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Old 08-30-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
squishbang
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Member#: 398715
Join Date: Aug 2014
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Flo Mo
Vehicle:
2015 WRX STi
Red

Default Looking for local metal fabricator

Is there anybody local to the DFW area who does metal fabrication? Specifically can work with aluminum? I'd like to get a 4 x 5 1/4" thick plate of aluminum cutout to fit a template. It'll probably come out to be 2 to 4 pieces depend upon how we decide to do it.

Or can somebody recommend a shop around here that does that type of stuff?

I'm still letting the caffeine seep in so I'll provide a more complete explanation:

The trunk on the 2015 STi sucks. There is plenty of space back there, but the floor map and Styrofoam are for ****, a $35K car should do better. Biggest immediate complaint: if throw a cooler back there it is going to slide all the !#%#% of the place and there are no tie down loops to help you prevent that.

Yes, a rubber mat would improve it but you're just throwing cheap **** on top of cheap **** to fix a really minor problem. I say @#^T% that. I'm a good red blooded American redneck - if you can solve something with a small amount of solution an over the top solution will obviously be better.

My initiall idea was to use plywood. A sheet of 1" (23/32) plywood would work wonderfully. Only problem is that it you can't get it in without making the new floor in multiple pieces. Next is that the entire floor is not flat, toward the front is an angled section about 3" wide. That part can be solved by stopping short of that and having a piece of carpet cut out to cover the floor.

Here's the thing: I'm never happy with the results of my wood working so I'd outsource this....if I'm going to outsource why not take it to a stupid new height: use metal! Specifically a 1/4" thick sheet of aluminum.

A sheet of aluminum offers an important advantage over plywood: it's aluminum and therefore cooler. The bottom side would receive a rubber coating to reduce noise and the edges would need additional padding to make sure if there was any movement it also did not produce noise. Next a pattern of holes can be drilled and tapped in to the aluminum so tie down points can be reconfigured as needed.

The last part is a quandary: do I put down a piece of carpet which will hide this marvel of wasted effort or do I find a piece of clear rubber so anybody who happens to see in the trunk will know they are dealing with somebody with horribly messed up priorities? Obviously either solution will require the addition of holes to match the tie down pattern but that's a minor point.

So...who wants to help me do something stupid? I realize there is only a minor possibility of needing medical assistance as a result of this adventure, but that is part of the fun. It really is a screwed up priority, I know it but I'm going to proceed regardless.
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Last edited by squishbang; 08-30-2014 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:30 AM   #2
Soobiecabra
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Member#: 259527
Join Date: Oct 2010
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Wylie, TX
Vehicle:
2011 WRX Sedan
PD Satin Black

Default

Talk to Daniel or Virgil at Plano Sheet Metal, they may be able to help.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:55 PM   #3
squishbang
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Red

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Cool - thanks

However, talk about a nut shot! I just priced 1/2" thick 6061 sheet Aluminum and in the size I need (~4'x5') it would run roughly $1000 + shipping.

Despite my previous bravado it might be wise if I use plywood instead.....but I still think it would be cool as **** to do it with a solid sheet of aluminum.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
RichardM
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Location: Sachse, TX
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Make it yourself with carbon fiber.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
squishbang
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Red

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That would actually be even cooler!

So...uh...how do I do that? I've never worked with CF. Anybody interested?
BTW - there is a maker place in Dallas that has all sorts of cool stuff for working on projects. Last time I was there they had a 3d printer.
Their site is here
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:34 AM   #6
RichardM
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http://www.fivestarbodies.com/store/...arent=101&pg=1

Probably also available locally. Don't breathe the dust when sawing.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:47 PM   #7
squishbang
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Member#: 398715
Join Date: Aug 2014
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Flo Mo
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2015 WRX STi
Red

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This weekend I'm going to get some cardboard and make a prototype of what I want. After that I'll look in to the actual implementation (wood, CF, AL)

The issue I can see with the CF is the tie down points. If I put a bolt through the sheet, even with large washers to spread out the stress won't it eventually pull through?

Unfortunately, as I continue the design it seems that just plain old plywood will be the best choice. I can probably complete the entire project for less than $100. Which will leave plenty of toy funds for the skid plate.
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #8
RichardM
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Use tie down tracks. Google that term for more options. Attach the track at multiple points. Spreads the load.

https://www.google.com/search?q=tie+...pg%3B600%3B452
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:18 PM   #9
squishbang
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Member#: 398715
Join Date: Aug 2014
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Flo Mo
Vehicle:
2015 WRX STi
Red

Default

Those are perfect! Thanks for the idea.

I have a template now, so I'm actually going to Lowes in a few to buy a sheet of plywood to cut out.

While I'm there I'll look around to see if I can find something like this. I think 4 rails making a square would provide the greatest flexibility.

I'll lay down the top side carpet and place the rails on top. Then put a layer of carpet on bottom to cover the ends and prevent them from dragging around against the trunk body. I'll also counter sink them to keep them further away from the paint.

I also found skid plates. I'll be order them pretty soon.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:04 PM   #10
squishbang
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Member#: 398715
Join Date: Aug 2014
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Flo Mo
Vehicle:
2015 WRX STi
Red

Default

here is the first prototype:


Made w/ ~1" plywood, used the top carpet layer as the template, cut it out and sanded down. Had to cut it in to 4 pieces along the folding lines of the carpet in order to get it in the trunk. I'm honestly surprised as hell that I got this far and that it even sort of looks decent.

Next step was to glue foam on the bottom to provide some padding and protection. Then I placed the carpet thing on top and put 4 tie down points on. On the bottom I cut away the foam to make room for the washers and nuts so they are actually below the foam now. This arrangement is temporary until I get my hands on the tie down tracks Richard suggested. I'm planning to do 4 - 2 across the trunk and 2 back and forth.

This is the finished product for now:

Other than the bit of plywood at the back of the truck you really can't tell that I did anything. For the moment though, this will get the job done. I'll test this out to see how it holds up and if it causing strange noises. Given the price (less the $50) I can always try a few more times.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:11 PM   #11
atomicfire
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Location: Midtown, Houston, TX
Vehicle:
2005 STi
OBP

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Really, no one has mentioned Kelly@Tigwerks?

What about Dinosaur Performance? They also do aluminum fab work.
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