Posts Tagged ‘Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes’


Garage life continues as blogging life falls behind. I have a choice, either sit in front of the computer and write or spend time in the garage. I chose the latter.

I figured this latest project was worthy of a posting so I dedicated some time getting myself organized in order to show the internet what has been happening in my garage. A friend of mine wanted some “automotive decor” for his office. He had recently purchased a 997 Porsche and I was telling him how I had a stock pile of old Porsche parts that were waiting be built into something. After tossing some ideas around we settled on turning a Brembo caliper and Porsche composite ceramic brake rotor into a floor lamp. He let me have creative freedom with it which was nice.

After many nights of brainstorming how to suspend a caliper from a perch to create a typical floor lamp and decided to try and keep the entire structure automotive themed. I’ve always loved pushrod suspension so I decided I would incorporate it into the design. After designing the control arms and pivot points in a CAD program I determined that I should be able to make it work.

I just started to build on the fly. I began by getting some LED lights from Ikea and machining a 6061 aluminum plate to house them. I then just kept going and working my way backwards until I reached the base. I could write pages on the thought process and the implementation however everyone just skips to the pictures so I’ll spare myself the time.

If something isn’t clear and you want some clarification just shoot me a comment, I’ll be happy to answer any questions. Enjoy the post below.


So it all started with a used caliper that was taken out of service because of a botched powder coating job from a local company and a Porsche PCCB rotor that went metal on the inside pad. The caliper is half stripped of powder coating because awhile back I bought some powder coating stripper and wanted to try it out so I half stripped this spare caliper. It works really well.


I started the project from the caliper end. I bought some LED lights, the right dimension, from Ikea. I then dropped some 6061 aluminum onto the mill and started chipping away until I could mount the LEDs to the machined plate.


This is the final machined plate that the bezels of the LED lights will screw into. In the end I opted to leave the plate as a machined finish.


The 3 LED lights mounted up well. In keeping with the Ikea tradition I chose to keep the Allen key bolts. As I type this I realize I should have gone to Ikea and obtained some of their “extra” hardware to mount the plate.


So I have a lot of pictures but can only display so many. I spent some time in a CAD program designing the length, and pivot points, of the pushrod suspension components. Once I had it finalized on the computer I went into production. This is a shot of the fabricated components getting mocked up into a control arm so it can be welded.


All the welding on the project was done with my Miller Syncrowave 180SD TIG machine.


Upper and lower control arms got mocked up to check alignment. The knob close to the caliper is a camber adjustment that I machined. In the end I thought it was kinda stupid so I opted to scrap it.


Brackets are getting built and components are getting tacked into place to bring the pushrod suspension into play.


Fulcrum brackets got plasma cut out and bushings machined to give the suspension some pivot.


I set the homebuilt CNC plasma table up for the project. It was so nice to work with. Because I was building the lamp on the fly I was coming up with ideas as the project progressed. I had my laptop out in the garage and CAD’d and cut brackets as I went along. Huge time saver.


I was going to have to build a custom “shock” to help support the weight of the caliper so I mocked the setup on the bench to get an idea of the weight and travel that was going to have to be dealt with.


The shock all got built out of aluminum. I needed to machine, and weld, some end caps into the shock tube. I set it up on the lathe as a “poor mans” rotary table and put the TIG torch to it.


Upper shock mounting was machined into a 6 bolt flange to accept the shock rod and provide some guidance.


All the components that make up the “suspension” and provide some support to the caliper.


Never really had a solid vision for the post so I started scrounging for stuff I had hoarded. Located a rear carden shaft off a Cayenne that was the right diameter but required some shortening. I chopped it down on the bandsaw and then remachined and rewelded the ends into a solid shaft.


Continuing on with the post the lower half was going to require some weight in order to support the caliper and suspension. I had a chunk of 3.5″ Schedule 80 pipe left over from my gazebo railing project. It had some good weight to it and it turned out that it dialed in the “power to weight” ratio perfectly. Plus I love soaking the heat into my welds so it was a pleasure to work with.


Here the Porsche Cayenne rear carden shaft got mated to the scheduled 80 pipe.


More progress in fabricating, mocking up, and tacking in the suspension brackets.


I needed to incorporate a supplied Porsche emblem and was struggling. I dug through the tickle trunk and found a Porsche air cooled 993 piston and connecting rod. Figured I would cut it up and see what I could turn it into.


In keeping with the Jonathan Goldsmith tradition the “library lamp” required somewhere to place a glass of whiskey so a shelf was in order. Buzzed one out on the plasma table then lined the perimeter with some 1″ flatbar


Needed to drill, and tap, some holes to mount the piston to that would serve as the background for the Porsche emblem. I wasn’t about to drill schedule 80 pipe by hand so I set it up on the mill to make life easier.


Mocked up whiskey shelf and emblem to make sure things are going to work, not sure I am totally happy with it.


With most of the fabrication complete it was time to move onto finishing stage. Most of the components would either get powder coated, polished, or brushed. The powder coated items got glass bead blasting before getting foggged.


The half stripped caliper need to get all stripped. A soaking in the stripping solution and then a cold water rinse made easy work of it.


Clean, fresh aluminum is so satisfying.


The Brembo caliper then got a fresh flogging of red powder coat to bring it back to new,


Tucked it into the oven at 375 degrees for a 30 minute soaking.


While the powder coated caliper was getting baked I cleaned, and polished, the caliper hardware.


The baking is all done and the aroma has filled the shop. “The smell of good powdercoating baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…”


Time for the “Porsche” to be united with the Brembo.


Lots of the finishing stage required 3 stage polishing. I always try to find a visual balance among all the components when it comes time to clothe them.


I wasn’t loving the stark naked aluminum shock. So I risked it all and powder coated the tube matte black then dropped a 1/2″ ball nose end mill into it. I think it was the right choice.


Yup, the light should be adequate. If not then I recommend sticking to audio books.

Due to the vertical stance of the lamp it is somewhat difficult to get an good overall picture of it. I posted a short video below highlighting the features of the project.


Click on the pictures below to see them in full screen.




A friend of mine that works at the local Porsche dealer has been harassing, yes harassing, me to supply him with a gordsgarage automotive themed item for what seems like an eternity. My friend, who shall remain nameless, came to me with a Porsche PCCB center lock brake rotor that was taken out of service and requested that it be converted into a clock for his man cave. I said I would see what I could do.

As cool as clocks can be they always seem to be the default fab item for anything that is round. Brake rotor clocks have been done, and overdone, time and time again. If I was going to build a clock it needed to have a slightly different style then most. Even at that it is hard to come up with a truly unique way to display seconds that tick by.

The one thing I had going for me is that ceramic brake rotors weigh a 3rd of what cast rotors do. This will allow me to be able to tack on a bit more weight and still allow it to be hung on a wall. I’m not sure I am totally thrilled with the end result but the feedback I received from others appears that the design meets a certain amount of approval. It serves its function and fits into its environment as designed. The following post takes you through the build process of my version of a man cave brake rotor clock.


The project revolves around a used Center Lock Porsche PCCB rear brake rotor. Because of the center lock design the holes, where the wheel bolts would typically go, are now equipped with red anodized wheel lugs.

Since I wanted to build something more then just a flat hanging rotor attached to a wall I started off by machining some pivots out of 1.75″ solid round 6061 aluminum. First order of business was to drill, and tap, an 8mm hole.


Onto the milling machine where the center section got hogged out an inch deep and the width of the rotor.


The beauty of swarf makes up for the waste it becomes.


Test fitting of the rough machined rotor clamps prove to fit perfectly.


To secure the clamps to the rotor a couple of 1/4″ set screws were fitted into each clamp.


To complete the pivot assemblies a couple end caps and center spacers were spun out on the lathe. I opted to keep all the angles, and design, fairly clean and simple with no added cuts or highlights.


These are the rough machined pivot assemblies that will get clamped onto opposite ends of the rotor.


Next it was time to move on the steel work and fabricate the actual wall holder. The rotor pivots were going to require a bushing to help provide the support. A couple of spacers were cut, and faced, from some 2″ seamless tubing I had remaining from my metal bender rollers I built.


Each bushing received a 3/8″ hole drilled only through one side. Keep scrolling, the reason will be revealed.


The pivot bushings required some support. I wanted to keep things simple and clean without making the unit look messy or chunky. Not to mention I needed to keep the weight of the entire project as low as possible. I opted to bend some 3/8″ cold rolled rod with a radius that would visually match the brake rotor.


I sketched out the rotor on the bench to aid in the mock up. This way I could ensure that my clearances would work and that my center line would actual be centered.


Since the rod support required something to actually be attached to I trimmed up a 19 inch section of 3″ x 1/8″ flat bar. I plasma cut the ends to get rid of the corners.


I was kind of stuck for creative ideas to attach the rod to the wall support plate. Usually I like to get creative with sort of thing. I decided on keeping the brake rotor the main focal point and opted to fabricate some clean and simple support rods from some 7/8″ cold rolled.


Concept revealed. Mocking up the components before putting the TIG to them.


Everything was tacked and final welded. Time to move onto to the other parts of the project.


The clock face was sliced from a sheet of 6061 aluminum using the circle guide for the plasma torch. Ironically this is the same sheet of aluminum that I cut my German tank sprocket clock face from years ago.


To clean up the plasma cut, and to ensure the face was perfectly round, the aluminum was mounted on the lathe and trimmed up.


The PCCB rotor hub has two 8mm holes threaded from factory 180 degrees apart. With a couple of spacers I would be able to mount the face to these existing holes. I programmed in the proper spacing on the DRO for the mill and drilled the face for mounting.


Here the entire project was mocked up to ensure everything would fit. It does.


Onto the art work for the clock face. I decided to build a tachometer themed time keeper. Using a combination of Draftsight, InkScape, and vinyl plotter software I came up with this.


I vinyl plotted the entire face on black vinyl first to ensure it would work the way I wanted it too. I then printed just the “redline” section on red vinyl.


It’s always so satisfying when I start to peel back the transfer tape to reveal the vinyl. I wasn’t sure what color background to use. I thought of powder coding the face white but in the end I opted to stick with a brushed finish. I think I made the right choice.


Here is the completed clock. I use continuous sweep movements for my clock motors which not only gets rid of the “ticking” but also gives a more precision look to the second hand.


Time to move onto the hub side of the rotor. Since this clock is going in a “man cave” I thought I would personalize it for Mike. Started by slicing out a 7 inch diameter section of mild steel to be used as a mounting for more vinyl decaling.


Porsche uses a 5 x 130 wheel bolt pattern. Using the mills DRO I marked all the mounting holes and then finished them off on the drill press.


Building using math is so satisfying as things always fit together perfectly.


The time has come where all the fabrication work is complete and it’s time to move onto the finishing stage. I removed the hub from the rotor and chucked it up in the lathe in order to clean the finish up using Scotchbrite.


Tractor Red powder is incredibly close to the same shade as factory Porsche red brake calipers. Since I know Mike likes red I figured using the color was a “no brainer”


The rotor mount was wired to one of my oven’s baking racks and then fogged with the powder.


With the pivot mounts sealed using silicone plugs it was time to bake the powder coating at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.


Here are all the components that make up the project before the assembly phase begins. Everything was either powder coated, polished, or brush finished.


The hub side face received a personalized Mike’s Place decal so that you knew exactly where you are.


The contrast between the red and the brushed finishes looks good. I was happy that the pivot still works with the added thickness of the power coating.


Rotor mounted up and centered just waiting for all the guts to be installed.


The clock face gets mounted using a couple of 5mm black socket head cap screws. Even though the screws are placed a bit far apart they still help give the clock face that”gauge” look. In order for the clock battery to be replaced the face will need to be unbolted from the hub.


Since the rotor was mounted on a pivot it was important that all visible angles would look good. I like all the nice, clean, lines of the cross section.


The rotor lugs were originally anodized red from the factory. Since the finish on them was slightly worn, plus the shade of red would clash, I decided to strip them of the anodizing and give them a brushed finish instead.


I try and add a “GG” somewhere to my projects. This time I applied a decal on the inside where the only time anyone will see it is when the clock motor battery needs to be changed. In this picture the mounting spacers for the clock face are evident.



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.

Title tools

So I have been lugging my way through the 65 Revive project and things have been going well but it was finally time to take a break. I find that if I get too involved in a project for too long I start to lose focus. Sometimes it is necessary to step back for a few moments and regroup. Well opportunity came knocking and when I heard the call I answered the door.

1 of 2 monitors

Not too long ago I built a monitor stand out of pure necessity. The stand was built from an old brake rotor and was build purely to serve a purpose. It did not need to look pretty and only needed to be functional. Well it turns out that the brake rotor monitor stand theme was catching on and this time I had a request to build another one. The difference with the new one is that it needed to have a bit of “wow” factor built into it.

PCCB rotor

The “goddess” of brake systems

Rotor quote 001

The request came from a friend of mine who is a service advisor for the local Porsche dealership in town. I was given very little direction as to what the stand was supposed to look like once it was built. My instructions were “you decide…I trust you”. The problem is that trust does not always equate to a satisfactory product however I am always pleased to accommodate my own design and not have to incorporate details that have been supplied to me.

Damaged PCCB rotor

Chipped PCCB rotor

The only bit of the project that I needed to make sure I included was the supplied brake rotor that my friend gave me. The rotor that I was supplied was no ordinary brake rotor. This particular rotor was taken off of a Porsche 911 equipped with PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes). For those unfamiliar with Porsche PCCB brakes the highlight is that they are ceramic. So what you say? Well as much as many think the ceramic composite lends itself well to increased braking capabilities because of the heat resistance the benefit is actually more in the handling of the vehicle. The PCCB rotors are incredibly light compared to conventional cast rotors. The weight factor plays a huge role in the vehicles unsprung weight and, in turn, contributes to huge gains in the vehicles handling characteristics.

Monitor arm template

The hinge brackets were first cut from 1/8″ MDF to use as a template to ensure consistant results among the 4 I required.

For myself I am not sure what is more impressive, the performance gains of the PCCB rotor or the price tag associated with them. I had the Porsche parts department quote me on the replacement value of the single rotor that was supplied to me. It was a mere $7185.62 CDN. That’s right… for 1 rotor. It turns out that the only reason my friend has the rotor was that it had slight accident damage and therefore was replaced. The outer edge had a slight chip taken out of it therefore it was no longer considered safe to use.

Hinge bushings

Machining hinge bushings out of 6061 aluminum. Test fit shows I measured right!

So away I went with the rotor and a head full of project ideas that I needed to sort through. A few sleepless nights allowed me to organize my thoughts and come up with a starting game plan. The only criteria I had was that the monitor stand needed to accommodate a dual monitor set up and 1 monitor had to pivot around in order to accommodate customer viewing. No problem…minor details. I enjoy building off the top of my head. I find that if I try and stick to a specific design, or game plan, the project doesn’t always work out. I have learned to allow for a certain “fly by the seat of my pants” design whenever I build. I find that as soon as I can get a visual on one component it will provide inspiration for the next one.

Threading set screw

I am building caps for the hinges to conseal the threads. Here I needed to drill and tap for a set screw which will secure the cap onto the hinge pin.

So I sat down and tried to gain some insight into the Porsche way of thinking in order to build a basis for the design. Well it turns out that Porsche, being a German company, appears to like things straight and square, who woulda thunk? Porsche has very specific guidelines set in place that describe what their marketing visuals and showroom layout are to look like. As I looked at much of their promotional and marketing displays it became quite evident that I needed to think “inside the box”. So my initial ideas of building some bends and curves into the stand were abandoned and the “straight and square” philosophy was adopted.

Monitor hinge components

Here are my built hinge components.

Hinge concept

This is one of the hinges set up to show what I am trying to accomplish. Pay no attention to the large hole drilled in the center, it will come into play later.

So I developed a fairly good mental picture of what I was going for however I will let creativity run its course, as long as the course is straight with no curves. I decided to start with the mechanics of the stand in which everything else will be built around. That being the pivot system for the monitors. My friend told me that only one monitor had to pivot but I cannot cope without building the stand symmetrically so I opted to allow both monitors to pivot in the same manner.

Mocked up monitor hinge

Mocking up monitor bracket

Getting ready to tack the brackets together so that I can test fit things.

I stepped into the garage, pulled out some fine looking metal specimens, and started to cut. The pivot hinges are going to be fully custom built. I find that custom building the hinges allow them to be more of a show piece rather them a necessity. I like to build hinges, I do not know why. Perhaps it is because there are so many different ways to do it. In my case I try and give them a clean look that will be pleasing to look at.

Bracket to monitor

Looks like things are going to work out…so far.

I am not going to run you through the build details. Lately I have been letting the pictures do the story telling and it seems to be working. If it isn’t then will someone please let me know? I suspect this build may take up the next 3, or so, blog postings. What I like about stretching a build over a few postings is that I get to see the project transform from raw materials into a finished project. I could fill you in on what my end result is going to look like but sometimes it is more fun to just watch it happen. So here you go…the beginning steps to my Porsche PCCB dual monitor stand.

Monitor stand layout

Here I am doing a bit of “work bench AutoCAD”. Using the two tacked up montior brackets I drew out the dimensions on the work bench for the remaining stand components.