Electric windows Home Julian Rogers Home Door cards

My new door cards needed to accommodate the window motor which I couldn’t fit within the door. The box needed to cover the motor seemed like an invitation to design in a door pocket. (Extra storage was no bad thing as I had already filled most of the glove compartment with electronics!)

The card would be made out of GRP. The mostly flat top half would be finished in black vinyl over 2mm foam. The bottom with its more complex and difficult to cover shape would be textured black get coat.

The interior handle was nicked from an old VW Beetle. A moulding strip was needed to finish off the line between vinyl and the bottom. A decorative aluminium panel covered the edge of the vinyl round the handle and provided a location for a cover over the end of the old winder spindle.

The patterns for the GRP were made from plywood and softwood. The wood was sanded, filled and further shaped with body filler then painted with spray cans, filled again, rubbed down etc and finished in Hammerite to provide a textured finish.

I then applied release agent: a coat of wax, a coat of blue poly vinyl alcohol sprayed on followed by another coat of wax.

I then applied two coats of black get coat with a brush and then laid up two layers of chopped strand mat and resin.

The door pocket is made from a sheet of 1.5mm aluminium which is screwed to a bent and shaped piece of 10X10mm aluminium bar which forms the door handle. The aluminium fits into grooves in the GRP mouldings which form the sides of the pocket. The aluminium is bent with a small radius at the bottom and screwed into the underside of the GRP. This curving and bending makes the aluminium very stiff and gives the illusion of being shaped in three dimensions (when it is only shaped in two).

6mm aluminium rod is bent to protect the speaker with the ends threaded for fixing.

The foam is cut to shape and spray-mounted in place followed by the vinyl which I fix with contact adhesive where it turns over the back of the panel.

The top is formed from a strip of straight grained maple. I finised this by staining it with black indian ink then polishing with black trim wax (from Halfords). This produces a surface sheen with just a hint of grain pattern. (Maple is very close grained and its pores are almost invisible to the naked eye. The result blends in nicely in my opinion with the existing black plastic of the interior.)