I thought I would use the cap as dual purpose and decided to mount the emblem onto the monitor side of the stand but also create some functionality to it. Since this stand is being used in a place of business I thought an integrated business card holder would do the trick.

I wanted to mount the cap to the card holder and design the holder with similar motorsport look, feel, and finish as the rest of the project. I went off to the metal shop and got my hands on a small section of 3.5” solid round 6061 aluminum. My plan was to mill out the back of the aluminum in order to fit a stack of business cards in it. The front would get cut on the lathe to allow for flush mounting of the center cap. The back will then get capped with a steel disc held on by a motorsport looking set of stainless steel Allen head 5mm bolts.

So as with my previous posts I am going to run the same format and use photo captions to help outline what I was trying to accomplish. I also thought that I would include some screen shots of my Sino DRO (digital read out) from my milling machine. The math functions are super cool and I grin from ear to ear when I get to use it. For those who are not familiar with DROs, and their functions, you may find it interesting. I love using that thing. Anyway…on with it!

Center cap and 6061

Here is a shot of my starting materials. A factory Porsche center cap and a chunk-o-6061

Center cap mod

The plastic tabs that secure the cap to the alloy wheel are going to need to be removed. A cut off wheel and some sanding made quick work of it.

Center cap bezel

I machined out the center of the 3.5″ aluminum of the lathe. It was cut just enough to allow a press fit of the center cap.

Perimeter milled

Next I moved onto the milling machine and started to hog out the backside to allow for a stack of business cards to fit. I machined the perimeter first using a .250″ end mill. I wanted to ensure the bottom corner radiuses were fairly tight so that the corners of the business cards would not be strained.

Business card pocket

With the perimeter cut I took the remaining material out with a .500″ 4 flute endmill.

Roughed out backing plate

It was time to move onto the backing plate. I plasma cut a circle out of some scrap steel and cleaned the edge up best as possible on the belt sander. I then drill a hole through the center (which will get filled later) and bolted the plate to the aluminum to allow for more precise clean up.

Backing plate clean up

Here I was able to mount up on the lathe and clean up the backing plate perfectly.


So the next 7 pictures are screen shots of the DRO on the milling machine. My plan is to drill 6 evenly spaced holes close to the perimeter of the steel backing plate. Using the DROs math function I am able to program the dimensions and then let the DRO do the thinking. The first step is to enter the PCD function. I am unsure what exactly PCD stands for however it is refered to as the Circular Arc Dividing Function (PCD Function)


Next I need to tell the DRO where the center of my circle is. I have already set my X and Y table to the center of my steel plate and zero’d the machine therefore my center co-ordinated are X=0 and Y=0


Next I need enter the diameter of the circle which the center of the holes will be drilled around. In my case a 2.90″ diameter circle will inset the Allen head bolts perfectly.


Next I need to state how many holes I am drilling. There are 2 ways of doing this. In my case I want to drill 6 even holes. So why do I enter 7? The reason is evident in the next 2 steps. I choose 7 because I am going to drill around 360 degrees which means my 7th hole will actually end up exactly where my first hole started. I could choose to enter 6 holes however then I will need to program to drill only 300 degrees. Follow me?


So this is where I dictate how many degrees I am dealing with as well as my starting point. My intent is to start at 0 degrees which, in CAD programs, is aways at the 3 o’clock position.


My finishing angle with be full circle and therefore is 360 degreees. When using 360 degrees I always need to add one extra hole therefore this is why I choose 7 holes. I could perform the same math function by choosing 6 holes but then my end angle would need to be entered in as 300 degrees.

NO 5

And here is what the machine spits out. This is a shot of the 5th hole co-ordinates. All I need to do is dial my X and Y table to 0 co-ordinates and the machine is set in proper position to drill my 5th hole. I can continually toggle among holes 1 through 7 as need be. That it! Takes about 30 seconds to program and the rest is giggle time.

Drilled and tapped

Here is the final shot of my 6 evenly spaced holes. I ran the DRO through the drilling sequence 3 times. First was to mark the holes with a centering bit, next was to drill, and the 3rd time ws to tap. Perfect results.

Card holder plate

Here is my “motorsport” look using stainless Allen head 5mm bolts.

Roughed out holder rear

I built a discreet littl perch to hold the assembly up at an angle. The perch will also allow for mounting of the holder onto the front of the monitor stand. The steel backing plate will get powder coated to match the monitor stand.

Roughed out holder front

And here is the roughed out final product. The aluminum still needs some touch up but overall it came out nice. Fairly clean lines, nothing “over the top”

Title monitor stand

So I continue to make progress with the Porsche dual monitor stand. It’s one of those projects that started from a basic mental blueprint however I have allowed it to morph into its present state based on decisions made “on the fly”. Sometimes I need to see the project come into existence before I can actually bring some life to it.

Previously I had beaten my way through the mechanicals of it. I was able to get the monitor arm pivots fabricated and now it was time to build the main support structure. As previously stated I am trying to develop a bit of a motorsport theme but at the same time ensuring that I keep things “straight and square” the German way. As I look at the design and style of Porsche showroom decor much of it is brushed stainless and black therefore I will try and incorporate those finished into the project.

I’ll let you follow along with the pictures. I have added captions to help better describe what I am trying to accomplish. If any of it is not clear then please speak up! I aim to please.

Plasma guide guide 7 inch

So I am making a couple of circle bases to sit on top of the rotor. My first circle is a 7″ diameter that is going to be cut with my homemade plasma circle cutter. Here I have set the cut radius to 3.5″.

BMW reinforcement plate

I had an old aluminum BMW suspension reinforcement plate laying around the shop so I decided to cut my 7″ base circle from it. It’ll be ironic that the Porsche monitors will be supported by a BMW component. HA!

Inner steel 6 inch

My 2nd support circle needed to be a bit smaller and cut from steel. I tacked on an old ring I shaved from a chunk of pipe to act as my guide.

Template frustration

Next I needed to build the support structure that would act as the pillar for the 2 monitors. I really struggled with design. I wanted to base it after the supports you would see on a race car, those that may anchor a spoiler. I drew out some designs on 1/8″ MDF that would act as my template. This was my first failed atttempt. I think the issue was that I put a radius in it. BAD!!!! Remenber? Straight and square!

Better template

Here is my second attempt at a support template. Much better…looks more “motorsport”.

Race supports

So here you have it, my 2 monitor supports cut from an 1/8″ steel plate.

Drilled in unison

In order to add more of a “race” aspect to it I needed to drill some holes. I tacked the two supports together to ensure my holes were drilled precisely in each support.

Race supports braced

Using some 1/2″ aluminum round bar I drilled and tapped 5mm threads into a total of 7 spacers. I then bolted the two supoorts together using stainless steel 5mm socket head cap screws.

Support to base

Support brackets then got TIG welded to the steel base.

Holding it together 1

It was now time to mount the 2 previously built monitor pivot brackets to the support. Things got a little funky since perfect alignment between the 2 monitors were required. Here I determined, in a very crude manner, the over spacing between the 2 monitors. Elegant isn’t it?

Holding it together 2

It was time to weld the montior brackets to the 5/8″ steel rod used as the cross support. To ensure the montiors would end up parallel to one another I clamped a 6″ x .250″ piece of aluminum between the 2 monitor supports then welded them into place.

Holding it together 3

Next it was time to weld the 5/8″ cross support round bar to my previuosly built vertical support brace. Another hi-tech jig was used to ensure everything would end up straight and level.

Straight and square 1

So ther you have it, the monitor brackets and the support braces joined together in molten matrimony. The extra 2 rods that are present above and below the 5/8″ cross bar are 5/6″ stainless steel bar used purely for esthetics. You can also see the layer base I made from my 2 plasma cut circles.

Straight and square 2

Here is a view from the back side. I think is has some decent visuals.

Monitor hinge complete

Close up view of how the hinges all fit together. What is not evident in this picture is the color scheme I have in mind. It will involve a combination of flat black and brushed stainless/aluminum.

Arcing a support

The stand still has more components to add before the fabrication work can be deemed complete. I am planning to mount a Porsche nameplate to the back yet and therefore I require a support. I started by arcing some 3/8″ round bar thinking this was a good idea.

Support no good

Turns out the arc’d bar was a bad idea, it did not visually fit with the rest. Obviously I neglected to keep my number 1 design guideline in mind “staight and square!”

New plate support

Here is my re-do. Much more straight. Sorry but I have not build pictures. I squeezed the work into an evening and 100% focus was required. I am not sure this “add-on” sits right with me. My heart says get rid of it but my head is telling me to relax cause things are going to come togther in the end.

End detail

Here is the end detail. I could have very easily made the 90 degree corner transition much more basic however why make it simple when it works just as well complicated? The end caps are brushed aluminum.

Name plate layers

The support needs to hold a name plate up so I am layering the plate like I did the two circle bases. The larger flat bar is 3″ stainless steel while the smaller section is 2″ mild steel.

Name plate backside

Here is the overall shot. The monitors will be blocking much of what you see here.

Name plate install

Here is the side the customers will be able to see. As it sits right now I am not sure it is much to look at. It will be the finishing details that will bring it all together. For now the stand needs to be disassembled, have a bit more welding done, and then the clean up and finishing process can take place.