Faceplate Fabrication Details

By S.E.Moore -- Revised July 3, 2005

("McM" refers to McMaster-Carr catalog numbers)

tempdril A CAD drawing was made of the faceplate, and printed out on sticky-back paper.

A template blank was made from two pieces of 1/4" tempered Masonite laminated together, and using the CAD drawing as a guide, an 1/8" center hole was drilled, and a 1/4" hole in each mounting wing.
bsawtemp The outline of the template was then roughed out on the band saw.
tempsand Next the template was carefully shaped to the outline of the CAD drawing on a disk sander.

The wing slots were finished by hand filing.
pattblnk Two 7.75" x 7.75" blank face plates were cut from 3/4" thick Acrylic sheet [McM 8560K362], and a copy of the CAD print pasted to each.

They were then roughed out on the band saw.
2sticky Double-sided carpet tape was used in several operations to temporarily hold objects together.
facerout Each rough faceplate was attached to the template with double-sided tape, and routed to its finished shape with a spiral, up-cut, piloted 1/4" router bit.
cntrsink Both sides of the notch in each wing were countersunk to 1/2" dia. with a single point 82 tool.
centtemp The template was mounted on the lathe faceplate with double-sided tape using the center hole for alignment.
grovbit A 7/16" dia straight flute bit was used to route the 5/16" deep groove per the CAD drawing.
routgrv1 Each Acrylic face plate was aligned with the template, and secured with double-sided tape. A pressure plate held in place by the tail stock center supported the face plate during groove routing. The grove is made somewhat wider than the PVC tube wall thickness to allow for out-of-round pipe.
rondedge Both sides of the face plates were routed all around with a 1/8" radius round-over bit.
ppltturn Two pressure plates were made from 1/4" Masonite for the inside and outside diameters of the gaskets.
cutgask A piece of 1/16" thick Neoprene rubber [McM 9455K452] was secured to the faceplate template with double=sided tape,and sandwiched between the template and the large pressure plate. The outside of the gasket was then cut with an X-Acto knife mounted in the lathe's tool holder.

For this operation the lathe's faceplate was rotated manually while the knife blade was gently advanced into the rubber.

The pressure plate was replaced with the small (inside) pressure plate to cut the inside diameter of the gasket, and the process repeated.
instgask The gasket's inside diameter was intentionally made smaller than the faceplate groove so it would stay in place without any adhesive.
pourgask An alternative to the cut gasket was made by pouring Ureathane RTV into the faceplate groove.
airtap Two #6-32 holes were added to the rear faceplate to mount clamps for holding the Spare-Air cylinder. One "tooth" was removed from each clamp to accept the screw.
airclamp Each clamp was held in position by a stainless steel pan head machine.
airbarb A hole was drilled and tapped, and a nylon barbed fitting installed for connecting the Spare-Air supply tube.

The plastic cylinder here serves as a dummy Spare-Air unit.